Skip Nav
Books
23 Books You Should Read This Winter
Relationships
Steph and Ayesha Curry Are Already the Best Couple of 2016 — Here's 17 Reasons
New Year
11 Sex Slang Terms You Need to Know in 2016

Human Rights in Prison

Punishment vs. Human Rights — Are Prisons Going Soft?

Though I don't know of many prisons guarded by the likes of the two pictured below, with the changes happening to crime and punishment in the US, it might not be long. With one out of every 100 Americans behind bars, and prisons turning criminals out to meet their budgets, the debate between what's a human right, and what liberties need be taken away as punishment is a tricky one. Several states have just come to some conclusions — on the side of rights.

In New York's juvenile detention centers, transgender youth are now allowed to wear whatever gendered-uniform they associate with and be called by whatever name they request, as well as receive access to special housing under a new anti-discrimination policy. The enhanced rights are drawing praise from advocacy groups. A spokesman for Governor Paterson said the policy reflects the state's intent to be "tolerant, responsive and respectful" of gender identity and gender expression issues.

Hawaii and California join New York among the small list of states that have taken steps to afford specific civil rights protection to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth in juvenile detention. This comes after a 2001 report found that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth routinely experienced discrimination, harassment and violence in New York's juvenile justice system.

Got Milk? To find out what happens if you're a vegan behind bars,

.

In Massachusetts a federal judge found that the state prison system violated one prisoner's civil rights by denying him a vegan diet. Though the prison system had offered the man a standard vegetarian diet, he has spent nearly a decade seeking a ruling to receive a vegan diet that excludes all animal products, including eggs and milk products.

His reasoning to require the diet? He's a Buddhist (now) and had a religion specialist testify "explain[ing] why it was wrong to consume food derived from animals and explain[ing] the concept of karma and suffering." Why is the man in prison? He beat his 5-week-old son to death by throwing him onto a hardwood floor, repeatedly stomping on and kicking him, before turning his violence on the his child's mother. He may need more than soy milk to atone for that karmic digression.

Rights are returning after prison in Florida, where Governor Crist announced this week that more than 115,000 felons are to regain their voting rights. The expansion of prison rights might come as a comfort to two California high school students who are facing 69 felony counts for hacking into their school's computer system to change their grades. One of the hackers could face 38 years behind bars. An extra-credit report or two might have been a better solution?

What responsibility do prisons have to cater to human rights? Where do rights stop and punishment begin?

Source

Around The Web
La Sandwicherie in South Beach Florida
A Miami High-Rise by Errez Design and Interview With Ruben Gutierrez
Slim Aarons Photograph of Fontainebleau Hotel's Cat-Shaped Pool in Miami
Get the Look: Alys Beach Bedroom

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

Join The Conversation
lovelie lovelie 7 years
I've been reading through all of the comments on this article and I think what we have here are conflicting ideas of what prison is for. This is very common...some people view prison as a place to punish those who have committed crimes and nothing more. Others see prison as a place that is suppose to provide rehabilitation. As long as these two views exist, no one will agree on this matter. Personally, I think prison is what the inmate makes of it. Many individuals do believe it is a wake up call...in which case they serve their time and go on to live normal productive lives. However, true criminals (which I believe are those who commit crimes not for necessity but just because they can) will take nothing out of prison...no matter what it does or does not provide for them.
lovelie lovelie 7 years
I've been reading through all of the comments on this article and I think what we have here are conflicting ideas of what prison is for. This is very common...some people view prison as a place to punish those who have committed crimes and nothing more. Others see prison as a place that is suppose to provide rehabilitation. As long as these two views exist, no one will agree on this matter. Personally, I think prison is what the inmate makes of it. Many individuals do believe it is a wake up call...in which case they serve their time and go on to live normal productive lives. However, true criminals (which I believe are those who commit crimes not for necessity but just because they can) will take nothing out of prison...no matter what it does or does not provide for them.
onabanana onabanana 7 years
What part of any of your post even hinted at the part where you thought the current system was remotely bad? There was a lot bypassing ideas of reform, change, compassion, respect of civil rights. No one here ever said victims don't have rights, it goes with out saying that their suffering is terrible. "let them have at it?" Really? How very Roman, let's throw in a lion and see what happens.
onabanana onabanana 7 years
What part of any of your post even hinted at the part where you thought the current system was remotely bad? There was a lot bypassing ideas of reform, change, compassion, respect of civil rights. No one here ever said victims don't have rights, it goes with out saying that their suffering is terrible. "let them have at it?" Really? How very Roman, let's throw in a lion and see what happens.
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
Bella "I swear where is Dave with kill the all comments"I've been working. Now that I'm here, I'll weigh in with my 2 cents.Jail is supposed to be a place of punishment and rehabilitation. The more serious the crime, the more serious the punishment. If you can't show/prove that you're able to be rehabilitated, then you shouldn't be let out. If we have serious overcrowding issues, we could always create prisons on a remote island in the south pacific. (Oh wait, that's how we got Australia)
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
Bella "I swear where is Dave with kill the all comments" I've been working. Now that I'm here, I'll weigh in with my 2 cents. Jail is supposed to be a place of punishment and rehabilitation. The more serious the crime, the more serious the punishment. If you can't show/prove that you're able to be rehabilitated, then you shouldn't be let out. If we have serious overcrowding issues, we could always create prisons on a remote island in the south pacific. (Oh wait, that's how we got Australia)
ohbaby7 ohbaby7 7 years
that man gave up his right to choose veggies over eggs when he killed his son.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
Explain them to me, I am apparently too stupid to understand.
gitsie123 gitsie123 7 years
I don't understand how you can relate human rights to prison's going soft.When go to prison you forfeit civil rights not human. The comment above mentioning murderers,rapists, and molestors having ago at each other is completely stupid on so many levels.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
ona, what part of any of my posts say I agree with the current system? I abhor the current system. And ona, the worse prison is, the more desperate people will be to stay out of it. I think that non violent criminals shouldn't be in a yard with murderers and rapists, but I think we should let lose murderers, rapists, and child molesters have a go at each other. And another one of your posts about being let out....well I think quite of few of them should never be let out. There is a woman in colleyville, tx who sits in front of the business run by the man who murdered her sister. He tries to have her removed, but she stays off his property. He was her brother-in-law and he killed her sister. He was in jail for 11 years. So killing your wife gets you just a shade over a decade. But I bet he is really rehabilitated. Just my personal opinion. i don't write policy. Cat, I love your sass. Hypno, as always you make valid and well thought out points.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
ona, what part of any of my posts say I agree with the current system? I abhor the current system. And ona, the worse prison is, the more desperate people will be to stay out of it. I think that non violent criminals shouldn't be in a yard with murderers and rapists, but I think we should let lose murderers, rapists, and child molesters have a go at each other. And another one of your posts about being let out....well I think quite of few of them should never be let out. There is a woman in colleyville, tx who sits in front of the business run by the man who murdered her sister. He tries to have her removed, but she stays off his property. He was her brother-in-law and he killed her sister. He was in jail for 11 years. So killing your wife gets you just a shade over a decade. But I bet he is really rehabilitated. Just my personal opinion. i don't write policy.Cat, I love your sass.Hypno, as always you make valid and well thought out points.
amybdk amybdk 7 years
Onabanana and hipnoticmix: I appreciate that you both look into the gray areas of this issue and not just see things as black/white. thank you!
amybdk amybdk 7 years
Onabanana and hipnoticmix: I appreciate that you both look into the gray areas of this issue and not just see things as black/white.thank you!
bellaressa bellaressa 7 years
See what I mean about sassy.:lol: @ Ben Gay. So, wrong on many levels.
bellaressa bellaressa 7 years
See what I mean about sassy. :lol: @ Ben Gay. So, wrong on many levels.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
sassy, i havent been called that since i went to church with my grandmother and told her everyone smelled like ben gay.
onabanana onabanana 7 years
I guess that's why I got the "extreme" title. Point taken.
bellaressa bellaressa 7 years
Great points hypnoticmix. WTF, killa em all? CaterpillarGirl -you're way too sassy.
bellaressa bellaressa 7 years
Great points hypnoticmix.WTF, killa em all? CaterpillarGirl -you're way too sassy.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
kill em all
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
kill em all
onabanana onabanana 7 years
hypnoticmix, I totally agree!
onabanana onabanana 7 years
Ive meet more entitled college students then entitled criminals.
onabanana onabanana 7 years
What part of showing compassion and creating a better system that actually achieves the goals of making society safe do you not understand?! I don't disagree the people need to be punished if they commit crimes. Clearly you don't read all my posts! I don't advocate that we slap people on the hand and call it a day. If we're going to spend this much time and money on this, it should achieve more than creating more angry criminals. If you buy into the current system as the best way of punishing people then I hope you carry pepper spray because with the crappy economy more crimes are going to be committed people are going to be angry and we're going to have to build more jails. If simple retribution is the goal then let's start really making people really pay for it. on the spot capitol punishment would send a clear message.
onabanana onabanana 7 years
What part of showing compassion and creating a better system that actually achieves the goals of making society safe do you not understand?! I don't disagree the people need to be punished if they commit crimes. Clearly you don't read all my posts! I don't advocate that we slap people on the hand and call it a day. If we're going to spend this much time and money on this, it should achieve more than creating more angry criminals. If you buy into the current system as the best way of punishing people then I hope you carry pepper spray because with the crappy economy more crimes are going to be committed people are going to be angry and we're going to have to build more jails. If simple retribution is the goal then let's start really making people really pay for it. on the spot capitol punishment would send a clear message.
Latest Love
X