Ohio’s prison system, in the ultimate irony, calls itself the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. Most states have dropped the word “rehabilitation” from the titles of their respective prison systems, which says something about our social and political climate. The federal system doesn’t pay lip service to either rehabilitating or correcting. They keep it simple and call their system the Bureau of Prisons.
If the prison systems were perfectly honest, they would call themselves the Department of Hate. That’s what U.S. prisons are really about. The United States executes fourteen year-olds and the mentally ill. Everyone not executed gets caged for decades and decades. The U.S. imprisons more people than any nation in human history, and that work is performed by some of the most brutal, apathetic, and lawless specimens you’d ever not want to meet.
The curious thing about that is, when you hear the fascists talk, they present the idea that they’re performing a kind of “public service,” that they’re really doing some kind of “rehabilitating” or “correcting” of the poor and marginalized that they warehouse. They pretend they don’t spend eight hours a day sitting on their asses and collecting union scale wages for doing virtually nothing.
Well, no. I misspoke. They’re not doing “nothing.” They’re actually causing great harm by participating in this vast crime against humanity. They have to know that they’re distorting and traumatizing human beings and that those distorted and traumatized human beings will some day, in some way, pass it on.
I know prison mismanagers know that what they do is harmful. The proof of it is, they put fences around these places before they ever fill them with prisoners. In fact, Warren Corruptional has two fences around it.
Now, think about this. If you’re doing something for my own good, you don’t have to put a fence around me to keep me here. If you’re going to empower me and provide me the tools I lack, if you’re going to help me to better direct my efforts to live a healthy, purposeful, and rewarding life, you don’t have to lock me in a cage to do it.
Everyone wants to be happy and have lives of purpose and meaning. If you were to offer insight on how to obtain those things, folks would be beating down your door– not running away from you.
So, how do we explain these fences? Clearly, prison mismanagers expect captives to try to run away. That means that whatever goes on here, they know it’s not empowerment. It’s not a program to offer insight into living happy lives of purpose and meaning. But, more than that, those double fences that were constructed before anyone ever got here prove that prison mismanagers never intended to do anything beneficial. Those double fences make it clear that they intended from the start to impose a program so traumatic and devastating that normal, sensible people would run away from the harm being inflicted upon them.
Prison mismanagers are the kind of people who put up double fences to stop their victims from getting away, the same way that wolves will attempt to corner rabbits before devouring them. Or the same way child rapist John Wayne Gayce wrapped Boy Scouts in duct tape to keep them from getting away.
Now, just to be clear here, I’m not suggesting there should be prisons without fences around them. No. The fact is, there are prisons without fences around them. In Sweden, for example, prisoners have an equivalent of an economy apartment. They’re permitted to leave the prison grounds for eight hours a day.
And the prisoners come back.
Know why? Because prisons in Sweden are places where, in the interests of the common good, prison managers really attempt to work with the prisoners to identify their needs and deficits, and then really provide the prisoners tools for personal empowerment.
You don’t need to put a fence around that. In fact, if you did, the prisoners would likely climb over it to get back in.
There are countries all over the world that have prisons without fences, that have programs designed to empower the offenders. There are countries all over the world that seek to end or curb crime by sensibly addressing the causes of crime and criminality.
Prison managers in Sweden have something to offer prisoners, while prison mismanagers in the U.S. offer the prisoners trauma and hate. Apologists for the hate complex point out that countries like Sweden don’t have the crime that the U.S. has.
To that, I say: Exactly.
This is Anarchist Prisoner Sean Swain from Warren Corruptional in Lebanon, Ohio. If you’re listening, you ARE the resistance…
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Categories: Sean Swain