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April 29, 2007


What is truly alarming is not that we permit some people to buy their way into cellblocks where they're less likely to be subject to gang violence and prison rape but that we have allowed the general prison population to be victimized by such behavior. Did I say "allowed"? When the defendant is someone society despises, such as sex offenders and high-profile white collar criminals, we laugh about the expected victimization and treat it as a welcome aspect of their punishment.

Regrettably, taking a tough zero-tolerance approach to prison violence and rape is something that's not popular with either prison guards, who don't want to rock the boat, or prisoners' rights advocates, who shrink from the increased penalties and harsher conditions that would be imposed on violators.

That, not the inequality in treatment, is the real outrage.

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