Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Prisons and the Conservatives

The Conservatives said they needed to build new prisons. Everyone got upset.  Why new prisons.  Well, I thought, I'd been in a new prison. It was built 10 years ago. It was overseas.  It was pristine and safe and secure. The chance of prisoners getting hurt or raped by other prisoners was next to nil. The chance of guards dealing drugs was next to nil.  The surveillance equipment and the plexiglass and the stainless made the prison a bit like a sardine can. All prisons are a bit like cans but the new cans are safe and secure and clean. It was truly functional. But the obvious was that the designers and architects were born in the 20th century.
I did pro bono work in Federal and Provincial prisons in Canada.  Young men were put in these prisons for marijuania offenses and gang raped ending with a life sentence of HIV.  Guards were attacked held hostage and harmed.  One of my heroin addicts commonly went out to visit the jails for heroin when he couldn't find any on th e streets of Vancouver.  The prison was old.  The buildings were old. There were alot of sharp edges, mildew and hidden corners.  The bathrooms were dormitory and dangerous.  Everything about the prisons except the safe like lock on the front doors was half a century or more outdated.
No one wants to help out the prisoners. No one wants to save the guards. New prisons make it safer for prisoners and guards and the community around.
New prisons are new technology.  The new prison isn't a place where you send a person and they learn more about crime and come out worse than they went in.  The old prisons are stacked with 6 in a cell made for 2. I don't think they need "more" prisons.  But they sure do need new prisons.  If anyone questions this take a tour of the old and the new and see why the 'new prisons' work.

n a new hospital they put a sink in the hall rather than the room so everyone washes their hands. It's the best thing to stop spread of infection.  No amount of telling people to wash their hands between patients has worked as well as the 'new technology' sinks and soap in the hall between rooms and wards.  The new technology works. Disease doesn't spread in the new hospitals like it does in the old.
We need new hospitals too but thanks to Jimmy Patterson and other 'doners' our hospitals are keeping up. No one wants a wing of a prison named after them.  It's never been easy to get 'charitable donations' for high security prisons.  Still everyone complains when prisoners break out and rape and kill their children. Guards are as unsupported if not more so than the police. 
I can understand new prisons like I understand the reason for new hospitals.  New technology costs.  I'm thankful the Conservatives are willing to do the hard work of government.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

most people still do not wash their hands

crazy isn't it