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Prison Break or break Prison System; That is the Question!?

Craving for individual Liberty comes in various forms but only in the context of the “Golden Rule.”

Originally published by illumination Curated on Medium


Photo by Wendy Alvarez on Unsplash

Liberty is a beautiful word! It is a word used too often, for too long. But rarely do people clasp the true meaning of what it stands for or represents.

Despite their general controversial definitions, liberty and freedom have served a particular role in justifying political enthusiasts to find a topic about which to brag. One such issue to mention is the notion of police and prison abolishment.


Freedom and liberty depict the type of community that humanity will ultimately adopt to live benevolently, peacefully, and heartily. The perfect society has never previously existed. In liberated works, individuals treat each other instinctively, in line with honoring our remarkable capacity of justification. But does that mean we should apply freedom to the criminals who violated the rules of latitude?!

Most of us would answer the latter question with a simple answer, no! Surprisingly enough, some have other arguments! One such view is the notion of the police force and prison system abolishment.

History of Police, Policing and the Prison System


In recent year’s Protests against police have heightened out across the United States. It has been in response to the overzealous police brutality, overuse of their power and privileges.

Although the current police force has commenced in the first 1900s, its origins date back to the American colonial days.


During the 1700s, southern lookout groups were created to halt slaves from running away. After that, a traditional police force was established in the north to restrain settlers from moving into urban neighborhoods of the 1800s.


Since the initial indication of a social network, the prison system concept has existed since the initial indication of a social network, where human beings created civilizations. The practice of imprisonment can be drawn back to the advent of written language, which facilitated formalized legal statutes as official guidelines for society. One such standard code is the early Code of Hammurabi, written in Babylon around 1750 BC. And followed by many other ancient civilizations. But even then, the punishment was mainly in the form of “lex talionis,” also called the law of retaliation.” Using retaliatory means, offenders were disciplined as a form of retribution, often by the victims themselves. Today, we call such punishment the act of “eye for an eye.”


Another common punishment form in Early Modern Europe was to be made a caboose slave; the act belonged initially to Louis XIV, c. 1694 in the Mediterranean.


The Ancient Greek philosophers, including Plato, initiated exploiting punishment to reform offenders instead of merely using it as castigation. Incarceration as a penalty was used initially for those who could not pay their forfeits. Sooner or later, impoverished Athenians could not pay their fines, leading to indefinite periods of imprisonment, setting the prison system in early Athens known as the “demotion.”


The mentioned form of punishment somewhat shares one common trait: all are meant to derive the offender of a ser social statute devoid of God-given or natural liberty. Once again, solely because the offender broke the commonly accepted rapports of a constituency.

One thing worth mentioning is that it is seemingly apparent; the philosophy behind establishing a prison system was merely to eradicate the notion of an “eye for an eye” or “vengeance.” It was later adopted by the modern civilizations, prominently a western that vengeance law was brutal and inhumane. After the prison system concept was redefined, calling it a “correctional facility” instead. Today, some of us would agree that the correctional facility is nothing short of ideological reflection, within which the correction is not compatible with loss of freedom.


Prisonbreak is defying for Freedom, but then again, high-security Prison is the Quintessence of Human Institutionalization


Prison perpetually alters people’s spatial, temporal, and bodily dimensions, as it weakens their emotional life and impairs individuality. Prison inhibits a person’s relationship to time, space, and the body. Doing so diminishes and occasionally even annihilates prisoners’ emotive lifecycle. In the penal atmosphere, emotion is regarded as an ailment that may cause security hitches. Thus, jails do everything they can to eliminate feelings, which leads some inmates into emotional impasses since emotions cannot be dissociated from our identity and are critical to our psychological well-being. In extreme cases, emotional destruction engenders a sort of psychological demise.


The widespread uproar concerning time, several other circumstances can create or increase psychological problems in prisons. As mentioned earlier, those have already been well-documented as overcrowding, lack of privacy, violence, racketeering, the obligation to provide services, and sexual violence. These can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, and “prison psychoses.”


In short, prison is more than a loss of freedom. It is the loss of liberty with extra unpredictable punishment. It has nothing to do with rehabilitation or correction.

Finland is recognized for its respect of individual human rights for its prisoners. That’s why it proves to have the lowest rates of imprisonment in Europe, yet interestingly has the highest prison break rates in European Union. Despite the high prison break, Finland isn’t apt to stop it simply because the crime rate has stayed low.


Finland’s Open prison system is an extreme form of a minimum-security prison, unlike the US’s high-security prison system. Instead, they are given a job in the community for minimum wage. They are free to walk around and shop in the local city and even get short holidays and time at home. One-third of prisoners in Finland now serve their time in open prisons. The finished prison system gradually re-integrates convicts back into society, their chances of re-offending drop by 20%, ending the prison cycle and re-offending. Less security personnel also cost taxpayers less, reducing the cost per inmate by a third. The number of incarcerations in Finland has dropped by two-thirds since the 1960s. On the other hand, decades ago, California high-security prisons broke out as rare prisoners were squeezed in, and the population peaked at more than 165,000 in 2006. the sprawling system had reached a breaking point where Prisoners slept in gyms, hallways, and dayrooms. Mentally ill prisoners were jammed into tiny holding cells. There were dozens of riots and hundreds of attacks on guards every year. Suicide rates were 80% higher than in the rest of the nation’s prisons.


The comparative glimpse at Finland vs. California prison system submits that the taste of freedom is only appreciated by those who experience it, even if it is not consistent throughout their lives. But what is unswerving is when they are outside the prison wall, they enjoy the reasonable liberty that also encompasses fair opportunities and avenues to get back to everyday life, just like what the Finish legal system delivers.


In the California penal system and systems alike, the lockup term’s end does not necessarily guarantee freedom per se outside, even though it is meant to be in corporal terms. The Californian prison system is a breeding footing for human institutionalization. It has created a vicious circle of dehumanization, loss of interest from breaking out of prison, and more crime commitment. The institutional person stepping out of the prison walls resembles walking between jails, with one significant difference. They are more cared for within the physical walls from food, shelter, and medical care. Outside the prison walls, an institutionalized individual is a caged homeless who can’t get a job simply because he has a less than perfect record and credibility. The institutional person sees no incentive in being physically free. That is why in Finland, prisoners often commit jailbreaks because they expect better life outside than their peers in California, where if they break out, they either must commit another crime or starve or freeze to death.


Based on what is said, prison and police abolitionism is becoming another political dilemma, particularly amid the recent death of George Floyd by the Minnesota police.


Some believe Prison and Police System Abolition is the ultimate Reform


The concept of Prison abolition once encountered for the first time, can appear radical and infeasible. The most counter-argument against prison and police abolition is that no one would like to see the perpetrator living in their neighborhood. However, Prison abolitionists argue that merely reforming the ongoing criminal justice system is never enough, and it is counterproductive. They believe prisons must be entirely disassembled and, in its place, society must invest in communities and address harm in other fashions.


The prison abolitionists have long thought against establishing the so-called “Prison Industrial Complex,” thus challenging the dogma that caging and controlling people who break the majority’s norms makes everyone safe. Putting away the criminals is not free, so if intended to be established by humane, it comes at a high cost to the average citizen. The prison industrial complex is a for-profit business. Like any other industrial complexes come with monopoly, corporatism, and extortion with only one major sacrifice: human life.


The matter of imprisonment, policing, and police brutality has become complicated. Concerning police abuse of power, as we have witnessed in the case of George Floyd, who was slaughtered in Minneapolis officers’ hands, there is no doubt that there is a significant problem beyond what is commonly characterized as misuse of policing privileges. Instead, it is about the abuse of collective powers, which is much more destructive and difficult to overhaul. That is unless local and state administrations recognize and honor individual liberty and individualism.


Prison and Police System Abolition is one more method of Prison Break

Prison and police system abolition by itself is a political slogan. Although it is an ideal scenario to build a society with healthy statutes, it will be challenged every step of the way, not very because it sounds distasteful to the victims but only because it requires respecting individual sovereignty.

A culture of penalty, stirred with race- and class-based hate, has led the United States to bank on imprisonment more heavily than any other country in the world. Mass incarceration and financial costs are whirling, and the disadvantage falls disproportionately on the poor and minority. That means the foundation of prison, policing, and accountability is not about punishing the guilty but is about revoking the committer off their right that was granted from the time of birth. It is not about an “eye for an eye” punishment of the offender. But It makes us better around the rehabilitation of a wrongdoer. Or correction of the bad habits. Instead, it is about making another person suffer through abuse and inhumane ways, even if it costs trillions to the average citizen. On the other side, it is neither about overlooking the victims’ rights. Still, it is all about making one accountable for the law’s period, and when done, the person goes back to everyday life without prejudice. Craving for individual Liberty comes in various forms but only in the context of the “Golden Rule.” Anything beyond that is against human freedom and invites prison break or abolishment of the prison system. Undoubtedly, the prison has a vicious circle with physical walls and a dungeon with invisible walls, chains, and shackles. Once we fall into it, there is no way out, only transfer between the two prisons and no way to crave true liberty.

#Prisonsystem #prisonabolishment #prisonreform

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