Jared Fogle and Prisoner Treatment

Mar 16 2016 Published by under Ponder

Jared Fogle, convicted of sex crimes involving minors, was assaulted and battered severely in prison.

Jens Foell had some observations on Twitter.

Absolutely. There is a certain segment that cheers when a little extra prison justice is meted out. I have myself been, occasionally, guilty of being a little too facile with references to prison rape (of the "don't drop the soap" variety) and, no doubt, the extra justification we seem to hold for beat downs (or killings) of people convicted of certain crimes, like child sexual offenses or serial murder.

It needs to stop. We shouldn't respond to the news of the day about Jared Fogle or even the Aurora shooter, being attacked in prison with a little frisson of pleasure. It isn't a system of law if it permits prisoners to attack each other. The idea that there is a cottage industry of consultants to prepare you for not getting seriously harmed in prison should horrify us.

I bother to say this because some twitter wag was really offended

that this should come up solely in the case of Jared Fogle.

It's a convenient excuse but prison violence happens all the time and it should not be tolerated.

No matter the crime.

8 responses so far

  • The Other Dave says:

    It depends on what you think the role of prisons in society should be. Retribution? Deterrent? Isolation? Rehabilitation?

    When people get beat or or raped or whatever in prison, then prison more effectively serves as retribution and deterrent.

    The precursor of isolation was banishment. That's sort of what deportation is, but we can't do it with our own citizens (and there are no Australias left). But you can think of prison as a savage banishment into the 'wilds' with their own kind. By committing a crime, the criminal has chosen to place him/herself outside the protections of society. It's not our fault what they do out (in) there.

    But I suspect, DM, that you favor rehabilitation. I personally like that too. But we need to recognize that our narrow view of prison's purpose might be in the minority.

    Interestingly, I learned recently that prison in medieval/renaissance Europe was considered too cruel for regular use. It was more merciful to execute someone. How times have changed!

  • drugmonkey says:

    But I suspect, DM, that you favor rehabilitation.

    What I favor is being clear about our purpose and then being effective and competent about achieving that purpose, above all else.

    Theories of justice incorporate revenge, removal (as you describe) and rehabilitation among other things.

    I do not view "revenge" as within my sphere of understanding of the rule of law, in any way. I do not think 'victims rights' or similar bullshit should come into it when we are talking serious crimes for which there is no simple monetary recompense as with many civil crimes. Revenge is Bronze Age stuff.

    Rehabilitation..? Well, that's nice but it is complicated by whether it is possible to actually accomplish, with who and for what crimes.

    Removal is fairly simple, if expensive. But I don't see where removal necessarily involves throwing everyone into an uncontrolled 'wilds' where only the strong survive. That does not seem to be humane or consistent with a rule of law to me.

  • The Other Dave says:

    I am going on what I remember from a really good undergraduate Criminal Justice class that I once had, and the textbook that I still have. I doubt things have changed that much in 25 years.

  • dr24hours says:

    There is no evidence that the harshness of a penalty functions as a deterrent, if the likelihood of the penalty is not also high. So the idea that "When people get beat or or raped or whatever in prison, then prison more effectively serves as ... deterrent" is not true unless the likelihood of going to prison for a crime is also high. Sadly, for crimes against minors, it is not.

  • dr24hours says:

    Please do not take that as an endorsement of such extra-legal penalties for anyone. It is not. Prison should be likelier. Beatings and rapes should be nonexistent.

  • Newbie(ish) says:

    When people get beat or or raped or whatever in prison, then prison more effectively serves as retribution and deterrent.

    Not true... there is, at a bare minimum, a high level of debate about this, and many would argue there is direct evidence to the contrary. There is some consensus that the binary existence of penalty is a deterrent, but there is also strong evidence that the intensity of the punishment does not *change* the deterrent value.

    One thing that's important to recognize is that crimes of passion are just that, a moment of passion. Rational doesn't enter into it or people wouldn't do it. At what point does any criminal weigh their likely prison sentence (I dunno... 20 years versus 30 years; or, I think I'm likely to get raped in prison versus not) against the value of the criminal act? They don't - that's why crime still exists.

    I doubt things have changed that much in 25 years.

    I disagree very strongly with this statement. Our understanding and measures of criminal justice have changed immensely in the past decades. Imagine if someone made that kind of statement about your scientific field. It's an academic study, so what we know and how we interpret it absolutely evolves over time.

  • The Other Dave says:

    I am aware that capital punishment may not be an extra deterrent. But anyone here who thinks that prison itself is not a deterrent is living in la-la land. People don't want to go to prison. And people don't want to go back to prison.

    And I was simply stating the possible functions of prison. I was not saying what prison does or what prison should do. I don't think there's any 'correct' answer. Prison is a tool of society. If society wants to punish, it makes prisons that punish. If society wants to rehabilitate, it makes prisons that rehabilitate. If it can't decide, then it has a weird mish-mash of prisons like we have in the U.S. The most interesting thing about the 'function' of U.S. prisons is how much they serve corporate America by providing cheap labor for industrial manufacturing. Google "Unicor".

  • Banditokat says:

    No one should be sexually assaulted. Ever. There is an obvious gap between Fogel leaving the public eye pleading he not be punished for 'his fantasies w (very) young girls' which is thought to have contributed to a 30% bump in jail time and the public's outrage that this guy doesn't get it.
    Fogel admitted to having underage sex with girls. His cries for disregarding material he thought was too biased were the last thing the public heard. Filling in that gap with 'he's an ignorant perv and is being taught the lesson the courts didn't teach him' is an obvious way to join the need for atonement and immediacy Murica wants.
    I doubt anyone will look at him in 11 years and think he should be raped at that point. He will be broken physically, emotionally and financially. And that slow destruction of him is justice here.
    And Subway....yeah. They knew. The sponsor's always know and multiple franchise owners reported concerns. Where's the boycott, murica or are those $5 foot long 'meat' sammies too irresistible to pass on?
    Fuck I'm bored with Twitter too. Maybe I'll start writing letters to my local paper. Or a blog or some other thing.

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