Stephen Fry On The American Prison System

Submitted by: Gerry1of1 4 years ago

Congratulations, America--you have successfully reinvented the slave trade.
There are 52 comments:
Male 646
Do conservatives ever feel deeply ashamed about being wrong about absolutely everything?
0
Reply
Male 296
A large part of it is pot prohibition.
0
Reply
Male 36,387
vv @HOBYandy: Great catch! I raised an eyebrow when he said that, but never gave it any thought.
17 year olds in college? lmao!

@8BitHero: Ah, that explains it a little, still a big boo-boo, fact-wise.
0
Reply
Male 7,775
No doubt all those black men are completely innocent of any crime and it`s all the fault of whitey.
0
Reply
Male 5,413
@HOBYandy
I`m also confused about that statistic but, here in the UK you finish secondary school/high school at 16
You then go onto 6th form/ college (very different to American college)/ work/ nothing/ end up on Jeremy Kyle. So for Stephen to use a British education system on an American one is confusing, unless I`m wrong here on what US education terms are.

Even still the point of the video is pretty disturbing. Also the dude making jokes is Jimmy Carr.
Haven`t watched QI in a month.
0
Reply
Female 2,549
Fry is so fly & NDT in one day!
IAB so ejumakeshanul.
0
Reply
Male 116
america is one drated up country, and i`m afraid my country is going the same way, america you have a lot to answer for
0
Reply
Male 1,048
Man I miss that show. Hell I miss the country. Baby come back
0
Reply
Male 3,060
Anybody else catch this?

"There are more 17 year old black men in prison than in college."

This may be true. However, most people aren`t in college until they are 18. It doesn`t make his argument invalid, but it is a pretty skewed statistic.
0
Reply
Male 143
people who make the laws profit off the prisons, therefore trivial crimes, eg: marijuana possession = jailtime
0
Reply
Male 36,387
@Gerry1, My "Obama`s position on Gay marriage" post is comming tomorrow :-> huzza!

Funny how many of my submissions get put up now that @madest doesn`t delete them, eh??? Bless you @FancyLad!

But we agree: Both the Dems and the Reps have had and blown their chance at governing responsibly...
0
Reply
Male 37,888

5Cats [quote]"So many laws, so little freedom! And WHO wants more laws? Democrats! And WHO wants more freedom? Tea Party!" [/quote]
Yes, your Tea Baggers want small government. Just small enough to fit in my bedroom. When they talk of freedom they don`t mean freedom for "those people". Only freedom for their type of people.

Democrats are just as bad. They don`t really believe in free speach. If you say anything they don`t like they criminalize it and call it "hate speach".
0
Reply
Male 36,387
"There are so many thousands of felonies now that every day I`m sure I commit at least one without knowing it."

@Gerry1 makes a good point, @Cajun`s link too: So many laws, so little freedom! And WHO wants more laws? Democrats! And WHO wants more freedom? Tea Party! Not the Repubs, lolz! They had their chance and blew it.

@Izak: that`s an interesting theory that I`ve come across before.
Izak`s Link to the site, not the article he mentions.
0
Reply
Male 37,888

@ McGovern - that`s a GREAT worlds-most-interesting-man pic! ha!
0
Reply
Male 37,888

Good book

0
Reply
Male 37,888

There are so many thousands of felonies now that every day I`m sure I commit at least one without knowing it.
0
Reply
Male 10,845
This WSJ demonstrates Patchgrabber`s point excellently.
0
Reply
Male 173
@burbclayer
You ought to read the book Freakonomics (http://www.freakonomics.com/). They test all sorts of explanations to why crime levels are dropping. They are found to be invalid. Except the very striking correlation between the year the abortion became legal and 16 years later the crime levels of young americans suddenly drop sharply.

Most crime is committed by people in horrible conditions (financially, socially etc). To fight crime, you are right, you can remove the people by putting them in jail. Or you could improve their living conditions.

In my country (Denmark) we try the latter solution: Help them out before they become criminals. We have some of the lowest crime levels in the world.
0
Reply
Male 5,811
@Lordjim: Exactly.
0
Reply
Male 878
If the US system stinks so much, why has crime consistently fallen for the last 30 years? Maybe because the criminals aren`t on the street but locked up?
0
Reply
Male 10,845
MeGrendel

The question isn`t about if you can get into prison, the question is who is in prison. For most Americans there are people in jail really shouldn`t be in jail in the first place. The wasted tax dollars are too much and effect on crime is too little.
0
Reply
Male 7,123
Surely the question is not about `He commited a crime, his own fault.` but more about asking if the system works. If all you are doing is locking up more and more people then it clearly isn`t working to reduce criminality. It may be working to increase profits for a few people but that is surely not what it should be for.

0
Reply
Male 290
Hey MeGrendel, i got arrested for riding a LEGAL mini-bike about 700 ft down a road. (I checked the laws next day) When I tried to explain it was legal to the cop he accused me of "givin him lip", which I wasn`t, i was being very respectful, so he arrested me. I was 17 at the time and they still locked me up for a night, I only got out cause of bail. Lost a bunch of money and time, and a mini-bike. YAY AmericA! land of the free...
0
Reply
Male 5,811
MeGrendel: [quote]Believe it or not, the majority of people manage to go their whole lives without going to jail and/or prison.

So yes, it is relatively easy.[/quote]


5cats: [quote]See? THREE CHANCES to keep your butt out of prison. I`ve managed it![/quote]

A lot of mind projection fallacy/causal oversimplification going on here. You`re assuming that because you avoided the justice system that it`s just as easy for everyone else to do it.
0
Reply
Male 36,387
There are NO asylums to put them anymore. The few that are left are packed with violently insane folks.
So they get put in jail. In jail they get their meds and get off the booze, they get better!
So they`re paroled. Back on their own with very limited support, they go off their meds, back on the booze and presto! back to crime.

It`s a tragic cycle that could be avoided if we incarcerated insane people in proper medical facilities, not mixing them with hard-core criminals.

The War on Drugs puts pot smokers in prison, it`s just beyond belief.

Thanks for reading! Back to being bored...
0
Reply
Male 36,387
Don`t think of it as "three strike" think of it as "three CHANCES":
You get 3 chances to be a good, law-abiding citizen. Don`t commit a felony (a serious crime) and you`re UN-likely to spend time in jail.
Blew your first chance? Well, now you`re on chance #2 and have more serious consiquences if you commit another crime.
Un-oh, did it again? well you get ONE more chance! But don`t blow it, or we throw away the key.

See? THREE CHANCES to keep your butt out of prison. I`ve managed it!

Sadly, there are other forces involved in Canada & the USA: mental institutions and the War On Drugs.
In the 60`s JFK suggested shutting down some "insane asylums" because modern medicine was curing so many crazy folks. Over the years this changed into "replacing" ALL the asylums with out-patient care.
Fast forward to today: crazy people off their meds living on the streets.
cont
0
Reply
Male 14,330
0
Reply
Male 7,338
Cajun247-"There`s the phrase "easier said than done"."

Believe it or not, the majority of people manage to go their whole lives without going to jail and/or prison.

So yes, it is relatively easy.
0
Reply
Male 1,178
@Moose - believe it or not, not every country uses the same spelling... http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/gaol
0
Reply
Male 523
"are incarcerated on petty crimes." Still crimes nonetheless. They could have just as easily avoided it.
0
Reply
Male 5,811
The American prison system is broken. Unfortunately, ours is not much better. Your sentences are longer and you have more violent crime, but there are specific deficiencies with our prison system as well. Both need to be reformed, imo.
0
Reply
Male 440
Let`s send all our prisoners to England! But only if they promise not to commit any more crimes.
0
Reply
Male 10,845
[quote]You killed someone. Go to jail...no, wait, there`s too many prisoners. Never mind, carry on![/quote]

Actually in Texas you can get paroled without even seeing a day in jail.
0
Reply
Male 5,811
[quote]Parolees are warned of this danger up front, there is no surprise "Gotcha!", it`s part of the conditions of their early release from prison.[/quote]
Quite a good example of how deterrence measures such as 3 strikes don`t deter crime.

[quote]The people in jail are there because they committed crimes. What do you want? "You killed someone. Go to jail...no, wait, there`s too many prisoners. Never mind, carry on!"[/quote]
That`s a false dichotomy. Besides, as unmercifuldu pointed out, most prisoners are there for smaller crimes.
0
Reply
Female 437
Moose76 No-one said you spell jail with a `g`, we spell it gaol over here
0
Reply
Male 959
Moose76, there are 311 million people in the United States. I would guess that at least 81 million of these are children. Hence more than 1 in a hundred adults.
0
Reply
Male 48
I think we can agree that people who commit murder should go to jail. The problem is that over half of the prison population in the U.S. is in there for nonviolent crimes. It is sad when we have more inmates in this "free" country than a repressive government like China. Yes, we even have political prisoners here.
0
Reply
Male 20
I know Brits love to hate on Americans, but there was some shoddy fact generating. 2.3 million is not almost 3 million, and if there are 2.3 million people in US prisons, and there are ~300 million people in the US (not counting people not registered to the census) then that is not "more than 1 in a hundred American Adults." in very rough terms, it would be one out of every 130.4 Americans. Still high, but at least they could report the facts correctly. Also, who told them that we spell jail with a G?
0
Reply
Male 10,845
[quote]Still better than our revolving door prisons/hotels.[/quote]

Oh right because the SCOTUS never ordered California to do something about their overcrowded "hotels".
0
Reply
Male 762
Anyone who makes the false connection between all US prisoners and murderers has nothing of value to add to this conversation. The vast majority of prisoners are incarcerated on petty crimes. Victim-less crimes. And other countries don`t have the same rates we do because they can correctly address the issues as public health problems and get people the help they need instead of costing tax payers billions housing prisoners over petty crimes.
0
Reply
Male 2,332
Still better than our revolving door prisons/hotels.
0
Reply
Male 3,364
McGovern1981: "I suppose we should pay for them to sit on their ass and lift wieghts."

I`d rather do that than have manufacturing jobs taken away from decent hardworking folks.
0
Reply
Male 10,845
[quote]it`s really amazingly simple to NOT end up in prison.[/quote]

There`s the phrase "easier said than done".
0
Reply
Male 10,845
[quote]are pushing for privatized prisons, which means, the more people that are incarcerated, the more money the corporation that owns it makes.[/quote]

Whilst I agree with the statement, I`ll just say it`s not capitalism but rather crony capitalism.
0
Reply
Male 11
The people in jail are there because they committed crimes. What do you want? "You killed someone. Go to jail...no, wait, there`s too many prisoners. Never mind, carry on!"
0
Reply
Female 2,509
easy solution - quit committing crimes. Laws are for the idiots that don`t know how to live and behave civilly.
0
Reply
Male 14,330
Slaves never had a chance prisioners had a choice I suppose we should pay for them to sit on their ass and lift wieghts.
0
Reply
Male 7,338
Contrary to what these idiots would have you believe, it`s really amazingly simple to NOT end up in prison.
0
Reply
Male 17,512
Saying "3 crimes" per se is rather incorrect.
The 3 strikes law is for felonies.

Thing is is if you commit a felony, get out on parole and violate the conditions of your parole, like stealing cookies, that misdemeanor becomes another felony.

Parolees are warned of this danger up front, there is no surprise "Gotcha!", it`s part of the conditions of their early release from prison.

If you can`t do the time, don`t do the crime.
0
Reply
Male 3,364
And it`s only going to get worse. The Republicans, including our own Gov. Ricky Scott here in Florida, are pushing for privatized prisons, which means, the more people that are incarcerated, the more money the corporation that owns it makes.
0
Reply
Male 3,285
Apart from the conspirarcy based youtube account, he is 100% correct.
0
Reply
Male 37,888
Link: Stephen Fry On The American Prison System [Rate Link] - Congratulations, America--you have successfully reinvented the slave trade.
0
Reply