posted on Oct, 22 2014 @ 08:11 PM
I'd have to remove from any following comments, ordinary people who were sent to jail for having a joint in their pocket et al. While this 'war on
drugs' that makes peons and even bystanders guilty(-er, sometimes) than dealers and drug lords supports the 'industry' of prison, it has little to
do with the issues of justice, punishment or rehabilitation.
Here in the USA, you can bilk people out of their entire retirement savings when they are elderly, utterly ruin the lives of countless people, and
still be walking around free and considered an philanthropist (read Michael Milliken's wiki page). You can destroy rivers and landscapes, you can
indirectly murder insane numbers of people knowingly since the corporate 'fine' is about 1% of your profits if that, and still be walking around
free and considered a progressive leader in industry.
But if you steal a radio out of a car you damn well bet you're going to jail.
There is a situation where with enough inquiry, you discover that most violent criminals were malnourished growing up, are still malnourished, are
often people who genetically or triggered-environmentally are actually highly sensitive to reaction to our cuture's common foods and non-foods
(nonfoods such as GMO wheat and MSG for example), often have incredibly little education (regardless of their schooling), and may be physiologically
and psychologically so messed up from this combination of factors that they may or may not even be educable. I would like to think everybody is to
varying degrees, but I'm a pathological optimist. These people in most cases are not in jail because between their decent job and decent life they
committed a crime. Many of them would not have been able to get or keep a job even before that, were nearly incapable of living peacefully with other
people even before that, and they had no belief in themselves or their future. In short, they had nothing to lose. They also had nothing to save.
Most people avoid crimes for several reasons, but one is that it means sacrificing every good thing in your life, directly or indirectly, if you go to
jail. For people who feel they have nothing (and often that's pretty much the case), they have nothing to lose and nothing to save. Living "in the
moment" where who-seems-cooler becomes an issue worth life and death is the only thing they've got. The modern urban ghetto is like a gulag with
women and kids and cars.
It would take more than "here's a nice room" for these people. I say that not with condescension, but with compassion, because I believe vengeance
for destroying people is inappropriate and inefficient (for anything but profit) and creates misery, when we could be contributing to their future and
in turn to the future they could contribute to our economy and culture. Many of these people never, NEVER had a decent home life, anybody in their
life with compassion, nutritious food and patient teaching, and other things that are part of basic culture in much of the world and most people
cannot even imagine the circumstance of not having. There but for the grace of God, as the saying goes. Others have no idea what it's actually like,
or what THEY might be like had they been subjected to the same situation.
The environment in US prison is designed both intentionally and unintentionally to break a person for the most part, and their ability to ever feel or
be normal again is mostly lost, making adaptation incredibly difficult.
The bias in our society against ex-cons makes it incredibly difficult for them to integrate into society. When you lock a person into "no options,"
so they cannot find gainful employment, they cannot re-establish a sense of self esteem and a respectable life and support a family, is obviously
likely to send people back to mercenary 'employment' if that's the only kind they can get, or into a tailspin of poverty and negative psychology
that's unlikely to end well.
In the end, it simply comes down to the priorities of a culture. If our culture prioritized healthy, contributive citizens, we wouldn't have the
degree and scope of issues leading to the majority of people who are behind our bars to begin with. That is not really where our priorities are, which
Other smaller countries may have other priorities. More power to them.
I remember when I was 19 being very cynical and writing a very negative poem, which was all about violent prisoners having a place to stay and college
neither of which I could afford and I was working 90 hours a week trying to earn it. I felt like if only I'd commit a crime I'd get better treatment
than trying to make something of myself. That might be so in some rare cases, specialty prisons or something, but it's not the case for most prisons,
modern panopticons, which are just a miserable pit of hell that ensures anybody going in is 10x as bad coming out. I had assumptions. They were wrong.