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Listen, Inmates: Prison Is a Place of Punishment

November 25, 2002

It is indeed fortunate that the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a prisoner who claims it is his right to procreate while in prison (Nov. 19). This ruling should be applied to every prisoner, whether he is serving a sentence of two years or a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. If William Gerber, a life-term inmate who wants to ship his sperm to his wife so she can conceive by artificial insemination, is allowed to do this, just how does he expect to raise his child?

Can he expect a prison guard to drive him home every day so he can be a father, and drive him back at night? Can Gerber expect his wife and child to move into the prison with him? In either case, obviously not. What Gerber and his fellow inmates need to learn, once and for all, is that they are in prison for punishment.

They also need to learn that they are not there to take a break from society but, instead, so that society can take a break from them.

Craig Plapinger

Goleta

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