It’s High Time for Prisons Within Prisons to Hold Jihadists

Sep 5, 2016

By Maajid Nawaz

The recent terrorism conviction of Anjem Choudary, the West’s most prolific media cheerleader for the so-called Islamic State , raised questions about his incarceration in prisons that have—in some cases —been labelled jihadist training camps.

Indeed, terrorist recruitment in prisons is one of the biggest challenges the West faces today, and Jihadi-Joker Anjem Choudary would thrive in such an environment. Prison radicalization is a real and sustained problem. Petty criminals predisposed to violence like “shoe-bomber” Richard Reid caught trying to blow up a transatlantic flight out of Paris in 2001 initially were radicalized in this very way, by mixing with hardened jihadist ideologues inside Britain’s jails, only to come out and attempt to attack the United States.

As of this summer there were 12,633 Muslims in prison in England and Wales. While of the 147 convicted terrorists in UK jails, 137 defined themselves as Muslim.


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52 comments on “It’s High Time for Prisons Within Prisons to Hold Jihadists

  • How to deal positively with this situation is an extremely vexed question.

    One element of the Jihadist creed is victimhood, in consequence of which any kind of retaliation to their actions will be exploited by them as examples of persecution.

    If someone is incapable of seeing reason it is very difficult to know how to reason with them, and although I’m not qualified to comment authoritatively on the matter, it seems to me that there are probably certain aspects contained within the writings of Islam which trigger irrational behaviour among the vulnerable; although the same probably applies to a greater or lesser extent to all religions.

    Anjem Choudary is clearly bright, and knew how to stay within the law, albeit by a hair’s breadth, but there seems to be something not quite right there.

    Mind you, at one time the same could have been said about the author of this article, so the situation is clearly not insuperable.

    Oh dear, that last sounds rather patronizing; nonetheless, I think it’s true.

    What is also true is that Maajid Nawaz is undoubtedly an authority regards the contents of the Qur’an, and therefore best placed to identify the “troublesome” passages within it.

    There must surely be studies going on at present establishing links between the writings, agitators and the perpetrators of the resulting atrocities.

    If so, it’s probably like trying to nail jelly to the ceiling.



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  • @OP – The recent terrorism conviction of Anjem Choudary, the West’s most prolific media cheerleader for the so-called Islamic State , raised questions about his incarceration in prisons that have—in some cases —been labelled jihadist training camps.

    Indeed, terrorist recruitment in prisons is one of the biggest challenges the West faces today,

    This is not a new problem!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4941866.stm

    The seeds of the 1981 hunger strike by republicans at the Maze prison were sown five years previously when the British government decided newly convicted prisoners would be treated as ordinary criminals.
    H-Blocks at Maze prison
    Protests had been going on for five years before the hunger strikes

    This “criminalisation” policy was objectionable to IRA inmates, who saw themselves as “prisoners of war”.

    The decision by then-Northern Ireland Secretary Merlyn Rees was a move away from attempts to reach a settlement with the IRA towards a harder approach.

    Key demands of the protest to return to “special category” status included the right to wear their own clothes, the right not to carry out prison work and the right to associate freely with other republican inmates.

    From 1 March 1976, newly sentenced IRA prisoners refused to wear jail clothing, wrapping themselves in blankets instead.

    As sanctions against defiance, to prevent propaganda campaigns, those refusing prison discipline, must be isolated from media coverage and martyrdom imagery.
    If they want to sit in defiance in the isolation of solitary confinement, – so be it!

    Humbug-rights campaigners and fellow tribalists, will then try to make heroes, martyrs, or gallant soldiers, out of imprisoned terrorists if they are allowed access to the information to do so.

    Mixing jailed terrorists as “category “A” prisoners with gangsters and corrupt politicians, is also a very bad move which will have negative repercussions if, and when, they are released.

    Irresponsible media stupidity, is quite happy to concoct stories glorifying murderers and the promoting the notion that political, (like religious) badges, give special status and exemptions from legal sanctions.



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  • Alan @ # 3.

    While I was totally opposed to the tactics of the IRA I sympathised with their objectives. Ireland was partitioned along sectarian lines and Catholics were disenfranchised in numerous ways and made into second class citizens. The IRA wanted and still wants a united Ireland.

    What are the objectives of ISIS?

    The two are not comparable.



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  • Stafford Gordon #4
    Sep 6, 2016 at 8:49 am

    I sympathised with their objectives. Ireland was partitioned along sectarian lines and Catholics were disenfranchised in numerous ways and made into second class citizens.

    That was probably because they could not be trusted to behave as NI citizens and treat others or civil laws with respect.

    The IRA wanted and still wants a united Ireland.

    The IRA wanted a Catholic theocracy as Southern Ireland was at that time. The North/South division had been decided on the basis of the choices of majorities of the populations when the Republic became independent. Anyone who wanted to live in a Catholic theocracy only had to move a few miles south.
    Admittedly living in a Catholic theocracy in government, does have implications for imposed muddled thinking, faith-based education, woeful medical services, and inflicted poverty of low incomes and large families, but folks can’t have their cake and eat it!

    ISIS wants theocracies based on Sunni-versions of Sharia Law.
    The IRA wanted a Catholic theocracy based on Cannon Law in the north as well as in the south.

    The two are not comparable.

    The comparisons of campaigns of terrorist violence, to try to impose fundamentalist religion based laws on unwilling majorities, seem to have some very close parallels.
    Do you suggest some significant differences?



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  • Hi, Laurie…uh, B,

    I was going to say: be nice to them. Make them read Dickens and other great, humanitarian authors (in Arabic if need be). Make them read Dawkins. Put them in a nice hotel-style prison, with a pool. No harsh treatment. Give them good food. Be loving and kind. No punishment. It doesn’t work. Rehabilitate them. Give them counseling. Educate them. Love and rehabilitation is the answer. Hug them.

    As for the hopelessly violent and hopelessly dangerous, keep them separate from the others, but be kind to them too.

    Does that sound trite?

    (I am a man of contradictions.)



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  • Stephen of Wimbledon #6
    Sep 6, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    The UN recently reported that solitary confinement is torture,

    The UN makes numerous crap announcements for the purposes of political propaganda, and population manipulation on behalf of its funding powers.

    how do we then justify any use of solitary confinement with our superior moral position as humanists and humanitarians?

    I don’t make assumptions of “superior moral positions”, and certainly not superior moral positions based on pseudo-expert “authoritative” pronouncements from the UN political talking shop!

    how do we then justify any use of solitary confinement

    Citizens’ rights, only exist insofar as they can be provided, policed, and enforced by the legal framework of communities / states.

    I take the view that human “rights” have to be earned, and those who wilfully abuse the “rights” earned by fellow citizens in communities, should forfeit any benefits from the rights which they refuse to recognise and respect.

    Certain types of crime such as indiscriminate bombing of crowds in public places obviously wilfully undermine the rights awarded to, and earned by citizens, so it is only reasonable that such perpetrators should derive no benefit from the privileges/rights of citizenship, which they are wilfully trying to destroy.

    The nature of terrorism is that of blackmailing communities to give terrorist groups negotiating rights and a big pay-off, simply BECAUSE they are life-threatening terrorists.
    Where punishments and deterrents are imposed, for these to be effective the jailed perpetrators must be prevented from recruiting replacement terrorists from potential sympathisers , and to do this propaganda campaigns must be squashed.
    (These are NOT the same as political activities, as others outside of jail, are free to campaign on political issues without the participation of those convicted of the serious crimes. – A political argument does not increase in merit because some nutter or gangster plants bombs.)

    If we want to prevent terrorism, first we need to kill the notion that terrorism earns a prime place at a political negotiating table!

    Prisoners are subject to prison discipline, and indeed enforcement of law in the face of defiance is a relevant issue.

    So the moral question comes down to:
    Do rights have to be earned – bearing in mind that citizens will only have ANY legal rights if those are enforced by effective policing and courts?

    Should those “Rights” be unconditionally given to those who wilfully seek to destroy the legal framework which enables rights to be offered to citizens, or should those people personally forfeit the rights they actively seek to deny others?

    Does their on-going defiance of the discipline, laws and sanctions, imposed on them for their crimes against humanity, qualify them to claim the rights of normal law abiding citizens? – or qualify them to demand and re-negotiate their jail sentences on their their own terms?

    The linked example I gave, shows IRA terrorists demanding to set the terms of their imprisonment according to their own agendas, and being allowed to conduct propaganda campaigns from inside of high security prisons!
    I would regard this as unacceptable, so suggest practical solutions for preventing such, and spelling out to terrorists that they WILL be subject to the laws of the land whether they like it or not! If they will not respect the laws outside prison and will not obey the rules inside prison, then isolation from ANY sympathisers in solitary confinement, will ensure compliance.
    It is better for murdering terrorists, to wallow in personal distress of their own making in isolation, than to inflict it on greater numbers of other people directly or indirectly. (Morality of the greater good for the greater number.)
    There is no “right” to organise or perpetrate terrorism!

    Nobody is forcing them to continue their antics of defiance in jail, so they must be prepared to accept the disciplinary sanctions, if they continue to do so.
    It is also important that the authorities have the necessary options to impose effective discipline on dangerous, fanatical and defiant individuals, and to stop propaganda campaigns which seek to present murderers as heroes or martyrs, being fed to the media!



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  • Dan

    Love and rehabilitation is the answer. Hug them.

    Fundamentalist Muslim men are not allowed to hug women like me. They won’t even shake my hand. They believe that American feminist atheist women are dirty whores. They won’t have a rational conversation with me. The minute they hear your last name they won’t accept you either Dan. The kind of punishments they have in mind for you and me make your kind idea extremely worrisome!

    Sometimes containment is the best we can do on an individual level and sometimes on a national level too.



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  • Stephen of Wimbledon #6
    Sep 6, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    You appear to be saying that the solution to prison radicalisation of Muslim inmates is solitary confinement of … well you don’t say exactly?

    It is solitary confinement of Muslim terrorists and promoters of terrorism, – not Muslim prisoners in general.

    LaurieB #7
    Sep 6, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Maybe put the guy in with a bunch of atheists in that cell block. They’ll be a good influence on him.

    The percentage of convicted atheist prisoners is very low!
    You would probably struggle to find enough of them!

    Solitary confinement with atheist warders could be a good option for avoiding fundamentalist conversions!



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  • Alan4discussion

    Yes, the American prison population is also overwhelmingly religious. I should have put a 😉 after that comment. Atheist prison guards and administration would be valuable because although they may support prisoners’ right to practice their religion, they wouldn’t be so prone to accomodationism and hopefully would see fit to keep the religious practice to a bare minimum. Just speculation.



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  • bonnie

    “Music hath charms, to soothe a savage breast”

    Every album by Pink Floyd should be piped into those cells 24/7 for therapeutic purposes. This is the most compassionate rehabilitation I can imagine. Our gift…to them. O:-)

    Hey, wait, did you mean to say “breast” or BEAST???

    What is a savage breast anyways?



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  • Ah, ok then. Be nice: solitary with Pink Floyd music. And a soft mattress.

    Whatever, but absolutely isolation from all non-terrorist-convicted inmates, especially (but not only) the ones who are already muslim. As I read it, converts are at least as susceptible to “radicalization” as those with some prior acquaintance with the koran.

    While “turning” the extremists is a laudable aim, another aim is to keep them from spreading their evil influence.



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  • Laurie—

    The kind of punishments they have in mind for you and me make your kind idea extremely worrisome.

    That was a bit reckless and silly. You’re right. Sorry.

    It was just a thought. My thought has merit, but doesn’t apply here. I do think a little more love and rehabilitation and a little less punishment of criminals is a good idea in general. That I truly believe.

    The prison system needs reform.



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  • On The Maze, NI and IRA: The IRA prisoners wanted to be set apart from “common criminals”, treated differently. The UK government wanted them all mixed in together, denying that IRA actions were any different from other crimes, not wanting to grant them any kind of “elite” status.

    The prison-within-a-prison idea seems to agree with the view of the IRA at that time. Keep the ISIS promoters segregated from the “common criminals”. Accord them some kind of special status (“unlawful combatants”, anyone?), maybe let them wear what they like, but keep them silenced as far as spreading their message goes, both inside prison and outside.

    This time the UK policy of “a criminal is a criminal is a criminal” looks counter-productive.

    Regarding “Being Nice”: Does anyone think that “being nice” to the IRA prisoners in the Maze would have had the Desired Effect (of making the IRA stop being an annoyance to the UK government, without actually working towards a political settlement). It might, however, have helped oil the wheels of negotiation, and brought the conflict to a close years earlier than the Good Friday accord. Thanks, Maggie.

    There is no political settlement possible with daesh and it’s saudi-born death-cult ideology.



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  • It just occurred to me, they (the radical/islamist convicts) should get to choose their own punishment.

    See what their law-books say about doing Bad Things like killing and encouraging the killing of innocent people. Skip the whole infidel bit, all men (and women) are equal. Now, what’s the punishment if one living under their laws commits a murder, or incites a murder, of one of their own “good” people? That’s the sentence they’d deserve, according to their own worldview.

    They’d call it martyrdom, though.

    While we’re at it, any Common Criminal committing a violent act, if he yells “alleyhackbar” (as attested by three male witnesses) needs to have his sentence (if taken alive) tripled. That’s to discourage the hackbar-daesh franchise getting more credit than it’s due.



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  • Then there’s the Soviet policy regarding their political opponents: They’re not Common Criminals, they’re mentally ill, poor things. And need Treatment, not incarceration. Of course, treatment in a Secure Facility…..

    Promoting daesh ideology is a form of insanity, and it’s contagious. Treat it like rabies, since — if left untreated — it will be fatal and will be spread to others.

    Freedom of speech has its limits after all.



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  • We have an unscrupulous, autocratic neo-fascist running for president in a close election. I am more worried about this election than Islamism and terrorism right now.
    My comment (8) was foolish. My apologies once again.



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  • OHooligan #20
    Sep 6, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    On The Maze, NI and IRA: The IRA prisoners wanted to be set apart from “common criminals”, treated differently.

    Many of them were “common criminals”, some specialised in robbing banks to fund IRA arms purchases. Others were common criminals wearing”IRA badges” as a PR exercise.

    The UK government wanted them all mixed in together,

    UK prisons have categories of prisoner according to security requirements. Mixing together sometimes happens as a cost cutting exercise, but open prison inmates do not usually mix with high security prisoners.

    denying that IRA actions were any different from other crimes, not wanting to grant them any kind of “elite” status.

    Category “A status” was already in place, for them and for armed robbers, murders, and other gangsters.
    What the UK government refused was recognition of any military or political status. – Hardly surprising – spies and undercover saboteurs out of uniform, historically are not usually treated “soldiers” or “prisoners of war”!
    The IRA were trying to have their cake and eat it – on the one hand using the general population for cover during attacks, and pretending to be “soldiers” when identified and captured.

    The whole prison protest exercise was spurious media propaganda, which was geared to getting sympathy and from biased faith-thinkers at home and abroad.

    The prison-within-a-prison idea seems to agree with the view of the IRA at that time.

    Not really! High security facilities do not equate with political facilities.

    Keep the ISIS promoters segregated from the “common criminals”. Accord them some kind of special status (“unlawful combatants”, anyone?),

    I think the term “terrorists” or “psychotic murderers” suffices.

    maybe let them wear what they like,

    Why should those who defy the law and standards of human decency, be given privileges for such activities?
    The lesson surely is that laws will be imposed on those who recklessly refuse to respect the laws or the citizens, and citizens will be protected from their activities.

    but keep them silenced as far as spreading their message goes, both inside prison and outside.

    That requires new laws on terrorist detention and dumping of “unconditionally given humbug-rights”- for all regardless of the dangers to everyone else from such flawed policies!

    This time the UK policy of “a criminal is a criminal is a criminal” looks counter-productive.

    Not really! A criminal engaged in criminal activity, who flaunts a religious or political badge, is still a criminal. The counter-productive feature, is permitting their supporters to create false images for these criminals.

    “We are nicey people with kind, ideological policies, which don’t work in the real world”, may con a few gullibles, and give some people’s egos a feel-good sensation, but it does a great disservice to the whole of the community when dangerous murder campaigns, are not effectively shut down with perpetrators discouraged and contained.

    Laws and regulations, should be for the guidance of sages, and the instruction of idiots!



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  • Hi Alan [#9],

    SoW: “The UN recently reported that solitary confinement is torture”

    A4d: The UN makes numerous crap announcements for the purposes of political propaganda, and population manipulation on behalf of its funding powers.

    The report was the result of an expert lawyer’s, and former solitary confinement detainee’s review of the evidence.

    In what way is this report “crap”?

    I don’t doubt that the United Nations (UN) is subject to political pressure, what does that tell us that we do not already know?

    If it were true that there is an alternative expert view on solitary confinement then I would expect the UN’s expert to acknowledge that. I have found no-one gain-saying the UN expert?

    Or perhaps we should all subscribe to the Michael Gove School of ‘philosophy’ regarding experts?

    SoW: “how do we then justify any use of solitary confinement with our superior moral position as humanists and humanitarians?”

    A4d: I don’t make assumptions of “superior moral positions” …

    I appear to have skimped too much: I was discussing the clear advantages of a morality based on evidence and a philosophy of humanism and utilitarianism … versus the absolutist dogma of Islamism.

    In addition: Ideologically, we take a superior moral position if we treat all criminals equally. The evidence is that prisoners either commit crimes, or develop in prison, or both, mental illness and/or personality disorders many of them acquiring, over periods of incarceration, more than one variety. The fact that so few prisoners receive essential mental health treatment is, as I understand it, a factor in re-offending – a self-re-enforcing failure by many countries.

    A4d: ” … and certainly not superior moral positions based on pseudo-expert … ”

    I have linked to Juan Mendez’ bio, above, in which his expertise is described, and I would welcome your perspective on that rather than what appears to be a shot from the hip … ?

    A4d: ” … and certainly not superior moral positions based on … authoritative pronouncements from the UN political talking shop!”

    I don’t really understand your point here Alan. The report is authoritative – no one that I can find is questioning that. The evidence listed in the Report, as linked above, is clearly laid out. How would a moral position based on that report be any less than morally superior to any other view on solitary confinement, including those states which actively practice solitary confinement / torture?

    The UN is a talking shop, no contest: Your point would be?

    SoW: “how do we then justify any use of solitary confinement”

    A4d: “Citizens’ rights, only exist insofar as they can be provided, policed, and enforced by the legal framework of communities / states”

    I refer you to paragraph two of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR):

    … and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people

    (emphasis added)

    The UDHR implicitly recognises that the people’s of the World may come into conflict with their governments in order to defend their rights – which exist beyond the remit of governments.

    To be clear; our rights can be supported or denied by the action, or inaction, of our governments, just as you stated – but our rights are inalienable, they’re ours.

    A4d: “I take the view that human ‘rights’ have to be earned … ”

    Then your philosophical and legal view is diametrically opposed to the UDHR, and before that the US Constitution – a model for so many subsequent constitutions – and before that the Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen a fundamental document in the history of human rights and an early example of the doctrine of natural rights in which the rights of the common people are held to be valid at all times and in every place, pertaining to human nature itself and, of course, the Magna Carta which established the principle that everyone is both subject to, and therefore in some vital respects, equal under law; kings, billionaires, priests, imams and presidents included, and which established that rights – such as the right to a fair trial – pertain to the individual alone.

    I do appreciate, Alan, that you are welcome to set your opinion against this vast flow of human development in history, philosophy and legal process. Doing so does not make you automatically wrong. I do, however, believe that setting yourself in such an isolated, outlier, of a position makes sketicism of your position both automatic and fully warranted.

    Why do you think a 10 year-old needs to earn their human rights, and how would a 10 year-old deprived of parents by conflict or extreme political measures go about earning those rights?

    A4d: ” … and those who wilfully abuse the ‘rights’ earned by fellow citizens in communities, should forfeit any benefits from the rights which they refuse to recognise and respect”

    Incarceration, by definition, is a suspension of the Prisoner’s human rights. The only question that remains is what level is appropriate. I, like the UN, draw the line at torture during incarceration. Surely we don’t need to explore this any further to see that this is a low bar?

    A4d: “Certain types of crime such as indiscriminate bombing of crowds in public places obviously wilfully undermine the rights awarded to, and earned by citizens, so it is only reasonable that such perpetrators should derive no benefit from the privileges/rights of citizenship, which they are wilfully trying to destroy”

    I have advocated only for the inalienable right to freedom from torture by the State which, by it’s very existence, impinges on the rights of all citizens who have the right to live without fear.

    A4d: “The nature of terrorism is that of blackmailing communities to give terrorist groups negotiating rights and a big pay-off, simply BECAUSE they are life-threatening terrorists”

    Agreed. What has this to do with solitary confinement?

    
> A4d: “Where punishments and deterrents are imposed … ”

    Ah, so your philosophy is that incarceration is primarily about punishment and deterrence second … with no other nuance, no other service to wider society, no moral stance other than revenge and the illusion of improved safety for those outside the prison?

    A4d: ” … jailed perpetrators must be prevented from recruiting replacement terrorists from potential sympathisers, and to do this propaganda campaigns must be squashed”

    I concur. I don’t really understand how prisons within prisons helps us to achieve this either. To me it looks like a policy to support self-re-enforcing groups of ideologues. The original Daily Beast column was high in rhetoric and finger-pointing, low-to-zero on facts, studies, plans, targets, etc..

    A4d: “If we want to prevent terrorism, first we need to kill the notion that terrorism earns a prime place at a political negotiating table!”

    Agreed, again: My comment was pretty succinct Alan – your points are interesting but do not address my question.

    
> A4d: “Do rights have to be earned … ”

    No, as above.

    A4d: ” … bearing in mind that citizens will only have ANY legal rights if those are enforced by effective policing and courts?

    I’m not arguing from the perspective of legal rights, I’m arguing from the perspective of morality, of inalienable human rights and the advisability – nay, the imperative – of seeking a winning moral and philosophical strategy of winning hearts and minds in the longer term.

    A4d: “Should those ‘Rights’ be unconditionally given to those who wilfully seek to destroy the legal framework which enables rights to be offered to citizens, or should those people personally forfeit the rights they actively seek to deny others?”

    Answering only for human rights: No. I have already set out, above, that I understand that incarceration is about the suspension, to a degree, of the Perp’s human rights. The next question is about what makes the best sense in the struggle against terrorists?

    We could take your philosophical course – and conclude that justice must first be served by revenge. An eye for an eye, until the whole World is blind.

    Or we could take the view that prisoners are mostly sick in the head, that tit-for-tat rarely achieves anything (and is petty, cruel and vindictive to boot) and that reducing terrorism by reducing the number of terrorists is a more worthy goal. One way to do this, and it is largely credited with ending the Cold War, is to stick to our ‘guns’, so to speak, and continue to take the moral high ground in order to undercut the philosophical and moral foundations of the opposition.

    Imprison? Yes. Confine in solitary isolation? No.

    A4d: “Does their on-going defiance of the discipline, laws and sanctions, imposed on them for their crimes against humanity, qualify them to claim the rights of normal law abiding citizens?”

    No, as above.

    A4d: “The linked example I gave, shows IRA terrorists demanding to set the terms of their imprisonment according to their own agendas, and being allowed to conduct propaganda campaigns from inside of high security prisons!”

    I agree that this is also a step too far. Indeed, our experiences with IRA prisoners would seem to counter the idea that prisons-within-prisons for other terrorist groups would be effective! Ah, but to act on that would require the British Government learns from bitter experience … hey-ho.

    
Peace.



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  • Zarqawi thrived in a Jordanian prison. The connections he made there are supposedly the reason Laden gave him his own camp, despite thinking he was an arrogant idiot. So don’t underestimate the value of good time management kids.

    –//–

    I can’t imagine a guard being afraid of offending cultural sensitivities. That’s just taking being civilized too far guys. I’ll need to see some evidence.



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  • Stephen of Wimbledon #27
    Sep 7, 2016 at 8:11 am

    SoW: “The UN recently reported that solitary confinement is torture”

    A4d: The UN makes numerous crap announcements for the purposes of political propaganda, and population manipulation on behalf of its funding powers.

    The report was the result of an expert lawyer’s, and former solitary confinement detainee’s review of the evidence.

    In politics and big business “expert lawyers” who “reinterpret texts” to face in any desired direction, can be readily bought by clients.

    Former solitary confinement detainees, are hardly unbiased sources who will act in the public’s best interests!

    In what way is this report “crap”?

    The usual crap is to disregard the “rights to a normal life” of citizens under threat, and focus on the best interests and so called alleged “rights” of the criminal.
    There are criminals who are very unlikely to reform, or recognise the rights of others, whatever their jail conditions – especially those with religious or ideological delusional righteousness!

    Loss of rights and freedoms as a deterrent, and for public protection, is what jail is about.
    Many of the claims about “reducing re-offending”, are just perverse information about criminals who have learned how to be harder to catch and convict – put about by soft-touch wish-thinkers and criminal sympathisers.

    I don’t doubt that the United Nations (UN) is subject to political pressure, what does that tell us that we do not already know?

    That knowledge should ring alarm bells about political appointments of those writing reports and their claims!

    If it were true that there is an alternative expert view on solitary confinement then I would expect the UN’s expert to acknowledge that. I have found no-one gain-saying the UN expert?

    There is little doubt that solitary confinement is restrictive and unpleasant for the criminal. The point is about feeding-back the unpleasantness at the person causing it, rather than spreading it around the community!
    It is well known that crime levels drop in particular areas when certain individuals are locked away, and are again raised when they are released! This does not seem to connect to the brains of do-gooder politicians who are besotted with looking after the criminals!
    My sympathies are with the general population who should not have to put up with these criminals an terrorists.
    If that is hard on the terrorists – tough!

    We could take your philosophical course – and conclude that justice must first be served by revenge. An eye for an eye, until the whole World is blind.

    I did not speak of revenge. That is a red-herring!
    I spoke of deterrence and containment as prevention.

    Or we could take the view that prisoners are mostly sick in the head, that tit-for-tat rarely achieves anything (and is petty, cruel and vindictive to boot)

    That is simply a false dichotomy and false equivalence, based on the previous strawman “revenge” claim.

    and that reducing terrorism by reducing the number of terrorists is a more worthy goal.

    There is no evidence that pussy-footing about in jail, “reduces the number of terrorists”!
    Shutting down their propaganda machines, lying apologists, and criminal suppliers of weapons, does reduce terrorist numbers and terrorist threats!

    Or we could take the view that prisoners are mostly sick in the head,

    Imprison? Yes. Confine in solitary isolation? No.

    You could assert the same flawed argument for highly infectious and contagious physical diseases!

    Hospitalise? Yes. Confine in solitary isolation? No.

    The properly diagnosed murderously sick in the head should be confined in secure mental institutions!



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  • It is of course, because of the deeply flawed, dysfunctional legal system, which gives terrorists and their lawyers, a hi-viz platform in court, with the opportunity to feed their propaganda to the public via the media, that America set up extraordinary rendition and Guantanamo, OUTSIDE of their normal legal jurisdiction, thus circumventing the “rights” afforded to the accused and allowing for various actual perverse and arbitrary abuses of prisoners.

    It is also a monument to the stupidity of politicians, their advisors, and the public supporting them, that effective measures and functional systems for handling terrorism, have still not been put in place.

    The Bush “solution” of launching a “war on terror” attacking Iraq and creating massive refugee problems, was of course pure lunacy, but probably in keeping with the ideology of the of the gun lobby, and empire building US generals, seeking big budgets and career advancements!

    Having learned nothing, similar mistakes were repeated by NATO members in Libya and Syria!



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  • Hi Alan [#29],

    A4d “In politics and big business ‘expert lawyers’ who ‘reinterpret texts’ to face in any desired direction, can be readily bought by clients”

    It is interesting, is it not, that you too found no counter argument? There are reportedly plenty of countries out there that employ solitary confinement; ready access to a lawyer would be a simple enough trick, right? Yet no counter-report.

    A4d “The usual crap is to disregard the ‘rights to a normal life’ of citizens under threat, and focus on the best interests and so called alleged ‘rights’ of the criminal”

    Well it’s good to see you now on board with the natural human rights.

    A4d “There are criminals who are very unlikely to reform, or recognise the rights of others, whatever their jail conditions – especially those with religious or ideological delusional righteousness!”

    So … someone who holds a different religious ideology to you is automatically to be tortured?

    To be clear: I get that we’re discussing dangerously deluded people and I repeat that I’m on board with your next comment: “Loss of rights and freedoms as a deterrent … “, what I’m not understanding is why incarceration is not enough. Why solitary confinement too?

    My argument is that solitary confinement is counter-productive because:

    Torture is wrong
    Because torture is wrong it makes martyrs out of solitary confinement detainees, thus exporting the terrorists’ ideology beyond the cell walls to like-minded detainees and then beyond the prison walls to new recruits
    Torture will not change the tortured mind
    Torture sends the message that we’re only prepared to shout about our ideology, just as the terrorists shout about theirs – tit-for-tat – which gets us … nowhere

    Treating detained terrorists as human beings is morally, ethically and politically superior in every way. And it’s the political angle that concerns me most.

    Do we remember the Maze, Special Category Status (SCS) and Bobby Sands? Prisons-within-prisons smacks to me of SCS. But adding torture would simply equate to Super-SCS. Want more terrorists?, then introduce solitary confinement. Those unwilling or unable to learn from the past are destined to repeat it.

    I repeat: I’m with you on imprisonment. Detention is merely sensible. Solitary confinement is perverse.

    A4d “Many of the claims about ‘reducing re-offending’, are just perverse information about criminals who have learned how to be harder to catch and convict – put about by soft-touch wish-thinkers and criminal sympathisers”

    Come on Alan, you know the drill: evidence please.

    SoW: I don’t doubt that the United Nations (UN) is subject to political pressure, what does that tell us that we do not already know?

    A4d “That knowledge should ring alarm bells about political appointments of those writing reports and their claims!”

    And when the resulting report is:

    a. evidenced

    b. supported by psychiatric studies and case histories, and

    c. unopposed?

    Come on Alan, you’re on this site often enough to know we expect far more than rhetoric! If anybody else made that comment you’d be the first to ask for the evidenced counter-claims.

    A4d “There is little doubt that solitary confinement is restrictive and unpleasant for the criminal”

    Please stop belittling the severe stress – the pain and suffering – of those subjected to the mental agony of solitary confinement. Please.

    A4d “The point is about feeding-back the unpleasantness at the person causing it, rather than spreading it around the community!”

    This is as good a description of revenge as I could ever hope to see.

    
 A4d “It is well known that crime levels drop in particular areas when certain individuals are locked away, and are again raised when they are released!”

    And this is connected with torturing prisoners how, exactly?

    While I admit this is hardly scientific, I think we can assume that some of the criminals we’re discussing at this point must be living in regimes where solitary confinement is employed. So that’s working like a dream then …

    A4d “This does not seem to connect to the brains of do-gooder politicians who are besotted with looking after the criminals!”

    I’m discussing O’Hooligan’s suggestion that solitary confinement is a useful adjunct or alternative to the already failed policy idea of prisons-within-prisons. At this point I have no idea what your discussing?

    
 A4d “My sympathies are with the general population who should not have to put up with these criminals an terrorists”

    So are mine. The difference is your motivated by a desire, as you have clearly stated, for revenge and I’m more interested in undermining the terrorists’ ultimate goals.

    
 A4d “If that is hard on the terrorists – tough!”

    Yes it certainly will be tough on the general population if we follow your recipe for promoting terrorists, encouraging martyrdom and fuelling the increased recruitment of more terrorists outside the gaol!

    SoW: We could take your philosophical course – and conclude that justice must first be served by revenge. An eye for an eye, until the whole World is blind

    A4d “I did not speak of revenge”

    Well you have now, so that’s cleared that up.

    
 A4d “I spoke of deterrence and containment as prevention”

    You certainly did, and we found common ground here – and I’ve repeated that above to be absolutely clear.

    SoW: Or we could take the view that prisoners are mostly sick in the head, that tit-for-tat rarely achieves anything (and is petty, cruel and vindictive to boot) …

    I should have added: Here is the route to turning hearts and minds away from peace and politics, and towards terrorism.

    A4d “That is simply a false dichotomy and false equivalence, based on the previous strawman “revenge” claim … ”

    The claim turns out to be true.

    The above statement was a replay of my earlier arguments. I have simply summarized the evidence I provided on mental health issues in criminal circles, that the well known political tactic of zero-sum games is essentially destructive and that an eye for an eye is some of the very best religious hooey (causing the ghost writers of the New Testament to back-track), yet it perfectly describes the activity of confining politically motivated crooks to the extent that their conditions equate to torture.

    A4d ” … and that reducing terrorism by reducing the number of terrorists is a more worthy goal.”

    I appreciate that you’re trying to help Alan. I’m just trying to point out that your policy ideas have limits, and in some ways could be counter-productive and in a very damaging way.

    A4d “There is no evidence that pussy-footing about in jail, “reduces the number of terrorists”!”

    Not torturing people is pussy-footing about?

    A4d “Shutting down their propaganda machines, lying apologists, and criminal suppliers of weapons, does reduce terrorist numbers and terrorist threats!”

    I cannot address this comment because I see no link to prisons-within-prisons or solitary confinement.

    SoW: Imprison? Yes. Confine in solitary isolation? No

    A4d “You could assert the same flawed argument for highly infectious and contagious physical diseases!”

    Flawed in what way? I’m still waiting for your counter-report.

    I assume you mean that pathogens are analogous to bad memes? Like all analogies it only works so far. Where isolating a patient will help to limit the spread of the pathogen by limiting contact with other people limiting contact between people is a recipe for creating new memes by those who most feel the loss of contact.

    Solitary confinement is an excellent way to breed new memes like myths. It’s also a great way to generate a faster route for the spread of other memes by adding new hooks for vulnerable minds and the pressure of added news to push other, related, memes through the ‘bloodstream’ of the political dialog. Again, Bobby Sands springs to mind.

    Solitary isolation is more like an experimental Petri dish with a new, slightly altered, pathogen – with no clue as to what happens after you make changes. The more you have, the more likely it is that you’ll breed a meme that you can no longer control.

    A4d “The properly diagnosed murderously sick in the head should be confined in secure mental institutions!”

    Oh yes, we can agree on that point too – terrorists should definitely receive mental health support.

    Peace.



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  • Stephen of Wimbledon #32
    Sep 8, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    My argument is that solitary confinement is counter-productive because:

    Torture is wrong

    This assertion hinges on the unsupported assertion that solitary confinement is torture!

    Because torture is wrong it makes martyrs out of solitary confinement detainees,

    The detained psychotic murderers such a Brady are not seen as martyrs!

    As I pointed out earlier, martyrs are created by propaganda campaigns, not physical actions.

    thus exporting the terrorists’ ideology beyond the cell walls to like-minded detainees and then beyond the prison walls to new recruits

    If prison security is up to the job NOTHING is “exported from cells!

    Torture will not change the tortured mind

    A strawman again! –
    1. Asserting solitary confinement is torture. and
    2. Assuming the terrorist mind is open to change, and is going to be let out while unchanged or allowed access to the media while unchanged!
    As far as I am concerned, for people bombing crowds in the street a life sentence means life – and denial of opportunities to play the martyr or participate in propaganda campaigns. ISIS claims to be at war so some of the rules of war can apply to them!

    As I said before, my sympathies are with those killed, injured or disabled by terrorist attacks, and for their friends, relatives and required carers.
    Their suffering is long term or permanent, so I really don’t see how the perpetrators can expect better for themselves!

    Solitary confinement is an excellent way to breed new memes

    Who cares what new memes are generated in solitary confinement, providing they are kept there inside the prisoner!

    A4d “Shutting down their propaganda machines, lying apologists, and criminal suppliers of weapons, does reduce terrorist numbers and terrorist threats!”

    I cannot address this comment because I see no link to prisons-within-prisons or solitary confinement.

    That is because there is no direct link.
    As I said earlier the propaganda campaign by those outside the prisons is a separate issue which needs to be tackled as a separate issue.
    Propagandists will concoct stories seeking sympathy and to promote their cause, regardless of what is actually happening!

    A4d “If that is hard on the terrorists – tough!”

    Yes it certainly will be tough on the general population if we follow your recipe for promoting terrorists, encouraging martyrdom and fuelling the increased recruitment of more terrorists outside the gaol!

    WTF?

    Next you will be claiming that shooting savage dogs promotes dog attacks!!

    And just to have ” cleared that up” once again, containment and prevention, is NOT “revenge”!

    A4d “There is little doubt that solitary confinement is restrictive and unpleasant for the criminal”

    Please stop belittling the severe stress – the pain and suffering – of those subjected to the mental agony of solitary confinement. Please.

    Isolation from any sympathisers or message carriers, with only prison staff for contacts is precisely what is needed to prevent individuals committing repeated terrorism and having active involvement in propaganda campaigns AFTER committing atrocities! – Assuming that we generously pay the very high monetary price to keep them securely for the rest of the natural lives.
    Some countries without lavish resources to waste on recidivist criminals, just shoot them to prevent those fanatical individuals from re-offending!

    Please stop prioritising the welfare of criminal terrorists and inventing strawmen! In the context of ISIS terrorist atrocities, a solitary cell is a privilege in comparison!
    Rights have to earned, and radical measures have to be taken in the interests of protecting decent citizens.
    One bomb in a marketplace is one too many!
    I have no sympathy whatsoever for those who commit such atrocities!

    The El Chapo farces, demonstrate what happens when terrorists and gangsters, are allowed to communicate with other prisoners and their outside associates.



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  • Hi Alan [#33],

    SoW: My argument is that solitary confinement is counter-productive because:
    – Torture is wrong

    A4d “This assertion hinges on the unsupported assertion … ”

    I have apportioned my belief to the evidence.

    I have linked to the expert’s report in which the evidence is gathered, collated and presented.

    I have further expanded on the subject to show supporting evidence for the beliefs that I have.

    So far I have received nothing in return other than unsupported assumptions and empty rhetoric.

    A4d “This assertion hinges on … that solitary confinement is torture!”

    Correct.

    Until we get past the problem that I’m arguing from the facts while your arguing from vacant invective we’ll only succeed in talking past each other.

    This conversation is over.

    Peace.



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  • The clearness in Alan’s mind of good and evil scares the shit out of me sometimes, I must be honest. I’m all for definitive action, however and want to achieve risk reduction without selling out core principles. All people within our care are to be treated humanely as a clear statement of what we expect of others.

    A little diversion. All hate crime legislation should be abolished and replaced by the test for incitement to violence and very strictly policed. I don’t think people here have grasped how much this impacts on all the misanthropic religious and religious texts. This easier test stifles no one, but catches many more hateful folk and more definitively.

    Solitary confinement as most often implemented is torture in my never humble opinion. If it were used in some form, thoroughgoing isolation from people in general is not to be contemplated. Regular and decent human interactions are a must, just not with like minds. I expect zero change of ideas from most but decency is infectious to the non-psychopath. We are right to expect 100% recidivism. What is more usefully guarded against is a worsening of misanthropic behaviour.



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  • phil rimmer #35
    Sep 9, 2016 at 5:54 am

    The clearness in Alan’s mind of good and evil scares the shit out of me sometimes,

    What needs to be recognised, is that what is wishfully referred to as “rights” are privileges which have to be earned by someone’s efforts at operating a system of law and policing, with a willingness of the population to co-operate in it’s functioning.

    I must be honest. I’m all for definitive action, however and want to achieve risk reduction without selling out core principles.

    The problem with terrorists’ “rights”, is that they want the privileges and benefits of law, and in fact manipulate laws and loopholes, while doing all they can to disrupt, undermine, and destroy the laws and policing services, which protect everyone else.
    It would seem reasonable to withdraw the legal protections from those who deliberately and wilfully pervert and refuse to co-operate, in maintaining those standards of the civilised societies which operate them, and who resort to extreme and indiscriminate violence to oppose those standards.

    I would suggest the disciplinary core principle of withdrawing privileges from those who wilfully abuse them. ( As for example banning from driving those who will not observe and co-operate with the rules of the road!)

    All people within our care are to be treated humanely as a clear statement of what we expect of others.

    I would see solitary isolation of perpetrators, as causing the least damage to the least number, and applied to the most appropriate individuals. Clearly they cannot be allowed to run amuck among the public, or recruit others to do likewise.

    Having said that, we must also not conflate the effectiveness of methods of containment in civilised societies, with the abuses of those methods by corrupt or tyrannical regimes.
    The level of trust in the authorities is an issue.

    @#36 – regular and decent interactions with staff is what I intend…

    That is indeed what I mean by solitary confinement.
    Interactions and communications from a solitary cell, ONLY with people who are opposed to terrorism and terrorist propaganda.
    Too many so-called “prison reformers” and visitors are happy to carry counter-productive propagandist tales to the media. – (not mention smuggling in mobile phones and weapons!)
    Where defiance or self harm is involved, restrictions on reporting, security of information, and medical treatment on-site, can make such activities pointless for propaganda purposes, while prison discipine is simply enforced to underline that rules and laws WILL be obeyed by those inclined to defiance!

    Another moral issue, is the cost – which becomes prohibitive if large numbers are involved!
    Looking at a global perspective, is it reasonable to spend huge amounts of money to keep the lowest forms of dangerous human life comfortable in secure accommodation, when millions around the world are starving and would give their right arms for a few days and nights with such food, comforts, and safe and secure conditions? – With their insecurity often the direct result of the actions of the sorts of terrorists and terrorist recruiters, who are being imprisoned, housed, and fed?

    ISIS claim it is war, – and in war undercover saboteurs and spies out of uniform, are frequently shot!



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  • I see my writing “solitary” I provoked a lengthy discussion. Or it would have happened anyway.

    I’m not keen on vengeance, but I am keen on neutralising a threat. Rehabilitation of a prisoner comes way behind protecting the rest of us from that prisoner, who has at least once shown what he (usually he) is capable of. The rights of the perp (duly tried and fairly convicted) should not exceed the rights of the victims. Spending on the perp should not exceed spending on the victims.

    Maybe not solitary confinement, but to contain the mind-poison, perhaps only allow contact with people who don’t speak that prisoner’s language(s). How’s that for creativity? Lots of jobs for immigrant prison guards.

    Or perhaps the simpler approach of the new president of the Philippines?

    I still think “eye for an eye” is much maligned. It was a form of measured response, let the punishment fit the crime, and a lot better than an endless cascade of revenge-escalation. Not “until the whole world is blind”. Punishment for insulting (your favourite faith) would be to be insulted, in public — perhaps while in the dock.



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  • Yeees. Like I say.

    ISIS claim it is war

    Its number thirty seven on my list of existential threats. Number five say in existential threat to others.

    I won’t play my proffered part in their terrorist game.

    I don’t particularly recognise anything I’ve said that invoked rights or privileges about prison. Humans need interaction. We need humans to ideally remain maximally human on their release. Self interest is good enough a reason for me, here.



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  • Just to be clear. I think separation from the vulnerable in prison is essential.

    I would never acknowledge a war status. The Geneva Conventions are moral things as soldiers often fight for another’s ideal and I wouldn’t particularly like such combatant status visited upon these individuals each of whom is their own highly motivated general.

    I think more should be locked up using the test of incitement to violence. My view is that they be treated as slightly but not clinically mad from earlier abuse (unless psychopaths). Violent crimes should be treated like any violent crimes otherwise.



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  • I’ve interacted with people in solitary confinement. They tended to say things like, give me that or I’ll break your fucking legs. 🙂 If they talked at all it was to get something, every time. I’m pretty sure interacting with many of them in any way beyond what a guard does would exhaust even the toughest and most compassionate of people.

    Hey Phil, what about AI here? -I mean wow- Give each solitary confinement block an interactive bot -psych bot v2 “The safest way to show we care”



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  • 38 (usually he)

    You bring up a good point. It’s not only “usually he” it is almost certainly “he”, particularly when we’re referring to heinous, violent crimes. This brings to mind chemical castration. To date it is used almost exclusively on rapists and pedophiles for what would seem to be obvious reasons. But why not other violent offenders? If indeed the chemical/hormonal makeup of males contributes (as it certainly does) to an increase in violent crimes – this is obviously where the term ‘roid rage comes from – why wouldn’t its inverse lead to a decrease in the same crimes? Certainly I think this ‘treatment’ could act as a deterrent more than mere incarceration would. This could be part of the post release probationary transition (pun somewhat intended). Anyway, since we’re bouncing around ideas, this seems more humane to me (and potentially more effective) than some other alternatives…



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  • Steven007 #42
    Sep 9, 2016 at 10:39 am

    38 (usually he)

    You bring up a good point. It’s not only “usually he” it is almost certainly “he”, particularly when we’re referring to heinous, violent crimes.

    It seems that radicalised jihadists can provide exceptions to that rule!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-37312538
    A French policeman has been stabbed during an operation to arrest three women over a suspect car containing gas canisters, which was found near Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Sunday.

    Police shot and wounded one of the women during the operation in Boussy-Saint-Antoine, south-east of the city.

    One of the three women, aged 19, reportedly swore allegiance to so-called Islamic State.



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  • alan #44

    Indeed. Though I think radicalized jihadists are the exception to the rule as we’ve seen with crimes like this as well as suicide bombings. That said, I’m pretty sure that chemical castration might still soften the majority of the male jihadists. At least for 3 weeks out of the month 😉



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  • Sean_W

    What about AI?

    I (and much more significantly, the Japanese) have certainly proposed it as a means of consoling the old, where the need is not just 150 in the UK but tens or hundreds of thousands entering dementia. For the very old the mental prosthetic of reminding them of their biographies and that of their nearest and dearest may do much to reduce the anxiety and sense of loss. A kindly Siri can introduce enough of the outside world or find possible music or events from the past to regrow the fading memories. The demented can become seemingly infinitely demanding and a Senior Siri could be infinitely patient.

    Whilst I can imagine all sorts of more subtle wheezes to soften the damage of the religiously brain fritzed and hoover up useful scraps of insight, these folk are not demented and would be hyper vigilant of manipulations if they are used, and would be seen as state agents. But meh. they get their chats. Personally I would be fascinated to be a prison visitor (compulsory for them) to talk. This is a research project in the making, Siried or not. Lets get some value out of them.

    Psychopaths are often the ones that end up in solitary. We may imagine the 0.1% psychopath concentrations in society may jump up an order of magnitude in prison and then again in solitary. There is very little to be gained for them from any of this



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  • Steven007 #43
    Sep 9, 2016 at 10:39 am

    38 (usually he)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-37332459

    Three women have been killed after trying to stage an attack at the main police station in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa, officials say.

    The women, wearing hijabs, entered the station saying they wanted to report a crime, police say.

    One of the women pulled a knife and another threw a petrol bomb, starting a fire. Two officers were injured.

    It is not clear who is behind the attack, but Islamist group al-Shabab has staged numerous attacks in Kenya.



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  • 47

    “Hello David. Bill in cell 9 has just beat me in 3 games of checkers and would like to bet you tonight’s dessert that you can’t do the same. Do you accept the challenge?”

    “Good, I will try my best.”

    “Would you like to hear the news while we play?”

    “Hey David, do you know what E.T. is short for?” … “No, it’s because he’s only got little legs.”

    –//–

    Yeah, they give psychopaths a bad name eh? I suspect very intelligent psychopaths are admired by many and capable of being high achievers who do a lot of good i.e. not counted among psychopaths.



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  • Hello David. Bill in cell 9 has just beat me in 3 games of checkers

    The soft honeyed tones just drip from this. Good strategies though. Buffered interactions….

    I suspect very intelligent psychopaths are admired by many and capable of being high achievers who do a lot of good i.e. not counted among psychopaths.

    Psychopaths are fascinating and vital to our history and future. These super alphas have certainly had a role in forming the bigger states that have afforded greater levels of peace (less border per person), and bigger and more powerful enterprises. What we do need now, given we have discovered how to readily anihilate on industrial scales and trash global markets, is to rein in their capacity for harm rather more.

    Reinforced democratic processes, a decent fourth estate and sufficient punitive sanctions are called for.

    I have met three (formally assessed) psychopaths in my time. All three were charming and kind to me, but one had a history of extreme violence to others. I learned a lot about psychology from the latter.



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  • @StephenofWimbledon#6
    Checked out your link an article on the UN report, and your link on Juan Mendez.
    Is there perhaps a link on the UN website to the complete report? The would be helpful.

    There is a lot of respect due to Juan Mendez because he was a victim of the putrid Argentinean military dictatorship of the late 70s to early 80s, and his later activities. But this article on the UN website, which refers to his report but is not the report itself, is awfully thin on specifics. It has a selection of quotes from the report, but how representative of the entire report the selected quotes are remains unclear. There is little to argue with about the selected statements.

    But what remains unclear to me is what the “… report from around the world …” actually covered. In what detail were investigations possible in how many countries (and perhaps more important, in which countries were investigations not possible)? Most examples seem to stem from th US, with one mention of Argentina, one from Kazakhstan, and – ONLY??? – one from China.

    Right.

    China, the perennial leader in capital punishment (though Iran was a close second in 2015 estimates at 977+ to China’s 1000+, then Pakistan 326, Saudi Arabia 158+, US 28, Iraq 26+, Somalia 25+, Egypt 22+, Indonesia 14, Chad 10, Yemen 8+ … lovely company for the US).

    This may be a wrong deduction, but I get this feeling that the report investigators weren’t able to investigate some of the really horrid countries, meaning the jails at all, never mind the solitary confinement practiced there. And the article states “There is no universal definition for solitary confinement …” A comparison of the conditions of solitary confinement (where information is available at all) might result in the realization that what is considered solitary confinement in civilized states – I know, it’s a contentious term, but by application of the “Golden Rule” we should be able to narrow it down reasonably – turns contentious discussion about “civilized” forms into a luxury-problem pseudo-discussion when compared to forms in the “uncivilized” states.

    No form of incarceration is meant to be a vacation resort (again, I know that some white-collar criminals in “The West” have had accommodations that are impossible to distinguish from a resort). Ideally, rehabilitation should be aimed for, but how to undo damage which has accumulated for years, perhaps decades? Do you still try with a second-, third-, fourth-time (or more) offender? What does it tell us if each offense is worse than the previous one?

    But with religious fanatic terrorists, it’s an entirely different ballgame. “Even” contract killers have a specific “target”, though if things go wrong others can get killed. But the “I don’t give a damn I just wanna kill as many people as possible” mode leads us down into the lowest forms of psychopathic behavior. Yes, there are psychopaths that are not religious fanatics – probably almost entirely loners against which little predictive prevention is possible. But for the psychopaths of Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, ISIS et al, getting into the news as in grabbing media attention, and spreading the internal recruiting news, most preferably below the radar of media attention, is more important than the specific attacks themselves. With media, especially in the US, just slavering for the next screamingly moronic mental diarrhea from Duhnald, others marginally better, hyperventilating media attention to terrorist attacks is unlikely to go away. But drying up the internal recruiting news below the radar of media attention is possible.

    Thus, SoW, your citation “The UN recently reported that solitary confinement is torture” is, in my opinion, perhaps marginally relevant, if that, for the discussion of the solitary confinement likely – hopefully! – to be enforced on the psychopathic murderers in Question. In, I would claim with marginal discomfort, states that the vast majority of the RDF posters live in. Not nearly something like Saudi Arabia with its terrorist Wahhabism.

    Let’s say, the difference between psychopathic (pseudo-) governments imposing their version of solitary confinement on jailed members of the opposition, but not on some hardened criminals in their jails – the murderous scum segment might still come in handy at some time for this kind of government – and non-psychopathic governments imposing their version of solitary confinement on psychopathic murderers, especially organized, i.e. religious kinds.

    Every type of solitary confinement is always torture?

    No! With a fist-slamming-table grimness – no!!!



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