Yesterday on Oprah the topic was life in prison. During the first half-hour of the show, Oprah talked about the experience of three surburban housewives who volunteered to spend a day in prison. So you saw in detail what it's like in a woman's prison, and it wasn't pretty. But then during the second half of the show Oprah delved into life in a male prison and it was terrifying! Racism, rape, beatings, and murder was what one would have to look forward to. It is a wonder how anyone could survive in an environment like that both physically and emotionally. Now, as I was watching this, I thought society shouldn't have sympathy for those who commit crimes, but then I started thinking further. A lot of blacks are in prison for the non-violent offense of dealing and/or taking drugs. In fact, some of the women that the housewives met in prison were there because of drugs. This phenemon sickens me. Many blacks, who weren't truly criminals in the first place, are tossed into prison because they got caught taking drugs, a crime that really only hurts oneself. Then they get burned down even further because prison life doesn't really encourage rehabilitation. Don't get me wrong... criminals should be punished, but after watching yesterday's Oprah, I think society needs to reevaluate how we go about this, ESPECIALLY for those that commit non-violent, drug-related offenses. These people need professional help, not prison, but the only reason they're not getting it is because they're black. Rich whites who take drugs are taken to rehab, while poor blakcs are put in the slammer. The latter group are not given any type of counseling or anything to help them deal with the problems that lead them to take the drugs in the first place! Instead, they are thrown in a culture that is more likely than not going to cause them to be more emotionally unstable. What are your thoughts?