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Thread: Record number of people in U.S. prisons

  1. #46
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    Default Re: Record number of people in U.S. prisons

    Quote Originally Posted by therick View Post
    Who said they were cool with your scenario? No one that I've read on here yet.

    I agree that there are those that are born behind the 8ball in life. Some grow up to be sociopaths through no real fault of their own. Using your examples.

    However, what should we do with those people? Should we allow them to infringe on the rights of those who follow the law. Should we allow them to kill, steal, rape, assault, etc.?

    I really don't have any really good ideas for how else to deal with this small sect of society, except to remove them from society so that they are no longer a danger to themselves or others. You seem to have all of the answers from your years in the prison system, what's the alternative?
    You seem to want to paint the entire prison population with one tar brush. Obviously, some are a real threat to society, whereas some (e.g. drug users)
    may not be.

    There are several reasons we might incarcerate someone:
    retribution
    rehabilitation
    protect society from further harm
    and some others I can't think of

    If we focus on retribution to the exclusion of others (as you seem to be), it's easy to say lock em up and forget about it. But, we don't have unlimited jail space and resources, we have to think about how that experience affects those we let out, and even how incarceration affects the families and communities of those locked away. We have to consider fairness in punishment. There is, and has always been, an issue as to why some people are locked up and others aren't.

    I'm sure we could easily double or triple our prison population if judges simply threw the book at whoever appears before them. There are reasons they don't.

    As to the bread and water prescription: I don't know. Times are a lot different than when your grand-grandad was part of the system. Exercise is part of staying healthy.

    As for solutions, I mentioned one before--roughly translated as: an ounce of prevention is equal to a pound of cure.

  2. #47
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    Default Re: Record number of people in U.S. prisons

    Quote Originally Posted by UGLY View Post
    That that prison as a detterent doesnt work in its current fashion. If it was so bad people would not be willing to risk their freedom only to return to prison.
    I think you way oversimply matters. If we made prison life really hard, would that keep people from coming back? I seriously doubt that would be a deterrent of any significance.

  3. #48

    Default Re: Record number of people in U.S. prisons

    But we've stepped up education time and time again as a method of prevention and the problem only gets worse.

    I would also question the point that drug users are not a threat to society. After the things I've seen my brother-in-law go through with drugs and the trouble that his habit has caused, I don't see how anyone can think that drug use is not harmful to society.
    Last edited by skipster; 02-29-2008 at 12:47 PM.

  4. #49

    Default Re: Record number of people in U.S. prisons

    Quote Originally Posted by matclone View Post
    I seriously doubt that would be a deterrent of any significance.
    I agree.

    A LOGICAL person would realize that commiting a crime will ultimately screw your life up.

    But, lots of people act ILLOGICALLY.

    Humans are complex emotional beings that do things all the time that don't make sense.

    For example: Why would anyone smoke? Cancer is pretty big deterrent, yet millions of people do it.

    I'm not saying I'm against incarcerating criminals. I just don?t buy the deterrent argument.

  5. #50
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    Default Re: Record number of people in U.S. prisons

    Exactly. I was going to say something about rational vs. irrational behavior but couldn't think of the right words. And, as you say, people are complex. Simple explanations as to why they did this, or what they might to in response to that, are often unsatisfactory.

  6. #51
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    Default Re: Record number of people in U.S. prisons

    "What we have here, is a failure to communicate"--most famous line from famous prison film "Cool Hand Luke".

    You might not know it, but the actor who uttered these words was a great athlete in his younger years, winning a junior national title in springboard diving at age 17. He was also in competition for the Olympic team in either swimming or diving.
    Last edited by matclone; 02-29-2008 at 01:10 PM.

  7. #52
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    Default Re: Record number of people in U.S. prisons

    Quote Originally Posted by Flop The Nuts View Post
    prison prevention programs

    What is a prison prevention program?
    The biggest prison prevention program is a great education. A high school grad is much less likely to commit a crime that would send them to prison. A college grad even less likely to commit a crime that would send them to prison.

  8. #53
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    Default Re: Record number of people in U.S. prisons

    Remand drug abuse users to mandatory treatment facilities (As long as their crime is drug use/possession only) End mandatory sentences for drug possession.

    This would open available cells to to keep violent criminals behind bars. Change mandatory sentences to keep violent criminals behind bars longer.

    Drastic increase the fines and penalties for white collar crimes like those for illegal stock schemes and identity theft that have ruined innocent peoples lives. Millions of dollars are stolen with a slap on the wrist.

    I met a man in Nevada once who served 5 years in jail for simple possession of pot. (not a dealer or a dealer's amount of pot) Meanwhile I know of a man who stabbed a man in a bar fight 10 times and served no jail time, he later chased a woman out of a 2 story apartment window with a knife where she had serious injuries. He served 3 years for that crime.

    The system is broken and needs to be fixed.

  9. #54
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    Default Re: Record number of people in U.S. prisons

    Sounds reasonable. It seems that the offense of drug use, and drug offenders in general, lend themselves to rehabilitation efforts, as distinct from the more violent criminals.

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