US treatment of prisoners reveals a deep failing

your say June 29, 2014 00:00

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Re: "Inmates earn their academic rewards", National, June 25

Bravo to the 114 Thai graduate inmates who aspired to higher knowledge and thus better understanding, better communication and more empathy.
On the other side of the Atlantic, in the democracy-preaching US – once the global leader in almost every field – the prison population is equivalent to that of the whole world combined, a not very enviable or humane record.  So who is entitled to preach to whom?
In the US the majority of the prisoners are detained in private prisons run by companies for profit.
Since this business is so lucrative, inmates are rarely released early. And many of them are white-collar detainees, convicted for minor crimes such as possession of marijuana or petty theft. Meanwhile not one of Wall Street’s fraudulent bankers has gone behind bars – presumably because they are “too big” to jail.
So business interests prevail over humane behaviour and empathy.
A great achievement for Thailand and a black mark against the democracy preacher.

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