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So this diarist, let's call him "Buck" posts this diary which includes a prison rape joke in reference to Rush Limbaugh.  ticket punch beat me to a response:
So now rape is funny?
As it turned out, the comments devolved into a discussion of gay sex and gay people being used in a perjorative way, which was in it's own way a useful discussion.  But Buck was not amused, so published another diary blaming his audience for not getting the joke.  He apologized for the gay stuff, I guess, as if prison rape was about "gay stuff".  But he still missed the point...

Rape is not funny.  Not even prison rape.  For the purposes of this diary, especially prison rape.

People saw the movie Forrest Gump, I'm sure.  I can't watch it.  It's too much like my life.  I'm "the person who was there and did that" too many times for me to be comfortable with for my taste, but what the heck, everyone's got to be somewhere.  I have experience.  I have expertise.  I should not try to hide it.  Who better to write about prison rape than a trained correctional specialist.

There is only one way someone becomes a fully-trained correctional specialist and that's through the military.  The US Army taught me how to be an MP and (not being stupid) I volunteered to continue my training by attending correctional specialist school at Ft. Gordon (the alternative probably being direct passage to Vietnam).  The extra school made my tour of duty too short for a standard tour at Long Binh Jail. The enlisted guys in the school went to LBJ.  Worst I was going to get was Okinawa. Plus I wasn't going to have to kill people...but that's another story.  I ended up at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth.

What the Army didn't teach me was how to think.  I did the thinking on my own.  Sitting with a gun in a tower or inside without weapons in the cell blocks with the prisoners or escorting them to and fro, I did a lot of observing and thinking.  I thought a lot about being a prison guard, and about being a prisoner, and about the nature of prisons in general.  I have formed some insight.  Take it for what's it worth.

The purpose of prison guards is to guard the prisoners, to protect the prisoners from abuse at the hands of others while they are incarcerated.  Prison guards should never be instruments of punishment.  People in prison cannot run away when there is danger.  That's why we are supposed to have guards in the cellblocks, so that people who have to be there are not subjected to more punishment than the court has meted out.  They are required to stay in the prison.  They are not sentenced to be abused while they are there.  The idea should be that prison guards help forster an environment in which they can all safely coexist, not not spending their time nitpick about minor violations of rules in order to keep them in jail longer than they would if they "behaved".  They "behaved" if they didn't harm anybody that day.  The idea is to string a bunch of "that day"s together, so that when the person gets out, they can live peacefully with the rest of us, not create someone who is so angry that returning to prison is inevitable.  Over and over.  Until we think we have to kill the beast we created.

Prison rape is not funny.  Not ever.  Prison rape is rape.  Rape is never funny.  Prison rape is violation of the sanctity of an individual by us all, because someone failed to uphold his solemn duty, and did it in our name.  When you laugh at prison rape jokes, you make me ashamed to be a human being.  Rape is not funny.  Ever.

Originally posted to Robyn's Perch on Wed Jun 28, 2006 at 09:08 PM PDT.


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