Unrealist42 in post #85 wrote:There is no doubt that dangerously violent maniacs should be locked up, everyone agrees on that, even most of the maniacs.
I don't understand this response in the context of what I wrote in the original post. Do you want either what I describe as 'non-violent non-victimizers' or as 'incidental criminals' to be locked up? Do you want what I describe as 'mentally sick people' to be locked up and if so do want them in prison or, as I suggest, in a humane mental health institution?
SHAHIN GHAEMMAGHAMI in post #89 wrote:is there any statistic worldwide about total number of prisoners and the ratio of genders(male to female
I am sure there are, but I don't have them at this time. I hope someone else can find a credible source of that fact for us.
Shoney in post #90 wrote:I belive, that it is a slow proccess. We cannot change to rehabilitation so quickly. We need to open up clinics and hospitals and do reserch on the mentally ill and addictied. This takes time, and slowly we may not have prisons.
Yes, I agree, such reforms would take time. Even if they would greatly benefit almost all of the people in society, I think these reforms may never happen or at least not start for a long time. This is mainly because of the points I make in my topic The Philosophy of Government Spending
. Basically, it is in the interest of the powers that be to continue to spend government inefficiently, create excuses to increase spending and inefficiency and to get the government to fight unwinnable and endless wars such as the war on drugs. However, if for some reason I was wrong or things changes and the people capable of making reforms actually wanted to do what was best for the masses rather than the small few, this might general outline might work:
1. Increase funding for and effectiveness of education, poverty alleviation, public mental health services and preventative self-defense. 2. Decriminalize and then legalize (and tax!) marijuana, prostitution and other non-chemically addictive drugs (or all drugs!). Start send those people addicted to illegal addictive drugs/substances to forced rehab/treatment rather than prison. 3. Gradually increase the usage of fines, community service and conditional probation for smaller less violent crimes particularly for those falling in the category I describe as 'incidental criminals'. Additionally, some of those whose more serious, harmful crimes stem from an addiction such as an alcoholic child abuser or a drug addicted mugger can be sent in some cases to rehab/treatment for their addiction rather than prison. 4. Increase rehabilitation services, education programs and other initiatives in prison to reduce recidivism including improving the accuracy of the boards that determine which inmates to conditionally release early and who to keep in prison. 4. With the previous 4 steps done, I believe the vast majority of the prison population will have been eliminated. For instance, literally half of inmates in U.S. are in there merely for drug offenses (source
). Of the remaining, we can imagine how many will have been eliminated by increasing education and reducing poverty; I'd bet at least half, but if anyone has some specific statistics from credible sources. At least in the USA, high-school drop outs are 8 times more likely to end up in prison than those who graduate (source
Roughly less than 10% of inmates have at least some college-level education whereas roughly 55% of the general public do (source 1
, source 2
. By my rough calculations, to me that suggests we can expect to reduce the prison population by roughly more than 80% if everybody in the country finished high school and at least attending some type of college. So we are talking about shrinking the prison population to less than 10% its currents size simply by taking the previous 4 steps. Now we are ready I think to start transiting completely into relying only on humane mental health asylums run by doctors who focus heavily on rehabilitation and treatment where possible for the purpose of dealing with that tiny minority of people who are so psychological abnormal that they need to be restrained in an institution to protect the rest of us and themselves. After having taken the first four steps, this last process does not seem so big.
dparrott in post #101 wrote:I agree that there are a lot of people in prison that shouldn't be there, probably the majority, but what should we do with the people that do belong in prison? The rapists, murders, and child molesters, the people who have no desire to change their evil hurtful ways. If a person does something like the three I listed they should be punished. Do you agree they should be punished? And if so how do you think they should be punished?
What do you mean by the word should
In any case, I do not support vengeance for vengeance sake or in other words raw sadism
. My views on that are elaborated in my forum post How do you feel about vengeance?
and the links to some of my other writing contained in that post. The idea of my tax-dollars funding this kind of sadistic, 'eye-for-an-eye' violence with no practical benefits disgusts me beyond words. If you want people to be offensively caused pain or suffering out of vengeance, then please explain to me what the alleged benefits of this are.
You agree that three categories I made in the OP are logically mutually exclusive, meaning each criminal has to fall into one of those categories, right? If so, into which category do you think rapists, murders, and child molesters usually fall? I think they almost all if not all fall into the third category: people who have some mental abnormality or defect making them significantly more prone to hurting others and antisocial behavior
. We agree that the vast majority of inmates do not fall into that category. However, I do think the vast majority of murderers, rapists and child molesters do. What do I want to do with these people? I think I have made that clear. While I want the vast majority of inmates to be released immediately under the premise that they pose no significant danger to society, I want the tiny fraction of current inmates who have some mental abnormality or defect making them significantly more prone to hurting others and antisocial behavior
to be put into humanely-run mental asylums that do all they can to humanely treat and rehabilitate these people. If they are treated/rehabilitated/corrected to the point where accredited doctors confidently believe they are safe for release perhaps under certain probationary conditions (e.g. no gun-ownership, no entering school zones, etc.), then I want them to released at that time under any such conditions. Some may not be able to be treated at least not by current medical science and technology, much like a poor unfortunate rabid dog; I want these people still kept in these special hospitals for the mentally ill where they will be handled humanely. Even if they cannot be ever rehabilitated enough through release, surely they can be treated a little bit by mental health professionals to make their stay more humane. Additionally, giving these allegedly un-correctable people the status of mental health patients could mean their doctors could humanely study them and the effects of attempted humane treatments to learn how to more humanely and effectively treat people in similar situations in the future.