abuse by the “corrections” system is unremitting

 

re

“Mothers in Prison,” by Nicholas Kristoff, The New York Times, November 25, 2016

An article about women in prison in Oklahoma.

 

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This searing article depresses me and makes me angry.

Many of the women got pregnant young. Many were abused by boyfriends or raised in horrible conditions as children.

Most are in prison for drug offenses. They should not be incarcerated. There is no reason for it. Perhaps drug treatment would help them. But drug abuse is a victimless crime.

The other crimes described in the article – committed by these “horrible creatures” — seem almost petty.

The woman prisoner mentioned at the beginning of article was “shackled to a wall” during the interview.

She and many of the other women have been cruelly separated from their children. It’s a system that perpetuates abuse and cruelty and that causes a continuous cycle of misery, from generation to generation.

Abuse – if not barbarity — by the “corrections” system is monstrous and unremitting.

And, we profess to lecture other nations about respecting the essential worth and dignity of each individual and adhering to the doctrine of human rights.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

     November 26, 2016

 

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“I know some of you are glaring at this article and thinking: It’s their own fault. If they don’t want to go to prison, they shouldn’t commit crimes!

“That scorn derives partly from a misunderstanding of drug abuse, which is a central reason for mass female incarceration in America (and a major reason for mass incarceration of men as well, although to a lesser degree). As Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, the surgeon general, noted in releasing a major report this month: “It’s time to change how we view addiction. Not as a moral failing but as a chronic illness.” In short, we should think of drugs not primarily through the criminal justice lens but as a public health crisis.”

 

— Nicholas Kristoff

 

About Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. Besides (1) rogersgleanings.com, a personal site, he also hosts a websites devoted to (2) the author Theodore Dreiser and (3) to the sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim Aleksandrovich Sorokin.
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