Most Shocking; Prison

The CourtTV channel has this show called Most Shocking and it’s one of the best shows on TV.  It’s all actual footage from security cameras, police cruiser cameras, and citizen-recorded videos, and it shows all kinds of (often stupid) crimes being committed, and (usually) the police taking down the criminals.

I’ve never really watched the show Cops, but I guess Most Shocking is similar, except I think that Cops is at least sort of scripted (don’t they have a camera/cameraman intentionally going into various situations with police, as opposed to showing footage of interesting stuff captured by cameras that run 24/7?).  And from the previews for Cops it always looks really slow and boring, whereas Most Shocking is non-stop action, with stuff like shootouts, crashes, hostages, etc.

It’s on Wednesdays at 8 PM, though I usually watch the encore which is at midnight.  It’s also apparently on Fridays at midnight sometimes too.

I sometimes catch bits of other shows on CourtTV, and some of the shows about prison are really interesting.  One thing that I don’t understand about prisons is why they’re designed the way they are, with the convicts able to congregate freely at certain times, such as while eating and while out in the prison yard.  Prisoners are able to pass around drugs and weapons, and they sometimes attack the guards and even cause riots.  They can beat up, molest, and even kill other prisoners.

So why should prisoners ever be allowed to congregate?  Why don’t we keep them in their individual cells at all times?  It would be far simpler and safer not only for the guards, but for the prisoners as well.

Posted by Anthony on 1 reply


01. Nov 23, 2007 at 03:25pm by Anthony:

Well, the only reason I can think of is that it might be considered "cruel and unusual punishment", i.e. the convicts shouldn’t be denied the ability to congregate nor to go outside.

My response to that is, first of all, boo friggin’ hoo, you’re in prison, it’s not supposed to be paradise; we’re suspending many of their rights already, which is the whole point.

But second of all, once even a single prisoner or guard is injured in an attack or riot that was made possible by the prisoners’ ability to congregate, then the risk outweighs the benefit.

Finally, with regard to going outside, there are certainly other ways that we could design prisons so that the prisoners would be able to spend a little time outside without having to have them all outside together at the same time.  So I say if we’re going to insist that they be able to go outside, then explore some other ways to make it happen.

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