Torture: America's Brutal Prisons

Torture: America's Brutal Prisons

Ratings: 8.04/10 from 48 users.

Torture: America's Brutal PrisonsThis programme shows that abuses like those documented in Abu Ghraib are commonplace in the USA's overcrowded and understaffed prisons.

Prisoners are shackled and hooded for their own protection; pepper spray is used as an alternative to physical force, but in sufficient quantities to cause second-degree burns; beatings are frequent and sometimes fatal.

The programme suggests that the cause is not a few bad apples, but a pervasive culture of dehumanization and brutality.

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7 years ago

Absolutely brutal. Why the hell do so many guards/officers have to get involved with ONE inmate!!!! They aren't dealing with the hulk ffs. There guards/officers get carried away with being in charge and thinking they can do anything. THEY should be in the place of the prisoner!! America has the WORST criminal justice system. They are worse than any Iraqi, any muslim, any other race of people. Americans revel in abuse, torture and violence.
I dont believe in putting any group of people in a box, but the curse of the United States will be the death of us ALL. It will be the country that causes any like of apocalypse.
As for their prisons, there needs to be a massive inquiry into every jail.

7 years ago

While the world is turning toward wars against the mafia and while we ear from the mass-media that mafia will be something of the past this does not appear to be the real life scenario. The mafia joining ISIS or Chinese mafia or mafia from the middle east are still a sign that mafia keeps changing skin. Because the christian religion should not turn into a religion that punish its own children when they become camorra and then puts them into prisons, we must find ways that are better ways to address recurring issues of violence, we need to address the causes that are fueling drugs, violence and criminal lifestyle choices. We all can understand that those who fight mafia often implement hard laws that Christians try to obey just because the Pope said so and they also try to avoid weakening those who fight mafia. I like to keep myself neutral because I believe in what Robert De Niro said "When you are in doubt just f--k", unfortunately I don't have the women he can have so it's easier to be said than being done. Christians that love freedom do not accept easily the totalitarian laws and they turn into delinquent activities, some become a camorra and unfortunately some decide to join the mafia. This vicious circle of events can be clearly seen advertised often as symbols: the mary-go-round is one of them, the evil clown is another one. I guess there is more than these two as part of the symbols that are out there.

The lack of care of the rights of prisoners is another important aspect of society that is being left alone. Based on the facts that we know a dictator exist and that he kills men, women or children we need to realize that such dictator is also operating in the prison system like he did with the Guyana French prison. History tells us that one dictator is generating from the christian side of a french Catholic Church however because of a mysterious society nobody is moving a finger against such a house of cards that easily sneaks into other countries to try to dominate the prison systems.

We need to address the root of this problem that kids are generating when they seek the help from government officials to solve family violence issues. Such flirts the kids have with the government empower the government too much and they often become dictators. The dictatorship can be easily confirmed starting around year 1900 and reaching its first score with the compulsory vehicle insurance. Today we all swallow a transponder into new cars without even thinking that a dictator made a decision to protect someone else's car without even asking it. As you know it, a transponder is an electronic device that acts as a block to prevent car theft and thought it looks handy, the problem may arise when the car gets older and a transponder replacement is very expensive. Money is not the real problem, the problem is having a flirt with a totalitarian based system. While one can try to understand that such dictators are using their hard laws only against mafia people and not against anyone else it is still a big issue and a great despair to watch the world come apart because of strong disagreements.

The real solution that I am proposing for the violence against kids is that we all try to have the government give special allowances to those in need. I am talking of free tickets for the train or bus when a person does not have a job, skip taxes on necessary repairs of anything or other type of allowances that can put a candy into the mouth of the people at one condition: They need to avoid violence against children. It won't take long for people to learn that is better to comply with a positive law and keep the candy. This approach is a positive freedom based approach that could really have the potential to resolve a great amount of violence and unnecessary arrests. Today we have a world that is turning hearths into colder hearths and even into stone hearth, removing the much needed light that brings a better hope. Freedom is the gift that brights up the mind and it brings new ideas thus I hope you like mine or you are invited to do better, at least, suggesting yours to the world.

Devin Martin
10 years ago

These convicts are dangerous and some of them have killed and raped people. I would do the same thing, any of those convicts would do the same to the guards in an instance as well. What tortures me is we waste billions of dollars every year to care for these animals. It would work better to just banish or kill these murderers and rapist then put up with them and try and rhabilitate them

10 years ago

These correctional 'officers' are not just monkeys but are sadists as well.
There is no need under the sun to treat these inmates like dirt. How could they possibly cause problems when they are locked up 23 out of 24 hours in a day or in solitary. There is just NO excuse for this behavior from anyone working with the public, no matter that they are incarcerated.
The only answer is they are 'allowed' to do what they are doing under the watchful eye of that worst sadist of all the warden dictator. Funny thing happened in WWII when a well known dictator [leader] encouraged his top SS to do exactly the same as they are doing to these men in prision. The only difference is the country and setting, otherwise the same and the same results.
What a pity there are such mean spirited ppl in the world!!
My heart goes out to many of the prisioners.

Timmy Poo
10 years ago

I have personally met Arpaio. He is evil.

10 years ago

You go in nice and come out pissed. So F you !

Ryan O'Hern
10 years ago

So the prisioner did not listen and force was used.......what is the problem?

We have our soliders out fighting in worse conditions, who cares that they are living in tents.

It is not difficult to stay out of prision.

BlueDrake .
10 years ago

While in federal custody I was subjected to torture, beatings, and what would be classified as psychological abuse (forced medication) in federal custody. I can pass a polygraph test and a independent (non-government) medical exam will show permanent injuries. You can also feel the bone shards still embedded under the skin of my left arm. I have done half-a-decade already. I have no reason to lie about any of this. I was innocent and entered a guilty plea while under coercion and duress.

10 years ago

This is just disgusting, albeit these people are in prison for a reason - how are they ever going to be able to turn their lives around after being subjected to such brutality - animals dont do this kind of evil to one another. i agree force is needed in some events but its quite clear in this documentary that these inmates are being tortured. The guards in this programme deserve to be locked up themselves. Beating a person to death?? That takes some kind of evil in a person....
Thank god im british and dont live in your country! (not that i would ever do anything to land myself in prison anyway)!
I wonder if the people that agree with this behaviour would still agree to it if the shoe was on the other foot

Disgrace to the human race....

Ann Rhodes
10 years ago

Are you kidding? The compliant do not get treated like this. The ones who are restrained in that matter are prisoners who consistently: spit at guards, attack guards, attack other inmates, throw every body fluid you can think of. If prisoners have to go through some individual discomfort for the protection of fellow inmates and staff then so be it.

The corrections officials can't win since a lawsuit is all but guaranteed whether the prisoners feel the safety measures are cruel, or if they got attacked by another inmate due to decreases in protection. This is especially true for the mentally ill since many refuse medication, and are at risk of hurting themselves in a dissociative moment.

11 years ago

23:42 , did anyone else notice while the prisoner was being given CPR by a medical worker, one of the officers started to kick him. How sick.

11 years ago

I couldn't watch this Documentary without almost feeling like wanting to cry every couple of minutes! Torturing inmates with Mental illness? Seriously?!

11 years ago


I AM THE BEAST Sssotlohiefmjn
11 years ago

I would advocate violent people to remove these violent guards if I was able and surely I pray to my God he does execute serious damnation on these violent guards and deliver their souls to be slain forever.
I rather they be a rocks in the dry stream and scream with their voice removed for the beds of hell they earn.

11 years ago

When someone goes to prison they can't do anything. All freedoms are gone and that's enough of a punishment, but to subject people to rape and the way those guards treat them like dogs and then people wonder why they get out and commit more crimes. People in there should have access to reading material and exercise and to make them better. If you just locked someone in a cell and shoved food through a hole you are treating them worse than an animal and all they are going to do is get out and society pays for the way they were treated.
We could send troops to Colombia and destroy their drug trade, but then the CIA wouldn't make money. So we just fill up the jails and now the prison system is big business with food, building prisons and all the guards who sit on their arses and do they think that is a cushy job or a career? There was a time people didn't want a prison anywhere near and now they fight to get them built near their home for the jobs. Who would want to be in that misery?

11 years ago

This is a political attack piece on Arpaio.

11 years ago

I celebrate every time I read about a dirty cop being killed; I really really do!

11 years ago

Today's New World Order is composed of two types of individuals: the insane and the brutally insane. God help us-!!

11 years ago

At scene 2:50 "Youths pounded by guards" as stated clearly by the narrator. You are telling me that is not two prisoners? If it is not then my apologies but I think it's pretty clear that it is.

11 years ago


11 years ago

Wow, unbelievable how a report can be changed so drastically to support the other side. I do not deny that these things may happen to some degree but take a good hard look at what is reported and what is shown. There is one scene where the narrator says "guards beating on prisoners" and the scene was obviously two prisoners fighting as shown by them both bearing the same uniform; black bottoms and white tops. Look alive my friends, just because it's reported does not make it true. Do your own homework, don't just settle for what someone tells you.

11 years ago

HELLO, the majority of those that are interviewed are rapist, murderers, drug dealers....this whole documentary is nothing but garbage. The only defense a guard has is a 5 oz can of pepper spray kept at their side. Where is your footage of the many prisoners that gang rape other prisoners, guards that are gang beaten, where are the films of urine, feces and other bodily liquids infected with life threatning diseases, being thrown into the faces of those whos job is to protect the public by preventing escape. Yes, with any Occupation, there are a few bad officers, but they are few and far between. Sorry, if your attempt was to make me feel sorry for the criminal, then you failed miserably.

11 years ago

the narrator is stoooooooooooooopid hate her voice

11 years ago

Jesus Christ really? This needs to sweat the big stuff not this bs. They're not in prison for buying this heifer dinner they're in prison because their criminals. She needs to go back to her awesome country and fix their problems there. oh wait I'm sure they dont have any that's why she's in the US crying about pepper spray use.

11 years ago

This is what happens when you turn the prison system into a money making scheme. The welfare of all of these inmates is being farmed out to the lowest bidder so that it will look good on a balance sheet somewhere. And like the saying goes...

Pay peanuts... get monkeys.

11 years ago

that sheriff sounds so ignorant and stupid..typical southern american. "i dont lose to anyone in prison, under ANY circumstances". really? including those with a mental illness?????? boy, im glad im studying law in Canada rather than his state.

11 years ago

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time. hahaha

11 years ago

This whole thing is so ridiculous. i disagree with people saying that this is biased because its a British documentary. I live in Northern California. During my drug addiction I was around plenty of convicts & people on parole. The sad thing is that (& Ive personally seen) people come out worse then they went in.. On top of the "rehabilitation" system being more like a "college for criminals", theres the inmates being told they are a piece of shit and being treated like a piece of shit when they get out how do you think they might feel about themselves. . then what happens? a simple parole violation gets them sent right back..

And as far as "the toughest sheriff in America?" I can't stand him either and have no respect for anything i've heard him say or seen him do.. He is the biggest instigator as far as the raids going on in everyday workplaces, of the "aliens" dont have documentation they are also sent to jail on the way to being deported. . Another contrioversal issue & yeah, a little off topic.. but now heres some FACTS instead of just my opinion!::

Unconstitutional Jail Conditions

U.S. District Court Judge Neil V. Wake ruled in 2008, and again in 2010, that the Maricopa County jails violated the constitutional rights of inmates in medical and other care related issues. This ruling was a result of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU, which alleged that "Arpaio routinely abused pre-trial detainees at Maricopa County Jail by feeding them moldy bread, rotten fruit and other contaminated food, housing them in cells so hot as to endanger their health, denying them care for serious medical and mental health needs and keeping them packed as tightly as sardines in holding cells for days at a time during intake."
In a ruling issued in October, 2010, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Arpaio to follow U.S. District Court Judge Neil Wake's 2008 ruling, which required Arpaio to end severe overcrowding and ensure all detainees receive necessary medical and mental health care, be given uninterrupted access to all medications prescribed by correctional medical staff, be given access to exercise and to sinks, toilets, toilet paper and soap and be served food that meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of Agriculture's dietary guidelines

Misuse of funds

An analysis by the Maricopa County Office of Management and Budget, completed in September, 2010, found Arpaio has misspent almost $100 million in taxpayer dollars over the previous 5 years.
The analysis showed that money from a restricted detention fund which could only legally be used to pay for jail items, such as food, detention officers' salaries and equipment, was used to pay employees to patrol Maricopa County. The analysis also showed that many Sheriff's Office employees, whose salaries were paid from the restricted detention fund, were working job assignments different than those recorded in their personnel records. Arpaio's office kept a separate set of personnel books detailing actual work assignments, different than information kept on the county's official human-resources records.
Arpaio used the detention fund to pay for investigations of political rivals, and activities involving his human-smuggling unit.
The analysis also showed a number of inappropriate spending items, including a trip to Alaska where deputies stayed at a fishing resort, and trips to Disneyland.
Separate investigations by The Arizona Republic uncovered widespread abuse of public funds and county policies by Arpaio's office, including high-ranking employees routinely charging expensive meals and stays at luxury hotels on their county credit cards.
The Republic also found that a restricted jail enhancement fund was improperly used to pay for out-of-state training, a staff party at a local amusement park, and a $456,000 bus, which was purchased by Arpaio in violation of county procurement rules.
&&&&&& there's more, all from Wikipedia..

(back to my opinion)
there is so much more of this going on & the only people who know are the ones involved. in my personal opinion this just scratches the surface of America's bullshit politicians and authority figures who will do whatever they can to get their grimy hands _____ (power, money, ect.) for their dirty deeds.. enough ranting.. on a brighter note, thank you to the people making it possible to see whats really going on

11 years ago

What's even more sad than the reality of what goes on behind the walls of these prisons, is that it's NOT going to stop. It's so easy to categorize people- but It's dismissive to say that the one's who are locked up must be horrible, dangerous, and deserve all of what they are getting. It's very naive for someone to say "oh, if they don't want to be treated like that, then don't break the law, don't go to prison" While that statement may be true, I understand that sometimes people make mistakes. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who grew up in a bad home, or perhaps in foster care, etc. We develope our core beliefs at a very young age & unfortunately it becomes second nature for some of us to just naturally make bad choices as a result of what we were exposed to when we were kids. It's a screwed up domino effect..

11 years ago

sherif fawn who provides valid information on the youth side of the american prison service.. would any one know any more information about him as i am very interested to learn

11 years ago

Yes, this is shocking but, yes it IS true. Take it from me. I was locked up in the Florida Department of Corrections for 2 years, and can state with sincere honesty that what is portrayed in this documentary is not only totally accurate, but actually downplayed. For example, they still have "chain gangs" where inmates (including those arrested for the heinous crimes of drinking while driving or possessing marijuana) are forced literally at gunpoint into alligator infested waters to clear debris from the swamps. I have met several that had chunks taken out of their legs or feet, and even one who lost his leg to a chainsaw when attacked by an alligator while working. The gash in his leg was not ministered to for hours because the guard would have to bring the chain gang in early , and by the time he received medical attention infection set in, and they amputated. While in the South Florida Reception Center, an average of two (2) inmates died EVERY WEEK, mostly from neglect of medical attention, sometimes from beatings. Someone has a heart attack and collapses, they DEMAND no one touch him, and wait for up to 30 minutes for a med team to arrive. With no CPR, the man dies in minutes. I witnessed the beating of my cellmate by 4 guards at night in my cell just because he had "Antichrist" tattooed on his throat...he did NOT cause trouble. The sergeant did not like his tattoo and was "religious". I was told that I didn't see anything or I was next, and they told him to cut it off, or they cutting his throat

The problem is that people, including the guards, feel that people are sent there to be punished. The TRUTH is their punishment is being there. (By Federal Court Definition.) Semantics? Not so...the first allows others to feel it is their role to actually punish the inmates, which promotes torture as a part of his job. The latter, if understood, means it is their job to maintain a safe and orderly environment for the inmates until their time is done, and provide them with the resources to try to prevent re-entry to the prison system. Abu Ghraib prisoners had it easy in deed! And it doesn't start in prison. It actually starts before that.

11 years ago

this is not an American phenomenon. It happens all over the world in every society, those in power will abuse it. and do not use Texas as an example for anything unless you live here and know what youre talking about, i live in texas I know. More than likely you think we still go to work on horseback and we linch up those dang foreigners. I'm mixed race in texas and i have never experienced racism from a fellow texan.

11 years ago

My god, that has just shocked me :(

12 years ago

There you go. All the evidence you need that Texas is crazy. They're just angry that they can't linch black people any more, so they take it out on people they're allowed to abuse. Watch how many of the abused prisoners are black.

12 years ago

Almost every body that goes to prison gets out.So when the conservatives cry the blues about how the prisoners deserve to be tortured I ask them,"do you want a guy that was just beaten three times a week sitting on a park bench next to your wife? Your daughter? Maybe he is hungry, and her purse looks like it could buy him dinner, maybe he just had sex forced on him a few times and decided that what goes around comes around." I really like the policemen that want prisoners tortured.How hard do you think prisoners will try to escape, if they are going back for a beating? I would rather be dead in an escape attempt than go to prison in turkey, even for five years. If I was doing something wrong and looking at a year here I would not try to flee in a car and ramp up to a ten year stretch. If you have people tortured in prison, they'd rather kill than go back.

12 years ago

I don't feel sorry for those animals. If they don't like prison, they shouldn't have done anything to go there.

12 years ago

Prison abuse might happen. But it's not like most people percive it as. In the hard-core US prisons the gangs rule the show.They have such things as prison justice. This usually happens to the snitches,cho mos(Child molesters) rapists and cop killers. The ones that get f%$ked with,beat and killed pretty much deserve it!

12 years ago

This document provides some valuable insight into the American prison system; however, drawing the conclusion that we're violent in everything we do is very one-sided. The BBC is pointing a hypocritical finger at the U.S. Let's review the Great British Empire's history and its present attitudes before we condemn all Americans to be violent individuals. How many Americans were interviewed as being against the violence? Oh, but we're ALL just evil, violent, sheep-like individuals, right? Thanks for the stereotypes, BBC.

12 years ago

Thanks for Doc. I need to add two points:
1.When Respect is gone, Rehabilitation will never occur,
even a convict is a human being, because of his/her behaviour
he/she has a debt to society, and will pay for it, nothing more…
2. Structure of American society is harsh. It is based on money that brings power,
rich gets richer and poor gets prison. It’s a vicious circle. The solution ?
Fly to Finland !

12 years ago

I would like to point out that in England there is a tv series called "Panorama" that is very popular and creates documentaries of the failings / positives within the UK (be it government, culture, or system related).

Because the English openly criticise their failings, they are able to try and FIX these failings or to at least try to fix them.

There are aspects about America that are positives as well: as with any country there are pros and cons. I feel that the documentary wasn't trying to say that America was a bad country - nor was it trying to say that it should be like another country - it merely had found a topic that it decided needed to be brought to light.

Most European countries research positives and negatives with nearly all the other countries in the world because they are interested in how other people live.

To make the perfect place to live, what better way then to take all the best parts from each country and put them together?

I work with young offenders in England and I can say that some are just young and like any person can make a wrong decision - some truly are born in horrible situations that have effected them in horrendous ways - others do have a mental disability that prevents them from truly understanding what they have done - and then the tiniest percentage are just going to do wrong, because they like it.

BUT if you expect them to change their ways and you are willing to criticise them - you must be able to criticise yourself. There will always be human error in everyone and in government systems. Not all of the American prison system is bad - there are just some opportunities to improve.

"The system may fail you, but don't fail yourself."

12 years ago

In the words of Jim Carry in Lair Lair: "Quit breaking the law a$$hole!!!"

12 years ago

This doc shows some pretty conclusive evidence of a broken justice system, simple as.

The fact that it's English-made makes no difference. At all.

The fact that it's one-sided makes no difference. At all.

To focus on these details is to ignore the important points raised. In the end evidence is still evidence, corruption is still corruption.

Its a vicious circle that can only be ended by a total re-working of the current system, and when a new, cleaner system is in place, proper supervision by us, the public.

You cannot fix a problem by attacking it's symptoms! When we have a rash what happens if we scratch?

Punishment should fit the crime (within ethical limits), but should ultimately tackle the CAUSE, be it poverty, mental illness, social situation, drug addiction etc.

Nothing like a nice brotherhood of brutality, to 'protect and serve' under the license of the badge to make you feel safe at night. There's a reason lady justice wears a blindfold.

12 years ago

@ Justice

My problem is not with the "lock em up and give em hell mentality" for the hardcore criminals. My concern is that guards, judges, police officers and the rest of society sees the occassional weed smoker, car stereo thief, etc. in the same light as a rapist, serial killer, etc. Behind bars, you're a criminal, weather sex offender or computer hacker.

You are absolutely correct that certain people cannot be rehabilitated. But when the system does not try to save the people that can be saved, that is when I have a problem.

I believe that as an inmate you have two real possibilities:

A) You realise that this is a hellhole, you feel remorse and you want to change.

B) You are exposed to the kind of characters that lead your life down the crapper, even more so than it would otherwise be headed.

These are for those I see as persons who are capable of being rehabilitated. Obviously, for a sicko, you don't really grasp the whole idea of change and remorse, hence eliminating the possibility of A.

I guess my real point is that when you group the mild offender into the view of a hardcore criminal, it becomes easier for that individual to seek an "us vs them (guards)" kind of feeling... leading them further away from A and more likely towards B.

12 years ago

@ Jonanthan

Please spare me your liberal nonsense. When will you wake up and realize that some people are just not wired properly, they aren't normal and will never be rehabilitated. Public safety should always take precedence over rehabilitation. When a parole board is conducting a hearing, the first and foremost question needs to be: "Would I want this person living next door to me?" If the answer is no, then the parole board need not proceed any further with the hearing.

Rehabilitation is a pipe dream. I'm not talking about shoplifters or j walkers or people who get caught with a few grams of weed either. You cannot rehabilitate a serial killer, a rapist or a child molester. No matter how long they are locked up, they will re-offend. These people are sick and mentally ill, they are not like the rest of us and have no control over their impulses.

Rehabilitation for these type of people is a pipe dream, it cannot happen, will not happen. The only thing we can do with these people that will benefit the interest of public safety, is to keep these people permanently segregated from the rest of society and especially away from our children.

I live in a neighborhood where things aren't so rosey. And believe me, if you lived where I did the last thing you'd be preaching about is rehabilitation!

I agree with many of your other points though. A very salient point being that out side of big business and technology, there isn't a lot of modern thinking going on in America. Amen to that. The primary example of this is the U.S's continued marginalization of certain minority groups through the media and Hollywood.

@ Randy

I am also Canadian, and I would like to know what jail/prison you were in because the same thing is happening here. Maybe not quite on the same scale, but it's happening. I have also been locked up in my youth, and I can tell you that the "MOB" mentality is more than prevalent here in our correctional system.

12 years ago

It's funny how a few Americans on here have responded to comments in a defensive manner. The point of the documentary is not "US is s hit, UK is best"... the point is quite simply that this is horrible.

I don't really understand how anyone could try to defend the behavior of any of the guards on here. Sure, US jails are rough and guards have to endure more than in many nations, but it's a result of a failed penal system and society in general. Focus clearly is on punishment and not on rehabilitation.

@ Andrine

Get real. I'm not British. In fact, I'm American living in Europe. But for you to compare things that the Brits did to nations under their empire, which, by the way, ceased to exist long ago, is simply irrelevant. What happened in a different age has no bearing on their current situation. You can't call present day Germans Nazis for what their ancestors have done. If you do, I feel sad for you.

Second, you can't take British media and say that it's solely focused on exposing the US as a s hithole. The entire world is doing that, and for a fairly good reason.

Let's be honest, outside of technology and big business, there is not a lot of modern thinking going on in the US. If nothing else, the US's resistance to adopt a decent social health policy is prime example of why the rest of the western world is bypassing the US. The inability to accept change and broaden ones view of the WORLD (that means the globe, not just NY to LA) is a hangup.

Lastly, you can't compare the prison system in the US or UK to a country like South Africa. The US and UK are western countries seen to be world leading in so many areas. African countries are so far behind in every aspect.

Also, about the Eastern European immigrants. When the first wave of countries from Eastern Europe joined the EU, the UK and Sweden were the only two to completely open up to immigration. All the others required circumstancial visas, etc. to be provided initially, before completely opening up for free borders. Consider, there are a lot more people in the US complaining about Mexicans, than Brits complaining about Polacks.

12 years ago

from Canada

why don't we have that problems in Canada prisons cause we treat them like humans. guards in the states are gangs themselves they are breaking the laws murder assault beatings isn't that all against the law how the f@#$ are they getting away with it. Man will not change if the ones who suppose to teach change are the bad ones themselves. i have no interest to travel to the states safer in Iraq,

12 years ago

An interesting doco and like most things in the media the entire picture is not shown. as an officer myself (not in the states) who had to face a violent inmate in a confined space yesterday, let me tell you that as much back up and as many fellow officers as you can get in these circumstances is a necessity.
To talk about the chair in the video, it seems like a good idea, we spent a lot of training hours learning how to subdue violent offenders but more importantly how to prevent positional asphyxia once the offender has secured. This chair, if used properly would keep an offender from asphyxiating after the event but I stress, like everything it must be used properly.
Prison officers face violence daily, it comes in many forms and be it physical or verbal, officers are only human and will make mistakes but to suggest that officers are a violent vindictive mob is not true. Yes there are some that after years of dealing with volatile human beings who have committed hideous crimes, may lose there way but on the whole most just want to go to work and get home without incident.
This doco has shown one side of prison life, there is another side and I've been on the receiving end of it.

12 years ago

Well, see, in Wallachia, which was once part of Romania, when Vlad Tepest, (or Vlad the Impaler, AKA, Vlad Dracul, AKA Dracula, a la Bram Stoker, etc.), ruled it and defended most of Europe against the Turks, he just put a person on a stick and watched them slowly die.

Now, this system of justice, something worse than christ ever endured, having a stick shoved in your anus and then your body hoisted up 12 feet or so; to see how long you can keep the pointy stick from piercing all your vital organs and then just dying as it comes out your mouth... takes about four days... is pretty cruel.

But I see the beauty in it.

Any infraction of the law, under Vlad's rule, meant you were on a stick. If you short changed a merchant... on a stick. If you planted a seed on a neighbors land... on a stick you go... Death, for any infraction of the law.

This is how good this worked. To show the world how effective his system of justice was, he put a golden chalice, encrusted with precious stones in the middle of a city square. It was ungaurded for months. No one touched it.

Because nobody wants a pointy stick shoved up thier butt for several days until it comes out their mouth and they die!

So, I guess what I am saying is, these guys are wussies. We need a little more random murder of civilians like the Romans did, or Vlad, just to put the fear of LAW into them...

Or, maybe I'm wrong about that... who can say, really?

12 years ago

well there are some definate problems in our system, but i can say that other than amsterdam, i wouldn't go anywhere else. most of the problems stem from overcrowding. and when 85% of people arrested are loaded on some drug. we spend almost 2x what we spend on schools, i think its time for a discussion. one thing i noticed was all this is happening in state, not federal prison. federal prison is civilised, at least to the medium security prisons. joe arepio is a piece of sh*t. but im sure british prisons are way better (sarcasm)

Sadie the Celt
12 years ago

Thought provoking documentary. As usual there are 2 sides to everything - and I dare say this documentary was a little biased, but maybe it was needed? Amnesty has 14 'laws' of human rights, and they get broken constantly - they are hard to enforce.
British prisons do not have pepper sprays or tazers or anything like that - neither are our police armed when on patrol. I cannot comment on whether or not this decreases violence - but Im certain of one thing - those American Officers scare me to death!