Why has our country grown to be so extremely punitive, even vengeful? Why do we not instead think in terms of healing and restoring a human life that went astray, to sanity? Does our passion to punish mirror the worst of the criminal’s mentality? An eye for an eye? A tooth for a tooth? Why not “Love one another… Judge not… Forgive”? When people remember who and what they truly are, they cannot harm others – cannot kill, cannot steal, cannot lie. May we all remember our true nature.
Throughout the world, the U.S. prison system is often seen as inhumane and excessively large.
The American prison system is so reviled, in fact, that Irish officials recently refused to extradite an alleged terrorist to the United States. The court cited concerns that if he were sent to the U.S., he would probably be placed in Colorado’s “Supermax” prison, ADX Florence (Administrative Maximum Facility). The prison is nicknamed Colorado’s “Alcatraz of the Rockies.”
Irish High Court Justice Aileen Donnelly went as far as to write a 333-page report about why the suspect shouldn’t be extradited. One highlight from the court’s ruling was that incarceration at ADX Florence prison would amount to “cruel and unusual punishment.”
Donnelly said the prison “amounts to a breach of the constitutional requirement to protect persons from inhuman and degrading treatment and to respect the dignity of the human being.”
“[P]rolonged exposure to involuntary solitary confinement exacts a significant physiological toll, is damaging to the integrity of the mind and personality, and is damaging to the bodily integrity of the person,” she continued…