Re: Liberty vs. Extropy

Elizabeth Childs (
Mon, 24 May 1999 17:40:28 -0700

This is tatamount to solitary confinement for all prisoners, all the time. My understanding is that many prisoners in such prisons consider them far crueler than prisons that allow them human contact, however dangerous it may be.

den Otter wrote:
> ----------
> > From: Michael S. Lorrey <>
> > > Apart from that, your
> > > prison system (and in fact just about all the prison systems of the
> > > so-called "civilized" nations) are simply barbaric. Little better than
> > > concentration camps, really.
> >
> >> Well, we tried going the route that european prisons are: pretty much forced
> vocational education and psych treatment. Problem was, the recidivism stats showed
> that it was a failure here. Here, the stats seem to bear out that if you make prison
> life as unbearable as possible, a crook is far less likely to want to go back to
> such an institution, so they took out the weight lifting equipment (reduces guard
> costs, esp. medical bills) they are taking out the college courses, etc. except at
> the minimum security resorts.<<
> My basic objection against the current (Euro & US) prison systems is that:
> 1) They allow physical contact between inmates, which opens the
> door for rape, beatings, murder and other nastiness. Ironically, the
> worst, most hardened & violent criminals have the easiest time, while
> the lesser offenders suffer under their regime.
> 2) The prison officials have way too much power, which results in
> situations as described above. In other words, the prison system
> is, just like the rest of the legal system btw, pretty much arbitrary.
> The solution: automated prisons (afaik, Greg Burch had a great
> post about this once). One inmate per cell, no physical contact
> between inmates and only highly monitored contact between
> guards and inmates. For good measure, every square inch of the
> prison should have camera surveillance, with direct and well-protected
> links to independent controlling organizations, at least some of which
> should be private (non-government), lawyers and maybe even the
> prisoner's relatives. All recorded data should be stored for at least
> one year, to serve as evidence in the rare case of some mishap
> (example: was a suicide *really* a suicide?).
> Educational programs, psychiatric/medical treatments should
> be optional, but simply keeping the offender out of the general
> population (in the case of murderers, by means of capital
> punishment) is good enough as far as I'm concerned.