Prisons in an anarchist society? Paedophiles, Dangerous individuals, ppl who get kicks from murder?

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Alderson Warm-Fork
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Apr 22 2009 17:47
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Are individuals displaying deviant behaviour going to be publicly identified so they can be watched more closely? Or is it 'one strike and you're out'.

I think this might be a point at which we need to try to blur the public/private distinction. Like, we can imagine how someone's husband or wife or children or parents might try to respond to worrying behaviour (in the best case scenarios - in worst case scenarios they're a big part of the cause). I think that sort of response is often much better than an 'outside' response by law-enforcement or mental health services - especially because outside responses usually only come when something serious goes wrong (e.g. people need to cut themselves in order to get help to stop feeling like cutting themselves).

At the moment, we tend to either have people who don't get any 'private sphere' attention, only interventions by anonymous state functionaries, or we have people being supported by family members/friends, who then, taking all of that burden themselves, get burnt out or fucked up - especially because they don't have access to the kinds of resources, training, knowledge, that they need.

So the ideal solution to my mind would be to try to get the best of both worlds: take the resources and skills of the public sphere and make them universally available, but try to dissolve the distinction between 'society' and 'personal relationships' to some extent. What exactly that looks like or involves, I have no clue. But I think that's a good direction to look in.

no1
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Apr 23 2009 09:39
Choccy wrote:
no1 wrote:
A large proportion of convicted child abusers are in fact not paedophiles but opportunistic child abusers. That means if you imprison everybody who feels a sexual attraction towards children, then you're still not protecting children - which after all has to be the aim, rather than having lots of prisons as the Daily Mail wants.

Yeah I think this was kinda Jack's point, that there'd be even less of those sorts of offenders in a communist society, and that of course, only a small amount of those commiting violent sadistic crimes do it out of pure 'psychopathy'. Yeah, for many it's clearly just part of a cycle of violence and abuse they themselves have been subjected to.

It's nice to think that a lot of bad things will disappear once we have libertarian communism, but I'm not sure. Wikipedia has some interesting figures on child sexual abuse. Offenders incarcerated for abusing pre-pubescent children are mostly paedophiles (in the sense of having a sexual preference for children) , but the majority of child sex offenders are incarcerated for abusing teenagers rather than prepubescent children. A 2002 study classified this type of abuser who don't have a sexual preference for pre-pubescent children into 3 categories:
* Regressed - Typically has relationships with adults, but a stressor causes them to seek children as a substitute.
* Morally Indiscriminate - All-around sexual deviant, who may commit other sexual offenses unrelated to children.
* Naive/Inadequate - Often mentally disabled in some way, finds children less threatening.
I'm not sure how libertarian communism will affect these categories, but I don't see an obvious reason why they should be less common, especially the last one.

Something else that needs to be pointed out is that even a crime as clear-cut as child abuse is dependent on changing social norms, definitions of childhood, rape etc. For an adult to have sex with a 12 year old is universally considered a disgusting almost unimaginable crime today but until 1929 girls could be married from the age of 12, boys from 14, in England. Or that rape within marriage didn't become criminalised in England until 1991.

Also, the theory of a cycle of violence, i.e. that many child abusers become abusers because they were abused themselves doesn't fit the evidence and has been dismissed as a general explanation for sexual abuse of children. Although about 1 in 10 people have been sexually abused as children, the vast majority of victims do not become abusers, and most abusers were not abused themselves.

no1
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Apr 23 2009 10:27

In my opinion, the main problem isn't what libertarian communism will do to child abusers etc, but what prisons will do to libertarian communism. Prisons, police, the whole repressive apparatus are a tool of class domination, it's an essential part of the state. As long as you leave it in place, the possibility of using it for class domination remains. Also, I think that as long as you have a complex economy with a division of labour, there will be some groups of workers that are more powerful, more influential than others. So I believe that if you don't dismantle the whole repressive apparatus of prisons and so on, then libertarian communism will sooner or later revert to some form of class domination.
For that reason I believe that a fundamentally different approach is needed to enforce social norms and deal with those that break them. Instead of using punishment, the approach I advocate is to use treatment for those who cannot be held responsible for their actions because they are mentally ill, some process of re-integration for those who have breached rules of social life but who still recognise their validity and want to observe them ; exclusion from society (but not imprisonment) for those who don't want to observe them. I envisage that under libertarian communism there will be many different communities with different rules of social life that are democratically agreed on - e.g. some may ban marriage because they think it's a bourgeois institution, while others may ban non-monogamous relationships ; some may want to ban abortion ; some may want to permit all kinds of drugs, while others may even want to ban alcohol because of its social destructiveness; etc. So if you're a religious fundamentalist or straight-edge - don't worry, there will be a community for you ; while if you're a polyamorous stoner, there'll be another one for you too.

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killyerlandlords
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Oct 23 2009 16:50

Well, I tend to think that the number of people who commit such crimes would reduce greatly with the removal of authoritarian oppression. As evidenced by the link between pedophilia and priests when people are deprived of being able to act of their own free will it tends to form strange deviations in their minds. As far as violent crime is concerned most such crimes are committed as acts of desperation, typically with economic stresses (poverty) being the main catalyst or in passion as is the case with jealousy killings and vengeance, and these often also stem from an unhealthy system of life. Within an anarchist communism we would see things change such as racial prejudices, gender bias, unhealthy marriages, sexual orientation bias, etc. and this would alleviate a good deal of crimes of passion as well as hate crimes.

That being said there would still be some incidence of bad seeds acting out of depraved mind sets and in these cases we should focus more primarily on actually rehabilitating these individuals as opposed to only punishing them. In extreme cases of antisocial behavior where it becomes apparent that an individual is unwilling to change or is unable to change, we should just shoot the fucker in the face or, in my opinion, deliver them to the families of their victims and let nature take it's course.

So, the prisons would exist but not in nearly the same form they do now and in far less number than they do now.

Social
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Nov 20 2009 17:51

We should have prision in our society to put those fuckers away, so yes

Social
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Nov 20 2009 18:01

I think an authoritarian society have nothing to do with pedos and other fuck up individuals, It just how they become do to the crap that went on in their family cause them to affect them so much and the environment they were in.

Yorkie Bar
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Nov 20 2009 20:28

I think a prison is a specifically capitalist thing; it represents the deliberate curtailment of bourgeois freedoms. But yeah, nothing wrong with locking people up in anarchism.

~J.

crwydryny
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Apr 21 2010 10:50

personally the way I see it, it depends on teh crime. for example with the abolision of capatilism then there will be less theft and and other proffit driven crimes (at least once people's attitudes start chainging)
same with rape, a lot of the time rape is due to people wanting power over others, so hopefully as people's attitudes chainge it will go down (but is unlikly to be wiped out)

the problem is a lot of crimes are due to psycological problems rather than society so no matter what you do they will still exsist, teh question is how to deal with them, prisons, at least how they are right now won't do much good. reabilitation will work with all but the worst cases. which leaves that small minority do you lock them up and throw away the key, shoot them or do something else with them?

and I appologise for the typos as I'm in a rush right now

Deezer
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Apr 21 2010 12:31

Aye, prisons, yes definately. They don't have to be the same as they are now though. Enclosed, almost self-reliant communities where prisoners work to produce most of what they need to survive so they have useful activity to engage in (that isn't some form of prison slavery), open association within the prison community (unless the nature of someones particular pathology means they need to be isolated from others but that should be exceptional), classes and leisure activities provided for...

and a big fuck off wall topped with barbed wire, turrets and machinegun posts so none of the anti-social fuckers escape to torture decent members of society ever again!

A bit like Shutter Island - that is what we should aspire to really.

Joey OD
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May 9 2010 19:58

let us not forget that "sociobiology" is mostly right wing bullshit excuses for present society. There is no murderer gene or rapist gene. We are what society makes us, and the various accidents in our life makes us.
There is no reason to think that there will always be rapists or murderers. Certainly such crimes do not just dissappear with the social revolution (though crime was much reduced immediately after the July revolution in Spain thanks to the revolutionary elan). Individuals should be restrained not as punishment or revenge but to protect the freedom and equality of the rest of us, especially the eldest and youngest, the most vulnerable. Freedom is freedom from as well as freedom to. If someone is a risk then they should be imprisoned as much for their sake as the rest of us.
The difference is they would not be tortured or made to do slave work but educated, given a chance to see what they had done was wrong. Whether they can be trusted again is up to the wider community.
Clearly everyone is innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a properly constuted court of law by a jury of their peers.
Such courts of law are properly constituted in anarchist communist society precisley because they are not perverted by the current class system. By "jury of their peers" I mean the direct democracy of the community (though it could be argued that an outside community/jury would be fairer, more objective, less emotional). Of course, being anarchists we could not have judges but a chair of the court, a rotated position, with all decisions, on guilt and sentancing, made by the jury/the direct democracy of the community.
As crime occurs less and less in anarchist society we would eventually be able to dispense with prisons. I don't think that's utopian. But in the mean time and just in case prisons, methods of restraint would/will remain even in anarchist communist society for the anti-social minority but care assistants would replace screws.

slothjabber
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May 11 2010 22:36

I'm not entirely certain I'd object to 'slave work' myself. I know it sounds bad, but...

Prisons (indeed 'justice' as it exists currently) exist for 4 reasons:
1 - punishment (ie vengeance); we don't like what you did, we do things to you that you don't like;
2 - safety; you abused people, we will put you somewhere away to stop you doing it to others;
3 - rehabilitation; you did naughty things, we'll 'help' (make) you get 'better';
4 - restitution; you broke something, you should fix something.

'Slave work' might be another work of looking at restitution as a principle of justice. In the case, the question is, does the community have the right to expect that someone acting against society should try to make things right? This could be seen as 'slave work' in that the individual might not want to but the community might consider it has the right to demand it - in other words, exploit his/her labour power in an unequal relationship of power (or domination).

Just tossing that out there as an idea, not volunteering to organise punishment battalions come the glorious day.

Kirillov
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May 21 2010 16:01

A prison is in essence the use of coercive force to alter or dictate the acts of another. I don't think that such an institution is compatible with anarchism as I would like to see it practiced.

The society, as a collective a free, consenting individuals, cannot appropriate any power over a member of that society which they do not freely relinquish. There are, admittedly, arguments to be made of implicit social contracts, but I feel that the most an anarchist society can do is to expel an offender.

The topic also brings up a few interesting questions as to the definition of a paedophile and even murderer - both of which have been constantly evolving over human history and are open, to some degree, to the question of individual's right to undertake acts which a majority may find unpleasant.

nialld
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Jan 27 2012 17:48

I agree with this. I don't know how far you could take it but its definitely a constructive way of thinking about the problem.

Tag/ monitor people with persistent problems instead of using prison. and instead of imprisonment deal with people by focusing on their motivation or lack of it. their drug problems and a society that concentrated on this would have far less 'prisoners'

strypey
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Jun 29 2016 02:43

"As far as I know, it hasn't been properly researched, it's not clear if it is similar to a sexual orientation or not, and if sexual attraction to children is something that can be 'cured' or not."

I know the plural of anecdote is not data but... one of my family members was a paedophile. He had an abusive, alcoholic father, and was sexually abused as a child (he says by "neighbours" and by his older brother, but possibly also by his father). About 20 years ago he entered a stopping violence program focused on sexual abuse. He became a much better person, and as far as any of us know, has never abused a child since, sexually or otherwise. I presume this is because he was finally able to talk about his experiences, understand the distorting effect they had on his thinking and emotional coping mechanisms, and envision a new way of being in the world that put into practice the Ghandian nonviolence he had always preached.

Paedophilia is a classic case of what psychologists call "multifactorial causation". In other words, there are as many causes and combinations of causes as there are paedophiles. That said, I think it would be much harder for paedophiles to rationalize their behaviour in a society in which children's human rights to make decisions about their bodies are fully respected, and all forms of "discipline" involving physical attacks on children are understood as the child abuse they are. All forms of corporal punishment need to be understood as unconsciously grooming children to tolerate physical and sexual abuse, along with forcing children to allow hugging and kissing from family members when they don't want to ("be nice to Uncle, he's just giving you a hug").

Bringing it back to the topic, are prisons necessary to protect children from paedophiles? No. Just like mass surveillance and internet censorship are not necessary to prevent kiddy porn. Putting paedophiles in prison does nothing to heal them, and makes it harder for them to continue any positive contributions they are making to society. The resources required to keep one paedophile in prison for one year could fund many fulltime places on the stopping violence courses we actually need to fix the problem. In Aotearoa, even the Chief Justice has quoted studies showing that prisons create the very problems they are proposed as the solution to. I see no reason to keep prisons in an anarchist society. I would like to see them replaced with the current practice of forcing people to stay in mental health wards if they are likely to be a danger to themselves or others, with the consent of a spouse or next-of-kin.

potrokin
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Dec 18 2016 00:36
nialld wrote:
I agree with this. I don't know how far you could take it but its definitely a constructive way of thinking about the problem.

Tag/ monitor people with persistent problems instead of using prison. and instead of imprisonment deal with people by focusing on their motivation or lack of it. their drug problems and a society that concentrated on this would have far less 'prisoners'

Thats so lame. tagging a serious offender like a sadistic killer or a paedophile will not stop them harming people if that is what they want to do- there are many cases of that happening. It's not really that different from putting harrassment orders or restraining orders on people- who then totally ignore them and then commit violent crime.

potrokin
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Jan 22 2017 01:08
Kirillov wrote:
The society, as a collective a free, consenting individuals, cannot appropriate any power over a member of that society which they do not freely relinquish. There are, admittedly, arguments to be made of implicit social contracts, but I feel that the most an anarchist society can do is to expel an offender.

You appear to be putting the freedom of the offender above that of everyone else. I think those that abuse the rights of others and harm others need to be rehabilitated, but that requires (in my view) their rights being, at least partially, taken away. And those who do harm to others don't deserve their own freedom- atleast not until they are fully rehabilitated.What they did with their freedom- seriously enjoying harming other people, is very important and rehabilitation may well not be possible.
Personally I'm happy with less prisons in a post-revolution society, and ones that are different from what we have now. I'm happy with that and I think thats a more realistic goal to aim for.What you are saying is that just to expel a sadistic killer or paedophile is enough and frankly -thats pathetic, worrying, and could even be perceived as suspicious that you would be so soft and ineffective at dealing with such dangerous and vicious people, and that you would be enabling them to get their kicks harming people. These are people who have ensured that they have crossed the line, and pissed and shat on that line and gleefully celebrated doing so. What you are allowing them to do is to just move on to the next location and continue killing and abusing people, doing so from one place to the next. Paedos and perverted, sadistic murderers are going to love your ideal post-revolutionary society and thats seriously bad news for the rest of us- sorry to be so authoritarian and coercive. It's also not going to go down well with most working-class people.

potrokin
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Dec 18 2016 00:24
strypey wrote:
and as far as any of us know, has never abused a child since, sexually or otherwise.

I'm afraid thats not as particularly reassuring as you think it sounds.

potrokin
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Dec 18 2016 13:50
strypey wrote:
I see no reason to keep prisons in an anarchist society. I would like to see them replaced with the current practice of forcing people to stay in mental health wards if they are likely to be a danger to themselves or others, with the consent of a spouse or next-of-kin.

No- fuck their spouses and families. If they feel the need to torture people to death or sexually abuse people, or both, then I don't think their spouses or family should have much of a say in the matter. As for your mental health wards- could they not be said to be some type of prison if people are forced to stay there? Are the other patients and staff protected from likely harm?

cactus9
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Jan 16 2017 22:24

Violence begets violence. I'm not saying there's no place for violence in society but what we have now is violence passed on both horizontally from society to prisoners and vertically through the cycles of deprivation that prisons cause and perpetuate.

I think this article has something valid and important to say on the subject.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/12/obama-clemency-pardons-commutations-war-on-drugs

cactus9
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Jan 16 2017 22:25
akai wrote:
I don't think we'll get too far in our anarchist society unless we make real progress in dealing with antisocial behaviour and people start to change their attitudes and way at looking at such crime, its causes and how to deal with it.

Who is the real perpetrator of antisocial behaviour? Surely anarchist 101 acknowledges that capitalism/ governement and businesses are at the moment.

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Khawaga
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Jan 16 2017 23:55
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Who is the real perpetrator of antisocial behaviour? Surely anarchist 101 acknowledges that capitalism/ governement and businesses are at the moment.

That capitalism may be the source of antisocial behaviour doesn't change the fact that something has to be done with people engaging in such behaviour. I really can't stand this argument that basically says that as soon as capitalism is kaput, everything will magically sort itself out. It just won't.

cactus9
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Jan 17 2017 13:08
Khawaga wrote:
Quote:
Who is the real perpetrator of antisocial behaviour? Surely anarchist 101 acknowledges that capitalism/ governement and businesses are at the moment.

That capitalism may be the source of antisocial behaviour doesn't change the fact that something has to be done with people engaging in such behaviour. I really can't stand this argument that basically says that as soon as capitalism is kaput, everything will magically sort itself out. It just won't.

No I don't think that capitalism going will magically sort everything out. Equally the present system isn't magically sorting everything out. I think the biggest perpetrators of antisocal behaviour are the entities I mentioned. I think a very different approach to antisocial behaviour is needed, those two aren't particularly related statements.

cactus9
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Jan 17 2017 15:36

However a class based analysis of antisocial behaviour needs to acknowledge that many if not most if those commenting on antisocial behaviour are probably disproportionately unaffected by it, I mostly fall into that category.

It's also worth noting that antisocial behaviour as a concern is probably not well established and to a degree a moral panic about antisocial behaviour is fuelled by the media. If you ask the working class what their concerns are, generally I think extremely outlying antisocial behaviour like paedophilia and murder falls far down the list. Poor housing, poverty etc are probably bigger concerns.

Fleur
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Jan 17 2017 15:54

Actually, I think paedophilia would be high up anyone's list of priorities given just how prevalent it is. 47,000 sexual offences against children were recorded last year in the UK according to the NSPCC. And that's just the recorded ones.
https://www.nspcc.org.uk/services-and-resources/research-and-resources/2016/how-safe-are-our-children-2016/

I wouldn't consider that many kids being abused an outlier issue. That said, I really don't have any ideas about what to do with them, but I think it's naive to say the least to imagine that they will just go away.

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jef costello
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Jan 17 2017 19:32

I did read an interesting article about rehabilitating paedophiles. General wisdom is that all you do is teach them to do better in psychological risk evaluations etc. The article argued that a large amount of sexual abuse of children is carried out by general abusers, rather than paedophiles specifically. Certainly an interesting idea, but not one that helps deal with the issue.

One thing that does bug me is prisons as a place of violence. Prisons should be places of rehabilitation or isolation for protection of society. It really angers me when people gloat over the idea of paedophiles and other criminals being raped in prison. If a prison serves any purpose other than petty vengeance then allowing the nature of the experience to depend on how well-connected/ tough the prisoner is abhorrent. They also forget that the rapists will also be enjoying themselves.

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Auld-bod
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Jan 17 2017 21:04

Cactus #54
‘However a class based analysis of antisocial behaviour needs to acknowledge that many if not most if those commenting on antisocial behaviour are probably disproportionately unaffected by it…’

This may well be so as those who suffer most from antisocial behaviour are less inclined to draw attention to themselves by publicising the objectionable behaviour.

From my own experience antisocial behaviour is often in terms of the age group of the working class recipient. As a child everyone inhabited the same play area, the close, the street, and the woods. Young children were sometimes ripped off by older children and parasitical adults. So many ‘ganged up’ after a fashion. And the rest of us ran like the wind.

As a teenager the threat of physical assault, though in fact infrequent, was always part of my recreational planning. I stopped going to the dancing at the Flamingo on Paisley Road West, after two stabbings in the one week. From what I’ve read the same stuff is still going on now.

People with children are concerned for their welfare. An ex-fireman I knew bailed out of a teacher training degree as he felt sick at the prospect that anyone might question his motives for wishing to teach children.

A number of the elderly people living on my housing scheme complain about the fly-tipping and the parking of cars on green spaces. Most changes are perceived as physical encroachments on their well-being. This attitude is not restricted to the elderly.

With the end of capitalism I believe the pressures that generate these negative behaviours and attitudes will diminish though only time will dispel the anger and fear.

On a more positive note, it was only twenty years ago that an elderly relative of mine was asked by the police to lock her front door when she went on holiday. She was living in a small town in Angus, had no phone and shared a stair head toilet. She thought it impolite to lock the door, as a relative might call and finding her out, they could at least make themselves a cup of tea. The moral is – we do not have to live in hell.