Saturday, January 12, 2013

Young Offenders Should Watch the Lockup Raw Series

Reality television shows can present an unattractive portrait about the people who live in the United States.  And reality shows, often less expensive to produce than comedy or dramatic television, appear to keep growing in their popularity.

In The Real Housewives reality television shows, the affluent housewives and businesswomen portrayed are quite a contrast to the affluent housewives of northeast Ohio.

For those of you who don’t follow the drama, the women come from the affluent areas of the United States as Orange County, New York City, New Jersey, Beverly Hills, Atlanta and Miami. 

With cameras following them, the series peeks into the lives of how basically wealthy bitchy women deal with suicides, divorce, on and off again dysfunctional relationships, raising spoiled children, personal alcoholism etc. 

After watching The Real Housewives series,  and the very unlikable people being followed, it is easy to justify the higher tax rates for people of their economic levels. 

The Real Housewives is unflattering about the wealthy women and the men who pamper and enable their bad behaviors.   However, the History Channel’s Ax Men, Swamp People, Ice Road Truckers, and Discovery’s Deadliest Catch depict an equally unflattering commentary on the temperament of working class men and women of America struggling to make a living. 

One quickly learns watching these shows that men also go into hormonal rages that previously thought (and every one knew was incorrect) only happened to America’s women folk. Of course the difference is that some of these clowns in a temper tantrum drop trees around their enemies which could prove fatal.

All these reality shows described, depict how men and women choose to spend their money or earn a living and probably don’t offer a totally accurate view on the American way of living. 

However, there are some reality shows which depict the darker side of human behavior and American culture.  And though these shows are disturbing to view, they should be viewed at least one time to remind Americans about the seamier side of American life.

MSNBC’s Lockup TV series, the National Geographic’s Lockdown and Drug Inc. series depict that dark side of the United States prison and drug culture that most of us would soon forget exists. 

Both the Lockup and Lockdown series offers a miniscule and barely palatable inside view of American jails and prisons. 

Besides the “routine” bank robbers in prisons, one has to be struck how the drug activity (using or selling) has filled up American and world prisons. 

And also very noticeable is that the prison and jail system houses many mentally ill people.  Some of these inmates with mental illness were more or less just community nuisances engaged in petty crimes.  But some of the others with mental illness  are sadistically homicidal and it is very good they are locked up.

Though an opponent to capital punishment, it is momentarily easy to become less so as you see some of the inmates being fed and sheltered in an ever growing American penal system.   As for  “prison rehabilitation” it is most certainly appears to be  just a feel good phrase coined by a society tired of crime and just hoping that after incarceration particularly the young offenders when released will not harm our communities again.

After watching these shows, one most certainly can appreciate the men and women who earn their living providing the thankless task of guarding and protecting these inmates from themselves,  each other, or us!

Perhaps rather than taking the  young small time offenders to jail right away, allow them the opportunity to watch the Lockup and Lockdown series with their parents,  teachers or probation officers. 

These shows can realistically show  the potential young thugs  the direction that they might be headed should they choose to continue to hang with gangs or engage in criminal behaviors. 

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