Friday, January 29, 2010

Kristof on Humanity

In case you missed Nicholas Kristof's column in the 1/27/10 New York Times, it's right here. Kristof relates statistics and instances of violence in prisons, especially sexual violence, especially in juvenile prisons, especially by prison guards. "I’ve never written about the horrors that unfold in American prisons — especially juvenile correctional facilities — on a far larger scale than at Guantánamo."

Of course, it is a premise of this blog that our prisons are in a financial crisis. But as Kristof indirectly recognizes, sometimes the economic angle lets me temporarily forget the human angle. Rights that we can often take for granted in this country, including physical safety, are daily struggles frequently lost in our prisons. The real human costs of our failing correctional institutions are sickeningly deplorable, and prison reform will always be about more than money.

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