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Controversial TSA Nudie X-Ray Machines Sent To Prisons

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the at-last-a-proper-home dept.

Government 108

An anonymous reader writes "The controversial TSA backscatter X-ray machines are being sent to prisons. According to Federal times, 'The controversial airport screening machines that angered privacy advocates and members of Congress for its revealing images are finding new homes in state and local prisons across the country, according to the Transportation Security Administration.' 154 backscatter X-rays have already ended up in Iowa, Louisiana, and Virginia prisons. TSA is working to find homes for the remaining machines. Per the article: '"TSA and the vendor are working with other government agencies interested in receiving the units for their security mission needs and for use in a different environment," TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein said.'"

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Miss world competition? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045351)

If the USA hosts it, then it is good to be 100% sure that one of the contestants is not a terrorist.

No, no, send the pervs! (1)

KramberryKoncerto (2552046) | about 2 months ago | (#47045355)

Poor machines scapegoated for the pervs that use them to peek.

Re:No, no, send the pervs! (2)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 months ago | (#47045417)

Don't worry, plenty of them already have employment as prison guards...

Re:No, no, send the pervs! (3, Interesting)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#47045523)

Right.

What happened to the good ole days when these contraptions were vetted on prisoner populations before being approved for widespread public use?

Re:No, no, send the pervs! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045695)

What happened to the good ole days when these contraptions were vetted on prisoner populations before being approved for widespread public use?

They were. Now that the TSA trials are complete, they can be used on the general population.

Re:No, no, send the pervs! (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 2 months ago | (#47046307)

What was the OTHER reason to remove these machines? So what's wrong in bathing the convicted in Radiation?

Re:No, no, send the pervs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47046939)

In the good old days, these contraptions were placed in amusement arcades and shoe shops, where people could see interactive X-ray images of themselves for a dime.

Admission of Guilt (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045357)

They were treating us like prisoners.

Re:Admission of Guilt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045487)

touché

Re:Admission of Guilt (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045571)

At least prisoners get complimentary meals and don't have to pay for carry-ons.

Re:Admission of Guilt (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 2 months ago | (#47046731)

At least prisoners get complimentary meals and don't have to pay for carry-ons.

And none of those pesky "op-outs"

Re:Admission of Guilt (5, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about 2 months ago | (#47045791)

Not true at all. If a prisoner sues the prison believing the machines to be unsafe, the prisoner is more likely to get a fair hearing and the prison unlikely to to get away with glossing over health and safety issues related to the machines....whereas the TSA had the carte blanche in the name of Fatherland Security!

Re:Admission of Guilt (3, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#47046235)

Not true at all. If a prisoner sues the prison believing the machines to be unsafe, the prisoner is more likely to get a fair hearing and the prison unlikely to to get away with glossing over health and safety issues related to the machines....whereas the TSA had the carte blanche in the name of Fatherland Security!

Right. Because being a prisoner guarantees one's rights, access to legal counsel, timely medical care, and protection from being violently abused...

Re:Admission of Guilt (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 2 months ago | (#47046349)

well now, I never actually said any of that....I said more likely to get a fair hearing and the prison would be less likely to get away with falling back on "national security" bullshit. The rest is obviously not true.

Re:Admission of Guilt (0)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#47046593)

I've flown a dozen times in the era of the backscatter machines, and I never once been scanned. The two times that they attempted, "Opt Out" worked.

Yes, that meant a pat-down. But, a pat-down has less long-term health effects than radiation.

Re:Admission of Guilt (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 2 months ago | (#47049335)

I can't deny this; it is exactly what I understood. However, can you really say that the situation presents a fair opportunity for a person to make an informed decision? I mean, you likely know that the TSA lied about certifications on the machines, (so much that it prompted NIST to release a statement that they do not even do the kind of safety certification the TSA was claiming to have gotten). You may be aware of the John's Hopkins study claiming these devices are not even safe to be around.

However, as a normal person in line at a checkpoint, you are just told to go through and maybe that you can opt out. You are provided with no such information and, should you ask, are told that they are perfctly safe.

Yes its true, those who have taken the time to educate themselves can decide, but, is it really fair to expose the public to a decision like that?

Re:Admission of Guilt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47046489)

So ... they were treating us WORSE than prisoners.

Re:Admission of Guilt (2)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 2 months ago | (#47046539)

....whereas the TSA had the carte blanche in the name of Fatherland Security!

and yet you could always opt out. Don't be a sheep.

Re:Admission of Guilt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47047361)

and yet you could always opt out. Don't be a sheep.

Yep. With the TSA, you were paying* for the privilege of either getting nudie photos taken or being groped. Prisoners didn't pay** for the privilege and can't opt out***, so the best they can get is a court system to mitigate the dangers to them.

*And obviously, it was the tax payers paying for the privilege which really means I was paying to have other people photographed nude or groped. And given the theater nature of it, honestly they should have stored the photos online for the tax payers to enjoy. Certainly, as I opt out of flying****, it's the only real benefit I can get out of all the waste the TSA is.

**Well, they presumably could have in the same way people pay for future society security benefits through current taxes on current society security beneficiaries.

***Hypothetically it's possible to opt out of prison by not committing crimes. Realistically, people have executed who were [later found to be] innocent. So, we're too far down that rabbit hole to pretend there's a real ability to opt out. This, of course, also ignores that said scanners well may be used by jails in the future on peace protesters as part of the arrest phase and not merely on those who are convicted. But, then, that's again more a part of the corruption of the system that's been around since at least its foundation.

****Realistically, I've just not had a reason to fly. But plenty of people have a legitimate reason to fly--as much as people have a legitimate reason to drive--and the idea of being able to "opt out" of sexual assault in this case is patently absurd. It falls under the same logic of how courts accept EULAs*****.

*****Also known as a contract of adhesion. The simple flaw in it all is that when you agree to buy software (or buy a ticket for a flight), you're buying the thing you bought to use as you see fit. Once you actually buy it, further contractural stipulations are applied with a provision that you can always return to product and get a full refund if you don't agree to the stipulations. The obvious flaw is such a provision is part of the contract and hence you have to agree to the contract first before the provision has any power. Ie, the contract has effectively turned the situation from two choices: agree to the contract and the stipulations or keep using your bought good outside of a contract into three choices: agree to the contract and the stipulations, return the good for a refund, or keep using your bought good outside of a contract with the courts refusing to acknowledge the third option. So, yes, I totally agree with the idea of opting out. Good luck actually getting on a plane while avoiding the TSA, though, given the TSA is part of the government and hence any "contract" is societal law and overrides your personal acceptance/refusal of terms--an absurd idea given the federal government has no such [legal] power to engage in warrantless search and seizure nor a right to refuse you to board a plane nor to force airlines to abide by TSA decisions on who to allow to board a plane. But, yea, we're all sheep because we all recognize that if we stand up to the government on the point, instead of being x-rayed and groped in line, we'll be x-rayed and groped in prison.

Re:Admission of Guilt (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 2 months ago | (#47046719)

They were treating us like prisoners.

Were?

Full circle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47047041)

These machines *started* being tested on prison population. Basically, cavity search or machine type of a deal back in early 2000s. *Then* they were deployed to airports. And now what? Same stuff there anyway.

So now they move them to prisons, again, leaving behind similar crap anyway. At least it doesn't irradiate your skin, but with respect to privacy, it's similar.

But then again, people really like to trade any freedom for lack thereof. You know, effort and such. As long as they have perception of choice, they are happy. Take your average store. Then entire isle can be 1 or 2 companies, but since there is dozens of products under different brands, it's all good! "Choice!" "Market Economy!". "Freedom"...

When you go to prison (5, Insightful)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 2 months ago | (#47045387)

You should only lose one right: Freedom.

Not
  - security of your personal well being
  - privacy
  - respect to the human
  - torture (psychological or physical)
  - physical punishment.

The punishment is withdrawing freedom, not becoming a sub-human. Once you leave prison, you should be considered a typical citizen again -- you served your sentence, so it must not carry on forever.

That said, punishment is known to not be efficient, and not a deterrent for others (as most crimes are not driven by thinking long about the consequences). So modern prisons focus on re-constituting the citizen to full capacity. Because it works better than punishing.

Re:When you go to prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045403)

This is a dangerous time to appear be "Soft On Crime", citizen.

Re:When you go to prison (3, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 months ago | (#47045541)

It is utterly hilarious that you would mock systems of retributive justice in (apparent) favor of ones of clinical rehabilitation-- considering just how Orwellian it is to turn the justice system into a clinical one.

Has no one read 1984? Is no one concerned with just how ominous things like a justice system focused on "reconstituting" (or, perhaps, "reeducating?) would be?

Re:When you go to prison (1)

umghhh (965931) | about 2 months ago | (#47045655)

better let them do cavity searches I guess.

The question is interesting tho - clockwork orange showed an example of such treatment too. Any meaningful behavioral therapy will make differences such that you may worry. I guess you have to trust somebody. Not everybody that is trying explicitly to change you is a criminal or worse - an evil asshole from some agency protecting us from something.

Re:When you go to prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045677)

Has no one read 1984? Is no one concerned with just how ominous things like a justice system focused on "reconstituting" (or, perhaps, "reeducating?) would be?

Not really. The problem isn't with reeducating. The problem lies in calling torture for educational and what is considered a crime.
It only sounds ominous if you consider doublespeak to be the norm.

Re:When you go to prison (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | about 2 months ago | (#47049287)

I don't think what he added is soft on crime except the Privacy thing lol that's just plain stupid for a number of reasons I don't think I need to explain..

Re:When you go to prison (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045481)

Prison doesn't change the true nature of people. Most people who commit crimes are sub-human and will always be sub-human .

Re:When you go to prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045893)

That goes against one of the key points of the justice system, if that were true, and everyone believed that, everyone would be executed for committing any crime- er i mean being sub-human

Re:When you go to prison (4, Interesting)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 2 months ago | (#47046129)

I'm not sure how correctional correctional facilities are. I think some people will stop doing crime when they get out because they've had a theoretical punishment turn into an actual one they've experienced. A 20 yr old might think: "oh I won't get caught I'm too smart" and even if I do jails have become so easy now that big deal I'll be bored for a few years. But after having actually experienced it, and having things they didn't even think about happening (like loosing family members while in, or having their kids grow up without them etc) they don't want to go through it again. It isn't necessarily that they've been "corrected" from their bad behaviour just their relative weighting of the alternatives have been adjusted: it is no longer worth the time to do the crime.

Re:When you go to prison (1)

sporkbender (986804) | about 2 months ago | (#47046739)

... But after having actually experienced it, and having things they didn't even think about happening (like loosing family members while in, or having their kids grow up without them etc) they don't want to go through it again.....

But that's not the case with sociopaths or people w/o friends and family. If a criminal on their own in the world gets out of the slammer, what's keeping them from going back in?

Re:When you go to prison (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 2 months ago | (#47047239)

Nothing. There will always be broken people where no deterrence matters they just get their rocks off doing whatever crime it is they like. Hopefully the combination of probation/monitoring when they are out and long sentences limits the damage they can do. There is something to be said for old forms of punishment here: if we took a hand for each time you got caught doing armed robbery say you probably wouldn't have much in the way of 3rd time offenders. Could call it cruel and unusual but is it any more cruel than repeatedly letting someone into society that you know you'll have to put back in 6mths (that is cruel both to the psychologically damaged criminal and society that has to fear him)? If we aren't going to institutionalize repeat offenders we should remove their ability to offend.

Re:When you go to prison (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 2 months ago | (#47047915)

The rate of repeat offenders who have previously spent time in jail would tend to argue against this.

Re:When you go to prison (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47046283)

It depends on the person. Some people live in areas where there are no jobs, period, so in order to make money, criminal activities have to be done to put food on the plate.

Other people just were not raised in an environment other than "they have it, you don't, you take it".

Finally there are the drug addicted types who just have no higher functioning other than to grab something for their next high.

Yes, there are the hardened criminals. Those and the habitually violent ones are the ones that need to be separated from society.

However, I wonder something. For a fraction of the cost of the SWAT teams and weaponry, we could give every single American citizen minimum wage, even if they do nothing at all but watch Springer re-runs. That is about $22,000 a year. It costs more to keep someone in prison, even in a minimum security lockup.

Couple this with drug decriminalization, even though one side would be screaming about "the dole" or a welfare state, it would go far to reduce crime and boost mental health in general. You build morale in a country, people start policing themselves.

In the long run, it would save money and reduce crime. It is sad, but people have to turn to crime to feed themselves in the US, and if this were not the case, the cost of this stipend to all US citizens would be a drop in the bucket compared to the financial losses due to crime and having to keep buying the latest/great security gadget.

Blecch, I feel like a leftie, but sometimes paying for a social safety net is as important to national security as finding another 10,000 RPM fully auto pistol.

Re:When you go to prison (5, Interesting)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 2 months ago | (#47046427)

Decriminalisation of drugs would also go some way toward slightly less insane levels of incarceration? Having 5% of the population the US account for 25% of the world's prisoners. That is just batshit unhinged.

Re:When you go to prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47047693)

Reading the news I often feel like the american public would prefer to use that 10,000 RPM fully auto pistol against those who are having minor financial setbacks at the moment. Certainly would be cheaper then both options you presented... Especially cause no one actually measures the social cost.

Re:When you go to prison (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about 2 months ago | (#47048707)

And yet crime tends to be performed by young men. If the majority of criminals were and will remain sub-human and hence continue to commit crimes, that would not be true. Clearly, a good many young men that commit crimes avoid doing so later in life.

Re:When you go to prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045485)

- privacy

In what sense?? Either you got in a rut and typed one extra thing, or I am curious what kind of prison you imagine to exist in the real world.

Re:When you go to prison (2)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 2 months ago | (#47045501)

True, though you could argue that being locked up with other dangerous criminals, ensuring your security can only be assured by a decrease in privacy (frisking, cell inspections). And once you're a ward of the state, the state assumes a much larger than normal responsibility for your security.

Also, punishment works pretty well to prevent criminals from committing crimes while in jail (sure, not 100%, as others pointed out before). That's not about being hard on crime; it's about applying the most beneficial (to society) and just (to the criminal) consequence of crime, recidivism as well as the seriousness of the offense being other factors. A warning for first timers, correction for repeaters, and if you make it clear that you won't listen to reason, society will be better off with you behind bars for a few years.

Re:When you go to prison (3, Interesting)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 months ago | (#47045519)

. So modern prisons focus on re-constituting the citizen to full capacity. Because it works better than punishing.

Always relevant in these discussions [angelfire.com] :
According to the Humanitarian theory, to punish a man because he deserves it, and as much as he deserves, is mere revenge, and, therefore, barbarous and immoral. It is maintained that the only legitimate motives for punishing are the desire to deter others by example or to mend the criminal. When this theory is combined, as frequently happens, with the belief that all crime is more or less pathological, the idea of mending tails off into that of healing or curing and punishment becomes therapeutic. Thus it appears at first sight that we have passed from the harsh and self-righteous notion of giving the wicked their deserts to the charitable and enlightened one of tending the psychologically sick.......

My contention is that this doctrine, merciful though it appears, really means that each one of us, from the moment he breaks the law, is deprived of the rights of a human being.

The reason is this. The Humanitarian theory removes from Punishment the concept of Desert. But the concept of Desert is the only connecting link between punishment and justice. It is only as deserved or undeserved that a sentence can be just or unjust. I do not here contend that the question ‘Is it deserved?’ is the only one we can reasonably ask about a punishment. We may very properly ask whether it is likely to deter others and to reform the criminal. But neither of these two last questions is a question about justice. There is no sense in talking about a ‘just deterrent’ or a ‘just cure’. We demand of a deterrent not whether it is just but whether it will deter. We demand of a cure not whether it is just but whether it succeeds. Thus when we cease to consider what the criminal deserves and consider only what will cure him or deter others, we have tacitly removed him from the sphere of justice altogether; instead of a person, a subject of rights, we now have a mere object, a patient, a ‘case’.

Making all criminals subject to a clinical internment: Im sure that couldnt possibly go wrong. Insane asylums of the early 1900s? Unit 731? Josef Mengele? Pre-emptive organ harvesting? Nah, Im sure your idea would work out fine.

Re:When you go to prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045643)

. It is maintained that the only legitimate motives for punishing are the desire to deter others by example or to mend the criminal.

How about 'Removing criminals from society'?

Re:When you go to prison (2)

Artifakt (700173) | about 2 months ago | (#47046353)

Removal doesn't, by itself imply punishment, at least not punishment appropriate to a particular crime. We could remove criminals from society permanently by hanging them all, even the ones who merely wrote bad checks. We could make all sentences life without possibility of parole, or punish with massive but brief periods of torture where the criminal was not kept from society for more than a few days or so, or various methods that would have no real connection between what crime was committed and the severity of the punishment.

  But once we start trying to make punishment fit the crime, we have real problems with removal being a consideration. We let criminals have access to lawyers, send and recieve mail, have visitors, and so on. We limit access to the rest of society, but except in cases such as solitary confinement and supermax lock downs, we don't take those limits to the extreme. We just put enough restrictions of the criminals we can control them. We have to put control restrictions on them whether the goal is to punish, to deter, or to rehabilitate. As, for example, putting them out on parole where they rejoin the general society, but restricting them associating with other former criminals. Sure, those restrictions may feel like punishments to the individual, but the individual criminal has to be controlled to achieve any of the possible goals, justice, deterrence, punishment, rehabilitation, whatever. A criminal who thinks society has no right to punish him may think of the same restrictions as abuses, bullying, or the consequences of class struggle, and not consider it as 'punishment' at all. .

If removal from society is a legitimate motive, then what happens (to take a real world case of which I have personal knowledge) when a criminal is a large, muscular male who has a history of unarmed assaults on citizens, specific to bar fights, and he gets shanked in the pen and ends up a parapelegic with limited movement of the upper body and a regular need for dialysis? Should this result in automatic release? All this guy ever did was get drunk and then get into fights, and he doesn't sound like he poses much risk of that now, so do we still need to remove him from society? I can see a parole board taking the protection of society issue into account here, but I can see them taking a lot of other things into account as well, such as whether he may get better medical care on the outside.

And what about rapists? Should their sentences take into account whether their testosterone levels are still similar to when they went in or not? Should we free the teacher who molested her student because she has passed through menopause and so may (or arguably, may not).have much less interest in reoffending? (I may be stretching that last point a bit - we don't usually seem to sentence female teachers to all that much time for sex with their students, we don't know how much menopause will affect a given woman's sex drive, etc.).

I'm not saying you are wrong to factor in removal, just that a. we can't always count it as a factor at all, and b. we don't often know how to evaluate what society needs and what the criminal needs, even if we want to factor in removal.

Re:When you go to prison (2)

umghhh (965931) | about 2 months ago | (#47045741)

There is always a way around the difficulties. I would imagine that a prison is in itself a terrible thing to be in, no need for torture and some such. There are people there that can be helped in form of taking medication, by showing how to control their anger. There are also others that can be corrected by the fact they have been caught already. There are still others, for whom no amount of correction will help, who see prison term as unfortunate period of time they have to serve and possibly shorten in any way available. You have all those people - no need to apply not tested drugs combination to execute people that possibly did not commit the crime they are dying for, or put into inhumane conditions for smoking a prism of #. If I understand this correctly you are arguing that any form of changing of the mind, however peaceful and voluntary, ultimately leads to scenarios Orwell described in 1984 or Borges in Clockwork Orange. That is simply not true and if terrible things happen there is a way for the society to improve on that.

Re:When you go to prison (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 months ago | (#47045805)

Im arguing that turning criminals into medical patients is a terrible idea that would result in pretty nightmarish systems, whether they looked like 1984 or like Clockwork orange, yes.

At the end of the day I dont see how its appropriate for the state to attempt to "fix" individuals, rather than simply meting out punishment when people violate society's rules. I also dont see how you can avoid a massive moral hazard with the state determining what modes of thought are "normative"; we would end up with a single party system.

Re:When you go to prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47048325)

Rather than forcing rehabilitation on prisoners, what about giving them a choice to participate in rehabilitation programs? We should help our fellow humans that are in need of it and many people who commit crimes are surely in need of help.

Re:When you go to prison (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 months ago | (#47048597)

Rather than forcing rehabilitation on prisoners, what about giving them a choice to participate in rehabilitation programs?

I would be less opposed to it, except that A) im pretty certain it would end up mandatory (slippery slopes are real), and B) it seems to undermine a system based on justice if someone can choose to get out of justice.

Im all for providing resources during incarceration to allow people to get their act together, but I dont think its healthy to ever lose sight of the fact that their incarceration is, first and foremost, punitive.

Re:When you go to prison (2)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 2 months ago | (#47046347)

I don't see how punishment is immoral: if as the first paragraph states it is in proportion to the damage of the crime. Not everything is monitary but say someone steals your wallet with $200 in it. If months later cops catch the criminal would it be unreasonable for them to take $200 from the criminals wallet and give it to you even if it isn't the same $200 they took? With emotional/physical damages it is harder to balance things out of course but neither of the alternative reasons are acceptable to me for a simple reason: changing moral norms/noisy governments/religions.

Deterrence: what if you do a crime with low impact but that the government decides is a politically great thing to be seen as cracking down on? Say gay sex a hundred years ago, or smoking pot. Getting the required level of deterrence might require a hugely disproportionate punishment on the few that you catch.

curative: social norms change and governments generally follow the lead of the masses/majority religion. So things that are otherwise not clearly harmful might be illegal for no other reason than because the government decides to run a christian/muslim/flying spaghetti monster society. What if your "crime" is a matter of personal choice and victimless? What if you don't want to be cured? When people are clearly mentally ill we might force them to be cured under the assumption that they aren't mentally able to understand the consequences of their refusing treatment (or the benefits of having treatment). But psychology is too easily controlled by societies definition of socially acceptable that you'll end up in the same situation: governments/religions will dictate what is "sane" behaviour. Example: people don't masturbate in public because it is seen as rude (and decades of religious indoctrination tells them sex is embarassing/immoral/private). But say someone wanted to have a wank on a bus, who was hurt? At worse it would be a health hazard if they don't clean up after themselves as people are quite capable of looking the other way when they don't want to see something if they chose to stare and get offended inside I'd argue that would be their problem not his.

Re:When you go to prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47046711)

I hope you are trolling, but just in case you aren't, let me point out the obvious. What most of us mean by "rehabilitation" is to "address the fundamental issues leading to imprisonment", which for the vast majority of people who belong in prison is unemployability. This means education and job training, not some kind of mystical "behavior correction" which only works in fictionland.

Nice strawman through.

Re:When you go to prison (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 months ago | (#47048619)

The "fundamental issues leading to imprisonment" are that a free-willed individual broke society's rules.

There are factors that can cause people to go down a bad path, and we should work to address them-- but lets not ever make the mistake of shifting responsibility away from the person who made the choices.

Re:When you go to prison (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 2 months ago | (#47045527)

The punishment is withdrawing freedom, not becoming a sub-human.

That's what you say. For some people though, prison is partially a substitute for other purposes of natural justice. There is no universally accepted set of requirements that everyone agrees on. Among them, there is 1) prevention of further crimes by removing the criminal from society, 2) offering solace/revenge to the victims, 3) rehabilitating and educating the criminal, etc.

Unfortunately, no two persons agree on what amount of weight should be put on each of these requirements, let alone on whether these form an exhaustive set.

Re:When you go to prison (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 2 months ago | (#47045675)

What about the right of the general public to take pleasure and satisfaction in the petty humiliation and dehumanization of incarcerated persons? The cruelty dollar is a huge dollar, not to mention the cruelty vote.

Re:When you go to prison (2)

ThisIsAnonymous (1146121) | about 2 months ago | (#47045715)

I think your Not list makes sense other than on Privacy. I don't see how we could imprison anyone without the loss of privacy. The very act of locking someone up would seem to involve some type of monitoring (so you know if they are actually locked up) which in turn means they lose some of their privacy (since you know where they are at all times).

Re:When you go to prison (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 months ago | (#47048201)

Indeed. You have people stabbing each other with sharpened toothbrushes... some proper form or search is necessary and metal-detection is not enough.

Re:When you go to prison (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045745)

We all lost our freedom a long time ago. I think you mean mobility.

Re:When you go to prison (2)

jythie (914043) | about 2 months ago | (#47045781)

'effective' is a problematic term. Specifically, one has to look at the purpose of 'punishment' before one can determine if it is being effective or not, and the goal of punishment has nothing to do with deterrent, it is to please 3rd parties.

Re:When you go to prison (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 months ago | (#47046069)

one has to look at the purpose of 'punishment'

Depends on your jurisdiction. Where I live (New Hampshire), our Constitution specifies reform as the purpose of prison, not punishment.

Re:When you go to prison (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045799)

When looked in the light of "does it stop/prevent crime", the US prison system makes zero sense.

However, when you look it in the light of "how do we hold people in prison for as long as possible, and ensure they return", it makes perfect sense. The goal of the system is to put people in prison as long as possible.

Look at the stock value of companies in that arena. Not Apple, hockey-stick type of growth, but close enough.

Re:When you go to prison (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045851)

The American public thinks prison is for punishment, not for rehabilitation, and nobody will stand on the side of prisoners and defend them.

Prison only truly accomplishes one thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47046201)

It makes criminals become even more tougher.

Re:When you go to prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47046267)

"Once you leave prison, you should be considered a typical citizen again -- you served your sentence, so it must not carry on forever."

Defend that with logic. For example, a predator is not less predatory because their career has been interrupted.

It doesn't make sense for me as an employer to hire a person with a record of profound disrespect for others rights when there are many honest, hardworking folk
eager for a good job.

Re:When you go to prison (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47046937)

It really depends on the crime. Here in the US, an arrest for public intoxication (not a conviction... an arrest) is good enough to get one blacklisted from a lot of jobs (this is a filter mainly, as I've worked with HR departments who say that "you can buy your way out of a conviction, but if a cop decides that they should fill out paperwork on you, you are guilty."

Couple that with a felony being dangerously easy to get. Recently in my neck of the woods, a drunk peeing on a well netted 26 charges of lewd contact with a child because a school bus and a minivan passed him while he was peeing. Now he is facing life in prison because the judge sentenced him to the max sentence for all 26 charges... to be served consecutively.

With this in mind, getting stuck in the drunk tank has as many long term repercussions as aggravated assault or a home invasion. Either way, it means an employment-free life, and a burden on the system in general.

I would say there needs to be a threshold for crimes. Misdemeanors need to never be made public. Felonies should be made public because it is important that others know about an individual who has made, and will make poor choices. Even then, the type of felony should be on a record for a length of time. That way, something stupid but minor (shoplifting for example) done at 15 (the age where one can be hauled in front of an adult court) isn't going to haunt someone in their 40s.

Re:When you go to prison (1)

Spazmania (174582) | about 2 months ago | (#47046623)

The general right to privacy is one of the many freedoms withdrawn as a result of criminal conviction. As it should be. As should any freedom which makes it harder for the guards to maintain their own safety or prevent other prisoners from harming you. You're only innocent until *proven* guilty.

The point of prison is to remove those who would harm others from the rest of society and put them somewhere they can't harm the innocent. Punishment doesn't work. Rehabilitation doesn't work. The recidivism rates basically don't change.

So you give the prisoners the opportunity to become someone who isn't trapped in a cycle of crime: some will take it and some won't. Other than that the focus is and should be keeping everybody alive at minimum cost until society is ready to give them another chance.

I agree with one thing you said: once you've served your time full rights should be restored. Until and unless you prove you still can't handle it, you should be treated as a citizen like any other.

Re:When you go to prison (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 months ago | (#47046989)

Prison is to remove the criminal from society. Call it punishment if you want, but that's not the real purpose

Re:When you go to prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47046999)

“The aim of the joke is not to degrade the human being, but to remind him that he is already degraded.” - George Orwell.

Re:When you go to prison (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 months ago | (#47047487)

Just an FYI, when you go to prison, you can be strip-searched. So this is really an improvement.

When you go to prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47047873)

> Once you leave prison, you should be considered a typical citizen again

Why should we ignore their reputation? Would you hire a pedophile as an elementary teacher? Would you share an office with a serial killer? And all merely because they've spent X years being punished by being locked in a small room?

It's fine sounding nonsense to claim all of this when you have no fear of actually suffering these consequences, but having had my mother violently murdered, I cannot be quite so caviler. Nor can I simply discard what I know about what a person is capable of without some evidence that they have, in fact, changed. If there is good evidence of change, fine, I think people can decide for themselves, but the onus there is on the criminal. Yes, there is a reputation trap where a person can run themselves out of good options. I do think we need a way to deal with this, but I also recognize their culpability in the matter.

I don't like the idea of blinding ourselves to what we know as it seems more like a means of creating new victims.

Health Concerns (4, Interesting)

Agilulf (173852) | about 2 months ago | (#47045391)

Weren't these machines banned in Europe over health concerns from radiation exposure? I know that these are prisoners but shouldn't the health effects of such a machine be studied prior to deploying stuff like this out into the world? http://science.howstuffworks.c... [howstuffworks.com]

Re:Health Concerns (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045431)

I know that these are prisoners but shouldn't the health effects of such a machine be studied prior to deploying stuff like this out into the world?

What mystifies me is that they (sorta) admitted that the old machines may have been bad for one's health (at least I hear TSA agent say "these are new, safer machines"). However, not a single person had been fined or imprisoned for allowing UNTESTED machines to be used against millions of people.

Re:Health Concerns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045471)

admitted that the old machines may have been bad for one's health (at least I hear TSA agent say "these are new, safer machines").

As far as I know, nobody has any proof of damage done by cell phone use. We still can compare SAR values for different phones anyway. We assume that smaller values are safer, not the other way around.

Re:Health Concerns (5, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 months ago | (#47045499)

That's because everything is forgiven if you shout TERRORISM loud enough.

Also, most politicians won't even consider going against the TSA on this because they are too afraid of being called "soft on terrorism" during their next election campaign. Fear isn't just for keeping the populace in line - it keeps the politicians in line also.

Re:Health Concerns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045813)

Don't forget the press. The terrorists won the press by targeting the liberal media with anthrax (along with the Democratic leadership). Manipulate the messengers.

Re: Health Concerns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47046625)

Wrong motivation. The "terrorists", who were conveniently never caught and who somehow had access to domestic weapons grade Anthrax, targeted the people who were both of a mind to and in a position to stop the abomination called the Patriot Act. It had nothing to with the media other than the usual goal of fear and sensationalism. There is no "liberal media". There are liberal reporters just as there are right wing ones, but the media is controlled by corporate interests like everything else in this sick society.

Re:Health Concerns (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045525)

cuz it's really hard to prove health problems are caused by radiation, particularly when you have medical studies which come to opposing conclusions. The uncertainty allows the establishment to continue using the machines until more definitive evidence is produced that the scanner manufacturers and government can't controvert.

Re:Health Concerns (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 months ago | (#47048257)

You need context for that.

Sure, it's safer without an x-ray cathode. That's some high-voltage stuff.

Re:Health Concerns (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045489)

It damages your corneas quite rapidly. I saw a poster at the ARVO annual meeting a fortnight ago by a researcher called Masami Kojima. Basically, there's lots of things that emit that wavelength -- your car's radar cruise control being one that I remember -- but that's pretty weak. These scanners... not so weak. It increases the temperature of your corneas as your eyes absorb the radiation; a few degrees can cause a fair bit of damage. You so don't want to be stuck in one, and I'd worry about cumulative exposure if I were a really regular traveler.

Re:Health Concerns (2)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#47046285)

It's not power so much as distance. Radiation is subject to inverse-square law, and the closer the emission source and the wider the emitter, the more radiation received by the subject. Since the point of these machines was to invasively scan the entire body it would make sense that it would subject the body to a lot of radiation.

The solution will probably be something as pedestrian as special goggles that the prisoners are given the option to wear, something that looks like those small swim goggles but are made out of a different material. Of course prisoners won't really understand that, won't be told of the health risks, and thus won't ask for them, so they'll just hang on a peg on the operator's console and gather dust.

Re:Health Concerns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045621)

Weren't these machines banned in Europe over health concerns from radiation exposure?

The US does not care about the health of its citizens, this is SECURITY we're talking about here!

It's not just privacy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045421)

It's the radiation. I'm surprised that correctional employee unions haven't objected to these installations, or, at least, demanded that the scanner operators get to wear dosimeters to detect radiation exposure.

Re:It's not just privacy (1)

Timothy Hartman (2905293) | about 2 months ago | (#47045455)

Or to sit in a completely separate room with some dim lighting and mood music with a fellow guard they are comfortable with in intimate situations. These guards deserve the same opportunities for abuse the TSA was afforded. Working on turning otherwise functional members of society into lifelong criminals is as important a task as keeping our airlines free of Tara.

Re:It's not just privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045473)

Guards watching the monitor get to sit isolated a room, but you'll still need guards around the scanner as prisoners go through it.

So, where is the problem ? (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 2 months ago | (#47045457)

All the security personnel get to see will be the outlines of obese / overweight / fat American inmates, malnourished by a decades-long diet of corn-syrup-based beverages and saturated fatty acids, as the USA underclass is wont to consume. I pity the prisons' security personnel.

Re:So, where is the problem ? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 months ago | (#47048297)

Because they weren't already getting worse than that doing routine searches/bangups?

better then strip search (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 months ago | (#47045465)

also jails use them on inmates well.

Re:better then strip search (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045683)

Strip searches will still go on. Besides being a method of finding weapons or contraband, it also serves as a humiliation and intimidation tactic to break a prisoner's will.

hmmm (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 months ago | (#47045535)

So it can't detect homemade, low density weapons like non-metals and it will cause cancer. Sounds like a great idea.

so to make this perfectly clear (5, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about 2 months ago | (#47045563)

The people who would be inconvenienced by a fully nude rendering of their body presented to a remote office worker making minimum wage have objected to said technology. These people are politicians and businessmen, members of the plutocracy in some cases and powerful individuals in other cases. The machines were withdrawn because they were perturbed, not you.

when we say, 'privacy concerns raised by airport passengers do not apply in many cases to prisoners' what we mean is that we reserve the right to treat United States citizens designated as prisoners, or detained by law enforcement while charged with a crime, like human fucking garbage. We categorically embrace the power to bombard those in custody arbitrarily and at our will with ionizing radiation that depicts them nude and has been proven by numerous security experts to be easily thwarted. We endorse the ability to do this with or without their consent because theyve written a bad check, been charged with an unpaid parking ticket, or have a warrant for an unreturned library book.

This is a bigger deal than most readers understand. Namely because America has the highest rate of incarceration in the known world. We arrest and imprison people at or above the height of the Soviet Union, so to conject that the reader would not be subject to this type of technology in the future isnt at all certain. In a "detention facility" or "correctional center" as its known it is implicitly understood that your moral and ethical treatise concerning the dangers and repercusssions of using this technology are tolerated only as long as it takes your corrections officer to apply her riot baton to designated 'departmentally approved areas' of your tender human body.

The systemic repercussions of widespread application of X-Ray backscatter systems in the various private penal colonies of the united states, while financially sound at its salesmans word, certainly isnt a long term bet to hedge. Incidences of debilitating cancers will need medical treatment for both guards and prisoners alike as has been shown in the incidences of cancer for certain groups of TSA screeners. Liability for introducing a prisoner or employee to a cancer suspect agent will likely follow the course of most other folly of american scientific perversion in the hands of government. It will likely be assigned to the government, who in turn will insist it was the technology, and in turn the manufacturer will absolve itself through a complex series of medical puppet shows, out of court settlements, and evasive restructuring practices so as to ensure no real harm comes to the corporation. Once your sentence is complete, and you emerge from prison, the biblical retribution set upon you is now the denial of employment, housing, food stamps, medicare, and finally a malignant cancer risk substantially greater than the rest of society as your corrections system applied background scanners quietly and incessantly for the duration of your incarceration.

Re:so to make this perfectly clear (1)

umghhh (965931) | about 2 months ago | (#47045787)

sounds like the land of the free that the Grounding Fathers envisioned

Re:so to make this perfectly clear (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 2 months ago | (#47047969)

Despite your overstatement in places, you have spoken truth. This is because of basic psychology, where becoming a prisoner pushes you from one of us to being one of them.

We draw distinctions in organizing people, so that we know who to care about. Five people from your state die, or one from your city, and it is a tragedy. Five people an ocean away is barely news.

The quotes from rich people explaining poverty are examples of the same effect, they just don't understand. Same with poor people discussing rich, or minimum wage earners discussing management.

Us vs them is a basic component of human behavior, that has served its purpose and needs to be broken. In this case, i think everyone needs a surprise arrest at age 18, to understand why avoiding prison is good, and why extreme sentences are bad. Held overnight, grant bail, have a court date, and waive court costs.

The problem is, you can't possibly put everyone in the 'us' group for every situation. So we will always have this problem.

Here's another similar problem. You seem surprised. With such a huge basic failing of compassion, you would think it beneficial to have everyone aware of this deficiency. At least so we can point it out when it happens. But people live their whole lives ignorant of this in themselves, and in others.

We have the sheriff who pushes for forfeiture laws, and decides it is unfair when it happens to him. Repeated, public failures to understand what we put the 'others' group through.

Millions of tiny tragedies, with simple solutions, if only we had a single benevolent super being to intervene and show us our errors

I work to spread understanding, or at least create doubt to start the path of understanding. But I can't force people to understand the opposing view, the view held by the 'not us' group. And from many responses here, people obviously do not want to understand. Unless I hit the right person just the right way, which is really hard.

So to make it clear, we have an epidemic of ignorance which actively fights attempts to treat it. This is only a tiny subset of the problem space. You stated a problem, I stated the cause. Now what?

Poorly worded headline (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 months ago | (#47045587)

This headline sounded at first like it was describing some sort of publicity stunt where the machines themselves were going to be locked up as prisoners for the crimes they have committed against innocent people. I think something like

Controversial TSA X-Ray Machines To Be Used In Prisons

Would have been much more informative.

Re:Poorly worded headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47048173)

You're just jealous.

Moved from the 'open' prison to closed prisons... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045761)

Because the entire country is a giant prison. You can't choose who you live with (that would be 'racist'), so you are a prisoner. You can't simply GET AWAY from people you don't want to associate with (murderers just released from prison, paedophiles just released from prison, gang members, etc.) so you are a prisoner.
You aren't entitled to a fair amount of land, from birth, just for being alive, because somebody else STOLE the land from your parents, so you and they have to work as indentured servants in order to just be able to afford a place to live. The 'laws' are made so that you can't build any sort of house you want, even if you did have land - you have to spend a fortune on a house, so you are still a slave - still in prison.

Re:Moved from the 'open' prison to closed prisons. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47045853)

You can't choose who you live with (that would be 'racist')

I think you mean "that would be 'gay'".

Re:Moved from the 'open' prison to closed prisons. (3, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#47046465)

You can't choose who you live with (that would be 'racist'), so you are a prisoner.

You mean I can't live with Scarlett Johansson? Darn the luck!

You can't simply GET AWAY from people you don't want to associate with (murderers just released from prison, paedophiles just released from prison, gang members, etc.) so you are a prisoner.

There are no violent ex-cons or gang members in my neighborhood or at my place of work...

You aren't entitled to a fair amount of land, from birth, just for being alive, because somebody else STOLE the land from your parents, so you and they have to work as indentured servants in order to just be able to afford a place to live. The 'laws' are made so that you can't build any sort of house you want, even if you did have land - you have to spend a fortune on a house, so you are still a slave - still in prison.

No one born with a hungry mouth is truly innocent.

Let me repeat that, so it sinks in...

No one born with a hungry mouth is truly innocent.

There are only so many resources on this planet. We are all in competition for those resources. Communities, cities, nations, alliances, are all there for the purpose of attempting to ensure the best access to resources. Different cultures throughout history have been better at it than others, and I'm certain that the current balance will eventually change. Within those spheres of cooperation exists a degree of competition though, as cooperation doesn't automatically mean succor. If parents want their children to succeed then they need to set their children up on a path to help make them succeed. That generally requires having a certain degree of stability of their own to start with, and then generally requires the parents to make some sacrifices of their own to commit the time and resources to the children that they might otherwise want to spend on themselves.

My very strong opinion is that if you can't afford to have children, then don't have children. 'Afford' includes the willingness to commit that time, effort, and money required to do right by them. There are so many ways of avoiding having children while still enjoying a full life that it's stupid to have kids when one isn't prepared to go all-in.

Land isn't your birthright. Your birthright, whether born in Beverly Hills or in Khartoum, is to struggle to get or to keep what you need to live. That's it. The universe owes you nothing.

Re:Moved from the 'open' prison to closed prisons. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 months ago | (#47047531)

There are no violent ex-cons or gang members in my neighborhood or at my place of work...

I was going to ask you how you know; it reminded me this story from Trenches comic [trenchescomic.com]

Save money on life sentences (1)

phazemstr (1405173) | about 2 months ago | (#47046057)

Heightened cancer risk leading to less overall lifespan meaning money saved on life sentences. Do you think prisoners will be given the opportunity to have a rigorous pat-down instead of the scanner?

I can't imagine anything going wrong here (2)

c (8461) | about 2 months ago | (#47046365)

Besides the privacy and safety concerns of these things, I was under the impression that a major flaw is that it's a bit too easy to sneak things through them.

Is it really a smart idea to move these things from a place where security is theatre to a place where the targets actually *are* sneaking weapons through security and using those to actually kill other people?

Meanwhile, they've been replaced (1)

swillden (191260) | about 2 months ago | (#47046971)

Meanwhile, in airports they've been replaced by new machines that achieve exactly the same ends using slightly different technology.

But the traveling public has gotten used to it, and complaints have died down, so the new terahertz wave nudie scanners are the new normal.

MURICA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47047189)

Yeah, cause fuck those guys. Prisoners aren't even human. We can do any nasty shit we want to those fuckers. Right? Can I get a MURICA?

MURICA
MURICA
MURICA

Install them in House of Representatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47047793)

with use required for all admitted.

State Hospital Workers (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 2 months ago | (#47047897)

I know of civilian workers at a state hospital (basically the only real employer in town) that are forced thru scanning machines at the beginning and end of their shifts, treated no differently than criminals. It wouldn't surprise me if these kind of machines are being used - and the images of the women surreptitiously recorded by the pigs that man them (not to mention the long-term health effects of the daily cooking sessions).

Few people are more hated in Red States than public employees just trying to eke out a living for their low-income families.
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