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Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal 

Current discourse in UK politics going on since the recent attack on London Bridge is sentencing powers and rehabilitation. Its repeatedly bringing up the idea that the existence of indefinite sentencing is bad and should be abolished as rehabilitation is made available and its doing my head in.

Rehab should *absolutely* be available for anyone who wants it, but that's the problem... Not everyone wants it.

Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

The reason this particular nugget irks me is a number of years ago someone tried to murder pretty much my entire family.
They were imprisoned indefinitely under sentencing guidelines no longer in place. Effectively locked up until they no longer wanted to kill one of them.
They have bluntly refused rehabilitation, snubbed parole boards, and absolutely still intend to murder that person.

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Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

A lot of discussion going on completely ignores people like him who are violent, dangerous, and unwilling to change. We've been told if he had been sentenced a few years later there is a possibility he would have been released by now.
You can have all the rehabilitation in the world, it doesn't mean anything if they won't accept it. And there must be systems in place to deal with that.

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Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

There is also literally no way that monitoring can be done upon release in his circumstances, no provisions can be made for that, which leaves no action possible but indefinite sentencing or be let out to try again.
The responses I've had when bringing this up are either 'suck it up' (which in this case is potentially see a family member murdered) or 'ok well there will have to be an exception' followed by continuing to suggest complete abolition.

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Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

How do you make exceptions to allow indefinite sentences without having indefinite sentencing possible in law, the very thing they're suggesting be abolished?

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Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

@sophia I think ultimately whatever form of justice used has to work for the victims and survivors of injustice. The people suggesting punishment and rehabilitation are both ignoring what is best for you and your family.

I'm a prison abolitionist, but that doesn't mean I should just shrug off cases where a perpetrator must be removed from spaces the victim inhabits. That would remove agency from the survivors of injustice, and that's not what restorative justice (as opposed to punitive or rehabilitative) should be about.

What matters is that you and your family are safe, and if that means this person must be kept away from you under any and all circumstances, then restoration of justice must take that into account.

Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

@sophia I learnt quite quickly that abusers will only change if they want to change, this is a key point that advocates of rehabilitative justice always gloss over, something that restorative justice must take into account in order for it to present a form of justice that works for the victims and survivors

Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

@GreenandBlack the question is how to make that work. It can't without some kind of continued system of imprisonment or global cooperation on strict monitoring and parole terms.
As an ideal it's great and p much my position but a practical solution to fight for now under the current system, when dangerous offenders are still being released, its hard when such sentencing is being misunderstood and maligned

Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

@sophia For examples, I look to the defense and conciliation committees of Rojava as to how we can create these new systems within the context of the old one.

In Rojava they have prisons, they're necessary because the people locked up in them are members of Daesh. Rojava is still in a state of war with Daesh, and as such needs to be able to ensure that these fascists are not somewhere they can continue to harm people.

Their prisons are still completely different to the prison system in the UK. In the UK we lock people up for non-violent theft and drug offences while allowing people like the terrorist that attacked london bridge to walk free. In Rojava, this is inverted, as justice is focused entirely on what is best for the victims and survivors.

Conciliation in Rojava: invidio.us/watch?v=Cc5i5Xau4xs

Defense in Rojava: invidio.us/watch?v=ojXxz1u1R4c

Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

@sophia I see a microcosm of this system in Barcelona, where community centers teach regular self-defense classes and organise assemblies from which to ensure their community is safe and secure.

Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

@GreenandBlack thank you, I'll take a look at these!

Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

@sophia i think at that point maybe changing the ontology to "care" rather than incarceration would help the discussion. like for example "hospice" is for illnesses you are accepting as lifelong & terminal, and maybe, maybe there's a possibility that there's a way of finding an "involuntary commitment" that can cover this case w/o quite being prison in the name of hospitalization.

(i think somewhere foucalt is laughing at me)

Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

@amphetamine I think to try and soften the language could have the potential to make violent offenders like this more sympathetic.
An issue that arose around the maligning of indefinite sentencing was that it was cruel and unfair across the board, and no one should go through it. Make them more sympathetic and I fear it could downplay severity and potentially be scaled back further.

Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

@sophia i agree that sympathy isn't a great basis for policy on its own. i think that it's still an important ingredient tho to keep indefinite/lifelong restraint of someone like that from becoming hellish torture, b/c the other overcompensating end would be that administrators and staff would "write off" the person and slide down the slippery slope that direction (developing their own violent behaviors).

Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

@amphetamine conditions themselves should absolutely be improved, and incarcerated people should be treated with humanity regardless of the crime they've committed. People with long sentences shouldn't be expecting to be kept in a hellish box like they are now. It's focused too much on revenge and not on people

Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

@sophia yeah! i know that whatever place we navigate to it'll be much more like you're saying. there really isn't room for absolutism in any direction, and it'll be a good sign when abolition reaches the point where this is the biggest problem on the list.

Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

@sophia It's so rare you'll see people coming up with nuances takes on this issue. I've talked to someone very recently who had a (from what I can tell) similar experience to yours and they made good points that shook my own beliefs, but I can't get anywhere near a solution. Indefinite sentencing is a tool that can go haywire under an authoritarian government anytime, so I'm opposed to it, but there need to be other ways, like extended rehabilitation in a social work environment. Maybe there is something to learn from the Scandinavian countries here. But I have no failproof concept to offer here at all, not even outside the premises of radical politics.

Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

@anarchiv conditions need to be severely improved in the kind of direction you say about with scandanavian nations, look at the possibility of community in incarceration rather than a punitive system focused on revenge. They should be treated as human beings and given a life.
There must be layers of checks and balances like regular parole hearings to determine possibility of reintegration but I see no solution that isn't detention

Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

@sophia perhaps not in the current scheme of things no. ethics are a fuck sometimes.

RE - Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

@sophia Solidarity.

Prisons, punishment, ukpol, personal, violence 

@sophia And this is why I shy away from some of the more absolutist advocates of prison reform. it's possible to think that there are people who can be rehabilitated and the system should absolutely be set up to promote this, and also think there are people who will always represent a danger that people should be protected from.

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