I was sitting on the can about to jump into a tube of hot water filled with Epson salts when I stumbled upon this book review in the Economist Magazine that was in a reading rackIn Defense of Flogging At first glance, the impression is that it could be a tongue in cheek parade on the American judicial system. However, it turns out to be a series point raised by a sociologist that been a Baltimore beat cop.
A review from the Economist Magaine of June 25th, 2011
He points out that “the modern American prison system evolved as an alternative to flogging; penitentiaries were designed to “cure” prisoners of their criminality-to render them penitent, rehabilitating them into productive members of society. On this score, as on most others, it has failed. Inded, prisons seem to cause more crime than they prevent, hardly surprising when you throw a bunch of criminals together with nothing to do and lots of time.”
I suspect his second point is more on target than we think. “We build prisons for people we’re afraid of and fill them with people we are mad at.” You could say “the system is also broken: entities that profit from incarceration-prison-guard unions and private-prison builders-lobby for longer sentences, while politicians build prisons in poor rural areas. He highlights this by turning it into a racial issue that harkens back to the first sentence in this paragraph and is oh so typical in the south. “the cynical among us,” Mr. Moskos writes, “might even say we’re spending billions of dollars to pay poor rual unemployed whites to guard poor urban unemployed blacks.”
Comment: Now, someone please tell me, does it not make sense that Gov Scott of Florida re-instituted ‘Jim Crow’ by administrative fiat. This is my comment and not that of the magazine.