Singing Loudly: Supermax Penitentiary and Journalists

Singing Loudly

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Supermax Penitentiary and Journalists

Stephen Dubner of the Freakonomics blog writes a post about how the Supermax prison in Colorado has not allowed journalists access to prisoners, or vice-versa. Dubner mentions the benefit of having open access to the media as a sign of how free our country is. Then he mentions that on the same hand it might not be the best thing because it gives prisoners a voice when they are supposed to lose certain rights.

To me this is pretty easy. I don't think that access to the outside world and sharing your voice with the media is synonymous with losing rights like voting. Appeals of innocence, appeals of abuse, appeals to others to avoid doing whatever was done to land in prison are all valid appeals to the public. Journalists should have the right to hear from prisoners. If not, we lose an important safeguard for democracy. How we treat our prisoners has an unfortunate parallel to how people in the free world are treated.


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