RE: Some prison statistics

O'Regan, Emlyn (
Thu, 17 Jun 1999 12:13:34 +1000

> Putting one's wife in prison - assuming she's an accomplice, I guess,
> would
> be a real departure from our present system. I have heard of women's
> prisons allowing mothers to keep their children during their sentence. I
> wonder if anyone has statistics on children raised in jail? Would spouses
> be allowed to follow their mate into the slammer?
I saw a piece on TV a while back about jails in a south american country (colombia? not sure now, hey, it's the other side of the world after all).

In these jails, when a man was sent to prison, his whole family could come. The place looked like a little village with walls around it. Everyone seemed particularly happy, the kids all played together, very nice.

Apparently the recidivism rate was quite low, and families didn't break up. The family members who weren't actually imprisoned could come and go (the kids went to normal school outside of jail), and the interesting thing was that the jail was self funding in many aspects, particularly costs of feeding/housing inmates + families. The inmates and their families did some kind of work (making stuff for sale) which paid their way, and contributed to a sense of self worth which I think was crucial to the success of the institutions.

I think the government paid the wages of the jailers, but I'm not sure.

Sorry about my terribly woolly description. Anyone know anything more about this? It seems like an alternative to western-style incarceration to me, and certainly to the deep-sleep method.