Should corrections officers have indiscriminate power over prisoner privileges?

1 Answer | Add Yours

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

This depends on what you mean by "indiscriminate."  If you mean to ask whether corrections officers should be able to take away inmates' privileges at their whim, in an arbitrary way, then I would argue that they should not.  The rule of law should apply even in prisons.

This is not to say that corrections officers should not be able to take away privileges.  But this power should not be indiscriminate.  There should be clear rules about what is and is not permissible for inmates.  Violations of these clear rules should bring about punishment.  However, officers should not have the power to punish inmates for no objective reason.  Giving them such power would simply lead to abuse as officers used that power to punish inmates they did not like, simply for personal reasons.  The US is supposed to be a nation of laws, not of people in power acting arbitrarily.  This ideal should apply in prisons as well.

We’ve answered 318,948 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question