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Do you think police and laws are too tough in USA?

Do you think police and laws are too tough in USA?

Old Jun 30th 2010, 10:57 pm
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Default Do you think police and laws are too tough in USA?

I was working for the Summer on a student visa in the USA. I got into a bit of trouble and ended up getting charged with assault/battery and got 6 months in county jail for something I probably would have only got community service for back here. I never expected to be in jail and it was a shock for me. When I got arrested I wasn't able to get bail and spent 6 weeks in jail before actually being sentenced.

Jail was tough in loads of ways and nothing like I thought it would be back home. It was like they treated you as a major criminal - when going to court I was handcuffed and had to wear leg shackles with a belly chain, moving out of the part of the jail I was in I was handcuffed and visits that I had were behind glass. I got searched alot and the guards were tough enough. I had to wear the jail uniform all the time, the food wasn't good at all and wasn't allowed to smoke which I found hard. I only got out in the frsh air once a week and the place was really crowded. I didn't get treated badly but those 6 months were the worse of my life. I ended up getting sent back home at the end and ended up being kept locked up for a few extra days while they sorted that out.

I know I did wrong but it was hard being in that situation miles away from home. When my parents came over to visit me in jail and could only see me behind glass in the jail uniform it was bad. The reason why I was thinking about this today was that there was stuff on the news here about getting rid of short prison sentences and that they don't work and I was thinking about my time over there.

Do you think it's right that they are so much tougher over there or was I just unlucky? My brother is over there working legally and I would love to go back over and would stay out of trouble but I know I won't be able to for years yet.
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Old Jun 30th 2010, 11:09 pm
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Default Re: Do you think police and laws are too tough in USA?

Originally Posted by Mark23 View Post
I was working for the Summer on a student visa in the USA. I got into a bit of trouble and ended up getting charged with assault/battery and got 6 months in county jail for something I probably would have only got community service for back here. I never expected to be in jail and it was a shock for me. When I got arrested I wasn't able to get bail and spent 6 weeks in jail before actually being sentenced.

Jail was tough in loads of ways and nothing like I thought it would be back home. It was like they treated you as a major criminal - when going to court I was handcuffed and had to wear leg shackles with a belly chain, moving out of the part of the jail I was in I was handcuffed and visits that I had were behind glass. I got searched alot and the guards were tough enough. I had to wear the jail uniform all the time, the food wasn't good at all and wasn't allowed to smoke which I found hard. I only got out in the frsh air once a week and the place was really crowded. I didn't get treated badly but those 6 months were the worse of my life. I ended up getting sent back home at the end and ended up being kept locked up for a few extra days while they sorted that out.

I know I did wrong but it was hard being in that situation miles away from home. When my parents came over to visit me in jail and could only see me behind glass in the jail uniform it was bad. The reason why I was thinking about this today was that there was stuff on the news here about getting rid of short prison sentences and that they don't work and I was thinking about my time over there.

Do you think it's right that they are so much tougher over there or was I just unlucky? My brother is over there working legally and I would love to go back over and would stay out of trouble but I know I won't be able to for years yet.
Bet you won't do it again though will you?

Jails and prisons here are typically harder...and most dont want to go back...doesnt stop them committing crimes though..

It may have been where you are, each state, and the federal system, differ to each other...

I wouldnt take it personally, the main reason for leg shackles etc, is due to the prevelance of weapons in the jails...they didnt single you out..

So..would you do it again? Knowing how hard it was...did it work for you as a deterrent?

We have the same problems here with overcrowding...however, crimes of violence (including assault and/or battery) are treated differently..

Community service would likely have worked for you...it certainly doesnt for habitual offenders...locking everyone up isnt the answer either though...

Its a tough nut to crack...
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Old Jun 30th 2010, 11:14 pm
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Default Re: Do you think police and laws are too tough in USA?

Originally Posted by Mark23 View Post
I was working for the Summer on a student visa in the USA. I got into a bit of trouble and ended up getting charged with assault/battery and got 6 months in county jail for something I probably would have only got community service for back here. I never expected to be in jail and it was a shock for me. When I got arrested I wasn't able to get bail and spent 6 weeks in jail before actually being sentenced.

Jail was tough in loads of ways and nothing like I thought it would be back home. It was like they treated you as a major criminal - when going to court I was handcuffed and had to wear leg shackles with a belly chain, moving out of the part of the jail I was in I was handcuffed and visits that I had were behind glass. I got searched alot and the guards were tough enough. I had to wear the jail uniform all the time, the food wasn't good at all and wasn't allowed to smoke which I found hard. I only got out in the frsh air once a week and the place was really crowded. I didn't get treated badly but those 6 months were the worse of my life. I ended up getting sent back home at the end and ended up being kept locked up for a few extra days while they sorted that out.

I know I did wrong but it was hard being in that situation miles away from home. When my parents came over to visit me in jail and could only see me behind glass in the jail uniform it was bad. The reason why I was thinking about this today was that there was stuff on the news here about getting rid of short prison sentences and that they don't work and I was thinking about my time over there.

Do you think it's right that they are so much tougher over there or was I just unlucky? My brother is over there working legally and I would love to go back over and would stay out of trouble but I know I won't be able to for years yet.
Well, on the continuum from chop off your hands for stealing (Saudi Arabia), or lock you in a festering prison for years for carrying drugs (any one of several Asian countries) to a ndy-assed liberal smack on the hand for beating up a poor old widow (U.K.), I think the US has it about right. If it makes you think twice before doing something you know is wrong/illegal, then I think that's probably OK.

I used to find US cops unfriendly. Then I watched some of the Cops shows and realized how close they are to getting their heads blown off each day and so I guess you can't be too casual if you want to survive.
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Old Jul 1st 2010, 12:52 am
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Default Re: Do you think police and laws are too tough in USA?

Yeah I definitely learnt my lesson - I had 6 long months to think about how I ended up in jail and promised myself I'd never end up somewhere like that again. I had only been arrested once before that at home and just spent the night in the cell for being drunk and disorderly and got a caution. The police were OK then and I didn't give any trouble. When I was arrested in America they had guns and seemed really serious - no messing with them but I suppose that's the way it is. I have a sorta mate here whose been in court 5 or 6 times and he has only got community service and that's why I thought it was so different. I've only been stopped and searched back here since being over there and haven't been in trouble so like you say it probably did work.

I just found it hard been there and being called inmate all the time and not being able to do the things I normally do - go for a walk or a run, play footie, have a beer, smoke, be online, just call my mates but I know that's the point. Hard to get used to getting taken aside and searched for no reason and being stuck in the same place for 6 months and being treated like you are just a number and not a real person

I can't imagine what it must be like being locked up in some of those real bad jails in the Middle East or third world. Have seen about people getting jailed in Dubai just for kissing and that stuff. That's a scary thought and I feel sorry for anybody in prison away from home no matter what they did

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Old Jul 1st 2010, 1:31 am
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Default Re: Do you think police and laws are too tough in USA?

Originally Posted by Mark23 View Post
I was working for the Summer on a student visa in the USA. I got into a bit of trouble and ended up getting charged with assault/battery and got 6 months in county jail for something I probably would have only got community service for back here. I never expected to be in jail and it was a shock for me. When I got arrested I wasn't able to get bail and spent 6 weeks in jail before actually being sentenced.

Jail was tough in loads of ways and nothing like I thought it would be back home. It was like they treated you as a major criminal - when going to court I was handcuffed and had to wear leg shackles with a belly chain, moving out of the part of the jail I was in I was handcuffed and visits that I had were behind glass. I got searched alot and the guards were tough enough. I had to wear the jail uniform all the time, the food wasn't good at all and wasn't allowed to smoke which I found hard. I only got out in the frsh air once a week and the place was really crowded. I didn't get treated badly but those 6 months were the worse of my life. I ended up getting sent back home at the end and ended up being kept locked up for a few extra days while they sorted that out.

I know I did wrong but it was hard being in that situation miles away from home. When my parents came over to visit me in jail and could only see me behind glass in the jail uniform it was bad. The reason why I was thinking about this today was that there was stuff on the news here about getting rid of short prison sentences and that they don't work and I was thinking about my time over there.

Do you think it's right that they are so much tougher over there or was I just unlucky? My brother is over there working legally and I would love to go back over and would stay out of trouble but I know I won't be able to for years yet.
I suspect you were charged with felony assault/battery. Although misdemeanor charges can usually carry up to 1 year in jail, generally the judge just gives them a slap on the wrist. However when it is a felony charge, anything can happen.

Did you put the other person in the hospital? Were any weapons involved?
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Old Jul 1st 2010, 2:19 am
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Default Re: Do you think police and laws are too tough in USA?

Boohoo. Think about not being able to "be online" or "have a beer" before you batter someone. You were treated as a criminal because you are. Must have been a pretty severe incident to get 6 months as a "first time" (US) offender.

"Only been arrested once before"... not normal. Most people haven't been arrested at all. Clearly that episode didn't deter you from offending again. If the US jail stint does, then I'd say it worked perfectly - that's the whole idea of jail.
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Old Jul 1st 2010, 2:49 am
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Default Re: Do you think police and laws are too tough in USA?

Some are, some aren't.
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Old Jul 1st 2010, 3:18 am
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Default Re: Do you think police and laws are too tough in USA?

Originally Posted by SDDep View Post
Bet you won't do it again though will you?
Sounds great in theory, doesn't it?

Don't see much evidence of it working in practice.
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Old Jul 1st 2010, 3:23 am
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Default Re: Do you think police and laws are too tough in USA?

I don't think the laws and whatnot are too tough.

I feel that the police are being used as cash cows for indirect revenue to keep the powers that be in health insurance and whatnot when their constituents are losing wages and benefits like crazy.

Republicans crow that government is too big..... maybe, but I think there are too many governments, city, county state and federal? each with their own police forces? please do me a favour............ I don't need 4 police forces to look over me thanks.
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Old Jul 1st 2010, 3:39 am
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Default Re: Do you think police and laws are too tough in USA?

I don't know enough to comment either way on whether or not the laws are too tough. Having never been on the wrong side of the law, I'm not up to date on the jail sentences for crimes. I do think some laws aren't tough enough (i.e. DUI's). However, if one is actually sent to jail, I have absolutely no problems with the conditions that you mentioned Mark. Jail is not supposed to be fun. You are not supposed to be enjoying it. There should be no tv, no cell phones, no beer, no cigs, nothing that even remotely speaks of 'luxury'. What else would you expect from prison? It's called prison for a reason.

Hell, if I had my way, prisons would have to grow their own food and cotton for clothing, and be forced to do community services as well (i.e. picking up rubbish), and they should receive very little in the way of money from taxpayers (except to pay the salaries of the guards and whatnot). Maybe that would teach people a bit more about personal accountability and respect.
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Old Jul 1st 2010, 4:06 am
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Default Re: Do you think police and laws are too tough in USA?

Originally Posted by augigi View Post
Boohoo. Think about not being able to "be online" or "have a beer" before you batter someone. You were treated as a criminal because you are. Must have been a pretty severe incident to get 6 months as a "first time" (US) offender.

"Only been arrested once before"... not normal. Most people haven't been arrested at all. Clearly that episode didn't deter you from offending again. If the US jail stint does, then I'd say it worked perfectly - that's the whole idea of jail.
I agree.
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Old Jul 1st 2010, 4:10 am
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Default Re: Do you think police and laws are too tough in USA?

Originally Posted by sunflwrgrl13 View Post
forced to do community services as well (i.e. picking up rubbish),
I hear this a lot from people.

but seriously, there is a perfectly good unemployed person with 2 kids to support whom is law abiding would love to be paid a liveable wage to pick up rubbish.

so i'd rather pay him to do it instead
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Old Jul 1st 2010, 4:46 am
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Default Re: Do you think police and laws are too tough in USA?

Couple of sayings come to mind 'When in Rome' and 'if you can't do the time, don't do the crime'.
Bottom line you were in this country and wether you agree with them or not you were subject its laws & legal system.

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Old Jul 1st 2010, 4:52 am
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Default Re: Do you think police and laws are too tough in USA?

Originally Posted by Mark23 View Post
When I was arrested in America they had guns and seemed really serious - no messing with them but I suppose that's the way it is.
There are 2 newly widowed women & 5 fatherless kids in Florida that are a reminder to the police to be very serious about their jobs
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Old Jul 1st 2010, 12:35 pm
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Default Re: Do you think police and laws are too tough in USA?

Originally Posted by Mark23 View Post
I got into a bit of trouble...
Ah... the neverending attempt at minimizing! You got 6 months in jail... it was more than just "a bit of trouble".


I probably would have only got community service for back here.
Quit whinging at the inequities of life!


I never expected to be in jail and it was a shock for me.
I worked in a prison for 2.5 years - and I have to agree with sunflwrgrl13... it's called prison for a reason.


It was like they treated you as a major criminal...
Umm... yeah!


I got searched alot and the guards were tough enough.
Hello... it's prison!

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