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How gangs keep inmates safe by David Skarbek

The TED presentation that I watched was a 14 minutes by David Skarbek. The presentation was about how gangs keep inmate safe. The speaker talked about the prisons in California State and how prisoners used to be kept safe. In early years such as 1920s, the prisoners were guided by a convict code of conduct, which said dot not lie, do not cheat, and do not be nosy among others. However, as the population of prisoners increased the code became ineffective. This is when prison gangs that are based on race sprang up. They are now the primary source of safety for prisoners. Even though they operate underground economy, they serve to protect prisoners and bring order in the prisons. They might be perceived as bad by many people but without them, the cases of stabbings and stabbing deaths would be more. The solution is to reduce the number of prisoners to the 1920s level where the code can be effective in keeping prisoners safe again.

The speech was persuasive as well informative. From the beginning of the speech, the speaker stated that the US has incarcerated more people in than any other country across the world. To prove his point, Skarbek, shows a line graph of how the number of prisoners has increased since 1851. He further explains that this dramatic rise in prisoners was what led to the emergency of powerful gangs in prisoners. At the end of the presentation, I know why the convict code died and why gangs are so powerful. He manages to persuade me to see the positive side of prison gangs something that I would not have spotted on my own.How gangs keep inmates safe by David Skarbek

The speaker gained my attention by telling a story about prisons and using relevant examples throughout the presentation such as how gang members operates. Using graphs and pictures also caught my attention since they reinforced what the speaker was talking about.

The speaker used several techniques in delivering his speech. To begin with, he used tonal variation throughout the speech. He would raise and lower his voice at certain points in his speech. He also began his speech by stating a fact that the US has incarcerated more people than any other nation in the world. He also used gestures and facial expressions in his speech. This helped the audience to understand the message being delivered. He also used body movements and he made use of the stage. He did not deliver his speech standing at the same throughout the speech but he moved around the stage. The insightful message is that the number of prisoners has steadily increased which is an indication that vice and crimes in the society have increased.

The speaker uses additional research to pass out the message. He quotes a prisoner who talks about the underground economy in the prisons. The prisoner states clearly that they are not involved in riots and other stuff unless they have to. This is because riots lead to lockdown, a period where the shot-callers make no money from underground prison economy.

The speaker used a speech organization plan. His speech revolved on one topic, prisons. Therefore, the speech is organized in a topical way. Additionally, the speech can also be said to be organized in a causal way. From the speech, the speaker starts a journey of showing what led to emergency of prison gangs in the US. The speaker describes how the high increase in the number of prisoners was the cause of prisons gangs as prisoners turned to these gangs for safety.

The speaker had an impactful ending. He ends the speech on a high note just like the way he started it. He asks the audience not to always demonize the prison gangs but to look at the cause of prison gangs. Though many may not see it, they serve an important function to prisoners. Prison gangs are not the root of the problem but the symptom of the problem. Through the closing remarks, he makes the audience aware of the root cause of the gang prisons and gives the solution to this problem. He proposes for smaller and safer prisons.