Originally created 11/08/97

Says prisons for revenge and control

It appears some people are uncertain about the function of prisons and why many have a "lock 'em up forever" attitude.

Society is obliged to control citizens' behavior and prisons are necessary to control violent persons who rob, rape and pillage their neighbors. We lock them up for revenge and rehabilitation. It is inescapable and undeniable logic: If criminals are in prison, they can't prey on us in the streets.

A recent writer used an illustration of a "basically good kid" who ended up in prison for being stupid. Age is used as an excuse for making poor decisions.

Our "problem," if we have one, is not differentiating between justice and mercy. Justice is a statement of "yes we did," or "no we didn't," commit a crime. Mercy is a statement of: "The poor thing, didn't know what she was doing." Justice is easy: a crime was or was not committed. Mercy is difficult because we want to assuage liberal concerns of: age, sex, race, and mitigating circumstances.

Criminals are sent to prisons for punishment and to satisfy society's need for revenge. Prisons do this well. Prisons should rehabilitate criminals but fail to do so. I understand that 75 percent of released criminals return for one reason or other.

Liberals blame society, pleading the criminal didn't do well in school; found no jobs they wanted to do or had no money. Seldom do liberals consider the idea that evil kids deliberately chose to commit crimes because it is easier than honest work, or got drunk and made stupid choices, or just didn't care ...

I believe that if a crime is committed then punishment is appropriate. If we want to show mercy and free lawbreakers, let's make sure they will not rob, rape or pillage their neighbors again. Otherwise, throw away the key.

Richard Hogue, Grovetown

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