Ben Carson Says Prison Is So Comfy Some People Never Want to Leave

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcn/19455877386/in/photolist-q4cpTN-q4cTcY-bj7B2k-vDfwWJ-vp73Yn-vDfsvQ-vDfsmm-uJxxoY-vp6ZQt-uJH9Ac-vDfqLC-vFxRxK-vFxRce-vDfphL-voYGo9-uJxwrC-uJH9tD-uJxNXJ-uJxNj9-voYQ2y-voYTUW-uJHkSk-vEZAcW-vp7b5r-vFWjFp-vFxYCM-voYJH9-uJxzgA-voYCw9-uJxzR3-qXV8Bc-o71jPh-oaPSZz-paCfbP-ob6Tfb-oaSYmt-o8Vgbm-pGkHLa-o5WGoN-o5WLxt-oiMCQw-otFWjs-pTETYi-pATRPg-pAR6r5-nQUQJc-otHw66-orFCmu-orFBjQ-owK4Tv">Marc Nozell</a>/Flickr

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President Barack Obama visited a federal prison in Oklahoma last week to discuss sentencing reform for non-violent drug offenses. At an event in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson revealed that he, too, had visited federal prisons—and had a much different takeaway. Federal prisons are really nice!

From the Washington Post:

“I was flabbergasted by the accommodations—the exercise equipment, the libraries and the computers,” he said. He said he was told that “a lot of times when it’s about time for one of the guys to be discharged, especially when its winter, they’ll do something so they can stay in there.”

“I think that we need to sometimes ask ourselves, ‘Are we creating an environment that is conducive to comfort where a person would want to stay, versus an environment where we maybe provide them an opportunity for rehabilitation but is not a place that they would find particularly comfortable?'” he told reporters.

Not all federal prisons are alike, but to put his experiences in perspective, Carson may want to read up on the federal maximum-security facility in Florence, Colorado:

A federal class-action lawsuit filed in June alleges that many ADX prisoners suffer from severe mental illness that has been exacerbated or even caused by their years of extreme isolation and sensory deprivation in small concrete cells. It claims that the BOP fails to provide even a semblance of psychiatric care to these prisoners, with grisly results. According to a litigation fact sheet, “inmates often mutilate themselves with razors, shards of glass, sharpened chicken bones, writing utensils and other objects. Many engage in prolonged fits of screaming and ranting. Others converse aloud with the voices they hear in their heads. Still others spread feces and other waste throughout their cells. Suicide attempts are common. Many have been successful.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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