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6 J. Offender Counseling, Services & Rehab. 1 (1981-1982)

handle is hein.journals/wjor6 and id is 1 raw text is: 








                     EDITORIAL






          (... STRICTLY AS A PRISON




  In the aftermath of a brief but blistering riot during August
1980 at the Idaho State Correctional Institution, the Director of
Corrections announced:

     When they burned the prison down and destroyed the re-
     habilitation programs, they indicated that they didn't want
     the rehabilitation programs. So I am now going to run the
     facility strictly as a prison.

   It doesn't matter that the destruction of the rehabilitation
programs was incidental to the fire that destroyed the prison.
Surely, the top prison official could have said that since the
rehabilitation programs were not the targets of the inmates'
violence but only the prison itself, as a symbol of their griev-
ances, he would run the facility strictly as a rehabilitation
center and not as a prison. Though no direct attempt was made
by the Idaho inmates to harm the institution's classrooms, the
official could have used the same draconian reasoning by an-
nouncing that the facility would be used as a school and not as a
prison. Clumsy, capricious, arbitrary deprivation, so typical of
the mindless punishments meted out daily by the millions of the
relatively strong and privileged against the relatively weak and
subdued, is prototypical of nations where coercion and its threat
are running amok.
   A more reasonable administrator, a more informed human
being, might, in response to the signals told by violence, have
         © 1982 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.  I

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