June 26, 2007
A intriguing report on a faith-based prison
This BBC News piece presents an intriguing account of some inmates' experiences with faith-based prison programming at the Tucker Correctional Facility, near Little Rock, Arkansas (hat tip: Corrections Sentencing). The piece notes the constitutional litigation over faith-based prison programming, and it makes me wonder when an Eighth Circuit panel (which includes retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor) will be issuing an opinion in the litigation arising from faith-based prison programming in Iowa.
Some related posts:
- The virtues of faith-based prisons
- Interesting examination of faith-based prison movement
- A thoughtful, but disappointing, attack on a faith-based prison program
- Religion, sentencing and corrections
- Having faith in prisons
- Considering faith-based corrections programming
June 26, 2007 at 01:48 AM | Permalink
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If the prison gets its inmates to convert to christianity, which is not only its primary goal but also quite likely due to the captive, vulnerable, hope-deprived audience, then the inmates, once released, will only have positive things to say about the faith-based prisons, beacuse they've been brainwashed with religion, and the prison and religion have been merged into one thing. Badmouth the prison, you badmouth your newfound religion and go to hell. Say good things about the prison, you say good things about your newfound religion and go to heaven.
Faith based prisons are simply IMPROPER, no matter if there is not a single infraction by any inmate and they have a 0% recidivism rate. I'd rather have people get out of prison and commit new crimes (most of which are victimless) than have christianity forced down the throats of those people the state captures and puts in cages.
Posted by: brucem | Jun 26, 2007 2:38:02 AM
What is a victimless crime?
The distribution by offense type in Iowa prisons is
Drug 26% (about 3% for possession and 23% for manufacture & sales)
Public Order 25%
Is manufacture and sale of drugs a victimless crime and what about repeated DUI which is
included under public order? Vehicular homicide by drunk drivers is included under person/violent.
95% of the Iowa prison inmates are there because they were convicted of an aggravated misdemeanor or a felony not because they had a alcohol/drug abuse problem or because they were mentally ill. In some cases they see their victim every time they look in a mirror.
The distribution of offense type for federal prisons is very different (a much higher percentage of drug offenders many for conspiracy) but they hold less than 20% of all prison inmates.
It appears to me that people are incorrectly applying the federal distribution of offenses to all prisons. It also appears that people think that a possession of small amount of marijuana can result in a prison sentence. In most jurisdictions that offense is either a simple or serious misdemeanor which in most cases is dealt with by a fine or a fine and probation. The worst outcome would be a short jail sentence they only way they could be sentenced to prison is if they were repeat offenders and the charge was enhanced to an aggravated misdemeanor of felony.
Posted by: JSN | Jun 26, 2007 10:12:19 AM
All drug crimes are victimless crimes. DWI is a victimless crime (although based on the fact that it poses a substantial risk of causing victims). Vehicular homicide is certainly not a victimless crime.
Possession of a small amount of marijuana certainly CAN result in a prison sentence. The fact that a substantial portion of people charged get their sentences deferred or probated (and later revoked for some petty violation) is beside the point. If a crime is punishable by up to a year in prison, that means you can spend a year in prison for doing it.
If someone has been caught 20 times with possessing small amounts of pot, do they deserve to spend a year in prison? Not a day, as far as I'm concerned.
Posted by: brucem | Jun 26, 2007 4:32:32 PM
I lived in a neighborhood for four months that was attempting to recover after nearly being destroyed by drug dealers. Most of the people who lived there did not think that drug crimes were victim less. I also think the drug dealer who was murdered a block from where I worked by another drug dealer was a victim. So obviously we do not agree about drug crimes.
I think putting repeat drunk drivers in prison is a huge waste of money which makes the taxpayer victims. The commission on drunk driving claims that intensive supervision by community based correction combined with intensive treatment and aftercare is far more cost effective. About half of the repeat DUI offenders in Iowa prisons were never treated for alcohol abuse. How do you know if treatment does not work if you never try it in the first place?
Posted by: JSN | Jun 26, 2007 6:05:09 PM
My dad was convicted October 23, 2008 while i was at school... he got convicted for grand theft( Adingin a Beding) what is in the same crime as grand theft.. before he went in he would make going to church a punishment and that is somthing that me and my 2 brothers would always do is get punuished ever wensday after school by yelling at him or hitting each other of somthing stupid.. on the first day i talked to him on Jan 6 his birthday he had told me that God has talked to him... becasue there is nothing to do besides sit in a inclosed room with bars and max, sec i am pretty sure he got bored and wanted to go and do somthing... so he kept going and actually they got him to believe.. or is he just doing this to be a "good boy" i really dont know if u want to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and give me ur answear plese becasue i really want to find out...thanks madison
Posted by: Madison | Jun 25, 2008 11:15:55 PM