Sunday, December 30, 2007

Prisoners Don't Like Prison...

Is this really a problem? Reuters presents this story about prisoners who, in a survey, don't like their pajamas, want more space in their rooms, and want better food (sounds like my life at Mason!). I have two questions after reading this article. One, why does it matter that prisoners would prefer more bread to rice or noodles? There are too many people who can't have either one and aren't criminals for me to be too concerned over this, which leads into my second question: If we improve the quality of prisons, aren't we creating incentives for crime? If I'm a homeless person who knows I can go to jail, where there will be heat, regular meals, and maybe a television or gym, don't I go around stealing things until I get thrown into jail? Worst case would be that I steal and am not caught, in which case I am still better off. I'm sorry, but I don't see improvement of conditions in prisons as an important part of our society.

3 comments:

jroddy said...

you better hope whitney doesn't read this...

JKnox said...

Of course, it's easy to say that when you know that two million American prisoners are unable to respond because they are denied internet access.

Pete Abbate said...

Nobody questions that they surrender their right to vote. I think they also surrender their right to choose among starches. Getting a starch at every meal seems pretty good to me.

I'm not saying they're wrong to want something else - I'm more saying it seems silly that we're wasting effort surveying them and publicizing the surveys.

Compared with the totality of knowledge which is continually utilized in the evolution of a dynamic civilization, the difference between the knowledge that the wisest and that which the most ignorant individual can deliberately employ is comparatively insignificant. ~Fredrich Hayek in The Constitution of Liberty