(Most likely a photo of group therapy in a supermax setting.)
Investigative journalism is to discover the unknown, the information that escapes the public eye. As adults, we seem to have lost the inquisitive nature of childhood — why this, why that, why not, why? Instead, we engage in the comforts of social media where like-minded individuals support our stationary beliefs. Perhaps we need to rediscover our scientific nature where we question, probe, and examine the meaning of “whatever.”
In the pursuit of my most recent book, “Supermax Prison: Controlling the most dangerous criminals,” the available literature is focused on the negativity of the supermax prison. While there are stories of unimaginable violence, sadness, and injustice, there are hues of happiness and hope. But any piece of investigative journalism moves past the obvious and seeks the information hidden within the unfamiliar.
One cannot explore the history of the supermax without asking if there is a better way. That’s when I discovered the 1935 writings of Frank C. Richmond, Director of the Wisconsin Psychiatric Field Service. Sanford Bates, the first director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, gave a challenge to his friend, Frank Richmond. “How can we devise a system that will be at once a present protection and still comprehend a program of sound humanitarian rehabilitation?” In time, Richmond combined his imagination, creativity, and scientific truths to develop a blueprint for the prison of the future. “It would be a scientific laboratory where the bodies, minds, and souls of the inmates would be subjected to the utmost scrutiny, and where every step known to modern science be taken to prepare the inmates to resume their places in the world.”
In Supermax Prison, I combine the writings of Frank C. Richmond with current scientific findings to show an imaginary place — the prison of the future — for the incarceration of violent inmates. For the doubters, I suggest going back to the inquisitive-nature of our childhood. Why, why, why? Why not?
An indepth discussion on the prison of the future can be found in “Supermax Prison: Controlling the most dangerous criminals.