Go directly to jail -- but how tough should it be for inmates?

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”

That’s a quote from Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Before writing his masterpiece Crime and Punishment, he served four years’ hard labor at a work camp in Siberia. He knew a thing or two about prisons.

A complaint about jails and prisons these days – usually voiced by people who never have been in prison – is that inmates have it soft. We hear about jails having televisions and perhaps small libraries, and before you know it our imaginations are running wild, picturing prisoners sprawled on recliners tossing cheese puffs into one another’s mouths.

That perception doesn’t shift much when you hear about Anders Breivik. He’s the savage convicted in Norway last month of killing 77 people last year. Norway doesn’t have capital punishment, but it does have a three-room suite in a suburban Oslo prison where Breivik will spend the next 21 years. He gets a bedroom; a study with a laptop computer fixed to a desk; and a room with exercise equipment.

Too much? Perhaps. I’ve seen photos of the rooms, and I’ve seen college dorm rooms that looked a lot sketchier.

For someone who snuffed out 77 innocent lives, a lot of folks would rather see Breivik in some dank, rat-infested vault with a cobblestone floor and a pile of hay in the corner.

Too much? Perhaps.

The closest I’ve seen to a “happy” medium was when I was a guest earlier this year at the Columbia County jail. No, not like that – I just toured the jail with my son’s Cub Scout den. He learned how to safely cuff a suspect. I learned that the jail is brightly lighted, scrupulously clean, tighter than a drum and the absolute last place you would expect inmates to have it soft.

I also like the policy that authorities started Aug. 1 at the Richmond County jail – no more free medical care for prisoners. To tamp down soaring medical costs, inmates now have to cough up a $5 copay.

It might shock you to learn that prisoners have been known to lie about being sick just so they can spend time out of the regular jail population to, as sheriff’s Maj. Gene Johnson wryly told The Chronicle, “go down there to see the pretty nurse. This is going to stop some of that.”

I realize I’m mixing the terms “jail” and “prison” here – prison is federal and often state; jail isn’t. But behind bars is behind bars.

Putting someone behind bars requires a delicate balance. Imprisonment has to be enough of an unpleasant deterrent to keep people from committing crimes again and returning – but not to a degree that they emerge with more scars. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want guys back on the streets who are angrier getting out of prison than they were getting in.

Still, keep their minds and bodies active. If an inmate is willing to learn something in a classroom, or seek spiritual guidance, or pick up some kind of trade skill – except maybe locksmithing – I don’t have a problem with that. If you keep them idle, they’re probably more likely to continue to be slackers when they get out.

That’s hardly revolutionary thinking. For years, prisons have offered chances for prisoners to take high-school and college classes. Prison ministries, such as the international one founded by former Watergate figure Charles Colson, have helped tons of inmates get closer to God. The trick is finding out which kinds of rehabilitation work best for which kinds of inmates.

I came across an article in The Atlantic magazine about prison reform in Vermont, specifically about an innovative work-release program. Inmates, according to the story, “are made to feel that their imprisonment is designed to improve them as men, and to restore them to social life not only with full self-respect but with the cordial respect of the community.”

I should mention the date on the article: August 1911. Yep. Prison reform is at least that old.

I collect antique newspapers. One of the oddest ones in my collection is the Dec. 6, 1913, edition of The Summary – “published weekly by and for the inmates of the New York State Reformatory, Elmira, New York.” A prison with its own newspaper. The editor-in-chief – I kid you not – is listed on the masthead as inmate 22875.

Elmira apparently was the first U.S. prison to be renamed a “reformatory,” because instead of pouring on lots of beatings and forced labor, it sought to reform prisoners through such programs as vocational training, athletic leagues, a prison band and, as you just read, a newspaper. (From the paper’s “Local Notes” column: “18183 is now the leader of the Hebrew choir. He expects to make it the talk of the Institution.”)

There is such a thing as being too accommodating, though. Earlier this month, a federal judge in Boston ordered the Massachusetts Department of Corrections to use state tax dollars to provide an inmate a sex change to become a woman. The judge said treating the prisoner’s gender-identity disorder is a “serious medical need.”

I won’t try to feign expertise when it comes to correctly diagnosing transsexual murderers. And I won’t insult your intelligence by explaining the difference between a want and a need.

But as someone who pays taxes, I could think of more prudent expenditures. Unless, of course, the inmate wants to foot the bill himself – er, herself.

Of course, that’s a lot of $5 copays.

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specsta
7137
Points
specsta 09/23/12 - 12:39 am
4
6
The Justice system - A BIG FAILURE

The only people who should be in jail or prison are violent offenders. The rest should be on probation, pay restitution or do community service.

This country has over 2 million people locked up right now, more than other country in the world, and the current state of incarceration/reform in America is a big failure.

Mass incarceration destroys families, communities and creates an endless cycle where non-violent offenders learn to become violent in order to survive. And society pays the price.

You cannot convince me that a struggling father behind on child support deserves jail time, the same as some monster who rapes a child. Or someone who steals steaks from the grocery store must suffer the same as a murderer who cut someone's throat. Incarceration must be for violent people - period.

myfather15
56766
Points
myfather15 09/23/12 - 04:01 am
8
2
Specsta Specsta.........

Boy do you have a way of spinning your words (As liberals do so often) to make your point seem more compassionate. "A struggling father behind on child support" Now that sounds completely cruel to lock up such a good guy who is just trying to make ends meet, all the while working two jobs to pay his child support and support himself, right??? Why, for the love of humanity would a decent society do such a thing.

Heres the answer; Because the vast majority of those "Struggling fathers" who are in jail, couldn't care less about the children they have fathered. They couldn't care less about the real victims; the children and mother who really is working two jobs to make ends meet. They can't afford to pay that child support because then they couldn't afford to go drinking every weekend. I work in this line every day. I see these dead beats that are sitting in jail for failure to pay child support and the VAST majority are far different than you would explain it.

I have locked up hundreds of people for contempt of court (Child support obligation). Most of the time you will find in their homes; Computers, big screen TV's, 18 packs of beer in the fridge, bottles of liqour in the cabinet, and a lot of times a bag of weed in their pocket; Yet, they can't afford to help the mother support the children they fathered.

Also, what do you consider a violent offender?? Is that only someone who assaults or kills someone? Do you consider drug dealers violent offenders?? If no, then why not? Drug dealers are the most violent people you can meet. Its in the very nature of the business they are in. They must be willing to be violent or they will NOT survive their business. If someone doesn't pay them what is owed, they must be violent. If they are meeting someone for a big sell, what happens if the person buying decides to rob them, instead of paying? They must be violent. The VAST majority of the shootings you read about in this very paper are DRUG RELATED.

Your compassion is misplaced at best. The true compassion should be for the children who go without because of a dead beat sperm donor. The compassion should be for the mother who puts her heart and soul into raising these children by herself while struggling to provide. Thanks for the comment, but I'll leave my compassion where it belongs.

myfather15
56766
Points
myfather15 09/23/12 - 04:52 am
5
1
"I realize I’m mixing the

"I realize I’m mixing the terms “jail” and “prison” here – prison is federal; jail isn’t. But behind bars is behind bars."

Let me correct this mistake and possibly clarify this for people. Prison DOES NOT mean Federal only. There are MANY State prisons.

JAIL usually is referred to as a County facility where you go when you are arrested and charged with a crime. At this point you are USUALLY given a bond/bail, because you HAVEN'T been CONVICTED yet. You can get out on bond to await the trial date. Serious crimes such a murder usually require a bond hearing in front of the judge because they can be denied bond if certain conditions are met. If you're charged with a less serious crime such as D.U.I or Simple Assault, agencies usually have a preset bond amount for those charges and a hearing in front of a judge is not needed because they aren't attempting to deny you bond.

PRISON, whether it be State or Federal depending on who charges you and the crime in question, is where you go when you are convicted and sentence by the judge to do time. You DO NOT go to prison before being convicted, period!!!

In this State, we have several incarceration facilities. Jail, Probation Detention Centers, State Prisons and Federal Prisons. Probation detention centers are facilities where a person has been placed on (Usually) misdemeaner probation (but can be felony probation) but has violated that probation numerous times. Probation detention centers USUALLY don't hold anyone more than 180 days.

Probation is what you recieve if you are charged with a crime and convicted but are NOT sentenced to prison time, instead are sentenced to a certain amount of time on probation. There is State Government Supervised Probation for felonies and Private Probation Supervision for misdemeanors.

Parole is what a person is on that has been convicted and sentenced to prison and has been release from prison on PAROLE. Parole is always supervised by the State. There is no parole in the Federal prison system.

Specsta: I've seen comments from you before saying that prisons are full of people who were charged for just having a little weed in their pocket and that is absolutely false. In 15 years I've never witnessed a single person ever get PRISON time for misdemeanor (personal use) marijuana. Jail? Certainly, if they are arrested/charged; Yes, they go to County jail and are given a bond. Some can't afford the bond, which is usually around $1,500.00 so they sit in JAIL until their court date. But Prison time for misdemeanor weed, it just won't pass the smell test. It doesn't happen in todays society. Now, if your caught with enough for a Possession with intent to distribute charge, sure you might end up in prison but more likely 4 or 5 years probation, unless its your 3rd, 4th or 5th offense of PWID.

CobaltGeorge
175920
Points
CobaltGeorge 09/23/12 - 05:03 am
5
3
myfather15,

way to go with your "Stick It In Your Pipe
And Smoke it" comment. You are doing a good job, stick with it.

dichotomy
37496
Points
dichotomy 09/23/12 - 11:31 am
4
1
"but I don’t want guys back

"but I don’t want guys back on the streets who are angrier getting out of prison than they were getting in."

Neither do I.....and that's why I think we should keep them locked up so long that they are too old to worry about them doing any harm when they get out.

We have the same problem with our CRIMINALS that we have with our TEENAGERS.......no fear of any serious punishment.

You can believe all of that politically correct crap we have had shoved down our throats for decades if you want to, but ABSOLUTE TERRORIZING FEAR OF ASSUREDLY BEING SWIFTELY AND HARSHLY PUNISHED is a great motivator to not commit crimes.

For about 185 years we did what was best for society....and it worked. We locked them up in very unpleasant surroundings and made them work their butts off. Then we tried about 50 years of so of doing what's good for the criminals......and that has NOT worked so well. But not to be deterred, our reformers pushed the same philosophy down into our schools. Where a whack of ruler or a paddle use to firmly establish the limits of social acceptability, we substituted free thinking, no limits, positive reinforcment, "I'm okay, you're okay" and ZERO punishment, ZERO standards, ZERO failures, and ZERO reasons to behave and excel. Now we have both the serial repeat offenders AND our out of control teenagers on the streets to contend with.

I am not at all sure that "progressive" and "progress" have the same root meaning.

Evil Regal
85
Points
Evil Regal 09/23/12 - 12:00 pm
4
4
Other than Specsta's comment
Unpublished

Other than Specsta's comment the rest of you are part of the problem...

The biggest reason why we have such a high recidivism rate in the US is because we focus most of our efforts on punishing and too little on rehabilitating.

Yes, punishment should be part of the prison sentence but we focus so much on it that we're actually making things worse. In a three-year period after being released, 67% are rearrested and 52% are re-incarcerated. Compare this to Norway, which has only a 20% recidivism rate because not only do they focus on rehabilitation, but because they treat prisoners like actual people and not trouble-making scum. And no, having a population that is over 10x higher than Norway doesn't excuse our high recidivism rate or the fact that we literally have 25% of the world's prisoners (beating out even China by 400,000 people).

And when it comes to kids and teenagers, rehabilitation is more important than ever. In many cases that's the ''make or break'' period in their lives. Most of them are not legitimately ''bad'' kids, and even most of those who ARE ''bad'' can be helped (of course, with the exception of those who are actually psychopathic, etc. etc.).

Also not to mention a conviction follows you forever and makes you a sub-class citizen. It makes it harder to get a good job and allows people to discriminate against you. It doesn't help that we have so many crimes that should not be crimes(like marijuana possession for example). Of course this does not account for everyone, but when it's hard to get a decent job and the only people you've recently been around are other "criminals" you tend to learn bad habits and will try to do anything you can just to get ahead. Other problems include a lack of support system from both the state and family and just a poor upbringing in general.

Some compassionate Christians some of you commenters are. I doubt Jesus we be saying "punish, punish, punish...show no mercy". This is why America imprisons more people than any other country in the world. Because we tend to think extreme punishments for relatively low risk offenders is okay. It isn't. It's draconian and we can't continue to tout our freedom and tolerance if we continue this trend. Not saying people shouldn't be punished when they do wrong but to put child support violators or pot smokers on the same level as a cold blooded murderer?

C'mon how can anyone not think that's extreme?

specsta
7137
Points
specsta 09/23/12 - 06:23 pm
3
3
Human Beings - Not Trash

"...but because they treat prisoners like actual people and not trouble-making scum..." Evil Regal

You definitely get it - your point is absolutely true.

Anyone in this society could be locked up. You don't even have to be guilty of anything. People are set up, lied on, falsely accused and convicted all the time. A person could have a little too much to drink and drive home and kill somebody. Someone riding in your car or living in your house could have illegal contraband. A person might unwittingly buy stolen goods. There are many ways an individual can find themselves behind bars.

But that does not change the fact that we must deal with convicted people HUMANELY.

People who are so "tough on crime" usually change their tune real quick when a child or spouse is the one accused of a crime. As long as it is someone else, some abstract name, most folks couldn't care less about prisoners. But there are verses in the Bible that refer to the treatment of the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned. Most folks try to forget about that last part.

Our society cannot keep locking people up for non-violent offenses. It does not work, is unfair and costs too much. No one should suffer the rest of their lives (unable to get a job, a home, a loan, enroll in school, etc.) because of a conviction for a non-violent offense.

Evil Regal
85
Points
Evil Regal 09/23/12 - 03:06 pm
2
3
When you lower yourself to
Unpublished

When you lower yourself to your enemy's level you are no better than they are. Many Americans just seem to want to take the easy way out, violent retribution, etc, instead of taking the path of morality - which is the far harder and far more difficult path.

My grandma always told me when I was growing up that "Even the best revenge is short lived'', and personally I have always found that to be so true, however I have to admit as a human that I too have wanted revenge many times in life, not that I'm easily prone to wanting that, someone has got to do something pretty nasty for me to want that in the first place, but yes I admit sometimes we can feel so hurt, upset and angry at what someone does that revenge can overcome us at time. But like I said, if you get no knowledge that your revenge hurt that person back, and mostly we do not, then its very short lived you got one back.

Revenge is something that can be so motive, stemmed from something say two teenagers argue about, to neighbours next door arguing about one sides kids throwing rubbish on the others lawn, to things that would almost be unforgivable like say murder. If someone murdered a loved family member of yours, would you really want to see personally yourself that person executed? a hard question to answer, but does it bring your dead beloved relative back? No, of course not.

Revenge is a never-ending cycle and no one benefits from it. If everyone carried a chip on their shoulder the world would be a very angry place.

An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind- Mahatma Gandhi

specsta
7137
Points
specsta 09/23/12 - 03:10 pm
1
3
Stereotypes

Myfather15 - I think that you have written down every possible stereotype of fathers who are unable to pay child support. One thing you forgot, though - the truth is that mothers who are ordered to pay child support rarely comply.

Ask any family law attorney or family court judge as to who is non-compliant in paying child support and you will discover that it is mothers who do not pay court-ordered support. Not fathers. A little more than half of all mothers ordered to pay support actually pay, compared to over 70% of fathers who pay.

Also, your observation that non-compliant fathers have an array of TVs, electronics, computers, etc. in their homes is presumptuous. What about a person's financial history? A lot of people were making money on jobs and able to buy these items - then they lost those jobs. There are people with master's and doctorate degrees that have found themselves on food stamps and medical assistance. One cannot judge another based on items found in a home.

To lock up a person for failure to pay child support is absurd. For the court to assume that jail-time will miraculously produce funds in one's bank account is asinine. Public funds spent on job assistance, job training, etc. for non-compliant parents would be much wiser than spending thousands to lock someone up for a non-violent offense.

specsta
7137
Points
specsta 09/23/12 - 03:13 pm
1
5
Finally!

Evil Regal, thanks for being a voice of wisdom on these comment boards!

Gage Creed
19407
Points
Gage Creed 09/23/12 - 03:35 pm
2
1
wow....heckle and jeckle

wow....heckle and jeckle

itsanotherday1
48335
Points
itsanotherday1 09/23/12 - 05:00 pm
1
0
I have a middle ground

I have a middle ground position on this. I like a carrot and stick approach; giving non violent offenders every opportunity to keep their noses clean, be productive, learn something, better themselves etc., while shortening their sentences in the process. We are the better for it when they come back into society with a different attitude and tools to work with to rebuild their lives and become productive citizens. That is the carrot.

The stick is if you recidivate or misbehave while in prison, you lose all semblances of leniencies.

CobaltGeorge
175920
Points
CobaltGeorge 09/23/12 - 05:03 pm
3
2
A Hard Question To Answer,

If someone murdered a loved family member of yours, would you really want to see personally yourself that person executed?

No, I wouldn't want to see IT executed, I want to be the one to pull the switch!

"but does it bring your dead beloved relative back? No, of course' not."

but is does provide some justice for my love one.....

CobaltGeorge
175920
Points
CobaltGeorge 09/23/12 - 05:08 pm
1
2
specsta

"A person could have a little too much to drink and drive home and kill somebody. Someone riding in your car or living in your house could have illegal contraband. A person might unwittingly buy stolen goods."

Lets just live in a society that says, It's OK don't worry about it.

CobaltGeorge
175920
Points
CobaltGeorge 09/23/12 - 05:12 pm
1
2
Our Prison System

needs to operate the same way as the Korean and Vietnam POW prisons were run...period.

CobaltGeorge
175920
Points
CobaltGeorge 09/23/12 - 05:22 pm
1
2
To Become A Criminal

is a choice of your own doing and there are no excuses to be used.

So live with your choice!

myfather15
56766
Points
myfather15 09/23/12 - 06:01 pm
4
1
Why certainly, lets spend

Why certainly, lets spend billions more of our tax payer dollars to train people how to be decent, responsible human beings. It has worked so well for us in the past (Not) so lets spend billions more to keep doing it. Geeezzz, isn't this the definition of insanty?? For the last 30+ years we have been spending billions on rehabilitation, only to find the recidivism rate remaining about the same or rising. Specsta and Evil (go figure), talk like we haven't been doing the things they are suggesting. My sister was in prison for 27 months from 1990 to 1992 for stealing and writing checks for over 27k, while in prison she earned a college degree. She got out and is still the same person as before. She is still a scam artist and con's people out of money all the time, including using MY identity to obtain cell phone service that I had to fight to get off my credit. Yes, I attempted to prosecute but she committed the offense while living in Colorado a few years back and prosecution for that was almost impossible.

My point is, we have been doing the things Specsta and Evil are talking about and we've done it for decades. They act as if WE DON'T do this in our society. Its didn't work for my sister in the early 90's and doesn't work now. The aspect they are forgeting with their misplaced compassion is FREE WILL. People have been given the gift of free will. You can't change that FREE WILL with more and more education and training. The only one that can change their free will is THEM, and it WILL NOT happen until THEY and they alone decide to change their lives. When they make that decision, they won't need the education and training, they will do it of themselves. I've seen this numerous times in my 15 years of public service.

I've seen numerous drug addicts receive the best treatment money can buy and as soon as they are done with the treatment, go right back to abusing drugs. I've also witnessed numerous people get their lives clean and stay clean and the one thing they all have in common is they got to a point where THEY decided they were going to change their lives. The counselor, therapist or teacher didn't do it for them, THEY DID. Also, most that I've personally witnessed change their lives also said they had finally got in touch with God. Thats not an advertisement for God, its the TRUTH.

The same goes for criminals who are in prison. Until THEY and THEY ALONE decide to change and start being responsible, decent human beings, they will never be such. You can waste Trillions of tax payer dollars and it won't work because money and training doesn't change human beings free will. But, they will be held accountable for their free willed decisions.

Evil; The Christ you talk about also said "Fear not he who can kill the body, but fear HE who can destroy both body and soul in Hell". This is not just a death penalty of the flesh, this is the destruction of their very existence, the ultimate penalty for their choices. People that will not change of THEIR OWN FREE WILL, will face some severe punishment. I just hope they DO CHANGE, before its too late because it's coming VERY SOON.

myfather15
56766
Points
myfather15 09/23/12 - 06:12 pm
4
1
Specsta....

I wasn't sterotyping people but speaking of experiences that I have personally witnessed with my own two eyes, numerous times.

Your comment about women not paying child support really isn't worthy of a reply because you insult my intelligence and common sense if you think I don't realize women fail to support children as well. I have actually sat in the courtroom hundreds of times during child support hearings, so send your comments towards someone who doesn't know better.

"To lock up a person for failure to pay child support is absurd" These dead beats who care nothing for the children they fathered deserve their freedom taken from them. It's not absurd to punish someone for their selfishness and harming of others, because thats exactly what they do, is harm others. When they father a child and do nothing to help that child, it harms the child, the mother and society!! They deserve exactly what they get.

myfather15
56766
Points
myfather15 09/23/12 - 06:29 pm
4
1
Evil......

You stated; "Not saying people shouldn't be punished when they do wrong but to put child support violators or pot smokers on the same level as a cold blooded murderer? "

This is just another misrepresentation of the truth, to further an agenda. I've seen this numerous times from Specsta and have corrected it also with little to no response.

How are we treating "Pot smokers" the same as "cold blooded murderers"? Man, do liberals use articulate words to further their agendas or what? Not just a murderer, but a cold blooded murderer. Wow, what decent society would treat a "Pot smoker" like a COLD BLOODED MURDERER. The problem is, can you prove ANY "Pot smokers" have been sentenced to actual PRISON time? I'm not talking marijuana sellers, but users ONLY. No, you can't because it doesn't happen. A lot of agencies and jurisdictions have even reduced the charge of misdemeanor marijuana possession to a citable offense, which means they receive a citation and aren't arrested on scene, just like a speeding ticket. Those that are arrested are taken to County Jail, given a bond within a couple hours and are released on bond until their court date. At the court date they usually receive probation, not PRISON sentences. Now, if its their 5th offense of misdemeanor possession, the judge may feel inclined to give them 90 days or maybe 180 days to serve, which is served in COUNTY JAIL, not prison. The prison system will not accept anyone sentenced to less than a year.

That was a poor attempt to say America treats "Pot smokers" like COLD BLOODED murderers. That just isn't the facts, but nice try. I know you guys must hate when someone actually negates your rhetoric with common sense and facts. Its called TRUTH and God gave it to us. When used properly, you can't negate it!!!

KSL
143947
Points
KSL 09/23/12 - 06:35 pm
2
1
Let's face it.

Some people can not be rehabilitated.

specsta
7137
Points
specsta 09/23/12 - 06:41 pm
1
3
What Really Harms The Child

myfather15 - I'm curious to know how many folks you have witnessed being locked up for interference with parental visitation? How many custodial parents have been placed in handcuffs because they refused to let the non-custodial parent see their child?

Probably none.

Society thinks the non-custodial parent is just a money machine, and if they don't pay, either through inability or by deliberate choice, that is the only measure of their relationship with their child.

Perhaps if the same amount of legal support were placed behind non-custodial parents' visitation rights, then maybe non-compliance of support payments would affect fewer custodial parents.

Preventing a child from spending time with the non-residential parent creates much more harm than a lack of support funds.

CobaltGeorge
175920
Points
CobaltGeorge 09/23/12 - 07:00 pm
0
2
myfather15

Thank You, from a one liner, Thank You.

Gage Creed
19407
Points
Gage Creed 09/23/12 - 07:05 pm
2
1
there sure is a narrow scope

there sure is a narrow scope on some of these posts...seems personal.

Evil Regal
85
Points
Evil Regal 09/23/12 - 07:38 pm
0
5
"Our prisons should be ran
Unpublished

"Our prisons should be ran like they are in Korea and Vietnam"

Read this article on Norway's prison system:

http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/17/world/europe/norway-breivik-court-magnay/i...

Every person still has basic human rights. Even people who do horrible, despicable things. When we stop acknowledging that, we become no better than our enemies. I support the people of Norway for their dignity and for the mature way in which they handle their prison system. More nations should follow their example.

Those judging the Norwegian social systems, criticizing our rejection on capital punishment and our respect for EVERYONE's human rights - should look well into how well their own social, justice and penal systems are working for them, before commenting.............

itsanotherday1
48335
Points
itsanotherday1 09/23/12 - 07:48 pm
3
0
"Some people can not be

"Some people can not be rehabilitated."
You are 100% correct; and for those incorrigibles I say keep adding time to their original sentence for prison transgressions and keep them until they are old and gray as far as I'm concerned. As I've said before, I've watched a lot of documentary work on prisons and inmates; and our current system leaves a lot to be desired, both on the deterrent, and on the rehab ends. We don't do enough to segregate people who have a chance at rehab from the animals running the zoo. The common refrain I hear on the interviews of inmates is they feel pressured to hook up with a gang just to protect themselves. They play the games set up by the hard core inmates just to get along.
We really do need a better system where there is sufficient pain AND sufficient reward to deter bad behavior and promote good behavior. For the unreachable, hard time, PERIOD. For those looking to better themselves, offer a route and targets they can work towards.

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 09/23/12 - 08:01 pm
1
1
And how many of those child
Unpublished

And how many of those child support violators you guys are taking up for have more children after the fact??? Most!! The least they could do is not make more mouths to feed if they can't take care of the ones they have. And these people aren't supporting their children with their child support, they are contributing a fraction of what it really costs. They more times that not they have not part in actually raising the child period in terms of non monetary support. Same goes for gov't lifers...the least you can do is take advantage of the free birth control available and not make things worse.... but they won't.

You are right, they shouldn't' be jailed........they should be sterilized!!!!!

Gage Creed
19407
Points
Gage Creed 09/23/12 - 08:05 pm
4
0
From the article Evil Regal

From the article Evil Regal posted...

"No sooner were his handcuffs removed in the than he raised his arm in a fascist-style salute -- a symbol, to quote his wordy manifesto, of "strength, power and defiance against Marxist tyrants."

He announced he did not believe in the authority of the Oslo court. His plea then followed: not guilty, though he acknowledged his acts. He claimed he was acting "from necessity."

This man killed 77 people...77! With "0" remorse....and you think he should be allowed to live? And actually only serve 21 years? That's inhumane...

Perhaps the Norwegians need to grow a backbone....

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 09/23/12 - 08:14 pm
0
1
And the rehabilitation thing
Unpublished

And the rehabilitation thing that has failed thus far is at the expense of the next innocent victims life. Rehab for certain crimes, yes once...not the 10 most bleeding hearts give. Placing more value on rehabbing the life of someone who chooses to hurt others than innocent people is sick AND criminal!!!!

Evil Regal
85
Points
Evil Regal 09/23/12 - 10:57 pm
0
1
Look, if you want retribution
Unpublished

Look, if you want retribution and revenge what is going to be worse to the convicted killer? A short quick painless death or spending decades of his life in a small cell cut off from society, family, everything that made life worth living. To spend decades living in constant fear of beating and rapes from other prisoners. To spend decades knowing that you will never see a sunrise, have a drink with friends, see a movie, and so forth. You people seem to feel that prison is easy - almost like a vacation.

That's a really twisted view of things.

If you are Christian and believe in the message of Christ the criminals don't deserve your anger or your mantra of "punish and no mercy" but your pity and compassion. No one said leading a Christlike life is easy. However, if you aren't willing to try then you have to ask yourself if you are really Christian.

I think this goes to show a lot about the quality of the Norwegian society and other societies with similar programs. It shows they hold the law above stupid and petty anger or other feelings. This is how the U.S. used to behave. Compare Norway's murder rates and violent crime rates to ours. And that is in a nation that has an equal or higher level of firearms ownership. I think you'll see our system is failing miserably and theirs is working pretty well.

The law should be blind, not opinionated. As soon as we begin labelling certain people as less deserving than others, we begin to lose our way as a democracy. Unfortunately, the US seems to have already crossed this line.

Gage Creed
19407
Points
Gage Creed 09/24/12 - 05:54 am
1
0
I think I'll stick to my

I think I'll stick to my really twisted (in your mind) view of things.

You may want to review the demographics and cultural policies of the country you are so staunchly endorsing.

While you are comparing things, perhaps you should compare the literacy rates and the illegal immigration rates too.

I have no idea about your labeling...but I do know that if an individual is given a fair trial, convicted of a heinous crime of killing 77 innocents, and the criminal even has the audacity to boast that he did it, then that individual should be put to death.

End of story.....

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