I enjoy reading stories that deal with true life crime, corrupt politics, and scandals because it teaches you about the human nature of greed and conceit within organizations. Almost everyone has been in a situation where they know the person running things is not doing it by the book but by their own made-up rules that only favor them and their buddies. Many times the only way to find those stories is by watching TV shows that highlight the true hidden nature of greed and corruption. You sit there as a viewer saying to yourself, “Oh, if I was ever caught in a situation like that I would do, such and such and make them pay so bad.” The reality though is that majority of people can’t afford to lose their job so they turn a blind eye and keep working.
The worst of those situations take place in prisons and jails where justice for inmates is completely ignored. There is the side that will say that if they did the crime then they should pay the time but what most people do not understand is how corrupt jail and prison environments are. When you have guards smuggling in drugs and cellphones so that gang members can still operate how does that have anything to do with justice? It doesn’t but what people don’t realize is that many of the guards are prisoners themselves just not in the sense that they live in a cell. They are prisoners to the inmates there out of shear fear and force of not wanting to die. When you read books like Inside: Life behind Bars in America and Fish: A memoir of a boy in a man’s prison, which were both written by men who were in prison, you get a first hand account of the corruption that takes place behind bars. Guards are threatened all the time and many times they lose their life just trying to keep fights from breaking out. In many cases guards are forced to do favors for inmates. In some jails justice does not even exist for inmates because politics overrules everything, so anything a guard says about a fight is taken over what the inmate saw. So even after knowing that all this goes on behind bars why hasn’t it stopped? Why can’t measures be put into place to prevent corruption from happening?
My advice is to read those two books above, learn why going to prison is so dangerous and why nothing is being done to fix it. Then, read the article below about all the corruption and scandal taking place on Rikers Island. The article is very moving and insightful as to how certain people in positions of power can ruin lives, cause problems, and get away with it. It is very much a true crimes story but the only problem with this situation is that the people who should be charged and sent to prison probably will never spend a day behind bars for all the injustice they have caused. Their motives were purely political and financial. The situation is a difficult one to fix because of how unions employ very complex maneuvers for firing someone, so the situation gets even harder to charge an officer of a union with a crime, even though all the evidence is there for the whole world to see. Be sure to read the comments and learn why systems like this take years, if not decades, to fix, even after coming to light.
Make sure to set time aside to read this story as it is a long one. The best thing to do with systems like this is to find a way to report it to outside agencies and hope that something can be done about it. When you think about it, when Mr. Seabrook retires with his full pension plan and enjoying the nice life, all the prisoner’s that he hurt will still be at Rikers suffering with no way of getting out.
Further Articles for Reading
What’s really wrong with Rikers? (written by Norman Seabrook, pay attention to how he holds himself unaccountable for what is happening there.)
Rikers: Where mental illness meets brutality in jail (same authors for the recent one)