Re: LEGAL: Alternatives to imprisonment

Damien Broderick (
Tue, 09 Mar 1999 21:33:11 +0000

At 11:32 PM 3/8/99 EST, Glen Finney wrote:

> Another option for future use might be to establish penal colonies for
>repeat violent offenders in other areas of the solar system, such as on the
>dark side of the Moon.

The *what*?!

This whole discussion is very creepy to anyone with a passing familiarity to the 19th C Panopticon theory of imprisonment lambasted so savagely by Foucault. For all his faults and extravagances, I suspect he was on the money in finding this sort of dehumanisation utterly vile and counter-productive (however awful current programs are).

Most serious offenders are deeply fucked up, shaped and deformed by abusive experiences and operating with extraordinarily limited social repertoires. Isolation just intensifies this cruel soul death. Foolish and sentimental as it sounds, what they need is love - maybe Tough Love, but not coldness. How we manage to provide this I don't even start to know. I suppose the best way is somehow to intervene early - again, this then becomes a matter of reviving community, especially among the socially deracinated.

My A2cents.

Damien Broderick