It is so easy, too easy really, for someone to sit back and talk tough about prison policy. I often come across rants online about how people think prisons and jails should be run..."They need to feed them less, more control that way." "Jails are like resorts...they have cable tv, air conditioning, wheres the punishment?" or "I can't believe these scumbags are afforded medical care and counseling...they should be locked down 24/7 until they are released." While these cartoonishly harsh ideas SHOULD be laughable, they are all too common, and spoken by people with NO frame of reference...people who have never worked at or lived in prison, people who have NO grasp on the concept of management.
As someone who has been to jail, and as a reasonably intelligent individual I feel like I have a strong grasp on what it takes to run a prison smoothly. For the armchair hard asses who think that prison should be worse...common sense dictates that people with nothing to lose are dangerous, more dangerous than they would be otherwise. It is amazing to me that people can't see this.
The point of jail is lack of freedom, for all intents and purposes that's it. That lack of freedom is punishment enough. For people who think jail life is vacation...You are morons, and willfully ignorant. If you think being locked in a box with cable tv and air conditioning is vacation, then you're a strange bird. The lack of freedom is a state that most people couldn't understand. Losing your freedom, even if only once and for a short time will forever change you.
Something to think on is this: Anyone can end up in jail or prison...especially now. Have you ever been in a fight? THAT could send you to jail...maybe prison, maybe for a great deal of time depending on what state you are in. Drive drunk... that's a jail time offense.