Now, I have never been to the Remand Center, our local jail for those awaiting trial and the like before being moved to the appropriate Correctional Center, so I can’t say with absolute certainty, but I imagine that violence happens there from time to time. The facilities are monitored, but they are also overcrowded and… y’know… full of people who are facing jail time. I’m sure it happens, but we don’t see much information about it unless something really high profile happens. If you search on Calgary Remand Center Violence, you get a few sporadic articles sort of related, but I didn’t quickly (and the reality is, I didn’t put a huge effort in here) find anything that would support or deny the statement. So I’m operating under the assumption that some form of violence happens at least with a modest degree of regularity, and we don’t hear about it.
But we sure hear about it when there’s an element of Schadenfreude. Today, I’ve seen all kinds of references to Monday’s beating by inmates of Kristopher Cook, the hipster kid who set up a fake cancer fundraiser for himself. From what I’ve read, the guy was beaten up by his cellmates, earning a trip to the hospital for facial and abdominal injuries. To what extent he was beaten we have no idea, but this is the main story right now on the Calgary Herald’s web site.
It strikes me as grotesque and creepy that this incident becomes news. It’s news because the Calgary Herald thinks, probably quite correctly, that people will enjoy hearing about this guy getting his “just deserts” in prison. It was similarly big news when a local white supremacist was allegedly raped by his black and middle eastern cellmates. It makes John Q. Public happy to hear that certain inmates are horribly abused, and that’s sad.
(For the record, anyone posting comments about either of these or similar cases getting what they deserve will notice that their comments don’t get posted)
I get it. People like shaming the wicked, and while the 99.9% of the wicked go by without our knowing, when we hear about certain types of people getting sent to jail, we get happy. But reveling in their pain is another thing, and I think it’s just yucky.
Yeah, buddy’s a creep. He ripped his friends off, faked a potentially fatal disease, and took advantage of people’s sympathies. He deserves to be punished. But I won’t be giggling over his getting beat up by cellmates. Just isn’t me.