Thursday, February 12, 2015

Blog #2: Taiwan Prison Siege Results in Suicides of Six Inmates

On Wednesday, six prisoners in a Taiwan prison feigned sickness in order to lure two guards somewhere and take them hostage and then forced the guards to take them to the prison’s weapon supply, where they stole four rifles, six handguns, and 200 bullets. Police surrounded the prison and negotiated all night, and the prison warden and the head guard were exchanged for the hostages. The prisoners requested a getaway car, however, officials refused. Relatives and a well-known drug leader was brought in to try and convince the prisoners to surrender. At one point, the prisoners tried to leave the prison, but were unable as they met with police gunfire outside and returned inside the building. Soon after, the prisoners released the head guard and then the prison warden two hours later. Both walked out unharmed. After a fourteen hour standoff, the prisoners all committed suicide. All of the prisoners had been convicted of murder, drug related offenses, burglary, and a range of other crimes. According to a Taiwanese media report, the prisoners were protesting against their sentences, alleged mistreatment, and unfair trials.

Taiwan’s prisons have had an increase in the number of prisoners, and their goal is to rehabilitate the prisoners. The prisoners can work for the prison in many different ways and take classes in an effort to rehabilitate the prisoners, but I think this has become a lenient treatment. The government does not want to spend more money to build more prisons, which has resulted in overcrowding of the prisons. This shows the flaws in the prison system and shows that the security of the prison systems needs to be stricter. 

Bethany Shaffer

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