Saturday, June 13, 2009

HITTING ROCK BOTTOM (chegando no fundo do poço)

“The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Our state prisons are nothing but inhuman, cruel factories of evil and prove that our social and political institutions are, to say the least, cynical.

We even have to face the ridiculous situations of robbers who were already hauled in but had to be later unrestrained allegedly because there was no space in Porto Alegre penitentiary.

I hate to believe that there must be some kind of uncanny strategy to boost criminality by not investing in new correctional institutions. It might be due to our historical bureaucracy that is enrooted inside our state, or embezzlement (the fraudulent appropriation by a person to his or her own use of property or money) or are the bigwigs the ones who control crime in this country? Whatever the reason, the situation is on the verge of a chaos.

Those who committed crime should obviously be punished but this punitive justice should aim the restoration of the individual to the social life. If the place that the offender goes to only evokes his worst feelings, is home of the most unimaginable fears and just make them worst than before– as are our prisons, then the state should be punished for not living up to the Social Contract. To legitimate these atrocities the state uses mass media to entertain people and keep them lethargic as savagery runs rampant.


Michael said...

Have you heard that government is evaluating the creation of private prisons? The costs can reach about 2 thousand reais each month for each prisoner. Prevention is better than cure.

Patrick said...

Recently the government wanted to do rotation in prisons to tackle the overcrowded problem.

Augusto said...

I really don´t understand how the prisons at Rio Grande do Sul reached this level. Our State prisons are worse than the prisons from North and Northeast States. Certainly, the series 'Prison Break' couldn't be recorded here..

Michael said...

It’s a double-edged sword: if we allocate money to build prisons and maintain prisoners we can’t built schools or hospitals, and more uneducated people may arise…however, if we don’t build prison, we can’t solve an acute problem and we’ll live insecure.

Of course it’s a problem that has been increasing along the time but we must manage it now…do you have some idea?

Daniel said...

"It’s a double-edged sword: if we allocate money to build prisons and maintain prisoners we can’t built schools or hospitals..."
The state has different funds to invest in diverse areas, the money that goes to education doesn't shrink if they improve the correctional institutions.
Privatization could benefit only well-off prisoners or have as a collateral effect more corruption once new criminals may negotiate with higher gangsters the cash to sponsor their stay in a private prison in case they are convicted and found guilty.
"Rotation" means that some bandits would spend a few days out doing their wouldn't like to come across one of them on your way back home at night.
As for Prison Break...I guess the producers don't even know these crappy prisons we have over here even exist. You're right Augusto, no other penitentiaries, correctional institutions or prisons in the country are comparable to ours. WHAT A SHAME!

Glória said...

Gloria said
I agree with all comments, however, I still think that the problem begins and can finish in family so the solution can follow the same way. Maybe not to this actual situation, but to the future. If the government realy want a solution, it can find it, but people in prison CAN'T VOTE so .. they are not important.

Leonardo Budaszewski Rodrigues said...

This is an important problem for every one who lives here in Brazil. Today the jails teach prisoners to become worse. The state need to teach the prisoners a job and put them to work and produce some riches for government.

Borré said...

This situation is really a mess. I can’t imagine what could be done about prisons overcrowding. Besides we already have the impunity problem...
In my opinion the only solution would be to attack the problem through several fronts: prevention, less tolerance for all kinds of criminals, to multiply jails vacancy, etc. Trying to act in just one of the possible causes or resort to makeshift solution will not result in early and lasting benefits to society (but as always happens it would be worthy for next elections). It’s time to us (and our politicians) face criminality with intelligence and responsibility.

CrossPointe Church said...

I personally visited a Prison in Niteroi last month. It was inhumane in every sense of the word. Words can not express the concentration-camp style environment.