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    Jenna's Avatar
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    How would you reform prisoners?

    Most here agree that prisons usually do not turn criminals into law-abiding citizens, but rather teach criminals to become even worse criminals. What would you change about prisons to make them better at reforming criminals?

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    Rhino's Avatar
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    I would make prisons a place people are actually scared to go to again.

    With the promise of safety, 3 warm meals, a bed, and cable TV (not to mention the stability provided by the guards and a routine schedule) a prison now promises for many a better life than they had on the street.
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    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Electro-shock therapy?

    The bigest thing they need to do seems to me is bust up the gangs - They can do that by doing a wholesale random prisoner swap each week across the whole state, so not one prsoner will ever get to even know the other, much less have time to form a gang alliance.

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    Trojan 42's Avatar
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    Prisons should be to punish offenders, not to reform them! Get Arizona's Sherrif Joe to run all prisons in the US and UK. Rhino is absolutely right, they should be scared of ever going back.
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    BEB
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    Scaring people sufficiently to curtail future action they would otherwise take is a manner of reform, no? Punishment can be a reforming tool. All for other avenues of reform, but some people need to be spanked to get a message across. Be they four or forty.

    *This is where I'd like to launch into a long winded editorial on the state of society, the damage of coddling, etc.

    If punishment be necessary, it should be just.

    *This is where I'd like to launch in about unjustness of fines and excessively high legal fees, not because lawyers are scumbags (though many are), but because our legal codes are often as much or more about preserving the legal industry as justice.

    Confined punishment should be a last alternative.

    *This is where I'd write a bit about changing the model more toward making reparations to victims as punishment instead of confined punishment, which would benefit the victim, the economy, the taxpayer, and yes, even the villain.

    Really I don't have much on topic to say about prisons though.
    Sorry.

  6. #6
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    Send them to a remote spot that is escape proof, plenty of hard labor, and cut off from the world. In the past it was Devils Island, St.Helena. There are a lot of isolated spots out there; Thule Greenland, Kerguelen, Gan or Diego Garcia, Jan Mayen, Kommandorski, Clipperton, etc.

    Russia has a lot of empty prison camps in the former Soviet Gulag. Russia could use the money and a lot of former Soviet prison officers could use the work.

    There are some delighful islands the US owns that would make good prison spots. Johnston Atoll, Adak, Attu ,Shemya, Kiska, Kure, etc. Gitmo is one that has shown its suitability as a prison. Unused oil drilling platforms could also be used.
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    Trojan 42's Avatar
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    Having given this question some consideration, I'd like to revise my original post. Hang everyone for any Second Conviction which warrants a jail term. Sorted.
    To be born an Englishman, is to be a winner in the Lottery of Life.



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    Start over ... rethink the whole thing ... prison should not be to reform but to punish. Build daycare's not prisons

    By starting over, I mean ..... allocate money to children, put that money into children ages birth and up and teach them from birth how to be a contributing member of society .... help young mothers learn a skill that will give them the ability to take care of said children to start with ...

    ok end of my rant.....

    I think the ones that are there now should have to fin for themselves ... grow their own food ... dig ditches in the back yard work three shifts only be allowed to sleep in the bed for 8 hrs like the rest of us no tennis courts / bball / tv / ... but that's just my opinion.


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    Jackalope's Avatar
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    I don't think prison should try to reform or punish people. Simply warehouse them. If they're in prison, they aren't committing crimes. Let them have their food and TV, it doesn't cost the taxpayers much, and it gives them something to do besides assaulting the C/Os. Triple the length of all prison sentences, and build enough capacity to keep them in there. No more early release for any reason.
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  10. #10
    Star Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trojan 42 View Post
    Prisons should be to punish offenders, not to reform them! Get Arizona's Sheriff Joe to run all prisons in the US and UK. Rhino is absolutely right, they should be scared of ever going back.
    +1
    ...........................................

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    I agree with Rhino. Criminals should be scared to go back to prison. I'm for some type of electric shock therapy too and hard physical labor. No privileges either. Prison is a punishment not a place to earn privileges.
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  12. #12
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    I agree with Rhino prisons should be so scary that people would not want a second dose of it.Make the first sentence hard the second harder the third really shit for them.After all they are there to be punished not rehabilitated.
    Last edited by Ianl6; 06-12-07 at 10:26 AM. Reason: Typo
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    I am no dummy!

  14. #14
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Good points here - The primary purpose of prisons should be to protect society from crimes while the criminal is incarcerated.

    As for drug & alcohol abuse related crimes (DUI, petty theft to buy drugs, etc), prison is just as effective in detox as the expensive clinics - I would say better, because prision certainly sobered up my old man better than $10,000 we sunk down the hole of a detox/rehab center (I think the total bill before insurance paid was more like $30,000) - He was back to drinking within a month of the clinic, but 90 days in the slammer got him sober for a year.

    The secondary purpose should be to deter future crimes by fearing going back to prison - That's where my original idea of electro-shock therapy comes in - A stun gun is cheap

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    Lo523's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trojan 42 View Post
    Prisons should be to punish offenders, not to reform them! Get Arizona's Sherrif Joe to run all prisons in the US and UK. Rhino is absolutely right, they should be scared of ever going back.
    +2
    Never approach a bull by the front, a horse from behind, or an idiot from any direction.

  16. #16
    lewisipso's Avatar
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    I wish reform was as easy as sending someone to a prison. However, reform is like rehab. It's a lifestyle. If you don't want it you won't except it. There are so many mental, moral, and environmental variables in society that any combination of them will make a person refuse treatment.
    What I consider "normal" may not be what someone else does. Therefore I seriously consider if prisons can reform in the first place.
    Prisons, in my opinion are for separating the "non conforming" and violent from the rest of society.
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  17. #17
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    Just finished doing a paper on this in my CJ class. I would model prisons on Sheriff Joe Arpayo's tent city. They need to be a place where people don't want to come back to. Hard to be a billy badass dressed in pink prison gear. Hard to plan your next shanking, or riot, if you cant lift your hands cause you have been busting rocks for 15 hours. Hard to get fat when all you eat are MRE's. I dont care if you have the inmates dig a trench 10 feet deep, 6 foot wide and 500 foot long....then have them fill it in when they are finished. Just work them. No gym equipment, no tv, no games. JUST WORK. Perhaps basic education services like GED, but no college. I have to pay for my schooling, while working full time and supporting a family of 4, why should some dirtbag get it for free?
    500 fights, that's the number I figured when I was a kid. 500 street fights and you could consider yourself a legitimate tough guy. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course along the way you stop thinking about being tough and all that. It stops being the point. You get past the silliness of it all. But then, after, you realize that's what you are.


  18. #18
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    The only caviat I'd add to all this is that if prisons were too harsh, you'd probably see more shoot-outs with criminals who'd rather die than go back to prison - And possibly more rape & robbery victims killed so as not to leave witnesses.

    There does have to be a balance, but I don't think we're anywhere near that side of the coin yet.

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  19. #19
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    I think they should be completely self-sufficiant.

    They should be picking cotton, and shearing sheep. Carding the wool/cotton, spinning it into thread, weaving into fabric, then sewing their own clothes.

    They should be plowing the fields, sowing and reaping the crops, grinding the wheat, then baking the bread they eat.

    They should be cutting the hay, that feeds the cows and steers for the meat and milk that they eat.

    Did I mention milking the cows, for their milk/butter/cheese?

    If they have surplus, they can sell it, and the proceeds can go to their victims.
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  20. #20
    Jenna's Avatar
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    I think having prisoners work is a good idea for reforming them--it might give them job skills that will enable them to get jobs once they get out, so they won't have to resort to crime to support themselves. They should also be allowed to get as much education as they want, including college degrees--they will need all the help they can get to get work once they are released, since their criminal record could keep them out of a lot of jobs. I also think prisoners should be prevented from socializing with each other, so that they won't teach each other to be even worse criminals.

 

 
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