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SC prisoners denied all books but the Bible


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lordsathien
Title: Head of Lexian R&D
Joined: Oct 15 2005
Location: Metro area, Georgia
PostPosted: May 10 2011 10:16 pm Reply with quote Back to top

From The Guardian:

Prisoners at a jail in South Carolina are being denied any reading material other than the Bible, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the "unconstitutional" policy at Berkeley County detention centre in Moncks Corner on behalf of monthly journal Prison Legal News last autumn. Last week a request by the US Department of Justice to stand alongside Prison Legal News as a plaintiff in the lawsuit was granted by a federal judge, and the ACLU has now asked a federal judge to block enforcement of a policy which it claims sees the jail's officials "unconstitutionally refusing to allow prisoners to receive any materials that contain staples or pictures of any level of nudity, including beachwear or underwear", effectively banning most books, magazines and newspapers.

Last year's lawsuit quotes an email from a member of staff at the prison to Prison Legal News, which said that "our inmates are only allowed to receive soft back bibles in the mail directly from the publisher. They are not allowed to have magazines, newspapers, or any other type of books". It charges that, since 2008, copies of Prison Legal News and books including Protecting Your Health and Safety, which explains legal rights to inmates sent to prisoners at the jail have been returned to sender. There is no library at the Berkeley County detention centre, the ACLU says, so that "prisoners who are incarcerated for extended periods of time have been deprived of access to magazines, newspapers and books other than the Bible for months or even years on end".

Officials at the jail responded to the ACLU lawsuit by saying that they only banned material containing staples and nudity. But the new ACLU motion to block this policy points out that legal pads containing staples were being sold at the jail. It claims that the no staples or nudity policy was "adopted post hoc and in response to this Case", and that it "eliminate[s] access to reading material almost as completely as the 'Bible only' rule".

"This is nothing more than an excuse by jail officials to ban books and magazines for no good reason," said David Shapiro, staff attorney with the ACLU national prison project. "There is no justification for denying detainees access to periodicals and in the process cutting them off from the outside world."

"Jail officials are looking for any excuse they can come up with to obscure the fact that they are unconstitutionally censoring materials sent to detainees," added Victoria Middleton, executive director of the ACLU of South Carolina. "And in so doing they are failing to serve the detainees and the taxpayers of South Carolina. Helping prisoners rehabilitate themselves and maintain a connection to the outside world by reading books and magazines is a key part of what should be our larger and fiscally prudent objective of reducing the number of people we lock up by lowering recidivism rates."


============

What a load of crap.


"Life is a waste of time. Time is a waste of life. Get wasted all the time, and you'll have the time of your life!"
 
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Thunderhorse
Title: This is DELICIOUS!
Joined: Dec 29 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
PostPosted: May 11 2011 01:01 am Reply with quote Back to top

I thought this thread was going to be about Soul Calibur This Is A Joke

Seriously though, even though the best place to find Jesus is in prison apparently, this is practically forcing them to read the bible. That's not cool.


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Knyte
2010 SLF Tag Champ*
Title: Curator Of The VGM
Joined: Nov 01 2006
Location: Here I am.
PostPosted: May 12 2011 10:18 am Reply with quote Back to top

What about the book of Mormon? Or The Quran? Or any other holy books from non-Christian religions?

This is what could get them into the most trouble.
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GPFontaine
Joined: Dec 06 2007
Location: Connecticut
PostPosted: May 12 2011 10:24 am Reply with quote Back to top

Knyte wrote:
What about the book of Mormon? Or The Quran? Or any other holy books from non-Christian religions?

This is what could get them into the most trouble.

I would be less than amused.



 
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Black Zarak
Title: Big Coffin Hunter
Joined: Feb 01 2006
Location: Phyrexia
PostPosted: May 12 2011 11:00 am Reply with quote Back to top

Thunderhorse wrote:
I thought this thread was going to be about Soul Calibur This Is A Joke
Dammit, I was hoping I would be fast enough to get that in myself...

And remind me never to do time in South Carolina, I would be so pissed denied books...


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Blackout
Title: Captain Oblivious
Joined: Sep 01 2007
Location: That Rainy State
PostPosted: May 13 2011 04:50 am Reply with quote Back to top

How about no books in prison? It's supposed to be punishment, not fucking daycare for misbehaving adults and fuckjobs who will not abide by societies very reasonable mandates to not murder rape steal and be an asshole... Most of the smart people I know never got incarcerated, some of the average intelligent people went to county lockup once and swore to never go back, but some of the asshats I know went to prison, multiple times, and took it as some sort of merit badge of badassery. Rolling Eyes

That being said the bible is a good read, but feels really disjointed and weird sometimes. I've always wanted to learn Hebrew Greek & Aramaic and at the same time gain access to the Vatican Secret Archive so I can figure out what really happened, or at least form a rudimentary guess. Confused



 
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lordsathien
Title: Head of Lexian R&D
Joined: Oct 15 2005
Location: Metro area, Georgia
PostPosted: May 13 2011 05:48 am Reply with quote Back to top

To simplify things, the reason you give prisoners things like access to books and weights is so they don't get worse and start attacking other prisoners just so they have something to do.


"Life is a waste of time. Time is a waste of life. Get wasted all the time, and you'll have the time of your life!"
 
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Klimbatize
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Title: 2011 Picnic/Death Champ
Joined: Mar 15 2010
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PostPosted: May 13 2011 12:43 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Blackout wrote:
How about no books in prison? It's supposed to be punishment, not fucking daycare for misbehaving adults and fuckjobs who will not abide by societies very reasonable mandates to not murder rape steal and be an asshole... Most of the smart people I know never got incarcerated, some of the average intelligent people went to county lockup once and swore to never go back, but some of the asshats I know went to prison, multiple times, and took it as some sort of merit badge of badassery. :roll

So you think criminals are stupid, and the best way to handle that is to keep them that way? What about when they get out and they haven't read anything for years? What do you think they're going to do to survive? They'll go back to what they know because they haven't had the opportunity to better themselves.

Prisons allow for certain privileges so that they have some positive reinforcement to use. By keeping something available that they can lose, you encourage good behavior and help create an environment where some sort of rehabilitation can occur. Does this keep everyone in line? Of course not. But don't think it would be the humane thing to give them a chance? They've made a mistake, but that isn't a reason to make the rest of their life unproductive and worthless. Many people have gone into prison and come out better people, and ready to be useful members of society. I think people deserve that right at redemption.

Now, if we're talking murderers and rapists or anyone who will be in prison for life, I still think it's important to allow them access to books and television so that they have some reason to fall in line. It's basic human psychology: you get better results from the carrot and not the stick.


Pretty much the greatest thread of all time: http://www.sydlexia.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=14789

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Blackout
Title: Captain Oblivious
Joined: Sep 01 2007
Location: That Rainy State
PostPosted: May 14 2011 02:49 am Reply with quote Back to top

Klimbatize wrote:
Blackout wrote:
How about no books in prison? It's supposed to be punishment, not fucking daycare for misbehaving adults and fuckjobs who will not abide by societies very reasonable mandates to not murder rape steal and be an asshole... Most of the smart people I know never got incarcerated, some of the average intelligent people went to county lockup once and swore to never go back, but some of the asshats I know went to prison, multiple times, and took it as some sort of merit badge of badassery. :roll

So you think criminals are stupid, and the best way to handle that is to keep them that way? What about when they get out and they haven't read anything for years? What do you think they're going to do to survive? They'll go back to what they know because they haven't had the opportunity to better themselves.

Prisons allow for certain privileges so that they have some positive reinforcement to use. By keeping something available that they can lose, you encourage good behavior and help create an environment where some sort of rehabilitation can occur. Does this keep everyone in line? Of course not. But don't think it would be the humane thing to give them a chance? They've made a mistake, but that isn't a reason to make the rest of their life unproductive and worthless. Many people have gone into prison and come out better people, and ready to be useful members of society. I think people deserve that right at redemption.

Now, if we're talking murderers and rapists or anyone who will be in prison for life, I still think it's important to allow them access to books and television so that they have some reason to fall in line. It's basic human psychology: you get better results from the carrot and not the stick.

Very thought provoking, I admit that I haven't thought of it that way before.

I feel a bit conflicted on the idea, I can totally see your point and side of the conversation, but somehow to me it seems like giving access to things like books and television, things that are a privilege in my mind, is sending the wrong idea. The way I look at it any rational person, having found themselves in prison, would immediately vow to never come back and work hard to make that vow a reality. While idiots who cannot adapt or change will keep coming back, and may even become comfortable with the whole revolving door system, shit you get 3 hots a cot books TV weights, as long as you're tough enough / well connected enough to not get harassed all the time it wouldn't be so bad. (except for the whole nothing but dudes thing, that probably sucks big time)

What are your feelings on people who become institutionalized / victimized by the system, and keep coming back because they don't know "how to act on the outside" so to speak? Do you feel like that would drop if prisoners didn't have things like books and television free healthcare etc and ad nauseum, and that prison was some sort of unholy hell hole of despair and misery and hate (except also without books and tv)?

Not to say I'd condone that, I'm a big hypocrite who gives people second and third chances all the time when I shouldn't, so my whole fuck those guys lock them up routine is something I really don't practice like I preach, but I also wonder how many people who believe so much in rehabilitation would welcome an ex con in to their home, just to help them on their feet?



 
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username
Title: owner of a lonely heart
Joined: Jul 06 2007
Location: phoenix, az usa
PostPosted: May 14 2011 05:40 am Reply with quote Back to top

a quote from robert stroud in Birdman of Alcatraz
Quote:
: "I wonder if you even know what rehabilitation means. The Unabridged Webster's International Dictionary says it comes from the Latin root habilitas, meaning to invest again with dignity. Do you consider that part of your job, Harvey? To give a man back the dignity he once had? Your only interest is in how he behaves. You want your prisoners to dance out of the gates like puppets on a string with rubber stamp values impressed by you, with your sense of conformity, your sense of behavior, even your sense of morality. And that's why you're a failure, Harvey. Because once they're on the outside, they're still lost. Just going through the motions of living. And underneath there is a deep, deep hatred. So the first chance they get to attack society, they do it. And the result, more than half of them come back to prison."

i think that sums it up rather well.


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Shut up, Dorn
Title: White Chocolate
Joined: Jan 04 2008
Location: Grate Whyte Norf
PostPosted: May 15 2011 10:11 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The only people who don't deserve a dignified chance at correcting themselves (hence why prisons are often called correctional centers) are people who have taken or have attempted to take other people's lives.

I leave that statement open to discussion. I did not say be freed, but if I was incarcerated for more than a year, I would just shut myself down and read. I would pull a Shawshank Redemption and not talk to anyone for years.


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