The rape scandal in American prisons is a stain on our national honor. Can we address it without being soft on the wicked?
Seems like it's hard to show humane compassion while also recognizing the justice of long judicial sentences. One guy who would imagine himself in the place of a felon, without failing to recognize the justice of the sentence, was the late great Johnny Cash.
"I know I can't be free" combines with a genuine sympathy for what it must be like to be locked down forever.
The more aggressive "Cocaine Blues" likewise takes the perspective of a murderer, but to advise listeners to "let that cocaine be." The justice of the 99 year sentence is never questioned.
"San Quentin" questions the rehabilitation promise of prison, but not the need for rehabilitation: just whether the prisons are fit for it.
Can we do that too? This rape scandal is unfit for a great nation. It would be better to kill men than to subject them to this.