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Thread: Prison conditions - "never" raised as a gender equality issue - why?

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    Default Prison conditions - "never" raised as a gender equality issue - why?

    We are constantly told that we should be striving for a society where men and women are treated equally.

    We have lots of people who study courses in equality, get grants to do research as well as some who are involved in "guarding over society" to prevent equalities as part of their job.

    So why is it never (?) mentioned that if two people go to jail for the same crime, you are much more likely to face inhumane conditions if you are male?

    Overcrowding at Mountjoy requires 'urgent action' - The Irish Times - Fri, Sep 25, 2009

    URGENT ACTION is needed in Dublin’s Mountjoy Prison to alleviate the chronic overcrowding that has led to “unsafe, inhumane and degrading” conditions, the Inspector of Prisons Judge Michael Reilly has said.
    He described Mountjoy’s slopping out system as “inhuman and degrading”. He had seen seven inmates sharing a four-man cell in which all urinated and defecated during the night into three buckets. The prisoners ate and drank in the same cells.

    In some cells the slop buckets were also used for rubbish. In the mornings the contents were often simply tipped into plastic rubbish bags which leaked in corridors – “that smell of sewage” – or on to inmates moving the bags.
    The conditions in Mountjoy really stick out for me, not just because of how bad they are for men and how big the gender gap is, but because of what happened in the 90s: the Minister for Justice (it was Nora Owen, but the party is irrelevant) felt sorry for the women in Mountjoy and so the Dochas Centre was built at a cost of £18m (?). The conditions for men were much worse. I wonder is this covered in gender studies/equality courses or is what happened going to be forgotten by those who analyse society on gender lines?

    Could it be that be that there is a bias in what is highlighted on gender equality grounds?

    Or if it's acceptable for the State to give women preferential treatment in some situations, is it also acceptable for the State to give men preferential treatment in other situations?

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    What are little boys made of?What are little boys made of? Frogs and snailsAnd puppy-dogs' tails, That's what little boys are made of. What are little girls made of?What are little girls made of? Sugar and spiceAnd all things nice, That's what little girls are made of.[1]

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    Here you go, the Irish Human Rights Commission, part of the 'pc equality' brigade (I don't really think that but thats what others might call them) have called for better conditions for prisoners:

    What's New - Irish Human Rights Commission

    Clearly an issue for women prisoners' that male prisoners simply do not have is that they can be nursing small children.

    The prison conditions in some of our prisons are horrific - I agree. Its not true to say that this is not highlighted by people interested in equality. In fact, afaik, the issue of outlawing discrimination against prisoners has been raised as an issue. Since the number of male prisoners is greater than the number of female prisoners, this would clearly benefit men more - so no bias there.

    I would argue that the reason why the situation where men in prisons experience much worse conditions is that those who run the system aren't that influenced by gender politics but are quite 'macho' and old-fashioned and still buy into old-fashioned ideas of gender, hence, the men have to put up with it.

    So, it is not true that the plight of prisoners isn't highlighted by the 'equality-people', in fact very often they are the only ones arguing in support of prisoners. As male prisoners outnumber female prisoners, any measure to support the conditions and outcomes for prisoners will clearly benefit men more than women. Where's the bias? (p.s. just to clarify I think that improving conditions for male prisoners should be urgently addressed. It is the Prison Service management people who are responsible for this, not the equality people- who are the ones advocating for prisoners).
    Last edited by Mar Tweedy; 25th September 2009 at 10:42 AM.

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    RIGHTS????????


    Throw the lot of them onto chaingangs and put the lazy good for nothing parasites to work.

    Work of course being something completely alien to many of them!
    "There are three types of of untruth's in this world.

    Lies, Dammed Lies and Statistics!"


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    p.s. If you are suggesting that such an issue would provide ideal subject matter for masculinity studies, I would definitely agree with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Effin Effer!!! View Post
    RIGHTS????????


    Throw the lot of them onto chaingangs and put the lazy good for nothing parasites to work.

    Work of course being something completely alien to many of them!
    But why should men and women who commit the same crime face very different prison conditions.

    Whether you want harsh prison conditions or less harsh prison conditions, why the huge gender disparity (that rarely seems to get mentioned).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mar Tweedy View Post
    The prison conditions in some of our prisons are horrific - I agree. Its not true to say that this is not highlighted by people interested in equality. In fact, afaik, the issue of outlawing discrimination against prisoners has been raised as an issue.
    On gender grounds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mar Tweedy View Post
    Since the number of male prisoners is greater than the number of female prisoners, this would clearly benefit men more - so no bias there.
    There is a bias if it is not be pursued with much vigour. Rather than complaining about something like Portmarnock GC, this issue could have been highlighted and fought for.

    Where is the issue being highlighted to students?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mar Tweedy View Post
    So, it is not true that the plight of prisoners isn't highlighted by the 'equality-people'
    Where are the gender equality people highlighting it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mar Tweedy View Post
    Where's the bias?
    The main points I've heard from gender equality people are complaints about the conditions women prisoners face and that prison may not be a suitable place for women.

    "Left-wing" people complaining about the conditions for prisoners is not the same as them being complaining about the gender difference in the conditions men and women are kept in.
    Last edited by belvoboy; 25th September 2009 at 01:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by belvoboy View Post
    But why should men and women who commit the same crime face very different prison conditions.

    Whether you want harsh prison conditions or less harsh prison conditions, why the huge gender disparity (that rarely seems to get mentioned).
    Why not as the will get very different sentences.....

    How many times do you hear of a Poor man who was led on by a girl......

    Funny it works the other way.

    Perhaps its time to have a sentencing body who ignores gender and looks at the facts of the case with anything relating to gender excluded.

    Feminists will jump all over this and suggest Women should never be in prison.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mar Tweedy View Post
    Clearly an issue for women prisoners' that male prisoners simply do not have is that they can be nursing small children.
    So because a percentage of women may be in this situation, they all benefit? Would that be acceptable in other parts of life i.e. because some men need special treatment, they all should get better treatment than women.

    Can you honestly tell me if the situation was the reversed, with the women (who were not nursing small children) in the conditions that the male prisoners have and the male prisoners were in Dochas Centre-type conditions, that we would not hear about it being evidence of gender discrimination?
    Last edited by belvoboy; 25th September 2009 at 01:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mar Tweedy View Post
    Here you go, the Irish Human Rights Commission, part of the 'pc equality' brigade (I don't really think that but thats what others might call them) have called for better conditions for prisoners:

    What's New - Irish Human Rights Commission
    There is no specific mention of the conditions men face in Mountjoy Prison.

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