POLITICS & PRISONS

election-dayby Wayne T. Dowdy

The United States Presidential election will be over by the time this blog gets posted. Half of the cellblocks at this institution cannot watch television coverage of the elections because some prisoners had the nerve to violate the rules by having contraband in their cells. Imagine that, prisoners who break the rules!

PRISONS: most prison administrators use an “old” military technique of punishing groups of men (and women now), because of the actions of one or a few.

I was never in the military: my criminal record kept me out. I wanted to join the Air Force to become a jet fighter pilot, instead, I become a fighter in prison.

I learned to fly high without leaving the ground and that landed me in prison. In prison, I fight for rights (read my blog, “Fighting for Rights to Write,” originally published by PrisonEducation.com).

NO BLANKET PARTY: Based on what an ex-military, staff member told me, the ideology behind mass-disciplinary techniques was derived from military tactics: if a soldier failed to make up his bed or left his area un-kept during inspection, the whole barrack was punished. As an unofficial sanction, the offender’s fellow soldiers gave him a blanket party by throwing a blanket over his head and beating the stuffing out of him to teach him a lesson.

In prison, violence is prohibited, so prisoners cannot give blanket parties or punish those who cause everyone else to be punished for their actions, which defeats any common-sense-application of mass-disciplinary techniques. Most prisoners that I have known would not give a peer a blanket party or sanction them for violating a rule, even if allowed: Some will report offenders who violate rules and would help the guards arrest and shackle them if allowed.

Federal Institutions now have a Crime Stopper Hotline, which I find amusing. Time has changed things. Maybe for better, maybe not. If the changes reduce recidivism and help to improve the lives of others, then it is all good.

MORE ON BLANKET PARTIES: If certain prisoners were given a blanket party or “sanctioned” by their peers for failure to comply with rules or regulations, it may lead to extreme violence; therefore, the ideological control mechanism for military men and women does not work on prisoners, or otherwise has adverse effects; that is, unless the prison administrators really want prisoners to clash. Many administrators do have ulterior motives.

DOMINANCE & SUBMISSION: Perhaps what drives mass-disciplinary techniques is a stroke of the executioners’ ego, more so than to produce the desired or intended effect. Then again, maybe such techniques are utilized just as a display of power to show who is in control of the masses? The politics of prison are all about dominance and submission.

Break out the whips and chains and sweat boxes to teach the scoundrels a lesson! Maybe the cat-o-nine tails to go along with the whips to really get the point across, their backs that is.

People do not go to prison for being nice men and women. Most who do go to prison come out worse than when they arrive, damaged and scarred by the prison experience.

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: My view on politics is that the Democrats represent the lawyers trying to sue the big businesses represented by the Republicans. Politicians deceive voters when they run on a platform and promise to vote a certain way on an issue, but then vote otherwise when elected because of their party line agenda.

Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump: I would vote for Mrs. Clinton for the simple reason that she has Bill Clinton’s experience behind her.

I cannot believe that Americans want to vote for Donald Trump to run the most powerful and wealthiest country in the world, after he deceived the investors in his business adventures by convincing them to trust him, only to file bankruptcy, not once, four times! Trump is a recidivist.

I wanted Bernie Sanders to win but he wanted to uproot the good-ole-boy regimes and didn’t have a chance. So much for American politics, straight from the pen. Later. waynedowdy@straightfromthepen.com.

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