Sunday, April 6, 2008
I believe one of the greatest moral evils imposed by the government in this country is the incarceration of criminals in prison who are at great risk of being raped. It is often joked about, but that needs to stop.
Ezra Klein writes a good column about this, although it is marred by certain mistakes, such as his view that this evil is somehow the result of a criminal justice system "which has become decreasingly rehabilitative and increasingly retributive."
Now, I hate to make a partisan point about prison rape. (Well, not really, I am sure that I enjoy making a partisan point about prison rape.) There is a great deal of moral preening about waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques for a handful of terrorists who may have extremely useful information and have done really bad things. Yet, the repeated raping of individuals goes largely unmentioned, although I am sure I would much prefer waterboarding to repeated rapes. Clearly, the commentators are disposed towards making the points about waterboarding, whereas not so much about the prison rapes. But can that be justified?