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Too Many Jails, Too many Prisoners! WHY? Is there a better WAY?

  1. Jan 18, 2004 #1
    I say utilize the Jail (lock up) sytem for violent offenders only, those that have committed acts of physical violence against another. The others, non violent offenders, do not incarcerate. Rather, let's come up with better, workable solutions. Say, as an example, wear a "locating" device during your "punishment period. Continue working in Society. Pay back restitution and/or damages to the wronged party, that being deducted from your wages. With the tracking device your whereabouts could be monitored and an alert would be given if you attempted to go where you were prohibited. I haven't come up what to do with someone who was a habitual offender. Do you have any ideas?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 18, 2004 #2
    Hummm 1984 ... hummm 2004 hummm?
     
  4. Jan 18, 2004 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    The drug laws have collapsed the justice system. Think tanks have recognized this threat for decades. So have many of this country's most notable liberals like Walter Cronkite; and conservatives like William F. Buckley Jr.

    Only one way out that I can see; adults get to make their own lifestyle choices. This goes as well for seat-belt laws, helmet laws, and how one chooses to raise their kids.

    Instead what I think will happen is that terrorism and drugs will be used as excuses to further deteriorate constitutional liberties. Child welfare laws will subjugate what’s left of parental control, and DNA will be used to select the genetically elite for employment.

    It’s all about control. Now we are talking about forced labor for inmates. SLAVE LABOR comes cheaply Mr. CEO.
     
  5. Jan 18, 2004 #4
    When some moron gets his head smashed on the concrete, I don't want my ambulance being wasted on him. He chose to make a fender bender into a life threatening situation, so now either

    1> An ambulance for a real emergency is tied up
    2> or more ambulances must be on call to keep the same quality of service and insurance rates increase.

    Helmet and seatbelt laws are there for the rest of us too. In a perfect world I don't really care, but this is reality.

    Same goes for raising kids? I'm going to give you a chance to explain this one before I jump to the very obvious conclusions...
     
  6. Jan 18, 2004 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    What obvious conclusion? I think you need to settle down a bit. You don't even know me.

    Shall we ban surfing, mountain climbing, biking, skydiving, SCUBA diving, running without the proper shoes, taking your kids to violent movies, feeding your kids the wrong foods...

    I could make the same argument for these and many more activities; and I get tired of paying for others [who engage in these dangerous activities] through my taxes and insurance costs. Every year here in the NW we hear of rescue after rescue for skiers and climbers that tie up ten times the resources that a car accident does. I believe in using seat belts, and I believe in wearing helmets. But when we start regulating the minutia of people’s lives we have hit the slippery slope. Laws regulating homosexual behavior are falling by similar arguments.
     
  7. Jan 18, 2004 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    I should add that for almost 20 years I have watched methamphetamines destroy my brother. I watched my parents struggle with no options but to turn him into the police; they couldn't afford any drug treatment programs. Now my brother can barely hold a conversation. I don't know if he can really read anymore. He surely can't hold down a job.

    Great system!!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2004
  8. Jan 18, 2004 #7

    Why should I need to know you to disagree with you? I am completely calm.

    When one of those sports starts to become a drain on resources for others, as car wrecks do, then yes, they will need to be regulated.
    Half of what you mentioned IS already regulated to avoid this very reason.


    The obvious conclusion in "how one chooses to raise their kids. " would be that there is WITHOUT a doubt a need to regulate such things. Or do you suggest those recent Toronto parents, who caged their children in the closer wearing diapers (one of which was 15) should be allowed to parent because that's their choice?
     
  9. Jan 18, 2004 #8
    What does your brother's recreational use of drugs have to do with the system? If was only by the system that your parents were able to turn to the police (part of the system) to help, since they couldn't handle it alone.
     
  10. Jan 18, 2004 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    The point is that the money spent on jails and "drug czars" and interdiction would be better spent offering help while it is not too late. My parents weren't about to turn him into the police and ruin his life beyond doubt…there was always hope. Only later was he finally arrested. The thing that angers me is that we had plenty of money to lock him up, but none to help him when it counted...before his life was ruined. If this hadn’t been a criminal matter, my parents would have sought any help they could get. Since it was criminal, they were afraid to do anything...and the non-criminal options were $3000-$5000 per month; money they simply didn't have. I think many parents are caught in this trap. The incarceration system is no place for the medically ill.

    This country now imprisons a greater percentage of its population than any other country [I am quite sure that this is true now...I know I have heard this on the all knowing TV…I will check a little later]. I think it is 1:4 black men that will do time. I don't remember the stats for other races, but this speaks greatly of the poverty and hopelessness found in the inner cities; which the present system does nothing to improve.

    I see only two ways to break the cycle: Either burn the constitution and declare this a military state, or give up the failed approach, just as with the attempted prohibition on alcohol, and address the core of the problem. Also, we must recognize that drug use has always been a part of human behavior. No matter what we do, we can’t stop all of it. Also, more and more now evidence suggests that we have genetic markers for addiction. We may find ways to reverse this behavior. Presently it appears that we may be locking people up for their inherited genes. Perhaps people like my brother really can't help themselves. After many painful years of failed attempts to help him, this is the conclusion that I have reached. He just can't help it. Then after a point, once enough damage is done, I am convinced that no help is possible.

    I think he has really quit now but who knows? Besides, the damage is done. I also suspect that he has turned to alcohol to replace the meth.
     
  11. Jan 18, 2004 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    Not mentioned but implicit in my argument is the large percentage of prisoners being held for drug crimes.
     
  12. Jan 19, 2004 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    Can you explain what you mean here by already regulated? Also, as for a drain on the system, did you see the large military chopper go down on Mt. Hood last year while rescuing some climbers? I would call that a drain on the system. Next, what is the cost of a knee surgery, for example? My wife will tell you of the load created at hospitals by what I call the klutz curve - the increased patient load as the weather improves; until all of the klutzes are injured and out of commission. Most of these injuries involve popular sporting activities. I pay for this through my insurance.

    This is a fine line. Obviously we need laws to protect children from abusive parents, however by the popular logic we are close to government approved parenting. For example, prescribed diets for children. I suspect one could successfully prosecute many parents now for neglect...based on popular diets. Also, when in my early teens I remember my dad letting me have a little bourbon in my eggnog once a year at Christmas. Now he could be arrested for this in some states. I just don't see this as the government's business. This all contributes to the load on the justice system.
     
  13. Jan 19, 2004 #12

    Integral

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    I am with you Ivan! We need to return to the concepts of personal freedoms and away from the ever encroaching police state. Drug laws would be a great place to start.

    Do you really believe that you can legislate parenting skills? Are you going to tell me the state system can do a better job? I do not think we will ever be able to stop demented people from behaving in a demented fashion. Laws will not stop such behavior, obviously, because it is already against the law. The idea that you can fix things by throwing more laws at the problem is ludicrous.

    Perhaps we should just lock up everyone, then the state can be sure that no will do anything not legislated.

    I would like to see a time limit of, say, 5yrs on all laws. That way the legislature would be so busy keeping the existing laws in place that they would have no time to pass new ones.
     
  14. Jan 19, 2004 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    ...and their salaries are determined by the voters.
     
  15. Jan 19, 2004 #14

    Ivan Seeking

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    #1 in the world for incarceration: Texas!

    http://members.fortunecity.com/multi19/world.htm#list

    World Prison Population Rates.
    In descending order.

    Rates are calculated for the total number of
    prisoners in penal institutions, including pre-trial
    detainees.

    Incarceration rates of 205 independent
    countries and dependent territories. Use "find" in
    the edit menu to locate one here.

    Order of info. Left to right. More notes at end of list.

    - Incarceration RATE per 100,000 population.
    - Independent nation or dependent territory.
    - Prison population total (total inmates).
    - Date (day/month/year).
    - National population. (m = million).
    - Notes and exceptions. (i.e. sentenced prisoners only).
    - * (Use free Adobe Reader to see more notes in pdf file):
    - http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs2/r188.pdf
    - c (means the inmate total and rate are estimates).


    For comparison purposes the 2 U.S. states with the
    highest rates (Texas and Louisiana) are in the list:
    1014 Texas 1999 (governor George W. Bush)
    1013 Louisiana 2001

    _966 Texas 2001
    _686 USA 1,962,220 31/12/01 286.0m

    _664 Cayman Islands (UK) 243 9/10/02 36,600
    _638 Russian Federation 919,330 1/9/02 144.0m
    _554 Belarus 56,000 5/01 10.1m
    _522 Kazakhstan 84,000 30/4/01 16.1m
    _489 Turkmenistan c.22,000 10/00 4.5m c
    _459 Belize 1,097 30/6/99 239,000
    _447 Bermuda (UK) 286 29/12/99 64,000
    _437 Suriname 1,933 30/6/99 442,000
    _420 Dominica 298 30/6/99 71,000
    _416 Bahamas 1,280 10/02 308,000
    _414 Maldive Islands 1,098 * /96 265,000 * (sentenced only)
    _406 Ukraine 198,885 1/9/01 49.0m
    _404 South Africa 176,893 14/6/02 43.8m
    _402 Virgin Islands (US) 494 31/12/01 123,000
    _390 Kyrgyzstan 19,500 3/02 5.0m
    _381 Botswana 6,102 27/6/02 1.6m
    _371 Guam (US) 585 31/12/01 157,600
    _368 Puerto Rico (US) 15,105 15/5/02 4.1m
    _364 Netherlands Antilles 780 11/98 214,000
    _362 Swaziland 3,400 8/02 938,000
    _361 Latvia 8,486 14/10/02 2.35m
    _359 Singapore 14,704 * mid-01 4.1m *
    _351 Trinidad & Tobago 4,794 30/6/99 1.365m
    _342 Thailand 217,697 mid-01 63.6m
    _338 St Kitts & Nevis 135 30/6/99 40,000
    _337 Estonia 4,723 1/11/01 1.4m
    _333 Grenada 297 20/6/02 89,200
    _317 Barbados 850 22/2/02 268,000
    _303 Lithuania 11,216 1/11/01 3.7m
    _297 Cuba c.33,000 /97 11.1m c
    _290 Azerbaijan 23,504 31/12/00 8.1m
    _287 Moldova 10,633 * 1/1/02 3.7m *
    _286 Panama 8,290 31/12/00 2.9m
    _278 Antigua & Barbuda 186 2/98 67,000
    _274 French Guiana/Guyane (France) 532 1/5/02 194,000
    _270 St Vincent & Grenadines 302 17/10/01 112,000
    _267 Namibia 4,814 31/12/01 1.8m
    _257 Uzbekistan 65,000 3/02 25.3m
    _256 Mongolia 6,656 * mid-01 2.6m *(sentenced only)
    _253 Tunisia 23,165 31/12/96 9.15m
    _250 United Arab Emirates c.6,000 12/98 2.4m c
    _250 Taiwan 56,225 11/01 22.5m
    _243 St Lucia 365 30/6/99 150,000
    _237 Aruba (Netherlands) 223 11/98 94,000
    _231 American Samoa (US) 155 31/12/01 67,000
    _230 Romania 51,528 1/6/02 22.4m
    _230 Lebanon 8,285 1/02 3.6m
    _229 Iran 163,526 4/02 71.4m
    _229 Costa Rica 8,526 6/99 3.72m
    _215 Virgin Islands (UK) 43 19/8/99 20,000
    _213 Poland 82,173 24/4/02 38.63m
    _212 Armenia 7,428 1/1/01 3.5m
    _207 Seychelles 157 27/10/99 76,000
    _205 Chile 31,600 1/02 15.4m
    _203 Mauritius 2,438 mid-02 1.2m
    _196 Georgia 7,688 1/1/02 3.9m
    _194 Macau (China) 855 mid-01 440,000
    _191 Morocco 54,288 /00 28.4m
    _188 Czech Republic 19,320 31/12/01 10.25m
    _185 Cape Verde 775 30/6/99 418,000
    _179 Hungary 17,890 9/5/02 10.0m
    _178 Dominican Republic 15,340 2/01 8.6m
    _175 Tajikistan c.11,000 5/01 6.3m c
    _175 Hong Kong (China) 12,238 30/9/01 7.0m
    _175 Guyana 1,507 6/7/01 861,000
    _173 Martinique (France) 666 1/5/02 386,000
    _172 Honduras 10,869 6/99 6.32m
    _170 Jamaica 4,288 30/6/99 2.5m
    _165 Cook Islands (NZ) 33 mid-01 20,000
    _163 Zimbabwe c.21,000 mid-02 12.9m c
    _157 New Zealand 5,980 29/6/01 3.8m
    _156 Mexico 154,765 30/6/00 98.9m
    _156 Jersey (UK) 136 14/10/02 87,200
    _155 Bahrain 911 31/12/97 589,000
    _153 Israel 9,421 1/00 6.15m
    _153 Colombia 57,068 31/5/99 37.28m
    _146 Guernsey (UK) 88 9/10/02 60,100
    _143 Nicaragua 7,198 30/6/99 5.02m
    _143 Lesotho 3,000 mid-02 2.1m
    _141 Réunion (France) 1,038 1/5/02 736,000
    _139 United Kingdom – England & Wales 72,669 25/10/02 52.43m
    _139 Slovakia 7,509 1/9/01 5.4m
    _139 New Caledonia (France) 299 1/5/02 215,000
    _139 Guadeloupe (France) 599 1/5/02 432,000
    _137 Northern Mariana Islands (US) 102 31/12/01 74,600
    _134 Fiji 1,102 mid-01 823,000
    _133 Korea (Republic of) 62,732 mid-01 47.1m
    _133 Burundi 8,647 mid-02 6.5m
    _133 Brazil 233,859 12/01 175.0m
    _132 Cameroon 20,000 mid-02 15.2m
    _131 Portugal 13,384 15/2/02 10.25m
    _131 Greenland (Denmark) 74 /00 56,300
    _130 Madagascar 20,109 31/7/99 15.5m
    _127 Libya c.6,750 /98 5.3m c
    _126 Scotland (UK) 6,417 25/10/02 5.08m
    _126 Spain 50,656 31/5/02 40.2m
    _124 Zambia 13,173 26/6/02 10.6m
    _123 Uruguay 4,012 28/11/99 3.26m
    _122 Tanzania 44,063 10/6/02 36.0m
    _121 Malaysia 27,299 mid-01 22.6m
    _121 Isle of Man (UK) 92 25/10/02 76,300
    _121 Egypt c.80,000 /98 66.0m c
    _120 Brunei Darussalam 401 mid-01 335,000
    _118 Myanmar (Burma) 53,195 31/12/93 45.0m
    _116 Australia 22,458 30/6/01 19.3m
    _115 Sudan 32,000 /97 27.9m
    _114 Bulgaria 9,283 1/9/01 8.13m
    _113 Kenya 35,278 mid-02 31.3m
    _111 French Polynesia (France) 265 1/5/02 239,000
    _111 China 1,428,126 * mid-01 1,285.0m *(sentenced only)
    _111 Algeria 34,243 31/12/01 30.8m
    _110 Saudi Arabia 23,720 /00 21.6m
    _110 Central African Rep. 4,168 /01 3.8m
    _109 Tonga 113 6/02 104,000
    _109 El Salvador 6,914 31/12/99 6.35m
    _107 Peru 27,452 30/6/99 25.62m
    _107 Jordan 5,448 2/02 5.1m
    _107 Argentina 38,604 30/6/99 36.23m
    _104 Yugoslavia – Montenegro 710 25/4/02 680,000
    _102 Kuwait 1,735 /97 1.7m
    _102 Canada 31,624 mid-01 31.0m
    _102 Bolivia 8,315 6/99 8.14m
    _101 Samoa 176 mid-98 174,000
    _100 Sri Lanka 19,085 mid-01 19.1m
    __96 Germany 78,707 30/11/00 82.19m
    __95 Qatar 570 /00 599,000
    __95 Italy * 55,136 1/9/01 57.95m *
    __94 Philippines 70,383 /99 74.5m
    __94 Mayotte (France) 123 1/9/98 131,300
    __93 Turkey 61,336 1/9/01 66.0m
    __93 Syria 14,000 /97 15.0m
    __93 Netherlands 14,968 1/9/01 16.05m
    __91 Uganda c.21,900 5/02 24.0m c
    __90 Albania 3,053 11/01 3.4m
    __86 Ireland 3,378 10/4/02 3.92m
    __85 France 50,714 * 1/5/02 59.4m *
    __85 Belgium 8,764 1/9/01 10.28m
    __85 Austria 6,915 1/9/01 8.13m
    __83 Yemen 14,000 * /98 16.9m * (government prisons only)
    __81 Oman 2,020 /00 2.5m
    __81 Benin 4,961 30/9/00 6.1m
    __80 Luxembourg 357 1/9/01 444,000
    __79 Sao Tome e Principe 130 4/02 165,000
    __79 Greece 8,343 1/9/01 10.6m
    __76 Malawi 8,769 mid-02 11.6m
    __75 Paraguay 4,088 /99 5.48m
    __75 Liechtenstein 24 30/6/99 32,000
    __74 Kiribati 63 mid-01 85,000
    __72 Andorra 48 1/9/01 66,300
    __71 Vietnam 55,000 mid-98 77.6m
    __71 Guatemala 8,460 9/99 11.89m
    __70 Macedonia (F Yug Rep) 1,413 1/9/01 2.02m
    __69 Switzerland 4,985 4/9/02 7.23m
    __69 Ecuador 8,520 30/6/99 12.41m
    __68 Sweden 6,089 1/10/01 8.9m
    __67 Papua New Guinea 3,296 mid-01 4.9m
    __67 Malta 257 1/9/01 384,000
    __67 Bosnia & Herzegovina – Republika Srpska 876 31/5/02 1.3m
    __64 Côte d’Ivoire 10,355 8/3/02 16.3m
    __62 Venezuela 15,107 /00 24.2m
    __62 Northern Ireland (UK) 1,058 28/10/02 1.72m
    __62 Gibraltar (UK) 19 13/9/01 30,800
    __61 Djibouti 384 16/12/99 629,000
    __59 Norway 2,666 1/9/01 4.5m
    __59 Ghana 11,624 mid-02 19.7m
    __59 Finland 3,040 1/9/01 5.19m
    __59 Denmark 3,150 1/9/01 5.36m
    __59 Croatia 2,584 31/12/01 4.38m
    __56 Yugoslavia – Serbia 5,566 6/01 10.0m
    __56 Tuvalu 6 mid-00 10,800
    __56 Slovenia 1,120 1/9/02 2.0m
    __56 Cyprus 369 * 1/9/01 661,000 *
    __55 Senegal 5,360 9/02 9.7m
    __55 Bosnia & Herzegovina – Federation 1,372 31/7/02 2.5m
    __54 Niger c.6,000 mid-02 11.2m c
    __54 Bangladesh c.70,000 3/01 129.2m c
    __53 Haiti 4,152 30/6/99 7.8m
    __51 Pakistan 78,938 31/12/99 154.4m
    __50 Mozambique 8,812 31/12/99 17.6m
    __50 Mauritania 1,354 mid-02 2.7m
    __48 Japan 61,242 mid-01 127.3m
    __48 Chad 3,883 mid-02 8.1m
    __46 Togo 2,043 6/11/98 4.4m
    __46 Cambodia 6,179 mid-01 13.4m
    __44 Marshall Islands 23 /94 52,000
    __39 Monaco 13 10/98 33,000
    __38 Iceland 110 1/9/01 286,000
    __38 Congo (Brazzaville) 918 /93 2.4m
    __37 Guinea (Conakry) 3,070 mid-02 8.3m
    __37 Angola 4,975 mid-02 13.5m
    __35 Mali 4040 2/02 11.7m
    __34 Nigeria 39,368 3/02 116.9m
    __34 Micronesia, Fed States of 39 /97 114,000
    __34 Gambia 450 9/02 1.34m
    __31 Solomon Islands 134 mid-99 430,000
    __30 Comoros c.200 /98 658,000 c
    __29 Indonesia 62,886 mid-01 214.8m
    __28 India 281,380 /99 998.1m
    __27 Yugoslavia – Kosovo 521 5/01 1.9m
    __25 Vanuatu 46 mid-99 183,000
    __25 Nepal 5,878 /99 23.4m
    __24 Burkina Faso 2,800 9/02 11.9m
    __21 Faeroe Islands (Denmark) 9 /00 43,000
    ____ Rwanda * mid-02 7.9m *
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2004
  16. Jan 19, 2004 #15
    1>So your answer to this existing drain, is to remove regulations that will cause an even LARGER drain?

    2>Yes it is a fine line, and that's why I wanted to give you a chance to expand on it before I responded.
    Look, I'm all for less government intervention, particularly at the federal level. But, your first post was so general as too encompass many needed services and laws to protect people.

    As for the drug laws. There should be a change in the system. Start with legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana. Put it in every store like alcohol, and the underground crime associated with it will go away as well. I'm not so quick to suggest we legalize coke, many of the hallucinegens, or recreational use of prescription pills.
     
  17. Jan 19, 2004 #16

    jimmy p

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    just do what me n andy suggested... all the REALLY bad criminals such as rapists, paedophiles, serial killers etc should be sent to the Sun.
     
  18. Jan 19, 2004 #17
    So far the principal point is about the drug laws as to reduce prison populations, O.K. then the rest of this...ie; below

    Well it is a (very) good example of what goes wrong in a free society, but is it not more "the exception then the rule" well, yes and no, cause it is not what we condone as activity, not whats 'right' in society, but we recognize that to attempt to control it is also wrong, we must, to preserve freedom (or the appearance thereof) allow/permit people the rights of Freedom of Choice, and we must go in and assist (and help!) when we see that there is the abuse of another by the expression (over-expression) of individual (or collective, two+ people) freedom!

    We find out you hurt your children, as a society, we come take them away from you...cause you told us why to...otherwise, we stand ever vigilant, guarding freedom.
     
  19. Jan 19, 2004 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    Absolutely. I was trying to show that everyone engages in activities that potentially create a liabilies [on the system]. I don't feel that the loss of liberty is justified by the benefits of micro-managing legislation. Furthermore, until the justice system can effectively capture and incarcerate violent offenders, and keep them in jail for the time mandated by the judge [no early releases due to prison population problems, and no running wild waiting for a court date], they have no business invading the lives of good citizens.

    Next, social pressure and education usually serve as well as laws. Look at the heatlth crazes - the no carb being the latest thing...again. [I remember my mother and grandmother getting into low carb diets when I was very young...nearly 40 years ago]. Most people flock like sheep to whatever they are told is good. How about you? Would you take off your seatbelt just because the seatbelt law was repealed? I know for a fact that watching movies like Red Asphalt affected my driving habbits more than any law. [This was a California Highway Patrol movie filled with terrible [real] auto accident scenes].

    It took me a long time to reach this point but I say legalize everything. IMHO, only in this way can we undercut the black market that supplies drugs to kids. I see this as the big dirty secret of drug laws: The fact that drugs are illegal is the reason they are so readily accessible to children. As an example, when I was thirteen and attending school with little gangbangers and drug dealers and inner city kids, a number of them could get joints, pills, PCP, coke, heroin, or hits of LSD, but they and everyone else rarely had easy access to alcohol.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2004
  20. Jan 19, 2004 #19

    jimmy p

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    Re: #1 in the world for incarceration: Texas!


    Woot! looks like my mum has the safest community! of course there are a few more than 30,800 people on the Rock now but that little amount of criminals?

    I suppose it makes sense, its approx 2 miles wide and 2.5 miles long, there is practically nowhere you can go to hide, everyone seems to be a maximum of twice removed from someone else. Such a close-knit community. When i walk the streets with my nan, it takes hours to get somewhere cos she is always bumping into people she knows! Ahh Bliss. When im older, i think i may live in Gib..

    Interesting fact about prison in Gibraltar. The cells up the rock in Moorish Castle. Tourists can explore the top areas while in the floors below the prisoners live. weird huh? when u go there you are walking a couple of floors above the prisoners!
     
  21. Jan 22, 2004 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    Last edited: Jan 22, 2004
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