In Frank Darabont's 1994 movie, The Shawshank Redemption, adapted from Stephen King's novella of the same name, Morgan Freeman plays as a convict who is known for having 'ways' to get anything contraband by the prison authorities at a price. The real version has been playing at Taipei Detention Center in Tucheng in Taipei County, Taiwan for quite sometime.
Three buses load of investigators led by prosecutors raided the detention center yesterday to collect evidence for alleged group corruption by the guards and employees. According to the news report, the detainees can virtually get everything they want if they are willing to pay for it. The definition of 'everything' includes not just cigarettes, bottles of liquors, cellphones, mini TVs and PDAs, but sex, male and female detainees could do it on the sickbed at the center's infirmary, of course, the price for that kind of 'service' ain't cheap.
When asked for comment, President Ma, also former Minister of Justice, emphasized that all concerned should be severely punished by law. Well, my very limited knowledge of prison history and common sense told me that punishment along will not end such scams.
Corruption, like economy, is a matter of demand and supply. I don't think that I can use just a few paragraphs to propose any substantial ideas to crack it. Maybe a more thorough study of the demand, i.e.,what and why the prisoners want, and the implementation of a more practical, effective and human prison management system could make the problems from getting worse.