Prisoners learn to enjoy themselves

May 16, 2013 

A radio personality felt that the possibility of Ariel Castro, the Ohio man accused of kidnapping, either being put to death or committing suicide was the easy way out. This issue transcends not only this case but also all cases involving the death penalty.

I worked in a support capacity for various jails and prisons in California, Washington, Arizona and New Mexico. The one common trend that I observed (which was a surprise to me) was that inmates not only adapted to prison/jail life but they found a way to enjoy themselves. I observed hundreds of inmates who were convicted of crimes ranging from domestic violence to multiple murders. All had adapted to confinement and actually found a way to live a somewhat happy life.

The inmates participated in card tournaments, handball tournaments, basketball, alcohol production, and just overall joking with fellow inmates. This is besides their right to complain about their meals and other living conditions, which were surprisingly comfortable. It actually took the fear away from me being locked up.

My time in military basic training was much tougher than serving time for committing a crime. The thought being locked up is the "harshest" punishment is laughable.

ERIC CRANE

Modesto

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