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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Maryland Prisoners Get Satellite TV

Who do I have to kill to get satellite TV? That may be a sticky question now that some of Maryland's state prisons are adding it for the prisoner's entertainment. Is it for entertainment, or are they doing like many parents with small children do, as a babysitter? A spokesman for the Department of Corrections says it so the prisoners stay in their cells and the guards don't have to watch them. What about commercials and when there isn't crap on?

Am I paying for these people to watch satellite TV? Corrections say no, it is paid for by the prisoner's commissary and telephones. The prison commissary must have a profit margin like Exxon Mobile! I'm going to open a little shop selling Little Debbie's and tooth brushes just to watch the coin roll in! I thought the phones were all collect calls only? Did that change? Are they offering cellies at the prison boutique now?

Let's make prison a punishment again. First time in is what it's like now. Second time in is in a tent city in Western Maryland. No electricity, no running water. Third time is escaped from Hagerstown! Wall in the old prisons, turn off the power, and pull out all the guards. Escape attempts are stopped by machine guns and those winged monkeys from "The Wizard of Oz!" Let mob rule, it apparently is if they are placating them with satellite so they will behave.

Right now prison is better living for these people then home. Let's make it worse, much worse. Prison is supposed to be a deterrent, right? Let's make it less appealing then it is apparently to some. At the rate we are going we are going to spend a lot of money on prisons. Oh that's right, we already are! That's how you make it safer to work in a prison, pull all the guards out and let the prisoner's do their thing. In a few years I bet you don't have many 3 time losers, or 29 time losers like we have now! If we do, so be it.


Slammermike said...

Arizona criminals find jail too in-tents jail.
Arpaio has dramatically cut prison costs since becoming sheriff.

In this story:

Pink underwear and bedtime stories

MARICOPA COUNTY, Arizona (CNN) -- The tent city looks like a military camp in the desert, with thick canvas sleeping quarters spreading out in a remote area of Arizona.

The inhabitants, however, are not soldiers, but residents of an unusual, some say brutal, prison run by legendary lawman Joe Arpaio, called the toughest sheriff in the West.

For the Maricopa County sheriff, who opened the nation's largest tent prison in 1993, saving taxpayer pennies matters more than comforting convicted felons.

"We took away coffee, that saved $150,000 a year. Why do you need coffee in jail?" says Arpaio, patrolling the dusty, barren grounds. "Switched to bologna sandwiches, that saved half a million dollars a year."

Arpaio makes inmates pay for their meals, which some say are worse than those for the guard dogs. Canines eat $1.10 worth of food a day, the inmate 90 cents, the sheriff says. "I'm very proud of that too."

Critics rail against harsh conditions in the prison, where temperatures can top 100 degrees.

"We still have rights, but they act like we're scum," one inmate complains.

Adds Eleanor Eisenberg of the ACLU: "Sheriff Arpaio has conditions in his jail that are inhumane, and he's proud of it."

Arpaio boasts of his chain gangs for men and women, which "contribute thousands of dollars of free labor to taxpayers each month," according to his Web site.

Sheriff Arpaio requires inmates to wear striped uniforms and pink underwear

Pink underwear and bedtime stories

Inmates follow strict fashion and lifestyle guidelines. They are forced to wear old-fashioned prison stripes and pink underwear. Prohibited items include cigarettes, adult magazines, hot lunches and television -- except for his bedtime story reading, a self-styled literacy program broadcast nightly to the inmates.

The sheriff, who spent more than 25 years in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, including a stint as a special agent in Turkey, has taken justice to rare extremes in other areas as well.

He has the nation's largest group of volunteer law enforcers, according to his Web site. More than 2,500 people are in his "posse," who go after prostitutes, graffiti artists and criminals at shopping malls.

The inmates live in tents in a sparse environment without air conditioning

"That's garbage. Look at my officers. We run the safest jail system in the U.S.," he said.

Arpaio is among the state's most popular office-holders. He enjoys an 85 percent approval rating among voters in the county, which at 9,200 square miles is larger than some states, and includes the city of Phoenix.

Even some inmates treat him like a celebrity. As the sheriff stands in a group of female prisoners, one presents a legal pad.

"You want an autograph? What you got here? What's your name?" he asks.

On another occasion, a male prisoner, a look of anger on his face, tries to talk to the sheriff, who quickly interrupts:

"You have been convicted. You're doing your time. Do your time and shut your mouth and do what you have to do."

awb said...

No satellites there!

beachbum said...

Slammermike beat me to the punch. I absolutely LOVE the way Arizona treats its prisoners. They have real work details, live in tents, wear pink and get no luxuries like cigarettes or tv. If we want prison to be a real deterent then let's stop treating the prisoners like they are confined to a hotel and start treating them like the animals they are. My favorite case of all time dealt with 2 Hagerstown guards who filed WCC claims because the brilliant administration there thought it would be a good idea to have an all female band play for max security all male prisoners. Imagine that a riot took place and officers got hurt. Please, stop coddling the guilty and let them suffer in boredom.

awb said...

That's why they call it a penal system! Let's make it one again.