Prisoners' freedoms, or: what should I name this topic?

Perspectives on our world and our universe, how it works, what is happening, and why it happens. Whether by a hidden hand or natural laws, we come together to hash it out, and perhaps provide a little bit of education and enlightenment for others. This is a place for civil discussion. Please keep it that way.
Forum rules
1) Remain civil. Respect others' rights to their viewpoints, even if you believe them to be completely wrong.
2) Sourcing your information is highly recommended. Plagiarism will get you banned.
3) Please create a new thread for a new topic, even if you think it might not get a lot of responses. Do not create mega-threads.
4) If you think the subject of a thread is not important enough to merit a post, simply avoid posting in it. If enough people agree, it will fall off the page soon enough.
User avatar
Seannery
Crazy Person
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:49 pm
Real Name: Ellis Marie (for now, and only here)

Prisoners' freedoms, or: what should I name this topic?

Post by Seannery » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:58 pm

I try to keep my nose clean of political discussions, but sometimes I read something that sparks my phlogiston. The following is an example---not meant to say anything about it's author, but the ideas therein:
raptor9k wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:59 pm
Yay capitalism. They've setup a system in which they're able to bill insurance companies outrageous fees for services that cost very little. And THEY decide when the patient can leave. Prisons are just as bad. Private companies shouldn't be involved at all when someone's freedom or rights have been suspended.
How did you conclude that capitalism is responsible? Likewise about private companies---governments are companies, too, with slightly different incentives: organizations that, always, promote their own interests first. Really, that's true of all---the one's that survive, at least; most of them---living entities---even charitable organizations, but again, the incentives may be different. The question should be about whether an entity's incentives are set up appropriately, but that question generally, is more general than what I'm trying for here.
I think the problem is with too many freedoms being stripped in too many cases. Take prisoners, for example. Supposing there's no way to help the situation but to keep them locked away, why not let them freely choose their prison? If prisoners always can freely switch prisons, prisons would be competing to provide at least humane conditions.
Spoiler: (click to reveal/hide)
Of course, I reject any arguments towards punishment---removing the malefactor, especially to rehabilitate them: fine, good. Hurting them won't help.
Sorry about any latent phlogiston hereby sparked.
Do tell me, always, in what way I'm not good.. I'm not used to silent tolerance.
Why can't you just love her?

User avatar
raptor9k
Crazy Person
Posts: 1340
Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 8:33 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Arkansas

Re: Prisoners' freedoms, or: what should I name this topic?

Post by raptor9k » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:55 pm

I probably should've specified, but I was implying for profit private companies. Also implied is the current mechanism for these types of contracts to be awarded and fulfilled.

It boils down to profit vs purpose and the greed of the board or CEO. A competent for profit private company will make the choice that maximizes company profit. That decision might look like it's costing the company money but they're likely just playing the long game or hedging their bets on a further payout/bigger contract. The government, while inefficient and fraught with its own problems, is setup to provide a service with a given set of guidelines. Cost would be a guideline but not to the exclusion of all else.

It seems like every time the government fully relies on a private for profit company to fulfill a service it inevitably devolves into corporate greed at the cost of quality of service. Especially in an area where the service is considered a burden segment of the population. Prisoner phone calls cost $5/minute and for profit labor pays next to nothing. Mental institutions provide virtually no care for exorbitant fees at the cost of a captive customer. There is no motivation to improve. It's a direct conflict of interest.

If you allow prisoners to transfer, they're still hampered by capacity and the number of competitors in the given arena. Most likely, as a government contract, all federal or state facilities would be managed by a single or small handful of private entities on a set fee schedule. There is no reward for improvement.

For profit private administration of mental facilities and prisons seem to be the worst cases. For profit R&D/military defense contractors are just as bad.

I'm not saying private administration of public functions can't be done, USPS is a prime example, but they're essentially non-profit. No for profit private company would attempt what they do at the rates they're charging.

*edit - Granted, in a truly free market with actual capitalism it might be different (or worse), but we don't have that.

User avatar
Seannery
Crazy Person
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:49 pm
Real Name: Ellis Marie (for now, and only here)

Re: Prisoners' freedoms, or: what should I name this topic?

Post by Seannery » Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:22 am

It could be much worse, but I think it could be much better. In the case where it's just the does anywhere have multiple governments? I know there're sub-governments, but I mean independent ones---I heard that long ago on the indian subcontinent, hindus, muslims had separate governments that coexisted, not very peacefully government, there's only one system, or if there are multiple systems, they're still controlled by the same entity. And governments are notoriously slow to change, so if there's something wrong with it, it'll be wrong for a long time.. That's why the idea of having competition is appealing, so that there are multiple entities that might try running things in different ways, but then the question about setting up the incentives appropriately comes in. It should be depend on the prisoner's choice, so that having another prisoner means more money. But also so that there isn't an incentive to make there be more prisoners generally. To describe it in a very crass sort of way, to make it like the prisoner is the customer.
Of course, the prisoner should be able to get good information about what the other prisons are like, that should be independent of the prison holding them, but I have read often that they restrict independent data sources. Rules like `no cell phones' are antithetical to this. It's not only about getting independent data, but also sharing independent data. There may be some problems with this that I haven't thought through entirely.
Do tell me, always, in what way I'm not good.. I'm not used to silent tolerance.
Why can't you just love her?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Common Crawl (Research) and 1 guest