Baylor College Medical School

11aa. From John Grant's Journals and Letters

115. Journal entry, early 1805

We took a walk to a small house on the other side of the water consisting of two rooms on the ground floor and a cellar under and a loft over them to which one mounts by a ladder.

This is the hours (I will be living in) and a shepherd who tends 300 sheep will be the only other resident. He occupies one room which is rather out of repair, but the other has two windows.

Journal entry, March 1805

(The insurrection of Irish prisoners took place on March 4th and (a neighbor's) unfortunate husband was summarily seized, and put on board a vessel for England without trial and consequently without proof that he had been involved.

Letter to the Governor of the penal colony, May 1, 1805

Now Sir! I ask you: in what light, under your atrocious system think you I viewed the skeletons of my fellow-creatures creaking in the winds upon the tree-tops on my arrival here? Methought I smelt the bones and heard the groans of dying patriots. And at your door, Governor King, lies all the blood spilt in the struggles of half-starved men, striving for personal liberty of thought.

Testimony at a sedition* hearing, May 1805

Are we not all born under the same Government; are we not all subject to the same Crown? Ought we not all to understand and exercise these laws?...I tell you, sir, the state of slavery to which the prisoners in this country are subjected is a violation of these laws!...I tell you it is heartless: it is cruel!

Journal entry, July 1805

The military treat (the prisoners) harshly; slavery prevails...The blood of many cries out for vengeance...I cannot repress my indignation that His Majesty's ministers should have sent secret instructions, encouraging...acts of violence as a policy of administration on the Island.

11aa. How do you think prisoners in the UNITED STATES should be treated. What rights do you think prisoners should and should not have. Explain your reasonings.

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The United States has a pretty punitive system. The prison system in the United States is also a big business. I think most Americans feel that prison should be a place for punishment first rather rehabilitation. I think things should be the other way around. Rehabilitation should be the main focus. Still, prisons reflect society where the problems begin. Prisoners deserve basic human rights no matter what the charge, even in bad circumstances. Once basic human rights are taken away, it is a quick slide into a broken and abusive system.