Humane Treatment for All | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy.

I begin with a declaration. I never believed it radical in nature, but I’m coming to the realization that it might be.

People are not disposable.
People deserve to be treated humanely.

And by people, I mean all people, not just a select few. Not just those who have (thus far) avoided the label criminal; but everyone.

We sometimes view the world in dichotomies. We place things at one end of a continuum or the other. We see something as black or white, not that troublesome gray. We prefer simplicity instead of nuance and complexity. We favor “or” rather than embrace “and.”

But here’s the thing: people who engage in criminal behavior, are still people. The mere fact that they are human, means they still deserve humane treatment.

But what about {insert the most violent, heinous crime ever committed and ask if the victim was treated humanely}? Statements like that become the marker by which all people who have engaged in criminal behavior are measured. Leaving aside the stats that more than half of all prisoners are non-violent offenders, my response is still yes, violent offenders deserve humane treatment, too. That means, no, it’s not okay that prisoners in Texas boil to death due to lack of air conditioning, for instance.  No, it’s not “their fault” that inmates in Philadelphia are denied medical treatment, and are sometimes forced to endure pain and suffering for months at a time.  And no, women who give birth in custody should not be shackled while doing so.

In the coming weeks and months, I plan to unpack my thinking about this and related issues. I’m sure some disagree with my declaration, but therein lies my challenge. I’m up to it.

People are not disposable. People deserve to be treated humanely. And by people, I mean all people, not just a select few.

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3 thoughts on “Humane Treatment for All | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy.

  1. There’s loads of implications in this one line, “Not just those who have (thus far) avoided the label criminal; but everyone.” I like it. Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts.

  2. “But what about {insert the most violent, heinous crime ever committed and ask if the victim was treated humanely}?”
    You are very truthful in saying those words are constantly applied to all prisoners. I can openly admit I don’t have a soft spot for criminals that fall into the category mentioned in that sentence, but I’ve a genuine spot of human compassion for the others. I don’t believe prison should be a comfortable happy place, but it shouldn’t be a place people go, serve time, and come out more messed up than they were before they went in.

    1. “I don’t believe prison should be a comfortable happy place, but it shouldn’t be a place people go, serve time, and come out more messed up than they were before they went in.” <= i totally agree. and yet for many, that's exactly what happens. the place needn't be a joyful, cheerful experience, in order to uphold human rights. and if we have hopes people will be released later, we can't have created a monster in the interim.

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