Tags: Ben Carson | federal prison | prisoners | conditions

Ben Carson 'Flabbergasted' at Prisoner Perks

Ben Carson 'Flabbergasted' at Prisoner Perks
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 22 July 2015 06:42 PM

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said this week he is "flabbergasted" at some of the perks offered to prisoners behind bars.

According to the Washington Post, Carson spoke to a group of young Republicans in Arlington, Va. on Tuesday.

Carson said he has visited federal prisons, which President Barack Obama did last week — making him the first president to visit a U.S. prison.

"I was flabbergasted by the accommodations — the exercise equipment, the libraries and the computers," Carson said. The former neurosurgeon added that he was informed that "a lot of times when it's about time for one of the guys to be discharged, especially when it's winter, they'll do something so they can stay in there."

Carson then said the criminal justice system is putting too many people behind bars.

"We're not doing things the right way," he said. "A lot of people that we incarcerate don't need to be incarcerated."

When asked later about his comments during a chat with reporters, Carson went further.

"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 said, according to the Post.

Last week, Obama said he would like to see the prison system overhauled in the form of shorter sentences and even restoring voting rights to convicted felons once they have served their sentences.

"If you're a low-level drug dealer, or you violate your parole, you owe some debt to society. You have to be held accountable and make amends," Obama said in a speech at the NAACP's annual convention. "But you don't owe 20 years. You don't owe a life sentence. That's disproportionate to the price that should be paid."

"Mass incarceration makes our country worse off, and we need to do something about it."

President Bill Clinton signed legislation in 1994 that imposed harsher sentences and put an additional 100,000 police officers on the streets, among other things.

The former president recently talked about the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act and said he has some regrets about signing it into law.

"I signed a bill that made the problem worse. And I want to admit it," Clinton said. "Most of these people are in prison under state law, but the federal law set a trend. And that was overdone. We were wrong about that. That percentage of it, we were wrong about."

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Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said this week he is "flabbergasted" at some of the perks offered to prisoners behind bars.
federal prison, prisoners, conditions
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 06:42 PM
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