Courtesy of the recent escape of two violent inmates from Clinton Correctional Facility in New York, the liberal spotlight now looks to have focused its nervous, lascivious eyes on prisons.
The upstate New York prison under scrutiny after two inmates hack-sawed their way to freedom this month has earned a hardcore reputation for a history of “staff violence, brutality and abuse,” according to one report.
About 91 percent of inmates at Clinton Correctional Facility in the tiny village of Dannemora are serving time for violent crimes. With an inmate population of nearly 3,000, conditions within the state’s largest prison — nicknamed Little Siberia for its remote location — are bleak, claims the nonprofit Correctional Association of New York.
“Oh, absolutely it’s dangerous, it’s terribly dangerous,” ex-Clinton inmate John Mulligan told NBC affiliate WSTM. “I’ve had physical confrontations with people over the years … it’s not a matter of whether you win or lose — it’s a matter if you’re gonna fight back.”
The perils of prison are apparently heightened by an environment that fosters alleged racial and verbal harassment, threats, false tickets and retaliation by officers, the Correctional Association of New York said in its report, which has gained renewed interest in the past week.
Jeremy Getman, who served three years in Clinton following a 2001 conviction on weapons charges, said the facility was a “mixed-bag” with officers wanting to help inmates and others who would “play God.”
“The thought does come to mind, how does this type of behavior go on? How do people get away with this?” the ex-inmate told NBC News. “But in these cases, it’s the officer’s word over yours.”
Racism and brutality in a prison? The horror. Who would ever think such a thing?
I don’t imagine it will be long before social crusaders begin a campaign to transform American penitentiaries into kind, mannerly temples of respect and heightened sensitivities. On the part of prison personnel and inmates.
We’ll treat murderers like unrepentant juvenile jaywalkers: with understanding and compassionate color-blindness.