20 May 2011

A JAIL IN A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY--NO, NO! --THIS IS AMERICA IN THE 21st CENTURY!!


By Louis Theroux.
Edited by S W   T Read
Where is this place?
The place has to be seen to be believed. Up to 24 inmates are crowded into a single cell, living behind metal bars on steel bunks, sharing a single shower and two toilets.
Little of the bright Miami sun filters through the grills on the windows. Visits to the yard happen twice a week for an hour. The rest of the time, inmates are holed up round the clock, eating, sleeping, and going slightly crazy.
But what is most shocking is the behaviour of the inmates themselves. For reasons that remain to some extent opaque - perhaps because of the bleak conditions they live in or because of insufficient supervision by officers, maybe because they lack other outlets for their energies, or because of their involvement with gangs on the outside, or maybe from a warped jailhouse tradition - the incarcerated here have created a brutal gladiatorial code of fighting.
They fight for respect, for food and snacks, or simply to pass the time.

Most of these inmates are on remand - awaiting bail or being held until their trial dates - usually for fairly minor offences. In America, jails are distinct from prisons in that they hold people who are pre-trial and therefore unconvicted.
GUILTY UNTIL PROVED INNOCENT 
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