Friday, June 02, 2006

More Flushing of Taxpayer Dollars

I came across this story earlier this week. I can say that it sufficiently rankled me. I am in awe at the ways people can come up with ways to flush our tax dollars down the toilet. It is prison. If he wants to be a she, I'm sure (s)he can find people who will gladly use him in that fashion. We're concerned that he might try to commit suicide if he doesn't get the sex change? Uhh, prison? I don't know of anyone who wants to be there. There are probably inmate who do consider suicide. After all, it is PRISON! If he wants to be she, I'm not going to say "More power to him." I will say that he has the opportunity to make that choice, as a free citizen. As a prisoner, he doesn't have a choice, and he shouldn't. Prison is a place to put people who couldn't make good choices on their own. It isn't a place where you can go to change your outward appearance on the taxpayer's nickel. There are two common sense ways to handle this. The first is to sit down with the guy, and explain very calmly that as long as he is in the state's custody, he will not get a sex-change, but if he chooses wisely, he might get to be another inmate's woman while he is in there. The second is to explain nothing, toss him in with the general population, and let him figure it out on his own. I do think a prisoner should have the right to be kept safe while enjoying the state's hospitality, including the right not to be raped or knifed by other inmates. I do think that this does not occur in many prisons, largely due to overcrowding and understaffing. But I also think that a prisoner has to bear some of their responsibility for their own safety. A suicide watch is a tremendous waste of time and resources.

The story is here: