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Rehabilitation, does it work?

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posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 12:24 PM
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In contrast to the thread "Death Penalty, cruel and ununsual punsihment?", do you think there are crimes/criminals who can merit from rehabilitation or do you think we are just spinning our wheels and wasting tax payers money and putting society at an inevitable risk?

For all those opposed to the death penalty, can someone like Jeffrey Dahlmer, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy be rehabilitated?

In the aforementioned thread, I gave stats on re-offender rates. Can someone offer some reliable stats on rehabilitation rates?




posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 12:38 PM
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One's concept of reality (and in turn the personality that they create for themselves) is heavily influenced by his or her interactions with those around. When a person is put in prison for a crime, they are not rehabilitated, but rather having a reality enforced that is not accepted in society. Does that make sense? It is sort of like saying you assimilate to the common traits of the group you are involved with.

I don't believe that people get better in prison, but rather merely have the fear of returning to prison as a deterant not to commit more crime upon release.

Now as for the extreme cases of which you mentioned, I do not believe that these individuals could be rehabilitated to such an extreme that would be required for them to return to what we would consider normalcy. These people did not just develop their 'problems' overnight; they have lived in their minds all their lives. I believe that all of them were proven to have some sort of emotional trama that occured to them far before they commited the crimes that they are remembered for.



posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 12:39 PM
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Rehabilitation could work in some instances. I think it is something that should be evaluated on a case by case basis.

For example a petty thief could just be poor or frustrated and have a misplaced sense of value. Another example, are drug offenders. I believe that rehabilitation (and a review of drug policies) would work much better than criminal incarceration. I remember a quote from the movie "Blow". The main character says about his time in jail: "I went in with a bachelors of marihuanna and came out with a PhD in cocain".

For someone like Dahlmer, Gacy or Bundy I think rehabilitation is highly unlikely. However, these are probably best handled by the mental health system rather than the prison system.

I also think that, as a scociety, it would be much more efficient to prevent the creation of criminals (poverty, low education, lack of mental health treatment, ostracisement etc.) than to try and rehabilitate someone who has caused irreversible damage.

Locking people up is not necessarily the answer to all situations. The prison system is an industry that simply wharehouses people for all "crimes" without distinction as to the nature of the crime. i.e. a shoplifter can be thrown in with a drug dealer or a armed robber. I'm not sure of how people get sorted into minimum, medium and maximum security facilities.



posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 12:48 PM
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well first, in order for rehabilitation to work the offender must want to change. in most cases they dont want to. coming from bad backgrounds, they tend to not care about themselves or others and as a result it is hard to get a person to want to be a better person than they were before. after all thats what usually drives them to commit crimes, a lack of concern care and/or respect for themselves and others.

in extreme cases as with serial killers, usually their idea of reailty is so far gone even if they were to undergo rehabilitation it would probably be for the rest of their lives. some killed for sexual pleasure (such as with the zodiac killer) but also did so as an outlet for their rage, usually brought about by their upbringing, abuse sexual mental and physical. their minds in some cases could not fully comprehend or appreciate that killing someone else was wrong, they viewed it as right or justified. their views of right and wrong are opposite of our own at times.

but for those who do understand the concept of right and wrong as held by society at large they have to want to change and be a better person, if not regardless how nice you are and no matter how much you help them it will never work. they will never change. even for those who do want to change and make the attempt it is a never ending struggle as it is easy to go back to ones old ways rather quickly without noticing it. much like a person getting over an addiction is never really "cured". it is a demon that follows you the rest of your life and haunts you.

rehabilitation can work and has worked but many dont want it to work, they dont want to change. they feel no need to, they see no need to.

but for those who are too far gone there is but two ways for them to live the rest of their lives, on death row, or in a mental institute.



posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 12:53 PM
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Originally posted by mako0956
In contrast to the thread "Death Penalty, cruel and unusual punishment?", do you think there are crimes/criminals who can merit from rehabilitation or do you think we are just spinning our wheels and wasting tax payers money and putting society at an inevitable risk?


Sure it can work. However, it takes the person themselves to really want to change for it to happen. Next comes programs that can help to guide and support as well as train the individual how to make it through life legally.

One big problem is that so called 'Correction Facilities' are really more like 'Criminal Institutions', where the result is either that they learn to be better Criminals than before or if a long enough time is spent, they become 'Institutionalized' and basically unprepared to return to society anyway.


For all those opposed to the death penalty, can someone like Jeffrey Dahlmer, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy be rehabilitated?


It's doubtful such men could be considered safe in society ever again. However, they might be able, in time, to help others who are going through the 'System' as well. If not that, then they can still be useful for 'Criminal Psychologists' and similar people as a reference in understanding that type of person and why they do what they do, and how. Hopefully they can use that knowledge to protect society from others like them in the future.


In the aforementioned thread, I gave stats on re-offender rates. Can someone offer some reliable stats on rehabilitation rates?



Not right off hand sorry. I suggest Google or something. Although 'Statistics' aren't always very truthful or accurate anyway.



posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 01:56 PM
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Originally posted by mako0956
In the aforementioned thread, I gave stats on re-offender rates. Can someone offer some reliable stats on rehabilitation rates?


This is really a great post for further discussion Mako. The fans of Rehabilitation (there were several in the death penalty thread) often touted it as an answer. I feel and always will feel that in the case of predatory crimes (abuse, rape, murder etc) you can simply never be rehabed. While I do not have direct experience with the criminals, at the children's hospital I work at we have an anorexia unit. Its a psychological disorder much like our preadatory criminals have. The unit at my hospital has a very good rate of rehabilitation compared to other part of the country. Its an inpatient unit that requires its people to spend months undergoing treatment. Thier success rate of patients admitted into the program? about 25%. Yes 75 percent fail and end up back in the program. Some are not so lucky and end up in the ICU. Some Die. OF the 25% they require constant maintenance to prevent a relapse. I realize that anorexia is a far cry from killing someone, but both are essential psych. disorders and it makes for a good comparisons. If you look at the average success rates or narcodic rehabs, its pretty bad too.

Even if it were 50/50 would you sleep well at night with a rehabed rapist living downstairs or next door (one of the highest repeat rates) . Im not trying to be alarmist. Its a scenario that plays out in our neighborhoods each day as rehabed prisoners are paroled into our communities. Thank god the Meghans law database lets you know where the sexual predators are in our neighborhood. Communites are actually organizing and protesting the preadators out of thier neighborhoods. If your curious, the City of San Jose, CA actually has thier database online and you can see names addresses, and what they were convicted of.

People will also point to the fact that prison becomes retribution. That is the whole point. IMHO, prisons have become too warm and fuzzy, too concerned with the rights of those who violated the rights of others. Prisoners have chosen not to abide by the laws of society. In doing so they have chosen to violate the rights of those who do. Its not as if the punishment / consequences is not understood.



posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 02:01 PM
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Unfortunately, the system is loaded with people who claim to have been molested as children and use this as an excuse to justify their crimes as adults.

Alot use the system and claim mental issues to avoid the legal consequences against them in favor of remaining "numbed out" in a mental facility.

Once these people are arrested, life as they know it is over. They now have to abide by the rules and regulations of the housing facility instead of living life on their terms.

They have 24 hours a day to sit around, talk to other inmates and consider their options.

In my professional experience, I have seen one person, who I would consider too far gone for rehabilitation to reach. He was in our facility for 5 months. He was initally arrested for a gas drive off. When the vehicle's tag was run, it turned out to be a stolen vehicle. When they tried to contact the vehicle's owner, he was found dead. There were other homicides in his past which his involvement was suspect.

This subject was unprovokingly violent towards staff and other inmates for the duration of his detainment. Other inmates feared this man. Security was maintained by keeping him isolated from the inmate population. When you spoke to this man, he talked off the wall. Here was a man who served in the US Air Force, not during active wartime either. He was released from the military because of his "oddness". Some people refered to this behavoir as pure evil.

Shackled at the feet and waist, with two officer's present, this man attempted an escape. His injuries were severe enough for him to be transported to a medical facility where he is likely to spend the rest of his days in a comatose/vegetative state with medication.



posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 02:56 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
People will also point to the fact that prison becomes retribution. That is the whole point. IMHO, prisons have become too warm and fuzzy, too concerned with the rights of those who violated the rights of others. Prisoners have chosen not to abide by the laws of society. In doing so they have chosen to violate the rights of those who do. Its not as if the punishment / consequences is not understood.


This all depends on the type of criminal you're talking about though of course. Right off the bat all 'Violent' and 'Non-Violent' criminals should be separated. Violent crimes represent an entirely different breed of character. Violent Criminals represent a group where Rehabilitation is much less likely.

This is especially important if in fact you are going to attempt to Rehabilitate the Non-Violent ones at least in some part before they rejoin society. While I also do not believe in making their time easy, there is absolutely no way you can expect someone to understand the Importance of Respecting Peoples Rights if you strip them of all of theirs. When dealing with these people, they need to understand 'Responsibility', 'Respect' for themselves as well as others. They should all be made to do some kind of work. NO DAMN TV EITHER!! If they want to know what is happening with the world they can read the news. If they can't read, then they can learn. TV is Junk food for the mind and does them no good.

Also, they should feel as though they are basically secure in their safety from other prisoners while there as well. Work should be 8 hours a day always. Less work should only be for those who are taking some kind of class of equal value, but should only cut into their work by 3 or 4 hours max. They should have 2-4 hours to exercise, run a track, shoot some hoops, etc. Not body building equipment and all that stuff. They should be able to buy minor items if friends of family bring them money. (This is actually how it is now.)

Basically, it should operate like a Very Cut and Dry Military Type Atmosphere where things are MADE to operate smoothly and if not they are dealt with right then with as little disturbance as possible. However, as long as things are going good, which is good training for them to coexist in a community, everything rolls along nicely, just much more stale and restricted than normal life. Those who get out of line, spend extra days in the hole or running till they puke or pass out. Things of that nature.

Now, remember that is not for Violent Offenders though. That requires a bit more planning, IMO.

[edit on 16-7-2004 by mOjOm]



posted on Aug, 28 2004 @ 07:08 PM
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Mako and others. The death penalty debate has resurfaced again as part of the on going presidential campaign. One of the more touted interventions by the anti death penalty crowd is Rehadb. I bumped this up in hopes that we would get a better reponce this time to Mako's post



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 02:45 AM
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While i think some of our victimless morality laws are unjust [suicide, drugs & prostitution], I think spending money rehabilitating people who have not managed to keep their lives within the law and got caught is a very low priority. We would use our dollars much more wisely to educate, empower and inspire the next generation.

I will be cras as most are afraid to be. There are 6 billion and counting people on this planet. People are a commodity. If you don't realize that you do so at your economic peril. People who are for the most part damaged in terms of their ability to operate within societies bounds should, considering limited budgets, be discarded.

Its cold, its ugly, its the truth.

Our entire species, cultures, civilizations, entire biosphere and galaxy we live in could be destroyed and the Universe will not shed a tear. One has to deal with reality on its terms not ours. Reality is much bigger than we can possible imagine.
.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 02:56 AM
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Originally posted by slank
I will be cras as most are afraid to be. There are 6 billion and counting people on this planet. People are a commodity. If you don't realize that you do so at your economic peril. People who are for the most part damaged in terms of their ability to operate within societies bounds should, considering limited budgets, be discarded.

Its cold, its ugly, its the truth.


I don't find it all that crass. And i appreciate your honesty in this matter. And countries with thier backs to the wall have often gone this route, If AMerica decends into economic chaos we may also go this route as well



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