Dec 152007

According to Reuters, things are even worse in Israel-

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – An Israeli judge has ordered the country’s prison authority to pay an inmate over $1,000 in compensation after he complained of having to share a cell with cockroaches.

Mordechai Yehudai filed a lawsuit complaining of poor hygiene, a lack of fresh air, broken windows and inmates who smoke in a handful of cells, a spokeswoman for the Israel Prisons Service said

“The Prisons Service mistreated the plaintiff in a number of ways, including … broken windows, cockroaches as well as incarceration with smokers,” judge Irit Cohen wrote in her verdict, according to newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.

The spokeswoman said the inmate’s cell would be cleaned up. Yehudai has been held in three different prisons and has had complaints about conditions in all of them.

“Prisoners have the right to sue us whenever they see fit and we comply with the court’s rulings,” she said.

The last two sentences are really the key to the ridiculousness of the situation. Of course the guy’s complaining about the conditions in the prisons – 1) he’s in prison – that sucks no matter how you cut it, and 2) what else does he have to do with his time? Though I suppose cockroach races were good enough for the M*A*S*H 4077, so they should be good enough for him as well. What’s next? Are prisoners going to be suing for their right to broadband internet access and more fiber cable? Or perhaps they already have?

Regardless of which side of the “comfort” issue you come down on in regards to prisoners, there’s one simple solution – do away with government, all of its ridiculous laws, and its wasteful legal system. Replace it with a system of arbitration and restitution. Then there will be incredibly few people in prison and they’ll be private prisons so these things will no longer be an issue.

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