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Thread: Tuesday October 4, 2005 Noontime (criminal element) question from Michaelskis

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Tuesday October 4, 2005 Noontime (criminal element) question from Michaelskis

    Today’s question is representative of all the law and crime shows on TV.

    Why is it that society is so fascinated with the concept of crime and violence? Even at a young age, school kids will mass around two young scrappers going at it. More so, it seems that many people will get stuck in the cycle of crime and time. They commit a crime and do time in jail, get out, only to commit another crime, get caught, and back they go.

    What is wrong with our jail/prison system that it does not seem to be much of a deterrent for crimes? How many of the criminals have a mental impairment along with their social impairment that prevents them from comprehending the severity of the situation?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

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    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    You've asked two completely different questions.

    As for society and crime and violence I detect a definite difference when switching between Canadian and American TV stations in that the American stations usually feature far more violent programmes - news broadcasts also exhibit this. I don't know why this is but cultural appetities might explain it. I don't generally enjoy violent programmes, and it has always been my opinion that sexual imagery is far more natural and healthy (apparently my countrymen share my opinion as there is an abundance of "softcore" porn on cable TV).

    Jails are quite often full of very stupid people. People that actually did not understand that if they robbed that convenience store the police will come. It doesn't, however, make them good people or otherwise excuse them. You can be stupid and remain an asshole. Just a stupid specimen of an asshole, is all.

    The prison system in general is interesting. The solution is to start trying out alternate methods of incarceration and rehabilitation, but despite facing massive shortcomings in the prison system, prison administrators are notorious for sticking to old methods that continue to not work.

    Anyone who says rehabilitation is not a goal and that punishment is the sole purpose is refusing to look at the performance of prisons to date. Punishment is a must, but rehabilitation is necessary to make sure they don't repeat the problem or otherwise become a nuisance. Punishment is clearly not an effective deterrent in most cases - additional steps are required.

    The key is this: rehabilitation isn't some pansy idea to make the criminal feel better. Rehabilitation is an effort to make sure that the asshole doesn't come back to annoy the rest of society. Get him into a low paying job, slaving away more or less like any other. Get him (or her) out of your hair, otherwise.

    Otherwise you just kill them. *shrug* If the goal is to make them no longer be a problem, you either change them or discard them.

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    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    T.....What is wrong with our jail/prison system that it does not seem to be much of a deterrent for crimes? How many of the criminals have a mental impairment along with their social impairment that prevents them from comprehending the severity of the situation?
    Lots of effort to make everyone NOT like yourself a criminal. People seem to have an inherent belief that somebody different from self, has got to be involved in criminal activity (Hello, looting coverage of New Orleans).

    60% of our prison population is there for substance related issues. If those substances were legalized, then heavily taxed, we could give high paying jobs to 60% of our prison population and still have money left over for other issues.

    So instead of learning new ways of coping, we warehouse people behind bars.

    No fix in sight. We will spend 35k to 45k a year to warehouse a person where they become dehumanized and likely to repeat, as oposed to shelling out money on an education system and much reduced cost. Brilliant.
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

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    Cyburbian ICT/316's avatar
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    Prison, is nothing but a training ground for committing more criminal acts when some one gets out. Three strikes and life is a good law. After three felons it’s life. To harsh? To Bad. You should have thought about that before you committed any crimes at all.
    I really don’t have an answer to why it is that people just keep committing crimes over and over, just to be caught and thrown in jail. May be I did answer that question. They know that they’ll get a “slap” on the wrist and will be back out to take that chance again!!
    Tough sentence guidelines is a good deterrent to crime. Many cities have a federal crime campaign that says that, “if you’re caught with a gun during a the commission of a felony crime or are a convicted felon caught with a gun, than it’s a mandatory 5 years sentence.” That included the time for the felony that person may have committed, also. That gets people attention. Oh, and so does the fact that you can be shot breaking into people homes!!!

    Bill

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    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    I have so many comments I don't know where to start!! These are complex questions. Criminologists make a career out of hyphothesising and researching these and other issues of criminal justice systems.

    The quality of offender treatment programs (if any) is very important. And whether the offender is released back into the same environment with the same problems will have a big impact on likelihood of reoffending. Offenders need a really strong support network and a job and a place to live etc, otherwise they may go back to offending. Some will reoffend on purpose because they do not have a life outside of prison that they want to go back to.

    Quote Originally posted by Duke Of Dystopia
    Lots of effort to make everyone NOT like yourself a criminal. People seem to have an inherent belief that somebody different from self, has got to be involved in criminal activity (Hello, looting coverage of New Orleans).
    I agree.. that whole 'them' and 'us' thing that we reinforce over and over...

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