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Sunday, September 27, 2020
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Reader’s comment: Sentenced to despair

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In reponse to Huseyin Djemil: No wonder there’s a prison drug crisis when the State is the main pusher, paul parmenter wrote:

I will admit I know next to nothing about the prison system. I had an image in my mind of offenders being incarcerated to protect the public, in secure establishments controlled by guards who would know what the prisoners were up to 24 hours a day because they were in charge, and where said prisoners would have their negative lives turned around by compulsory programmes designed to lift them out of their bad habits and bad attitudes and make them fit and useful citizens with skills that would help them back into law-abiding society when they were released.

Seems my naive image is laughably wrong and a million miles away from reality. The descriptions and reports I am now reading conjure up a depressing picture of sick institutions rife with corruption, violence and despair, where the strongest and most ruthless prisoners are in charge, where drugs are the only way for the overwhelmed and overstressed authorities to exert any modicum of control, and where what comes out of the creaking and collapsing system is far worse than what went into it.

So is that the reality? And if so, is it an indication of the fate that the all-powerful but dismally blinkered and inept State machine has for the rest of us when it eventually wrests complete control of our lives out of our hands and into its own?

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