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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Prisons without rules

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 12:01 am

For many centuries, people have used some type of punishment on people who do things they are not supposed to do. Today, one of the biggest sources of that punishment is found within prisons. The process is simple. When someone commits a crime, he is put on trial. Afterward, he is put in jail if found guilty. However, most people do not now what happens after people enter the prison.

As it turns out, many prisoners are subject to several means of torture once they set foot within the prison. The prison guards will use pepper spray and K9 units against prisoners, even if they are not attacking the guards to begin with. If a prisoner leads to prisoners being badly injured, but some are even killed by the prison guards.

It is despicable that this is allowed within the prisons in the United States. Changes must be made so that these prisoners are not treated like animals. While these prisoners did commit actions that go against the law, torturing them is not a part of what our nation was built on. The 8th Amendment states that no cruel or unusual punishment can be used against people who commit crimes. Pepper spraying a prisoner for not walking out of his or her cell is undoubtedly a cruel punishment.

It is possible that some may argue that the guards are in the right by using harsh methods in order to get the prisoners to cooperate. They have their tools for a reason, after all. However, they are abusing the power that was given to them. The guards are in a higher position than the prisoners and are abusing it. Pepper spray is something that should only be used if the prisoner attacks first. Some of these guards will use it without a high regard as to what they are doing to the person they are spraying.

Changes must be made. Guards need to be more closely monitored to prevent them from going out of control and attacking prisoners. They should not be allowed to use pepper spray to assault the prisoners unless the prisoners are the ones who attack first. The guards have such tools at their disposal for defense, and not for assault on the prisoners. If guards are not monitored, these issues will continue to transpire. These changes will prevent prisoners within the jails from being mistreated.

While they may have committed illegal actions, that does not mean that these people deserve to be treated with such hostility while in prison. The government needs to enact a law that protects the rights of prisoners, so these actions do not occur as often if ever. If laws are not made, this injustice will continue to occur. Only by strengthening regulations on the guards within these prisons can the United States remain as fair and honorable as we claim to be.

Kyle Alexander


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