Category Archives: Prison Reform

Solitary Confinement: “I Am Buried Alive in a Michigan Prison” – Lacino Hamilton

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I was deeply moved by Lacino Hamilton’s essay “I Am Buried Alive in a Michigan Prison.” Mr. Hamilton has been in solitary for several years now and I’ll leave it to my readers to read his short essay. It is a powerful description of this torture and the despair it evokes. What a powerful indictment of the prison system and its high-tech dungeons. What a historical stain on the USA. Do we need any further evidence that we are barbarians?

Of course, this torture would be unacceptable even if Mr. Hamilton were guilty but there are serious doubts about that. ( For more see: “Ring of Snitches: How Detroit Police Slapped False Murder Convictions on Young Black Men.”)

What I can say after reading his essay is that Mr. Hamilton is a much braver and better man than me, and better than most. Can you imagine our Dear President living a single day without his fine sheets and gold toilet? He’d be weeping. And I am too … at the injustice of the world. Surely we can do better than this.

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Mr. Hamilton can be reached at: Lacino Hamilton 247310, Marquette Branch Prison, 1960 US Highway 41 S, Marquette, MI, 49855, or www.jpay.com. He has been incarcerated since July 1994. (For more information about his case, see “Ring of Snitches: How Detroit Police Slapped False Murder Convictions on Young Black Men.”)

Here’s a different look at how we might treat prisoners:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-18121914

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Prison Reform and Karl Menninger’s, The Crime of Punishment

It is hard to adequately condemn the American system of incarceration. It is applied so unfair, so draconian, so unjust, and applied so ubiquitously as to be literally beyond the understanding of civilized persons. Our descendents will look back with horror at the barbarity of the American prison system and its high-tech dungeons. I would encourage all good people to work for prison reform. Here is a list of the many organizations that currently work for prison reform. 

Hopefully, as we progress morally and scientifically, we will adopt a therapeutic model for anti-social behavior, rather than our archaic retributionist model. Then we will finally understand what Karl Menninger was talking about more than 50 years ago in his profound book: The Crime of Punishment.