posted on Jul, 9 2007 @ 11:55 AM
Originally posted by Freedom ERP
Would you make reforms/changes to the legal system. And what benefits do you see any changes making?
I think one of the worst assumptions made about the prison system is that these are not human beings in jail, but rather monsters whom prey upon
society. In fact, most offenders did little more than posess an illegal substance, or committed a nonviolent crime, such as shoplifting.
Inside the Pen is an underworld system that acts as a combination of warring feudal systems and an overal university for criminal acts. roughly
two-thirds of all inmates released from prison return back to jail within three years. Roughly one in every one-hundred people are now in prison or a
juvenile detention facility, and the rate goes up each year. The overcrowding itself causes problems, with inmates sometimes packed in as many as six
to a 2-bunk cell for years on end.
The problem is cyclical, the original crime is usually the result of poverty status, a lack of education, and poor parenting. The first arrest is
almost certainly not the first offense, but merely the first one at which they were caught by police. Relatively minor criminals become hardened by
inhuman conditions in jail, where they become educated only in serving time, and learning crime. Once they are released, they return to the only
occupation they know, which is crime, until such time as they are caught again.
To address these problems, I suggest the following:
Addressing the Issue of Prison Rape - Prison rape, especially in men's prisons, is one of the worst epidemics in the system. It is
currently not even talked about, much less punished. In many prisons, the wardens even use it as a constant threat to gain the compliance of
prisoners. It's a taboo topic, an uncomfortable subject even to think about, but it needs to stop. The severe physical and psychological trauma
aside, it spreads diseases among the inmates.
Legalize any drugs less addictive than cigarettes - The original reasons for many drugs being outlawed were mistaken impressions about
their addiction rates. The idea being that one would crave the drug so much they would commit other crimes to obtain it. Some drugs, such as
marijuanna, '___', and others, are not even as addictive as the average cigarette. If one can smoke cigarettes and not end up breaking into houses and
mugging people to afford cigarette money, then I'm pretty sure we're safe with the less addictive drugs. This would eliminate the #1 and #2 sources
of our prison population.
Put convicts to work within trade skills - Part of the reason 2/3 of released prisoners return to prison is a lack of job skills,
functional literacy, or the discipline neccessary to hold a job. If a prisoner were taught how to read, write, behave in a disciplined fashion in the
work force, and to be able to properly execute a few commonly needed job skills, the revolving prison door might see less return business. And if a
prisoner still ends up returning to jail, they would now lack the excuse of having a lack of education.
Establishment of "Convicts Anonymous" - Many ex-cons have a lot of trouble re-integrating back into society, especially if they spent any
significant portion of their time in isolation. This has been known to cause everything from violent outbursts to purposeful crimes with the intent of
getting arrested and sent back to prison, where they are more comfortable. This mindset is known as "Institutionalized". Convicts Anonymous would,
much like it's alcoholic cousin, be a support group of ex-convicts whom have learned to peacefully re-integrate into society and assume roles as
productive legal citizens, preventing yet more return business.
Discharge Mental Patients to Mental Health Wards - Obviosuly some pretty strict standards would have to be set, but battered women,
mentally handicapped, and those with severe psychological disorders, will simply not be helped by spending time in prison. The absolute best-case
scenario for such people is that they would end up a repeated rape victim who learns how to be a criminal. The worst case scenario is that their
mental disorders become so much worse-off that they become a violent psychopath.
Voluntary and Involuntary Monitoring - This is going to be the most controversial aspect, I imagine, but I would suggest that non-violent
offenders would have the option of having their sentance commuted if they volunteered themselves for monitoring (ie. RF Chipping). This would allow
for some freedom of choice, while freeing up yet more prison space, and allow for easy tracking of non-violent offenders, as well as provide them the
opportunity to prove they are innocent because of the tracking data. The RF chip would be removed at the end of their sentance. Those who commit
capital crimes would be involuntarily chipped and monitored for their entire sentance, even if given parole. For instance, at the end of the standard
20-year time served for "Life", the chip would never be removed.
Violent, Mentally Able Offenders To Receive Therapy - Finally, one cannot merely assume that a violent offender is simply a monster either.
In some cases, such as self-defense, heat of the moment, or vigilante justice, one commits a violent crime without criminal intent or premeditation.
Repeated therapy with positive and negative reinforcement of correction, would help to ensure that many violent offenders never commit the same
Of course there will be monsters, and there are some that no amount of help, mercy, or discipline will ever correct. These aberrations are the
unfortunate byproduct of their own choices, and I have little sympathy for them. But for those would would actually change their ways and make
something of their life, I feel it is important to offer that sort of choice. Sticking everyone in a box indiscriminantly is not the answer, and it
never has been.