“I think of incarceration as pretty harsh”

I’m with Ta-Nehisi Coates on the sentencing of Dharun Ravi:

Jail is pretty awful. A ten year bid would have almost certainly subjected to the constant threat of violence. I can’t really see what good that would do. The criminal justice system can’t really make people “good.” It can’t exact vengeance upon slime-balls. And it can’t make Ravi and his supporters introspective at all. One of the problems of suicide it’s that it leaves the living groping for answers. I don’t a lengthy jail bid would have supplied any

And from one of his comments:

I guess I’m not sure he ever should have gone to jail in the first place. Basically, he tried to spy on a dude, and then invited some friends in a (failed) attempt to do the same. He did this, in part, because he was repulsed by his friends sexuality.

I guess my question is this–Should you go to jail for that? Perhaps this my jaded impression of jails, but I think of incarceration as pretty harsh. It’s not the time you serve–it’s proximity to other people (guards and prisoners) who are living in a place of systemic violence. If jail were merely confinement, I’d feel differently. But in America other things come with that confinement.

For anyone who’s been in jail one day is chilling enough.

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