Scandinavian prisons are bullshit

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The American prison system has a reputation for being both too harsh and too broken to work well, with people being thrown into jail for too many things and given too harsh sentances in bad prisons were the prisoners suffer and may end up becoming even worse criminals as a result.

However, it appears that here in Scandinavia (I say "here" because Iceland where I live is technically seen as a part of Scandinavia at least in terms of culture and also in the way society is orginzied in many ways) we suffer from a completely different kind of problem: A prison system that treats its prisoners way better then it should.

Yea yea yea, rehabilitation is better then punishment and all of that stuff. I totally agree with that, so its not like I think prisoners should be treated like animals. However, just because rehabilitation is better then pure punishment and just because prisoners should not be treated horribly does not mean that you can't take the concept too far. Even though the main goal is rehabilitation being in prison should still feel like a major punishment, and not merely as a major annoyance.

Here is a rought list of things that the Scandinavian prisons appear to do that I more or less agree with:

-Provide the prisoners with a libary: If they can read something useful and become better off for it then that's great. I don't object giving prisoners books to read at all.

-Acceptable food: They may be prisoners but that doesn't mean they should be given total horseshit for launch. Don't have a problem with this.

-A "cell" that doesn't make them want to hang them self's: It appears that scandinavian prison cells don't look like prison cells as much as they look like small hotel rooms. I am a bit on the edge about this, but I can accept it if it makes them better people at the end.

-Moral treatment of prisoners: The prisoners are not treated like animals but like people, even though many of them may in fact be animals. Again, if it makes them better by the time they leave then I don't mind this.

And now for the things that are bullshit:

-They are given access to luxary consumer goods: Granted that this may depend a bit on which Scandinavian country you are living in, but here in Iceland prisoners are actually allowed to take their LCD TV's and video game consoles with them from their homes and keep them in their cells. Yes, if I were ever to go to prison here then I could possibly spend a nice chunk of my prison time simply killing time by playing video games. Cell phones (albeit, you need to get permission for those I think) are also allowed. There are also computers with internet connections that the prisoners can use. I don't care what the reasoning for this is, those things don't belong in prisons. Period.
If the prisoners want to kill time then they can go to the libary and read, perhaps gaining some useful skills and information in the process. I don't mind that, but stuff like video games have nothing to do with rehabilitation and thus there is no justification for why they should be granted access to such things while in jail.

-Giving them access to luxury activities: Prisoners are allowed to play golf and go skying. They need their exercise like most people, but this is too much. Those things are to be considered a luxury, and should not be granted to prisoners.

-Allowing the prisoners to leave the jail: Albiet that this is somewhat rare, but it appears that prisoners who behave well are actually allowed to "take leaves" or some shit from jail. lol, no. Just like with luxury consumer products I don't care what the reasoning for this is, the prisoners are in jail for a reason and they should have to suffer fully for their actions by not being allowed to leave until their sentance is up. Its not like they don't have enough luxury to make the stay tolerable.

-Allowing them to cock their own food and have BBQ's: Remember the part where I should prisoners should be given acceptable food? Well that can be taken too far as well, and it is. Prisoners should not be fed shit, but that doesn't mean I am ok with them enjoying all of the sweet awesome things that they are suppose to be missing by being in jail in the first place.

I already know what some defenders of the system are thinking about saying: Oh! You think being in jail sucks because of "those things!" NO! Its the LACK OF FREEDOM that is terrible! That is what makes it suck! And even in spite of all of that luxury I am sure that being in jail is still terrible, because it takes away your FREEDOM!"

Oh, yea?

See, the whole reason being in prison sucks and why it makes you miss your "freedom" in the first place is because it TAKES AWAY the things that you are use to enjoying. If you aren't actually denied access to the various things that you could enjoy outside prison then what the fuck is there to miss? Your family? Ok, but not everyone who ends up in jail is married and has kids and those people probably don't visit their parents that often anyways anymore then most of us do, so if the parents visit the prisoners every now and then little actually changes.

If I were in jail then it should make logical sense that I would start to miss the sweet things in life. It should make me start having thoughts like "I wish I had the freedom to have a nice steak" or "I wish I had the freedom to spend some time playing my Playstation" or things of that sort. If I already have those things in the jail anyways then the only things I would miss out on would be seeing my parents outside of visiting hours, whom I barely even visit 2 times a month even in spite of my freedom anyways.

So basically my thoughts are: The basic idea behind the Scandinavian system is good, but its taken to a stupid extreme that I don't like one bit.

EDIT: Here is an article with some pictures from a Scandinavian prison for you to see: http://prasetio30.hubpages.com/hub/The-Most-Luxurious-Prison-In-The-World-Complete-With-Pictures

Thoughts?

Discuss.

Agree with your list of agrees.

Agree with your list of disagrees. EDIT: Except the food one.

The only one I'm on the fence about with the disagrees is that you don't want them to play golf. Golf is fine by me, but skydiving is ridiculous.

Well that was a boring post, should I compare you to Hitler just to get the ball rolling? Maybe construct a strawman, or perhaps call into question your sexual preference in a derogatory manner?

What is wrong with letting them cook their own food? Seriously? do you think it's better that people are employed by the state and cook perhaps shit food for them which would increase the costs since you would have to hire new people. So I do not agree with you on that part.

I see nothing wrong with allowing a person to leave jail for a few days. Its not like they get a week out of prison every month or so.

And I see nothing wrong with allowing them to use computers and internet. I doubt very much they are allowed to spend several of hours each day so whats the freaking harm?

so I guess there isnt really much that I agree on with your Disagree list.

Um, what is teh recidivism rate for Scandinavian prisons compared to the rest of the world, though?

And, why is all of Scandanavia lumped together in this? Do they all have similar systems, distinct from the rest of the world?

And what horrible consequences will befall the world if they're allowed those things? I don't see a reason to care so long as they're buying their own luxury goods and paying for their own ski trips.

thaluikhain:
Um, what is teh recidivism rate for Scandinavian prisons compared to the rest of the world, though?

And, why is all of Scandanavia lumped together in this? Do they all have similar systems, distinct from the rest of the world?

Generally speaking all scandinavian countries are very similar in most aspects (law and politics and such stuff)

Depends on the level of the crime, naturally.

But I would agree that allowing prisoners to bring their gear in is a bit silly. The way it works in Canada, as far as I know, is that people can save money from working in the prison (for a fraction of minimum wage) and then have people on the outside buy you stuff. Since they don't get paid very much, they really have to earn their bread and so what they can buy, and that seems a bit more reasonable.

I also think that you probably underestimate how mad you'd go without the ability to leave. You cannot see friends impulsively or outside of a split off room. You can't get wasted at the bar and try your luck with the ladies. You cannot go to the films when you want. You cannot go sleep over at your girlfriend's. This prison sounds good, but only if you're a lonely shut in already. Frankly, I'd lose it. I don't really agree with people being allowed to leave either, but again, it depends on the level of crime. Low level petty stuff, seems like less of a big deal. Heavier stuff, yeah, you should be stuck there until your time is up.

That place does look a bit cushy, but if it were a minimum wage pen, I wouldn't really have a problem with it. Though truthfully, it does look like a student dorm.

Hardcore_gamer:
There are also computers with internet connections that the prisoners can use. I don't care what the reasoning for this is, those things don't belong in prisons. Period.

I dunno. The UN seems to think access to the internet should be a human right.

After going without internet for a month and a half or so, I kinda tend to agree. *shrugg* maybe limit the access to the internet in prison, okay, but... e-mail, chat, news, educational sites? You'd have to ban standard mail, telephones, visits and newspapers as well. Oh, and libraries. Oh, wait...

See, the whole reason being in prison sucks and why it makes you miss your "freedom" in the first place is because it TAKES AWAY the things that you are use to enjoying. If you aren't actually denied access to the various things that you could enjoy outside prison then what the fuck is there to miss? Your family? Ok, but not everyone who ends up in jail is married and has kids and those people probably don't visit their parents that often anyways anymore then most of us do, so if the parents visit the prisoners every now and then little actually changes.

First of all: I really, really like to read. Going to a prison with a library wouldn't, by those standards, be too bad for me. I'd actually still rather like to avoid it.

Aside from that... are You really quite sure about what sucks about being in prison? I dunno. I've never been in one. 'sides, there is a bit more to life than video games and skiing, mate, wouldn't You agree? And if You wouldn't, well, see my comment about the library: The same kind of punishment can be more or less severe for different individuals. Save for personalized prisons, I dunno how that can be solved - or whether it even should be.

The relapse rate for this luxurious prison, Halden Felgsel, which is located in Norway, btw, lies at ~10 percent. Compare it with the ~ 37% in Germany, for example. And german prisons are usually not the harshest ones, either. So while it doesn't do too much for venegance, it seems to do a good job at resocialization.

And don't anyone dare say anything about the good people of Norway. People who defend the freedom of speech even for an appalling miserable little person like Anders Behring Breivik damn well know what they're talking about when they say they believe in their values. I salute them.

Edit:

That place does look a bit cushy, but if it were a minimum wage pen, I wouldn't really have a problem with it. Though truthfully, it does look like a student dorm.

Implying student dorm =|= minimum wage pen o.O
Remember this is Norway. I can imagine that's the low end there.

Also, the prison in that article was officially opened on April 8th 2010. Can't find a date on that article, but the first comment was made 19 months ago, that is ... March 2010? That's right - before the prison was officially open. Kinda shifts the perspective a little bit.

Edit2: Minor syntax improvements.

~Sylv

I think the important question here should be: does this work? And if so, does it work better or worse than if there were fewer luxuries? If the answers are "yes" and "better" then it should probably stay.

BrassButtons:
I think the important question here should be: does this work? And if so, does it work better or worse than if there were fewer luxuries? If the answers are "yes" and "better" then it should probably stay.

Nobody will ever be able to convince me that having access to playstation has any say in how likely a prisoner is to reform. The reason for why the Scandinavian prisons work better is no doubt because the prisoners are treated like people instead of animals, something which won't change if their playstation's and BBQ's are taken away.

Mortai Gravesend:
And what horrible consequences will befall the world if they're allowed those things?

This is not a valid argument. The world won't end if they get those things, but that is no justification for actually giving them to them. Before a prisoner is given access to a luxury a good reason has to be provided, if there is no good reason then they should not be give access to it.

Hardcore_gamer:

Mortai Gravesend:
And what horrible consequences will befall the world if they're allowed those things?

This is not a valid argument.

Congratulations on correctly not identifying a question as an argument. It's a question of "Where the hell is your argument against it?"

You have failed to show that anything useful is accomplished by giving a damn about it. All I see in your first post seems to be you complaining that they should be unhappier.

Sounds about right. I have heard that these ultra-gentle Scandinavian "reform" prisons tend to have a very low recidivism rate, being somewhere around %20. If that's the case, some of these ideas sound pretty good, but I agree that prison should still be a harsh, punitive experience, wherein they are denied the freedoms and luxuries granted to a law abiding citizen.

Speaking of these types of prisons, I had another idea: While it may be possible to reform some prisoners, not all them can be. That's not that big of a problem when your dealing with petty thieves and drunkards, but when your dealing with criminals such as murderers and rapists, a 20% chance of recidivism is not good enough. I still think those should get capital punishment.

KingGolem:
If that's the case, some of these ideas sound pretty good, but I agree that prison should still be a harsh, punitive experience, wherein they are denied the freedoms and luxuries granted to a law abiding citizen.

To what purpose? If that isn't necessary for a low recidivism rate, which it doesn't seem to be, why do it?

Mortai Gravesend:

KingGolem:
If that's the case, some of these ideas sound pretty good, but I agree that prison should still be a harsh, punitive experience, wherein they are denied the freedoms and luxuries granted to a law abiding citizen.

To what purpose? If that isn't necessary for a low recidivism rate, which it doesn't seem to be, why do it?

I think they'd be learning their lesson better if jail time was a time to think and to mourn the loss of your freedoms, rather than to just keep on enjoying them through your prison stay. As the OP painted it, it sounds like the jails in Scandinavia are barely distinguishable from ordinary living, if the prisoners are given so many luxuries and freedoms.

KingGolem:

Mortai Gravesend:

KingGolem:
If that's the case, some of these ideas sound pretty good, but I agree that prison should still be a harsh, punitive experience, wherein they are denied the freedoms and luxuries granted to a law abiding citizen.

To what purpose? If that isn't necessary for a low recidivism rate, which it doesn't seem to be, why do it?

I think they'd be learning their lesson better if jail time was a time to think and to mourn the loss of your freedoms, rather than to just keep on enjoying them through your prison stay. As the OP painted it, it sounds like the jails in Scandinavia are barely distinguishable from ordinary living, if the prisoners are given so many luxuries and freedoms.

What, so you think it will improve the recidivism rate to remove those? Do you have any evidence for that? If, as you said in your other post, the recidivism rate is low, why mess with it unless you have some kind of evidence that it will improve it?

KingGolem:

Mortai Gravesend:

KingGolem:
If that's the case, some of these ideas sound pretty good, but I agree that prison should still be a harsh, punitive experience, wherein they are denied the freedoms and luxuries granted to a law abiding citizen.

To what purpose? If that isn't necessary for a low recidivism rate, which it doesn't seem to be, why do it?

I think they'd be learning their lesson better if jail time was a time to think and to mourn the loss of your freedoms, rather than to just keep on enjoying them through your prison stay. As the OP painted it, it sounds like the jails in Scandinavia are barely distinguishable from ordinary living, if the prisoners are given so many luxuries and freedoms.

It has a better relapse rate than the harsh system You advocate. Less relapse. That means more people don't repeat crimes. That means more people have learned their lesson.

But You still think they should be punished more harshly.

image

Edit: Typos.

~Sylv

Mortai Gravesend:

KingGolem:

Mortai Gravesend:

To what purpose? If that isn't necessary for a low recidivism rate, which it doesn't seem to be, why do it?

I think they'd be learning their lesson better if jail time was a time to think and to mourn the loss of your freedoms, rather than to just keep on enjoying them through your prison stay. As the OP painted it, it sounds like the jails in Scandinavia are barely distinguishable from ordinary living, if the prisoners are given so many luxuries and freedoms.

What, so you think it will improve the recidivism rate to remove those? Do you have any evidence for that? If, as you said in your other post, the recidivism rate is low, why mess with it unless you have some kind of evidence that it will improve it?

I would like to investigate that. It certainly makes sense. This is all about finding a middle ground. You don't want to opress the prisoners to the point of building resentment, but you also don't want to coddle them. These are people who did something wrong. If such coddling actually is necessary for the low recidivism rate, and taking it away would raise it, then we would go back to the current system.

KingGolem:

Mortai Gravesend:

KingGolem:

I think they'd be learning their lesson better if jail time was a time to think and to mourn the loss of your freedoms, rather than to just keep on enjoying them through your prison stay. As the OP painted it, it sounds like the jails in Scandinavia are barely distinguishable from ordinary living, if the prisoners are given so many luxuries and freedoms.

What, so you think it will improve the recidivism rate to remove those? Do you have any evidence for that? If, as you said in your other post, the recidivism rate is low, why mess with it unless you have some kind of evidence that it will improve it?

I would like to investigate that. It certainly makes sense. This is all about finding a middle ground. You don't want to opress the prisoners to the point of building resentment, but you also don't want to coddle them. These are people who did something wrong. If such coddling actually is necessary for the low recidivism rate, and taking it away would raise it, then we would go back to the current system.

'Makes sense' isn't much of a reason on its own. Plenty of people think certain thinks make sense, doesn't make it so. There's no real reason to care whether you're 'coddling' them or not unless there's an adverse affect. Who care if they did something wrong, the point of the prison system should be to get a certain result, specifically to have them not commit crimes again, not to make them suffer for something.

Mortai Gravesend:
'Makes sense' isn't much of a reason on its own. Plenty of people think certain thinks make sense, doesn't make it so. There's no real reason to care whether you're 'coddling' them or not unless there's an adverse affect. Who care if they did something wrong, the point of the prison system should be to get a certain result, specifically to have them not commit crimes again, not to make them suffer for something.

Ah, perhaps you have a point. I will not deny it: the current system offends me and my sense of justice. That's probably why I want to investigate it in the first place, so that we may find room to treat these criminals like criminals. If it really is necessary that they be treated this way to minimize recidivism, then we have no choice. It's just that some of it seems unnecessary, and maybe I'm just thinking with my distaste, but I still want to cull these things which seem unnecessary, and thus investigate it first to see what is and what is not necessary.

Mortai Gravesend:
And what horrible consequences will befall the world if they're allowed those things? I don't see a reason to care so long as they're buying their own luxury goods and paying for their own ski trips.

I take huge issue with this. In my opinion, if you commit a crime you should go to jail and lose your freedoms to play COD, watch your favorite soaps and go on freaking skiing trips.

Prison isn't meant to be fun, it's meant to be prison.

Treated like human beings? Great
Food that isn't sludge? Completely agree
Healthy exercise programs? Yep, preferably many options.
Visitation rights? Plenty.
Allowance for Email? Within reason and restrictions that apply to regular mail.
Access to news and educational websites? Yes, absolutely.

Xbox/PS3?
TV?
Skii trips?

Fuck. No.

You might not see a reason to care, but I care. I'm not known as the most empathetic person in the world, but I can't imagine (in the case of murders/rapes/assaults etc) the family/friends of the victim being particularly happy about xCr1m3SniP3RxL33TSh0txx's latest killtrocity on Halo, and I'd sympathize heavily with them if that was the case.

Zekksta:

Mortai Gravesend:
And what horrible consequences will befall the world if they're allowed those things? I don't see a reason to care so long as they're buying their own luxury goods and paying for their own ski trips.

I take huge issue with this. In my opinion, if you commit a crime you should go to jail and lose your freedoms to play COD, watch your favorite soaps and go on freaking skiing trips.

Prison isn't meant to be fun, it's meant to be prison.

Treated like human beings? Great
Food that isn't sludge? Completely agree
Healthy exercise programs? Yep, preferably many options.
Visitation rights? Plenty.
Allowance for Email? Within reason and restrictions that apply to regular mail.
Access to news and educational websites? Yes, absolutely.

Xbox/PS3?
TV?
Skii trips?
Youtube?

Fuck. No.

Why should it matter? Just because you want them to suffer more? All that should matter is if in the end they're less likely to commit a crime again. Prisons shouldn't be there to fulfill whatever sense of revenge you have.

Mortai Gravesend:

Zekksta:

Mortai Gravesend:
And what horrible consequences will befall the world if they're allowed those things? I don't see a reason to care so long as they're buying their own luxury goods and paying for their own ski trips.

I take huge issue with this. In my opinion, if you commit a crime you should go to jail and lose your freedoms to play COD, watch your favorite soaps and go on freaking skiing trips.

Prison isn't meant to be fun, it's meant to be prison.

Treated like human beings? Great
Food that isn't sludge? Completely agree
Healthy exercise programs? Yep, preferably many options.
Visitation rights? Plenty.
Allowance for Email? Within reason and restrictions that apply to regular mail.
Access to news and educational websites? Yes, absolutely.

Xbox/PS3?
TV?
Skii trips?
Youtube?

Fuck. No.

Why should it matter? Just because you want them to suffer more? All that should matter is if in the end they're less likely to commit a crime again. Prisons shouldn't be there to fulfill whatever sense of revenge you have.

Yes, I want them to suffer. I want them to feel restricted. I want them to feel like what they did mattered enough to put them behind bars and take these things away from them.

I feel that that's how prison should work.

Zekksta:

Yes, I want them to suffer. I want them to feel restricted. I want them to feel like what they did mattered enough to put them behind bars and take these things away from them.

I feel that that's how prison should work.

Okay, if I may...

Just how exactly does your life change depending on whether they suffer or not?

I'm on the "Prisons should be there to make sure people do not commit crimes again" side here. Sure I sometimes feel like tearing off the head of a particularly heinous criminal, but in the end, whatever works.

Also, I don't get it why "No COD, no ski trips" is under your definition of "suffering". I'll call it "inconvenience" at most.

"Suffering" would be being treated like scum, being served rotten food, and being abused by both the security personnel or other prisoners. The things you're allegedly opposed to.

And PS: Yes, I agree, what the hell is wrong with letting them cook their own food?

Meh if it works it works. According to the people I know who have spent time in prison it is still not fun.

Zekksta:

Mortai Gravesend:

Zekksta:

I take huge issue with this. In my opinion, if you commit a crime you should go to jail and lose your freedoms to play COD, watch your favorite soaps and go on freaking skiing trips.

Prison isn't meant to be fun, it's meant to be prison.

Treated like human beings? Great
Food that isn't sludge? Completely agree
Healthy exercise programs? Yep, preferably many options.
Visitation rights? Plenty.
Allowance for Email? Within reason and restrictions that apply to regular mail.
Access to news and educational websites? Yes, absolutely.

Xbox/PS3?
TV?
Skii trips?
Youtube?

Fuck. No.

Why should it matter? Just because you want them to suffer more? All that should matter is if in the end they're less likely to commit a crime again. Prisons shouldn't be there to fulfill whatever sense of revenge you have.

Yes, I want them to suffer. I want them to feel restricted. I want them to feel like what they did mattered enough to put them behind bars and take these things away from them.

I feel that that's how prison should work.

And why should the government be doing this just because you want them to suffer? I see no reason for the government to go around enacting your desires just because you want some people to suffer. There's a legitimate reason to imprison them, to try to correct their behavior. But to purposefully try to make them suffer just because? No, that's silly.

You make it sound like they are allowed to sit around all day surfing the net and playing games on their Playstation. That is simply not the case. They have to actually take part in rehabilitation programs and if they don't they get put back in normal prisons.

The other aspect is that a majority of the prisons are not all like Bastoy. Bastoy is the exception, not the norm. While the traditional Scandinavian prison is still much better than that of the US it is no hotel stay.

The largest difference between the prison systems in my opinion is population. The average population in a Norwegian prison is 75. They have 50 prisons for 3,500 prisoners. The US has a single prison with 5,000 prisoners. The result of the large US prison population and the US system is prison gangs. All the US system does is breed more crime.

I would much rather a system that is a bit too easy on prisoners then one that is way too hard on them.

Vegosiux:

Okay, if I may...

Just how exactly does your life change depending on whether they suffer or not?

I'm sorry, because I'm positive it wasn't your intent to imply any of this, but why do people keep asking "how does it affect you if they suffer or not?" as if it's a valid point?

It doesn't, it doesn't affect me in the slightest.

Nobody in my family has been murdered, raped, assaulted, stalked, harassed, run over by a drunk-driver or anything like that.

I don't hate criminals just because they're criminals. I don't have some personal vendetta where I want to kill everyone in the prison system. Just like everyone though, I have an opinion on the issue (heck, many issues) that do not affect me in the slightest.

-shrug- Now that's out of the way.

Vegosiux:

I'm on the "Prisons should be there to make sure people do not commit crimes again" side here. Sure I sometimes feel like tearing off the head of a particularly heinous criminal, but in the end, whatever works.

I'm in the middle. Punishment and rehabilitation should go hand in hand to ensure the criminal is never a danger to anyone (including him/herself) once he/she is released.

Vegosiux:
Also, I don't get it why "No COD, no ski trips" is under your definition of "suffering". I'll call it "inconvenience" at most.

"Suffering" would be being treated like scum, being served rotten food, and being abused by both the security personnel or other prisoners. The things you're allegedly opposed to.

Sigh, why would you phrase it like that? The other poster asked me if I wanted them to suffer. I do want them to suffer, but I don't want them to suffer human rights abuses like what you described. I want them to suffer the loss of these ordinary pleasures that some prisoners seem to have. That's as far as I'm willing to go with making prisoners "suffer", considering they've already lost their freedom.

Vegosiux:
And PS: Yes, I agree, what the hell is wrong with letting them cook their own food?

I actually think that's a really good idea. Aside from the fact that some might just want to cook for themselves, it could help those interested in becoming a chef once their prison term is up get a shit load of experience. THAT is what I consider a good idea.

Hardcore_gamer:
snip

lol, funny you should mention this because I was on a Chinese (PRC) site that tells stories about what's going on in mainland China and what average Chinese people think about certain subjects, and what you said actually came up in a story. The comments that Chinese people left were mostly how they were surprised by how the prisons in Scandinavia are run and how they wouldn't mind committing crimes there if it resulted in going to a prison like that. Here is a link the the story I'm referring to:

http://www.chinasmack.com/2011/pictures/norway-halden-prison-chinese-netizen-reactions.html

Mortai Gravesend:

Zekksta:

Mortai Gravesend:

Why should it matter? Just because you want them to suffer more? All that should matter is if in the end they're less likely to commit a crime again. Prisons shouldn't be there to fulfill whatever sense of revenge you have.

Yes, I want them to suffer. I want them to feel restricted. I want them to feel like what they did mattered enough to put them behind bars and take these things away from them.

I feel that that's how prison should work.

And why should the government be doing this just because you want them to suffer? I see no reason for the government to go around enacting your desires just because you want some people to suffer. There's a legitimate reason to imprison them, to try to correct their behavior. But to purposefully try to make them suffer just because? No, that's silly.

I used the word suffer because you tried to imply that the loss of a TV, a gaming system and Skiing trips is suffering for prisoners.

That is absolute bullshit, and a really dickish way of phrasing it on your behalf.

I don't want them to suffer human rights abuses. I want them to lose privileges like television, gaming consoles and skiing trips when they're in jail.

I don't think that's a silly position at all to be honest, I consider it extremely reasonable.

pyrate:
You make it sound like they are allowed to sit around all day surfing the net and playing games on their Playstation. That is simply not the case. They have to actually take part in rehabilitation programs and if they don't they get put back in normal prisons.

The other aspect is that a majority of the prisons are not all like Bastoy. Bastoy is the exception, not the norm. While the traditional Scandinavian prison is still much better than that of the US it is no hotel stay.

The largest difference between the prison systems in my opinion is population. The average population in a Norwegian prison is 75. They have 50 prisons for 3,500 prisoners. The US has a single prison with 5,000 prisoners. The result of the large US prison population and the US system is prison gangs. All the US system does is breed more crime.

I would much rather a system that is a bit too easy on prisoners then one that is way too hard on them.

The OP isn't the only one who feels this way, I was on a Chinese site, and they feel the same way about Scandinavian prisons.

Zekksta:

Mortai Gravesend:

Zekksta:

Yes, I want them to suffer. I want them to feel restricted. I want them to feel like what they did mattered enough to put them behind bars and take these things away from them.

I feel that that's how prison should work.

And why should the government be doing this just because you want them to suffer? I see no reason for the government to go around enacting your desires just because you want some people to suffer. There's a legitimate reason to imprison them, to try to correct their behavior. But to purposefully try to make them suffer just because? No, that's silly.

I used the word suffer because you tried to imply that the loss of a TV, a gaming system and Skiing trips is suffering for prisoners.

That is absolute bullshit, and a really dickish way of phrasing it on your behalf.

I don't want them to suffer human rights abuses. I want them to lose privileges like television, gaming consoles and skiing trips when they're in jail.

I don't think that's a silly position at all to be honest, I consider it extremely reasonable.

Yes, you consider it to be extremely reasonable, yet have failed to put forth a good reason for it so far except "Prison isn't supposed to be fun"(Which isn't a good argument but it seems to be your only reason). All you can do is complain about the phrasing just because some other poster talked about human rights abuses when I didn't say anything about it being that severe.

Volf99:

pyrate:
You make it sound like they are allowed to sit around all day surfing the net and playing games on their Playstation. That is simply not the case. They have to actually take part in rehabilitation programs and if they don't they get put back in normal prisons.

The other aspect is that a majority of the prisons are not all like Bastoy. Bastoy is the exception, not the norm. While the traditional Scandinavian prison is still much better than that of the US it is no hotel stay.

The largest difference between the prison systems in my opinion is population. The average population in a Norwegian prison is 75. They have 50 prisons for 3,500 prisoners. The US has a single prison with 5,000 prisoners. The result of the large US prison population and the US system is prison gangs. All the US system does is breed more crime.

I would much rather a system that is a bit too easy on prisoners then one that is way too hard on them.

The OP isn't the only one who feels this way, I was on a Chinese site, and they feel the same way about Scandinavian prisons.

Of course the people of a developing country are going to be a bit annoyed that prisoners might live better lives. I say might because the entire system is glossed over. All the reports gloss over the rather important things, like the loss of freedom. Sure, they can watch TV, when they are allowed to, they can to to a gym, when they are allowed to and they can cook their own food, when they are allowed to.

They ignore the fact that in a county with such a high standard of living the lifestyle in prison is substandard in comparison to the rest of the country. More importantly they ignore the loss of freedom.

I found some numbers comparing the population difference between Norway prison and US prison. I think this is just as important in the rehabilitation. In December 2005 there were 1821 US prisons responsible for 1.43 million prisoners. That is 785 prisoners per prison, compared to 75 for Norway.

Mortai Gravesend:

Zekksta:

Mortai Gravesend:

Why should it matter? Just because you want them to suffer more? All that should matter is if in the end they're less likely to commit a crime again. Prisons shouldn't be there to fulfill whatever sense of revenge you have.

Yes, I want them to suffer. I want them to feel restricted. I want them to feel like what they did mattered enough to put them behind bars and take these things away from them.

I feel that that's how prison should work.

And why should the government be doing this just because you want them to suffer? I see no reason for the government to go around enacting your desires just because you want some people to suffer. There's a legitimate reason to imprison them, to try to correct their behavior. But to purposefully try to make them suffer just because? No, that's silly.

1. Not everyone can be "corrected".
2. Taking away their playstations is not "making them suffer". And neither is denying them BBQ's, and its painful that I actuallly had to point that out to someone.

Volf99:

pyrate:
You make it sound like they are allowed to sit around all day surfing the net and playing games on their Playstation. That is simply not the case. They have to actually take part in rehabilitation programs and if they don't they get put back in normal prisons.

The other aspect is that a majority of the prisons are not all like Bastoy. Bastoy is the exception, not the norm. While the traditional Scandinavian prison is still much better than that of the US it is no hotel stay.

The largest difference between the prison systems in my opinion is population. The average population in a Norwegian prison is 75. They have 50 prisons for 3,500 prisoners. The US has a single prison with 5,000 prisoners. The result of the large US prison population and the US system is prison gangs. All the US system does is breed more crime.

I would much rather a system that is a bit too easy on prisoners then one that is way too hard on them.

The OP isn't the only one who feels this way, I was on a Chinese site, and they feel the same way about Scandinavian prisons.

So what? Who cares how many people feel that way? Argumentum ad populum is a shit argument. It's not as if the person said that only the OP felt that way, so who gives a damn if there are people who agree with the OP?

Hardcore_gamer:

Mortai Gravesend:

Zekksta:

Yes, I want them to suffer. I want them to feel restricted. I want them to feel like what they did mattered enough to put them behind bars and take these things away from them.

I feel that that's how prison should work.

And why should the government be doing this just because you want them to suffer? I see no reason for the government to go around enacting your desires just because you want some people to suffer. There's a legitimate reason to imprison them, to try to correct their behavior. But to purposefully try to make them suffer just because? No, that's silly.

1. Not everyone can be "corrected".
2. Taking away their playstations is not "making them suffer". And neither is denying them BBQ's, and its painful that I actuallly had to point that out to someone.

1. And that's relevant how again? Was this abotu how to deal with those cases? Wait no, it wasn't. You really need to grasp for straws already?

2. Oh I'm sorry, did you take my light use of the word too seriously for the sake of covering up that you lack an actual point?

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