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Does Society Need Prisons?

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Unrealist42

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Post Number:#91  PostOctober 13th, 2010, 7:10 pm

Shoney 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.


That is just making excuses for a lack of political will and public sanity. Out of prison programs for the mentally ill and others can be implemented immediately if the money is forthcoming. There are thousands of trained professionals available and many proven programs already in use, all they lack is the funding to provide their services to everyone who needs them. Many who end up in prison do so because the program they need has no room for them.

Over the last 150 years the prison systems have vacillated between rehabilitation and punishment depending on the public hysteria. When public hysteria is low the prisons move quietly towards rehabilitation.
In some states the prisons are even called "correctional facilities".

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Post Number:#92  PostOctober 23rd, 2010, 1:35 am

Unrealist42 wrote:
Shoney 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.


That is just making excuses for a lack of political will and public sanity. Out of prison programs for the mentally ill and others can be implemented immediately if the money is forthcoming. There are thousands of trained professionals available and many proven programs already in use, all they lack is the funding to provide their services to everyone who needs them. Many who end up in prison do so because the program they need has no room for them.

Over the last 150 years the prison systems have vacillated between rehabilitation and punishment depending on the public hysteria. When public hysteria is low the prisons move quietly towards rehabilitation.
In some states the prisons are even called "correctional facilities".


REALLY, Unrealist42?

You want to hear something crazy?

I HAVE A NEED FOR THIS, but I DON'T OFFEND!

RECCURRENTLY DIAGNOSED BIPOLAR, up and down, but I don't TAKE IT OUT ON OTHERS!!!!

There's a goddamned difference!!!

And it lies in what an individual does with his urges, his intuitions, his "feelings" ....

I'm a vet, and know lots of others ... we all deal with "correctional" issues, but we don't make them so.

There is a difference, and political correctness does not make it so, either ....

OUR CHOICE MAKES IT SO!

WE DON'T TAKE IT OUT ON OTHERS! WE DON'T OFFEND OTHERS! There is a differnce between a CRIMINAL and a "disturbed" individual!!!!

So please don't try and blur the goddamned lines!

Either you violate another's right to life and liberty or you don't. Simple as that.
"I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings! I'm obviously just insecure with the ineptitudes of my logic and rational faculties. Forgive me - I'm a "lost soul", blinded by my "ignorant belief" that there's such a thing as reality and truth in the world"
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Unrealist42

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Post Number:#93  PostOctober 30th, 2010, 1:07 am

Most of thew people in prison are there for one of two reasons, drug crimes and lack of care for their mental problems. People with severe psychological problems who are unable to get adequate care are the second largest population in prisons.

There is a big difference between someone with a bipolar condition and someone with full blown paranoid schizophrenia. If you think that everyone with really serious psychological problems has a choice in their behavior you are grievously mistaken.

Since there is not enough resources available to treat these people and often not even enough money available to keep them on their medication society has made the choice to let the police and the prisons deal with these people when they lose it, which they will, almost all of them, eventually.

I have been dealing with this for over 30 years. A lot of people came back from Vietnam with serious psych problems and many of them spent years in and out of hospitals, which could stabilize them for a while but never had the money or resources to do much more. The mental hospitals that used to help these guys when they lost it all closed in the 70s and 80s now so they go to prison where they get no help at all. Society decided to just bury them alive rather than admit the reality of what it did to them or make any effort to fix it.

It is a sad thought but I believe that a great many vets from Iraq and Afghanistan will end up in prison because their government and their society is still unwilling to commit the resources necessary to give them the help they really require.
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SHAHIN GHAEMMAGHAMI

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Post Number:#94  PostNovember 19th, 2010, 5:55 pm

1- Society is a large prison itself.we are limited to many activities. at least in prison, prisoners do not have to work and still have comfort.they just cannot go out but tv and internet brings the outside world into the prison.imagine if they would be free but homeless, they may break the law again just to go back to the prison.

2- I think for those people who break the law on purpose to go to jail, we should have harsh prisons without comfortable facility
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Post Number:#95  PostMarch 11th, 2011, 3:02 am

"!Society is a large prison itself.we are limited to many activities. at least in prison, prisoners do not have to work and still have comfort.they just cannot go out but tv and internet brings the outside world into the prison.imagine if they would be free but homeless, they may break the law again just to go back to the prison".


Don't you think making connection between society and prison is over simplifing things. You have a freedom of movement and associate, you life is not in danger all the time because you are locked in with all kinds of people, who are capable of alot. You can go anywhere within the planet. No one regulates your meals or regulates your bed times. Society is only a prison because you willing become view the rules and regulation of society as bad thing rather than as form of protection.

On that point I think Shoney has good point, I have not really given much thought to solutions, as far as I got was unjustice, Intention to harm, should be punished, However in the world we live in sometimes unjustice is view as justices and justices as unjustice so Shoney is right about doing research.

Either you violate another's right to life and liberty or you don't. Simple as that "Ambigous" if it was that simple than we would all agree, but it is not. I think it needs no discussion to why it is not that simple. I can't imagine anything in this world be simple. Simple Qestion muiltple answers. Simple Word multiple meaning.
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Re: Prisons...

Post Number:#96  PostMarch 25th, 2011, 2:19 pm

One thing we could do to eliminate the need for prisons would be to enact a law compelling the use of the death penalty for the following groups: 1) Sociopaths(as determined by a 3 judge panel; 2) Serial felony offenders,3) Violent Offenders. This would have an extreme deterrence effect as well as eliminating sociopaths to an almost complete extent. What say you? MR
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Post Number:#97  PostApril 2nd, 2011, 12:43 pm

Firstly, I believe the word 'need' is a redundant word. This is probably a whole new subject, but I think that in all instances where the word 'need' is used, a better word is 'want'.

So, I think a better question is, 'does society want prisons?' Society is made up of the sum of the individual members of that society. And I think you would agree that most people want the government to have the facility to lock certain people up.

So, in answer to your original question, albeit a question that I think could be improved, is Yes!

:)
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Re: Prisons...

Post Number:#98  PostApril 4th, 2011, 8:47 am

China's use of the death penalty is sufficient for me to understand why granting governments the power to label certain citizens "undesirable", and execute them, is rarely a good idea...

Etherman50 wrote:One thing we could do to eliminate the need for prisons would be to enact a law compelling the use of the death penalty for the following groups: 1) Sociopaths(as determined by a 3 judge panel; 2) Serial felony offenders,3) Violent Offenders. This would have an extreme deterrence effect as well as eliminating sociopaths to an almost complete extent. What say you? MR
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Re: Prisons

Post Number:#99  PostApril 4th, 2011, 1:36 pm

I dont think that the "government" should sanction anything without the will of the people. Any ideas like mine should be carried out with extreme discretion and responsibility and only with the great predominance of the American people's will behind it. MR

hilda

Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post Number:#100  PostSeptember 30th, 2011, 10:12 am

I fancy that prisons were merely the holding pens before correction. A person would be captured and the prison is supposed to be merely the first location before a reform and correction programme. Something or someone invading the system has disrupted it leaving a concept which in itself is absurd. No delinquent should be released unless authoritatively proven corrected.
The prison is merely the first detention unit in a whole sytem.
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dparrott

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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post Number:#101  PostFebruary 19th, 2012, 2:22 pm

Scott,
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?
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post Number:#102  PostApril 14th, 2012, 5:24 pm

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 ([url]source[/url] 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.
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post Number:#103  PostMay 27th, 2012, 5:13 pm

The society needs prison it's just that we're using them in the wrong way. I think prisons should not be places where prisoners learn nothing or commit crimes while they are in prison (which is what it is now). Prisons are should be places that help rehabilitate criminals or treat the mentally sick. In prisons today, the mentally sick only get crazier and people that don't even have mental disabilities or anything of that sort end up going crazy because the jail traumatized them so much. When a person steps out of that jail, they should be a new healthier person, not: crazier than before, looking for revenge, or they haven't learnt anything. This is why I fail to see the purpose in putting someone in jail for life. Shoving them in a place where they'll rot in jail and die just basically sucks the money out the citizens. Even if they are rehabilitated after, say, twenty years, they cannot get out of prison because their term is until they die...
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post Number:#104  PostMay 27th, 2012, 6:45 pm

I agree Quizzical18 except that if you and I had our way then I would say that we are proposing not just to reform the prison system but rather to abolish it and replace it with humane, well-run, decently-funded mental health institutions with provisions also for standard education, job training and any other mechanism that would better prepare the committed patients for a successful, safe eventual release back into mainstream society.
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post Number:#105  PostMay 27th, 2012, 7:19 pm

Scott wrote:I agree Quizzical18 except that if you and I had our way then I would say that we are proposing not just to reform the prison system but rather to abolish it and replace it with humane, well-run, decently-funded mental health institutions with provisions also for standard education, job training and any other mechanism that would better prepare the committed patients for a successful, safe eventual release back into mainstream society.


Punishment as such seems useless to me. It never reforms anyone. I once heard a lecture by a man who had spent nearly half his life behind bars for burglary and armed robbery. He explained that criminals never expect to be caught—their minds simply do not accept the idea of being caught and punished. They constantly underestimate the chances of failure. Consequently they return again and again to the same crimes and the same punishments. To rehabilitate such a person would surely require an enormous investment of time to change that mind set.

The one thing incarceration does is remove the criminal from society and prevent his committing further crimes. In the case of violent crimes that may be justified for the remainder of life, but the goal is to prevent further crime, not to punish, which usually embitters and guarantees an eventual return to crime.
Everywhere I have sought peace and never found it except in a corner with a book. —Thomas à Kempis
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