I spent much of my youth in and out of jails, prisons, and institutions. It's undeniable: I was involved in criminal activities, hanging out with street thugs/gangs, and, at times, experiencing homelessness. I was also a teenager with a brain injury. About 25 years of my life were spent in and out of the walls of institutions, county jails, and state prisons. However, one day it dawned on me that this life wasn't what I wanted. My personal story isn't the point here; it's what I witnessed inside that motivates me.
The prison system in the United States is plagued by systemic issues and corruption. One must ask, "What is the purpose of these systems?"
Corruption among correctional officers, coupled with allegations of abuse, neglect, and a lack of accountability, perpetuates what I call a "revolving door" system. The system inadequately reforms inmates, leading to a high rate of repeat offenses.
Some officers engage in unlawful activities, fostering conflicts among inmates to maintain control. Influential inmates wield power, creating an environment filled with fear, manipulation, and abuse.
Enhancing the pay for correctional officers and offering fair compensation for inmate behavior could uplift the ethics and commitment within the workforce.
Implementing military-grade security measures would improve the system's flow. One of my ideas is to recruit military vets who can retain their jobs in the government while continuing to protect their country from within.
The maltreatment faced by inmates and patients in these facilities is unjust; if anything, it will make them worse. I have thought about the possibility of improving education and incentivized work programs to provide opportunities for earning within the compound. Incentives for being model inmates could come into play, offering not just good conduct time but also money that they can collect when released. These are just some ideas I've shared, but the solutions can delve deeper. Once we start looking at these people as humans rather than criminals or "crazy," the better we can help and understand them. Some people may never reform, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. We can use those individuals to better understand the human mind. I had the idea of using willing convicted criminals as case studies with AI data analysis. This approach can be applied to military-level criminals as well, for instance, "hunting down terrorists using AI."
It's evident that all institutions housing various criminals pose inherent dangers. Therefore, the idea of military-grade security could significantly enhance safety. Military-level training and combat training, alongside self-defense classes and government-controlled training, would assist guards or other employees in maintaining control of situations, while high-level security systems monitor all movements and actions. AI can be used to predict behaviors. (The concept of integrating criminals with AI systems comes to mind again) This will not only protect inmates but also protect the staff in the places.
A stronger oversight system, reformation of personnel conduct, ensuring whistleblower protection, and advocating for systemic change to ensure transparency, accountability, and justice within correctional facilities remain the primary goal.
Additionally, incorporating mental health checks for employees within these systems is crucial. Striving for an environment where individuals aren't afraid to express their emotions can significantly boost morale and personal growth. Demonstrating sensitivity is not weakness; it's human. We need to train people to discern reality and recognize manipulation. This topic is highly complex.
Furthermore, having mental health facilities on all compounds, whether in prisons or jails, is important. While mental health is a focus of reform in mental institutions, we need to adopt this approach within prison systems and jails. Most inmates are either drug dealers or addicts, and most crimes were committed due to addiction as well.