Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bravo, BoP

Death of former military personnel in dangerous situations always makes me sad. Especially if they've been through a war or two. Doubly so if the situation was preventable. Like this one.

Twenty-two year old Jose Rivera worked at the Atwater Federal Prison in California. He was a guard there. Federal guard. Federal guard. That is repeated for importance. He was a FEDERAL guard. If you don't understand why I'm emphasizing this, then you need to look up the prison system in America. Federal prisons are where really bad people go. Like Al Capone and Bridman of Alcatraz bad. In fact, Alcatraz was a Federal penitentiary. So, that should give you some idea of the people that are housed within Atwater.

In June of this year, two inmates stabbed and killed Mr. Rivera. Normally, this type of thing wouldn't get my dander up. Yes, I'm sad and upset that my taxpayer money goes to teach inmates how to make weapons MacGuyver would be proud of, but it's part of the job risks of working at a max-security Federal prison. I know. I had considered it a career option.

However, what they don't tell you is that you will have to do your job sans weapons. Of any kind. Or protection.

That's right, kiddies. If you want to work at the Federal Penitentiary, you don't get to carry pepper spray, collapsible batons, or even wear kevlar. You're at a FEDERAL PRISON. I'm sure the government thinks that once these murderers, rapists, gang members, etc, are put behind bars, they lose all urges to continue to commit crimes.


It's a prison! These are not good people! If they're killing each other, why wouldn't they try to kill the one or two people that stand in their way of freedom?!

So, yes, this story pisses me off even more than normal. Here's a boy that came back from Iraq where he had people shooting at him. But, he had a gun. He could shoot back. He had armor. He had opportunity to defend himself.

The BoP (Federal Bureau of Prisons) insists that its guards don't need non-lethal weapons. STATE prison guards carry pepper spray. FEDERAL prison guards must be Chuck Norris. Or Jackie Chan. Or Mr. Rogers, but that's another story. What is the Federal government thinking?! Miraculously, these prisoners are going to be civil? Nooooooooo....

I say that Federal Guards should be carrying guns. Yes, the inmates can get to those and use them to shoot the guards. But, ya know what? I'd rather have a guard shoot a prisoner than have a prisoner kill a guard. Contrary to popular belief, when a person chooses to commit a crime that lands them in a Federal prison, they lose their rights. There is no "civil liberty" for someone who's chosen to break the law. That's why it's called "punishment." I'm extremely tired of hearing about "criminal's rights." My right eye! THEY COMMITTED A CRIME! They WILLINGLY violated someone else's rights. Someone who -didn't- chose to violate the laws of America.

Heath Ledger's Joker had it right when he selected his men. "I have good news and bad news. The good news is, I'm hiring. The bad news is, there's only one position. Make it quick." Maybe, since there's such an over-crowding issue, that would be a good way to handle prisoners. "Good news, boys, you're going to Atwater. Bad news, only have one place available...."

Oh, wait. We used to do that. I think it was called THE DEATH PENALTY.


Artemis Tau said...

Christ! What the hell are they thinking? "Here, let me put you in a facility full of violent criminals convicted of murder, rape, arson, and countess other violent crimes. Oh, and by the way you can't have any body armor or weapons." WTF?!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

The prison system in its entirety has been a big beef of mine f or years, more so having worked in law enforcement for a time. The concept of "prisoner's rights" just pisses me off to no end. You break the law, you go to jail, you get punished. You shouldn't -have- any rights, that's the point of serving a sentence. You choose to break the law, you do the time, get in, sit down, and shut the frak up.

It's like all those people here in California that claimed invasion of privacy when the red light cameras went in or whined that they didn't know the cameras were there because there were no signs posted. So the frak what? Why should there be a sign alerting you to stop on a red light when it's THE LAW?! We learned this in kindergarten. Red means stop, green means go. When you see a red light, you should be stopping. It's not the city's fault for not posting a sign telling you when it's the frakking law in the first place and you shouldn't be doing it! It's no one's fault but your own!

Wow, way to go off on a tangent there, eh? In conclusion, PEOPLE SUCK!