Example of Correctional Unfairness
A great example of correctional unfairness is in the 1985 film, The Official Story. This film is an example of how Justice needs to be served. The film is based on the real political events that took place in Argentina after Jorge Rafael Videla’s reactionary military junta assumed power on March 24, 1976. The film focuses on a high school history teacher who is leading a comfortable life with her husband, Roberto, a businessman with ties to the military, and their adopted daughter. When Alicia begins to wonder about the identity of the little girl’s birth parents, she finds herself suspecting that her daughter may be the child of people abducted or killed by the government’s brutal crackdown on leftist groups. Alicia begins to search for who the parents of her adopted daughter may be and ends up finding out that her daughter is the daughter of a people killed by the corrupt government. Her husband, Roberto, tries to make sure Alicia doesn’t find out, but fails to do so, due to her ambition. For justice to be served, the government needed to be punished and sentenced for violating human rights. The murder of the adopted child’s parents shouldn’t be left and unforgotten rather, justice should be served. Unfortunately at the end of the movie nothing was resolved and justice wasn’t processed, nor served.
According to soundsandcolours. com, “Military rule in Argentina lasted from 1976 until 1983 and during that time thousands of people were detained, tortured, murdered or disappeared, and commonly all of these things. Opposition was resolutely quashed and individual rights were curtailed. Although the name of Videla has never reached the international levels of notoriety as those of his Chilean counterpart, General Pinochet, the official number of dead and missing in Argentina is far higher than in Chile, and covers a shorter time period. The Chilean dictator managed to evade justice his whole life until dying peacefully in his own bed in 2006 at the age of 91, whereas Videla was convicted of numerous offenses, including murder, kidnap, torture, and the forced removal of babies, and saw his days out in a prison cell. In this case, at least, an element of justice was served.” This problem is incredibly frustrating for the community as a whole. This shows that during the 1980s the government refused to properly bring justice to a man who has brought incredible suffering to the community. Nonetheless, the man was the Chilean dictator himself. On the other hand, Videla, a Former Président of Argentina, was convicted toward the end of his life, showing that the correction facility failed to even punish until he was late in age. On top of being late in age, his punishment was only to spend his remaining days in prison. This is absolutely unfair to the community that Videla has tortured and abused all his life. True justice would’ve been served when all the members revolving around Videla are detained and punished. The Chilean dictator was a part of this unjust violation of human rights, thus he deserved punishment too, and that is where serving justice fails. If both the Chilean dictator and President Videla had been punished at the time of their crime that would have been significant in showing the people that no matter whom or what status you have achieved, you can and will be punished. Ultimately this would improve the community’s faith in correction systems making communities feel more protected.
Officer Jacet Moesta’s Explanation
It is unknown as to why officers are very corrupt in their conduct. One reason could be that prison guards earn below the average annual salary of Americans. Also a lack of officer supervision plays another major role in why officer misconduct exists. Being an officer also entitles dominance which gives them superiority looking at their inmates as unequal. This probably encourages the correctional officer to abuse and let their frustrations out on the inmates. An article on correctionsone. com, explains how it is being a correctional officer. Officer Hic Jacet Moesta explains, “Being an officer in the first years of employment, you often feel alone and isolated. New officers are not welcome by veteran officers from months to years. A new officer can make a mistake that can get them and you killed. Ironically, the administration does not recognize years of service until you complete two years. In the academy, you are taught just enough to get you hurt, and not get sued. You learn you have fewer rights than inmates. You learn excessive paranoia and fear and how to channel them to stay alive. You learn to be firm but fair. You learn honor and truth are a must. Respect is a must. Wait, this is sounding like I am the incarcerated…” According to Officer Moesta, he expresses that the job is incredibly stressful. An officer can easily be led to anger and abuse of power. To fix this problem, correctional officers should require more professional training and a higher annual salary.
One supreme that provides an example of the failure of correctional facilities is the Supreme Court case, Farmer v. Brennan. The whole idea of this Supreme Court case was the act of improper abuse to a transsexual man in prison. “Petitioner, a preoperative transsexual who projects feminine characteristics, has been incarcerated with other males in the federal prison system, sometimes in the general prison population, but more often in segregation. Petitioner claims to have been beaten and raped by another inmate after being transferred by respondent…” On June 6, 1994, the court ruled that there was a use of cruel and unusual punishment toward inmates. This violated the eight amendments, which ultimately became a holding rule for future court cases. This case in particular made a stepping stone for future cases revolving around inmate abuse and unfair punishment. Farmer V. Brennan is one of many cases.
Cruel Treatment of Women
Just like men, women face cruel, if not worse treatment from the correctional facility officers. On December 13, 1994, women protested and took to court the correctional facility in Columbia. This court case was incredibly important to gaining the fair treatment women deserved in these facilities. There were many findings, in this case, one being the act of sexual harassment between inmates and officers. In the court case, it states, “The evidence demonstrates that there have been many incidents of sexual misconduct between prison employees and female prisoners in all three of the womens’ facilities in this case. The level of harassment involves forceful sexual activity, unsolicited sexual touching, exposure of body parts or genitals and sexual comments.” These women were also denied proper health care on top of abuse of their physical health. The court finally ruled that these women be given proper health care and higher surveillance on any officer stepping out of line.
How to Fix the Justice Issue
In conclusion, it is easy to say with certainty that the way correctional facilities have been and still are proves that there is little fairness in this system. The problem can only be corrected, by correcting the view and stereotypes of races. When an officer’s job is to serve and protect our communities, racial profiling adds a whole new dynamic and problems. Fixing the balance and responsibilities given to correctional officers must be addressed. Training and supervision must be stricter and more emphasized. With this, correctional facilities in America can become more fair and just, giving communities a sense of protection.