Castro’s Auto-Erotic Asphyxia Inspires The Privatization Of Rehabilitation

Okay, I think we can all agree that death is no laughing matter, and suicide even less so. We’re all afraid of death as it is and suicide is what took the great Ernest Hemingway away from us, so laughing at it isn’t really an option. Joking about it is one of those elements of dark comedy that’s led to the rise of people like Anthony Jeselnik and his over-the-top villainous persona while those who performed such humor with the just the right amount of tact like the late, great George Carlin have disappeared. So let’s all put our foot down and say that joking about death – especially suicide – is not cool in 90% of cases.

Unless the dead person in question is Ariel Castro. And his suicide was accidental. And it came via auto-erotic asphyxia.

For those of you who were living under, a rock Ariel Castro is that scumbag from Cleveland, Ohio who kidnapped three women between 2002 and 2004, imprisoned them in his home, and raped and beat them on a regular basis until they were finally rescued in early May of this year. Oh, and he also fathered a child with one of his victims. Not to mention that during all of this he also got fired from his school bus driving job for what his former employer, Cleveland Metro School District, called “bad judgment” and owed three years worth of real estate taxes on his home. Long story short, this guy was about as far from an angel as you could imagine.

So let’s poke a stick at his corpse.

It should be no surprise to anyone that a man who would kidnap three women – right under his family’s noses, no less – would be tempted by the wonders of auto-erotic asphyxiation. While this is usually the kind of thing you’d expect of a weird, quiet high school outcast or perhaps a prominent member of the Tea Party, there isn’t a person in the U.S. who doesn’t enjoy a good time and the late Mr. Castro clearly loved a good time.

So what exactly am I getting at with all of this? Is it really all that shocking that a strange man who did strange things would accidentally kill himself doing a strange thing? No. No, it isn’t. However, there is a little something I couldn’t help but get hung up on.

You see, the guards at the prison in which Mr. Castro was locked away had evidently falsified records in regard to their duty to check on inmates everyday to insure their well-being. According to The Guardian’s article I linked above surveillance videos show that the guards did not conduct “…at least eight required checks on Castro the afternoon and evening before…” his death. The checks – by the way – were supposed to be conducted every thirty minutes on account of his “notoriety” (read: people f*cking hated him).

Now let’s be honest: there isn’t a single rational human being in this country that isn’t one hundred percent thrilled that he is dead. As cold as that may sound just remember that Castro was a monster and his actions were infinitely colder; so we can admit that we are happier than a pig in a certain bodily fluid that he is d-e-a-d.

The reason I bring this story to your attention is that it led to a series of thoughts in my cranial squash. You could say that my curiosity was piqued by the actions – or non-actions – of the guards at this particular prison, the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio. The CRC of Orient is operated by the Ohio Department Of Rehabilitation and Corrections; meaning it’s government-operated. Would Mr. Castro have had a better shot at rotting the rest of his sad, pathetic, monstrosity of a life behind bars had the prison been privately operated?

Okay, probably not. I don’t think there’s a prison guard in the world that would look at Mr. Castro mid-climax with a sheet around his neck and not run away screaming and tearing at their own eyes.

Still, though…are we truly experiencing a “prison industrial complex” that rivals the better known military industrial complex? Does the 37% increase in the population of privately-operated prisons show that companies like the Corrections Corporation Of America – which owns sixty-six detention facilities in the United States – hinder the U.S.’s fight against crime in exchange for greater profit? Speaking of profit, the top two private detention companies – the aforementioned CCA and The Geo Group, Inc. – each made over $1.5 billion in profit in 2011. With profit of that caliber what incentive do these companies have to rehabilitate criminals? Is it really in their best interest to fight crime? After all, between the two companies’ lobbying efforts in passed ~10 years has totaled $19.9 million. Clearly those in charge don’t want the prison business to falter; so couldn’t their fear of financial ruin actually lend itself to perpetuating the never-ending cycle of criminal internment in the United States?

Consider Norway, a country that hosts what is referred to as “the world’s most humane prison“. In case you’re too lazy to check out the story, I’ll break it down for you: inmates at this location have access to horseback riding, barbecuing, movie theaters, tanning beds; pretty much anything you’d expect in a halfway decent resort. And yet it’s a prison. But there’s no way that could possibly work? Is there? Well, considering that only 20% of Norwegian inmates are likely to return to prison within two years whereas in the U.S. that number dashes between 50% and 60%. Even factoring in the fact that the U.S. houses more inmates per capita than Norway (by a huge margin) that’s a pretty impressive case for rehabilitation versus internment. So why the love for quenching the west’s thirst for Biblical revenge?

Ah, right. Of course… $19.9 million…

Edited/Published by: SB

I'm Jonathan Lenhardt; fiscally conservative, socially liberal Republican. I'm pro-choice, pro-2nd Amendment, anti-Tea Party, and happily atheist just to name a sparse few things about me. You can direct all hate mail to TheLiberalConservativeEst2013@gmail.com. Also, you can find me on Google+, Twitter (@JonLenTheLC), and I have an L.C.-specific Facebook page (Jonathan Lenhardt, The Liberal Conservative).

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