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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 3:24 pm
by Panther
I dunno... Just my not so humble opinion, but Sensei Glasheen has never struck me as needing the extensive emotional and support network as a prerequisite for his decisions to work hard, push higher, and strive for more.

Some people make the decision to do the work, make the push, strive for more... kind of like "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" :wink: While others make the decision to live off the fruits of others, push for as much benefits as they can get from the public coffers, and strive for an even larger nanny state. :roll:

I agree with much of cxt's comments, but still worry about the plight of the children. I don't think that DSS, foster-care, or orphanages are the answer. It is truly a tough issue. Private sector charitable solutions in this area are probable the place to look.

Bill Glasheen wrote:But you know... the waitresses were all UVa students. And one night, the evening (female) manager asked me over for a glass of wine. She was lonely, and wanted some company...

There's ALWAYS a silver lining - if you look for it - in every situation.

You forgot the :mrgreen: and the :multi: ... So, I thought I'd help by adding them for you! :splat: :rofl: :lol:

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:50 pm
by AAAhmed46
cxt wrote:AAAhmed

I agree some people need help--and those that need help should get question about it.

Its just that the focus IMO should be on the "need" part.

Most of the folks in this discussion have no interest of "climbing out" of anything.

They are having their basic needs met my the work sweat and toil of others so they can concentrate on what they really want--which is to be able to drink and do drugs.

In getting back to the first post---if someone is serious about "climbing out" then I see no reason why they would object to having to be drug and alcohal free to get help.

Presumably PART of the "social support" and "network that can help them climb out" would be to get them off the alcohol and drugs
Things that might be a reason for them being in the "gutter" in the first place........or part of the reason they are still there??

Like I said, people that need help should get it.

I just don't feel that some reasonable benchmarks for getting help are out of line.

If I/we have to take a drug test in order to work and earn money---then shouldn't a person being given my/our money have to at least take one to get it?

Just does not sound that unreasonable to me.

And thats the tricky thing. Because for some people, it's just a waste of tax payer money right?

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:46 am
by IJ
I was unable to find it (thought I'd saved it in my email) but there was an interesting article about the high cost of a select few of our citizens. They gave the example of a serially relapsing mentall ill substance abuser who kept coming into the hospital at costs over 500,000 on multiple occasions, and the plan to reduce these costs by preempting the need. They offer such individuals apartments to get them off the street. They offer them again if those apartments are trashed. They torture themselves about the unfairness of these expeditures while the working poor break their bones to earn crappy pay, but have decided the incentives line up differently. I remember this being a large city but don't have the exact one... I think I read this in an online NY Times mailing.

It's a lot more complex out there than just "I have a drug test so you have to have one too." One wonders, what exactly is the benefit to the system if we exclude all people who fail a substance abuse test from benefits? I for one really don't care if someone smokes a joint now and then, but they'd be off benefits while others who abuse ethanol would fly right through thought they might be spending far more on their drug and at greater risk to themselves and others, both thru inury or costs. Will these people cut off from funds cost us more in the long run? Certainly, as I mentioned before, ER visits shoot up at the end of the month in San Diego as the funds run out.

In jail, everyone apparently assumes that the inmates are given TVs. They're allowed to buy TVs. Every other little darned thing is up to jail control--no shoes, soap is controlled, etc. How does restricting TV help us? How does it save money? I can see only the electricty costs... a weight room costs more, but essentially nothing--these are one time low costs, miniscule compared to the enormous funds for staff. If the inmates are harder to control without TV and weight rooms as carrots for good behavior, and we hire more staff, wham, we just spent a lot of money just to feel satisfied in taking revenge, basically. We could do that, I guess, but might be worth study, or at least speaking to someone from jail first to see what someone who knows thing one about the place thinks. Or, we say, let's just make them work. How do you do that? Solitary confinement for refusals? No food? Might there be a reason other than our soft culture that hard labor is outta favor? Meanwhile, inmates who have their schit together and have acceptable records work 7 days a week as trustees making food, doing laundry, in return for a pittance of $ and a little priviledge here and there, saving the jail huige sums. People ARE thinking about these things.

And before anyone gets too upset once again about my commie, drug user supporting, $ for any bum attitude, just refer back to what I've already written:

"Don't get me wrong--I pay a LOT of taxes and I don't like to encourage sloth. Anytime i see trash in the street or think about recycling I imagine jobs people could be doing for their funds. Truly completely disabled people are rare."

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:26 pm
by cxt

I'm sure that it is "more complex" than a simple drug test...but you have to start somewhere...and if its resonable to make me take one to work..then its resonable to make the receptiants of my sweat and toil do so as well.

Abuse of drugs...and I consider alcohol a drug...should render you ineligable for aid.

Please recall IN CONTEXT we are talking about people that only want to "smoke pot and collect their check."
People with serious problems both need and should get help.

If your worried about cost---lets put these people to work...if your physically capable of doing some sort of labor--then you should be working.

"harder to control"

Well if they were on a resitricted diet that was enough for basic health and little else...and had no means to bulk up...I'm guessing that they they will be much easier to control all the way around. ;)

And its not about "revenge" its about society having no obligation to make dangerous people even stronger and tougher...society has no obligation to allow a predator to muscle up on the taxpayes dime.

But are they thinking enough?

I'm not sure that they are.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:56 pm
by Bill Glasheen
I don't have a problem with inmates wanting to do physical activity. What's the alternative? If it keeps them out of trouble and gives them something positive to focus on, that may be a way to get them steered in a direction better than drinking or smoking pot. As a matter of fact, I was part of a group of people at University of Virginia back in the 1980s who were to help change the focus of students away from drinking/partying and towards healthful activities (the gyms) where boys could meet girls. In a matter of a few decades, the University went from one to half a dozen student-oriented gymnasiums. And the reputation of UVa as a "party school" changed dramatically.

Not that there's anything wrong with a party here and there... ;)
Ian wrote:
I was unable to find it (thought I'd saved it in my email) but there was an interesting article about the high cost of a select few of our citizens.

No need for the article, Ian. It is a fact of nature. It is a general manifestation of Vilfredo Pareto's observation that 20% of the population (in Italy) owned 80% of the wealth. This Pareto (or the more general Bradford) distribution can be found everywhere.

It is possible to get a lot of bang for your buck by focusing on the 1% that account for a quarter of all your trouble. But that's providing you have a means to a better end. If you don't, then just admit it and lock them up. (This would be the case for pedophiles, IMO).


PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:05 pm
by cxt

If "physical activites" are needed/warrented then I'm sure that useful work can be found. ;)

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:04 am
by IJ
"No need for the article, Ian. It is a fact of nature."

The wealth distribution, certainly... the minority using most of the resources... certainly. What I wished I could present though was the detail in the article, which captured the conflict of those involved in basically rewarding moronic behavior with money and housing in an attempt to keep costs down for everyone else. This is the opposite of the cxt approach: do what you calculate is best for the taxpayer, even if it seems unfair and makes you feel uneasy. CXT (let me know if I mischaracterize) is working on a fairness principle: "If I get tested you get tested" because it appeals on a gut level, even though the fiscal impact isn't hashed out.

"Well if they were on a resitricted diet that was enough for basic health and little else...and had no means to bulk up...I'm guessing that they they will be much easier to control all the way around."

Keeping people on a subsistence diet to keep them weak sure sounds like a satisfying "so there!" to the inmates... but how do you do this? They'll all have different basal metabolic needs which you're aiming to just meet... as a result you'd have to individualize all of the meals (the food they get now is far from deluxe and is mass produced by the inmates on site) and hear a thousand grievances and lawsuits about the accuracy of the process or just the underlying "cruelty" of the process. There WOULD be more trips to medical clinic over weight loss (in the inmates I see, frequently a sign of serious illness) and fatigue, weakness, etc. The clinic is packed as it is and, images of Schwarzeneggerian killers in the yard notwithstanding, a heck of a lot of these guys are decrepit already, from age, injuries, prior illnesses, and the sequelae of substance abuse, AIDS, and hepatitis. The ones that ARE a problem are already tough and if you PO them some more, maybe what you'll see is an INCREASE in violence and an INCREASE in staffing plus evaluation, administrative, and medical costs. Satisfying viscerally, not satisfying cerebrally.

"And its not about "revenge" its about society having no obligation to make dangerous people even stronger and tougher...society has no obligation to allow a predator to muscle up on the taxpayes dime."

Is it not about revenge? You resent these people. You resent their crime and your paying for it. Which is all well and good, and it sure frustrates me to hear all the whining for free comprehensive medical care (not sought while outside) from people that are convicted killers, etc. They can't fathom why the state won't give them reading glasses especially for a 1 week sentance or fix their chronically injured shoulder they've done nothing about--and when they ask I do tell them the jail has decided not to reward bad behavior. Some of us recommend when their chronic low back pain runs into the almost never narcotics policy that they consider not getting arrested anymore. But I have a feeling that your little winks and comments reveal more than just satisfaction at having figured out a way to save a little cash (or not, as above). I only care to the extent that this manner of thinking may lead to bad policy, eg, slashing funds for education in prisons.

You know what else ticks me off about the jail? One: they do not take care of their diabetics. These people, who have reasonable control of their diabetes outside the jail on 4 shots a day, come in and get two shots a day on a one-size-fits-all protocol and suddenly they're having medical urgencies or emergencies needing labs, iv fluids, and ER trips (4 for one patient) through no fault of their own. Their meds get skipped on court days and Ive seen lemon sized abscesses in people's necks ignored while their sugars climbed to "over scale" on the meters as the staff shrugged. Medical injury is NOT supposed to be part of the sentance. Especially for a bunch of people who frequently are jailed for drug use. I write the jail admin about this whenever it happens and nothing changes.

The other one is having learned about a year ago the local staff gets paid for their sick days. That's ok, right? Then the backup person is called and is shockingly often ALSO sick and THEY get paid for a day they don't do and weren't scheduled for. The THIRD person comes in and gets paid. And they make more than some physicians; some make 100k more than my partner who's got 4 years of college 4 of med school and 3.5 of residency training behind him. THAT'S just stupid. Especially since I haven't called in sick myself since I had vertigo 6 years ago and couldn't walk.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 8:18 pm
by cxt

How can you even frame the words "you resent their crimes" as if it were a negative?
OF COURSE I RESENT "crimes"---Normal people take criminal acts as something to "resent."
Normal people view things like rape, robbery, murder etc as a something to to "resent."

But that is a looooonnnnggggg way from "revenge."

Tell me---what is the difference between punishment and "revenge?"

Probably a large number of things that are wrong with jail...I say fix them, nobody should be without their basic needs being met.
A prisioner should be getting good care for their medical condictions-----they just should not be getting TV/DVDs etc.

In "fiscal" terms there is much more that could be done to reduce cost and improve returns.

(I also don't think you want to establish a "fiscal" standard for why we do things---all sorts of issues that people feel quite strongly about have little to do with "bottom line" considerations......IMO a bad precedent to establish money as THE factor to consider.)

As far as diet goes, that is probably a bit of reach----sure there would have to be "some" degree of indivdualization--say for the diabetic inmates----but by and large you would not have to have a seperate meal for each and every prisoner.

And if the "grievances" bother you, simple change the laws to make it harder for inmates to file "nuiance" law suits----to many of such baseless lawsuits clogging the system anyway.

If a prisoner cannot be controlled, is too violent etc then perhaps 24/7 lockdown or a chemically induced coma ;) would help them to curb their temper.
A decent soceity should not be essentially run by the whims of its most violent criminals.

BTW--don't read too much into the "winks" etc, they apply in context to specific dicsussions and not so much outside of them.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:00 pm
by IJ
Being bothered by crime isn't a bad thing. Making decisions based on emotions instead of logic can be. That's all.

The difference between punishment and revenge is that punishment is about justice and can actually serve the perp, whereas the primary end of revenge is to satisfy one's own emotional cravings. For example, when you punish a child for not doing their homework, your goal may be to get them into law school, because you're the smarter, older, responsible one. You don't get revenge on them.

What is the problem with TV in jail if the perps have to pay for them? Make a profit on the exchange, I'd say. Unless prison experienced people really felt that TV-less prison was more aversive than not. I have a hard time imagining people will give up their freedom provided they get a 13 inch TV in the deal.

The bottom line is one concern, not the only one. I would also think of the LONG term bottom line as it pertains to crime. For example, in the intro to "Freakanomics," there's a section on how predictions on youth crime were way too high for the last decade because they failed to account for the selective abortion of the kids of less fortunate mothers. Unwanted babies are a good place for crime to begin, right? I'm not saying I want to increase abortions, but think about how much would be saved on better use of condoms? STDs, welfare, healthcare, and down the road, yeah, maybe even crime.

As for your borderline starvation plan, I think you pretty much sum up the depth of your planning with the phrase "simple change the laws to make it harder for inmates to file "nuisance" lawsuits." Is it "simple" to limit prisoner appeals? Even if those filings could be restricted, how would you determine ahead of time which were "nuisance?" With diets just for diabetic and nondiabetic inmates, you can bet many of them would be legit--you either have to individualize diets or you'd be feeding the same to a healthy 120# and 240# inmate (over for one, under the other) and to a malnourished one who actually needs a high protein high calorie diet. 2 of 3 would now have reason to visit the prison doctor and the other is still overfed! What's clogging what now?

And do you have any idea how much manpower it would take to chemically restrain every inmate who'd get riled up by your crackdown? If there was a legal precedent for that? You make it sound as if we either break the inmates with complete control and half starve them OR we're capitulating to the demands of the child molesters and murderers--we've heard this black or white thinking before from you, and in reality, its more complicated out there... ask, for example, my father, who recently retired after spending his entire career working for the maryland state prison system and interacting with prison administrators for a variety of countries. I've worked in 4 jails and visited a super-max prison... just trust me that things are not quite what they seem from outside.

And yes, I appreciated your winks in their context. It was the context which helped them reveal as much as they did.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:47 pm
by cxt

I don't think anyone can accuse me of makeing decsions based upon feelings rather than logic........indeed my supposed heartlessness is a article of faith in certain circles.

I also have mentioend the inherant problems with you personally resorting to bottom line financial arguments......not only are such arguments essentially foriegn to your worldview, they would, if REALLY applied probable not be to your likeing in this case.

Because--"tv" is a luxery and prisons are supposed to be--in part--PUNISHMENT, and you don't "punish" well by giveing people luxuries.
Its like grounding a kid to his room by allowing him his dvds/phone/TV/computer etc........sure he can't move freely but its hardly punishment at that stage either.

Again, not talking about "borderline starvation" just don't think its a good idea to to provide proffessional predators the means to become bigger. stronger, more physically powerful criminals at the expense of the very people that they prey upon.

A more closely regulated diet would prevent would also make them easier to handle.

In any case, IMO your exagerating the need for utterly seperate meals for each and every prisoner.......and engaiging in utter specualtion as to the end results.

As far as "nuisance" lawsuits" you could always read the about the number of such frivolious suits currently filed---the last one I read involved an inmate that sued over having, if memory serves, "crunchy" instread of "smooth" peanut butter on his sandwhich. :(

(no doubt abuses occur and they must be delt with harshly---BUT, there is also no doubt that such useless nusiance suits get filed as well--and they need a better system to address such things)

Very little manpower, once you have the inmate in a chemical coma, they just need to be monitered. ;)

Wow, you "visted" a super-max----I guess if you "visted" a Federal Reserve office that would ALSO make you a finance expert as well.

All kidding aside here IJ, the reality is that things need to change---and those changes are presumably best made in some middle ground between out realtive find my approach overly "black and white" and I find yourexpressed opinions "nuanced" to the point of useless paralysis.

Yes, I think I have addressed your supposed "mind reading" powers before IJ........they don't work well outside of comic books. ;)

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 2:49 pm
by Valkenar
If you work out all the time, and are getting more than a borderline starvation diet, you will bulk up. If you feed someone fewer calories than their body uses, that is a starvation diet. Is it your intention to feed prisoners a starvation diet that keeps them alive, but undernourished?

Can you describe the system that would provide restricted calorie diets to the prisoners in such a way that they can't bulk up, but don't die? It could be done, but every method I can think of would be prohibitively expensive.

Very little manpower, once you have the inmate in a chemical coma, they just need to be monitered. ;)

How serious are you being here? Your smiley says "This would be ideal if it were politically feasible" to me.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:46 pm
by cxt

Nice hair splitting and spin ;)

But what I actually am saying is that IMO its not a good idea for society to make it easy for professional predators to get more dangerous--stronger, tougher, more muscular etc.
They have no "duty" to do so and its not in the publics best interests to allow it....yet we do.

I say simply don't allow them the equipment and time to pump iron........cut the diet to prevent them from doing so as well.

Why would it be more expensive to feed people less and remove equipment that would cost money to buy and cost money to maintain?

Might also make the prisons safer-----less active, less aggressive people might be easier to control and less likely to be a danger to others.

"Are you being serious?"

Not sure, putting a check kiter in a chemical coma seems exsessive, putting a multiple murderer/child molester/rapist under for 15 hours a day seems resonable to me....maybe Russian sleep would work better--don't know, have not really thought about this.

(maybe 23/7 solitary lockdown would work just as well)

Why should they have the chance to hurt others.......even other inmates or guards?

Why should we spend our hard earned tax $$$$$ so they can spend their days lifting weights, watching DVDS and doing drugs????

(which they most certainly have access too BTW.)

What is the counter argument for allowing brutal killers and rapists to enjoy luxury items at what is essentially their victems expense?

I know people that can't afford say a health club membership, or DVD' a seriel rapist is entitled to these things but they are not?

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:31 pm
by Valkenar
cxt wrote:I say simply don't allow them the equipment and time to pump iron

This is easy, and potentially reasonable, though I'm not sure I agree. Personally, I see lifting as a way for people to work out some aggression in a non-violent manner.

........cut the diet to prevent them from doing so as well.

Please describe a system for doing this. I can suggest reasons it might cost money, but then you can just say "Oh well we won't do that, obviously." Since you think it can be done without costing money, please describe how.

You have 100 prisoners coming into a cafeteria. How do you provide each with just enough food to live, but not enough to bulk up?

a multiple murderer/child molester/rapist under for 15 hours a day seems resonable to me

Does that mean they're awake for 9 hours, or that they're asleep 24/7? Keeping someone alive in a coma is very expensive. It also leaves them totally debilitated physically afterwards. There's also risk of death due to bedsores and who knows (probably Ian does) what else.

(maybe 23/7 solitary lockdown would work just as well)

What's happening during the 24th hour? People in solitary lockdown for an extended period have a propensity for going crazy.

Why should we spend our hard earned tax $$$$$ so they can spend their days lifting weights, watching DVDS and doing drugs????
What is the counter argument for allowing brutal killers and rapists to enjoy luxury items at what is essentially their victems expense?

The logistical answer is that it would cost more not to do those things. Having some basic amenities to keep them quiet saves a lot of money in extra security costs.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:14 pm
by cxt

Ok. so we are agreed that letting crimnals pump iron is not in societies best its really just a question of methodology now not goals.

Also kinda depends on exactly what kind of criminals were talking about as me a non-violent criminal might be little different than a violentone and might call for different handleing.

How many calories are needed for vigourious activity such as pumping iron compard to simply studing for a possible trade when one gets out?
I would guess that is where one might start.

As a general statement people in the usa eat to much anyway...better diet and less calories might improve peoples health all the way around...thus leading to less cost by prevention.

In the "caftiteria" example---everyone just gets less--AGAIN, violent criminals are in a different catagory and presumably could be handled differently.

Like I said, hadn't really given it much thought....maybe further reaseach would enable us to do so in a safer manner.

They get an hour a day to run around alone on a track---people need some exercise.

If I was in a prison for a bascially non-violent crime--surrounded by such violent people that might abuse me---I think I'd really like being in "solitary lockdown."

Think about from the INMATES POV for a second----we don't sentence non-violent ebezzalers to a punishement of rape or beatings for their crimes--doing so would be considard henious and brutal and unsual----yet we lock them in places where we KNOW that such happens.
Don't we own THEM some kind of duty to protect them from being assaulted and raped even killed?

If I was serious about getting my life back on track the more distince I could out between me and the gangs and what have you the better off I am going to be.

"basic amenites"

So weight rooms and DVD's are "basic amenities" now???

Like AC and heat and running water???

Damn, I better call my landlord and demand a refund----such "basic amenites" are not be provided to ME. ;)

A-You also ducked the question---why should a seriel rapist be give such "basic amenites" when there are law abiding, tax paying citzens that can't afford them????

B-Prison is, in part, PUNISHMENT, they can always be shut up in soliatary if they refeuse to be civil and quiet.....their choice.

I think, were one not OCD'ing over making sure that that brutal and savage predators are provided every possible luxuary---essentially paid for by their vicems BTW--that one could save a considerable amount of money.

Besides, like I was trying to tell IJ---you guys are the LAST people that should be bringing up fiscial arguements in a discusiion that ALSO invloves principles.......I can assure you that if one were to apply such a "cost" ONLY approach you would NOT like were it goes.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:19 pm
by cxt

Don't mind having a prison discussion---but lets maybe start another thread for it---this one is mainly for social stuff OTHER than just prisons.