I have no idea whether or not prisons are comfortable for inmates, and while obviously I prefer that they not be (they're supposed to be being reformed/punished), I consider it a bigger issue that significantly more money is used per inmate than per student. When prisoners get free healthy meals and students bring their own lunch because their parents won't or can't pay for the school lunches, that's a problem. When someone voluntarily gets themselves arrested so they can afford healthcare, that's a problem. And when anyone, ANYONE makes money from people being in prison that is a huge problem. Before we even consider changing the conditions in the prisons (I think free healthy food is reasonable to give to everyone) we need to reform the system that maintains them and the system that puts people there.
Yes. Prisoners are fed better than our children in schools. They get free health care, free cable TV, free collage,free internet,exercise equipment (cause you know we need strong criminals) some get paid to work for privet companies while locked-up, and they even get to have sex visits. Prisons should always be a place where no-one wants to go/be instead many now see it as no big deal or as a badge of honer.
Prisons should not be privatized because that makes them a business for profit, which means it's imperative to the stockholders and or CEOs to fill every bed and usually this means people who should not be there are there... prisons should be federal and not for profit.
Human rights observers have repeatedly concluded that the U.S. prison system is unnecessarily brutal. Guard abuse, rotating solitary confinement and even extended solitary confinement for decades, poor psychiatric care that leads to inmates being shuffled into the solitary confinement system... it's not just cruel, it's stupid and unnecessary. The U.S. has one of the highest recidivism rates in the world. Taxpayers are spending billions on programs that aren't delivering returns. We've long since passed the level where our incarceration rate is delivering any additional benefits for crime rates, and the cost has been the social isolation of individuals so that they are almost guaranteed to commit crime in order to survive or just out of frustration or anger.
Treating criminals like inhuman monsters to corral isn't just hypocritical given how many war criminals are running around without any consequences and given how rarely white collar crime sees any punishment, it isn't just inhumane, it doesn't just threaten our democracy and our status as a city on the hill. It's also just stupid. Worse, it actually undermines the brutality of the crime itself.
Successful programs teach the inmate that the punishment was committing the crime. Jail is how they get through it. There's no punishment that you can concoct worse than making someone face what they did to someone else. Coincidentally, that's also the best way to reduce recividism and bring people back to the community when they are released.
We have to be smarter and more enlightened than to allow the heat of the moment and the temptation of the monkey brain to lead us to smash our fellow man. It just doesn't work.