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Re: Gulags

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  • William T Goodall
    ... http://www.spr.org/en/academicarticles/odonnell.html Why is it that an aspect of prison life that appears to be so tightly woven into the prisoner s
    Message 1 of 76 , Aug 1, 2005
      On 11 Jun 2005, at 11:04 pm, Ronn!Blankenship wrote:

      > At 04:28 PM Saturday 6/11/2005, Warren Ockrassa wrote:
      >> On Jun 11, 2005, at 11:06 AM, Ronn!Blankenship wrote:
      >>> At 01:02 PM Saturday 6/11/2005, Warren Ockrassa wrote:
      >>>> On Jun 11, 2005, at 10:33 AM, Ronn!Blankenship wrote:
      >>>>> If you have any suggestions on how to fix the problems in the
      >>>>> regular prisons, I'd be glad to hear them.
      >>>> For rape? One solution springs immediately to mind.
      >>> For the non-clairvoyant among the members of the list, what would
      >>> that be?
      >> Castration, chemical or otherwise, of course.
      > While the redneck side of me may agree (and in fact suggests that
      > the "chemical" method ought to involve something like pouring a
      > liter or so of concentrated H2SO4 in their lap), my real opinion as
      > to what should be done is to get the correction officers back in
      > control of the prisons (and not in an abusive or sadistic way,
      > either). If what it takes is keeping the inmates locked in their
      > cells so they can't get to each other to rape each other or kill
      > each other, so be it. If it involves a return to the practice of
      > "making little ones our of big ones" so that when they return to
      > the cell block they are too exhausted to commit mischief, so be
      > it. Perhaps someone else has a better idea of how to fix the
      > problems in the regular prisons . . . ?


      "Why is it that an aspect of prison life that appears to be so
      tightly woven into the prisoner's experience in the United States is
      not to be found in any concentrated form in the UK?"

      "Ian O'Donnell a1, Prison Rape in Context, 44 Brit. J. Criminology
      241 (March 2004)
      Fear of sexual violence is a defining characteristic of the prison
      experience in the United States. Rape has been a key theme in the
      literature on imprisonment since at least the 1930s. There is
      evidence--from prison argot and epidemiological studies in
      particular--that this problem is not as ingrained in the UK. Clearly
      there is more at play here than sexual deprivation and the pains of
      confinement, which know no jurisdictional boundary. It is suggested
      that the answer may lie, to some extent at least, in the poisonous
      history of race relations in the United States: prison rape can be
      seen as a legacy of slavery and the lynch mob. The particularity of
      the US situation may also be explained in part by higher levels of
      violence in society more generally and a cynical attitude on the part
      of prison staff.


      In today's world the judge who sentences a young person to reform
      school or prison passes male rape on him as surely as the sentence.
      Every inmate has a very short time, once inside, to pick a 'wolf' (a
      tough protector) or face gang rape, becoming the 'girl' of the
      institution, or death. Many of the prison suicides we read about can
      be traced to this choice. Worse, prison officers might even have sold
      the boy to aggressive inmates in order to keep the institution quiet.
      (Scacco 1982: vii)

      The above quotation encapsulates several of the main themes to be
      addressed in this paper. First, the notion that prison rape is a
      quotidian experience, that it is an inevitable secondary effect of
      incarceration. Second, that this is a recent development, peculiar to
      'today's world'. Third, that the existence of this practice is so
      firmly rooted in prison life that it has generated its own argot.
      Fourth, that there is an intimate connection between the fear of
      sexual assault and violence (whether directed inwardly as suicide or
      at other prisoners in self-defence or retaliation.) Fifth, that
      prison staff may be complicit in the continuation of this practice.
      Scacco presents in stark form an argument that is found throughout
      the literature on imprisonment in the United States.

      Prisoner biographies and litigation, academic treatises, popular
      'entertainment' and reform groups (such as Stop Prisoner Rape) are at
      one in their emphasis on the subculture of sexual violence that
      permeates prison life. Penal institutions are shown as crucibles of
      masculinity; places where distorted--and destructive--forms of male
      identity are forged. In this bleak view, those who do not fit the
      mould are destroyed. Only 'real men' can survive the unrelenting
      struggle for domination that marks the passage of time behind bars.
      According to Smith and Batiuk (1989: 30):

      the threat of sexual violence actually dominates the prison
      environment and structures much of the everyday interaction that goes
      on among inmates. In fact, the threat of sexual victimization becomes
      the dominant metaphor in terms of which almost every other aspect of
      'prison reality' is interpreted.

      To give one example of this reality, consider the following account
      from a terrified eyewitness in Terrant County Jail in Forth Worth,
      Texas. This prisoner escaped rape when a 17-year-old youth, admitted
      to the same communal cell shortly after him, was raped until he
      passed out:

      ... while the boy was still unconscious, the attackers jabbed his
      arms, neck and body with the burning tips of erasers of pencils, so
      that the boy's body twitched making it more sexually exciting for the
      aggressors. Then one of the attackers, in a final sadistic gesture...
      shoved his fingers deep into the boy's rectum and ripped out a mass
      of bloody haemorrhoids. (Rideau and Sinclair 1982: 18)

      More recent cases, such as those described by Sabo et al. (2001) and
      Human Rights Watch (2001) are identical in their depiction of human
      degradation and destruction.

      Prison sexual violence is seldom heard of in the UK. While
      victimization is routine it usually takes the form of assault,
      intimidation, robbery and verbal abuse rather than rape and sexual
      exploitation (see for example O'Donnell and Edgar 1998). Sampson
      (1994: 84) gives the example of a prisoner who raped his cellmate
      when he discovered that the latter had been convicted of rape.
      However what makes such events noteworthy is that they seem to be
      isolated cases. Generally speaking, academics and activists are more
      exercised about institutional abuse when the perpetrators are those
      in authority. Recent special issues of the British Journal of
      Criminology dealt with prisons (1994: 34/suppl.) and masculinities
      (1996: 36/3). However the issue of prison sexual violence was
      conspicuous by its absence. An issue of The Prison Journal (2000:
      80/4) was devoted to prison sexuality, but the discussion was
      entirely limited to the United States. Similarly in a literature
      review, Coxell and King (2000), two London-based researchers,
      depended on information from the United States. Why is it that an
      aspect of prison life that appears to be so tightly woven into the
      prisoner's experience in the United States is not to be found in any
      concentrated form in the UK?"

      My own take on this is that a country that is more religious than the
      UK is bound to exhibit more depraved and bestial behaviours across
      the board - more murder, more rape and so on. A country mired in
      primitive religious superstition is hardly likely to shine on respect
      for human rights.

      William T Goodall
      Mail : wtg@...
      Web : http://www.wtgab.demon.co.uk
      Blog : http://radio.weblogs.com/0111221/

      "Aerospace is plumbing with the volume turned up." - John Carmack

    • Gary Denton
      ... There are many different designs for eyes in the living world showing that optical sight is a big advantage in surviving to reproduce. The branch humans
      Message 76 of 76 , Aug 4, 2005
        On 8/4/05, Warren Ockrassa <warren@...> wrote:
        > On Aug 4, 2005, at 10:40 AM, Gary Denton wrote:
        > > There have been several recent articles about how it is obvious that
        > > humans are obviously not the object of Intelligent Design. Human
        > > heads are too big for a significant proportion of mothers and many
        > > other things.
        > One obvious case in point is eyes. They're extremely poorly engineered;
        > actually only an incompetent moron could come up with a worse optical
        > design. (And actually, *untrained* but reasonably intelligent high
        > school students could come up with BETTER designs.) This suggests the
        > "intelligent designer" is a complete cretin.

        There are many different designs for eyes in the living world showing
        that optical sight is a big advantage in surviving to reproduce. The
        branch humans developed on was not the optimal design but like most
        things was good enough.

        > Teeth are another one. There are many many other ways to develop
        > choppers that are *not* prone to cavities.

        Can't help you there at this time though someone might like to examine
        my genes - I am immune to cavities. Can I auction my genetic makeup,
        teeth design and biochemical balance in my mouth off I wonder?

        > And cancer? Guess what: it develops *spontaneously*. That's shoddy
        > workmanship in the DNA itself. Designed? Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

        Cancer has triggers and different likelihoods of response.

        > Only idiots like Bush but into this crap.

        Bush contradicted his own science adviser.

        > --
        > Warren Ockrassa, Publisher/Editor, nightwares Books
        > http://books.nightwares.com/
        > Current work in progress "The Seven-Year Mirror"
        > http://www.nightwares.com/books/ockrassa/Flat_Out.pdf
        Gary Denton
        http://www.apollocon.org June 23-25, 2006

        Easter Lemming Blogs
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