Thread: Police Forces
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:25 PM
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Raellus Raellus is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Marana, AZ
Posts: 2,749
Default Actually...

I'm not proud of this, but the U.S.A. has the largest prison population in the world, and hundreds of prisons run by states, the federal government, and for-profit corporations (not to mention city and county jails, and juvenile detention centers). There are currently at least a half-a-dozen documentary/"reality" shows on television here in the US about prison life, and fictional depictions of said like Oz and Orange is the New Black. I haven't watched every episode of every one of these many prison shows, but I've seen enough to know that:

In some prisons and jails, inmates in gen-pop spend most of their waking hours hanging around in large groups and are only confined to their cells at night. In particularly overcrowded prisons, they live in open-floor dormitory areas.

In others, large groups of inmates work most of the day in laundries, kitchens, and workshops. Such inmates have access to various tools and machinery that would be quite helpful in getting out (assuming they could get into said work areas. See +).

Your characterization that prisoners can't work together and will only end up killing one another is overly simplistic and calls on the basest of stereotypes*. Prisoners have worked together to build/operate stills, pass notes from door to door in the solitary confinement blocks, develop working economies, and run various criminal enterprises from inside prison walls, and continue to do so as I write (and you read). There's simply no logical explanation for why inmates couldn't work together to break out of prison buildings in a life-or-starve-to-death situation.

*Even in supermax prisons, there are engineers, chemists, construction workers, etc. serving time for murder and other high crimes. These are people with knowledge and skills that would be very useful in breaking out of prison.

Yes, the prisoners would be locked inside prison buildings when the guards leave, but unless they are each locked and/or welded into their individual cells, they will eventually be able to get out.

A. I don't think most sane, ethical people would be OK with having a direct hand in the slow death of dozens, if not hundreds or even thousands of people.

B. Yes, there would be quite a few that would reluctantly do it, and even some would do so enthusiastically with little prompting. But, as soon as the prisoners figure out what's going on, there's going to be bedlam. Welding inmates in their cells is much easier said than done.

+To execute the simplest of breakouts, groups of four men, working in rotating shifts, using a metal bench or some other basic ersatz battering ram, could, with several hours (or even days of work), defeat a steel door.

All of the above is just for the United States. In several third world states (at least), prisons are essentially walled in colonies where inmates are largely left to their own devices. There are guards to make sure that they don't get out, and food deliveries, but the inmates essentially have free run of the prison.

Granted, Australian prisons might be very different, so I'll cede to your authority there. I doubt the Aussie prisoners are all that much different from prisoners everywhere else, though.

BTW, have you read Shantaram?
Dulce bellum inexpertis. - Erasmus

Last edited by Raellus; 02-16-2020 at 09:39 PM.
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