Dogs Bite Men
Most reports and studies have no impact. But one released just this week has already resulted in a change in state policy. Human Rights Watch ...
Most reports and studies have no impact. But one released just this week has already resulted in a change in state policy.
Human Rights Watch released a report on Tuesday pointing out that prisons in five states use dogs to intimidate prisoners and roust them from their cells. One of the five, Iowa, announced Thursday -- just two days after the report came out -- that it would end the practice and use dogs only in life-threatening situations.
The governor's office concurred with the corrections department's decision. No wonder, after Abu Ghraib. But if Iowa officials were all so quick to recognize and abolish a bad policy, why did they wait to do so until news leaked out through this report?
Jean Basinger, a member of a prisoner advocacy group in Des Moines, tells the Register that she reported the use of dogs to the governor's office nearly a year ago.
"They just said, 'Well, why do you believe prisoners?'" Basinger told the paper.
Sometimes it takes a credible, outside voice to highlight a problem. An outside voice that knows how to get its claims into the media.