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Rehabilitation vs. Punishment December 11, 2004 4:48 PM

Has anyone ever really seen an improvement in behavior thru punishment?

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In a word... December 11, 2004 4:54 PM

no.

But through programing, teaching, showing people, (I commonly refer to Inmates as people...) things can be different? YES!!! I've lived in prison for 8 hrs a day for the past 10 years. I am there and I have seen it.

Spooky   

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I think December 11, 2004 5:15 PM

I think my feelings are that prison is there for crimes committed and sometimes for failure of the justice system.  But having said that, the purpose is to have the people come back, paid for their mistake and have a chance at a fresh start.

To do this, many need some decent job skills.  Lack of employment is the heart of a lot of crime.  Yet, for example in Florida, the prisons that have any kind of rehabilitation skills offered is mininum.  Some do not even have a decent library.

Coming back out has to be a shock adjustment and without someone there helping you mainstream with some skills, making it is very difficult. 

Does punishment deter crime?  I think most who have been there would say it is bad enough they wouldn't want to go back!  But once again, if society doesn't give you a fresh start, how do you succeed?  It's hard enough to find employers who want to give help when people are just on probation, must less having served in prison.

I feel like forgiveness is difficult in our society.  That is so sad because everyone needs a chance to prove themselves.

Just sad....

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YES! December 11, 2004 5:15 PM

Smootches to you Spooky.  [ send green star]
 
Not so much punishment... December 11, 2004 6:34 PM

Some of the "regimental"  types of rehabilitation seems to work with certain juveniles.

I'm talking about   a military-style boot camp situation - And I don't mean necessarily a  boot camp perse (though they do that) but that style of "rehabilitation" (sometimes it's on a ranch, sometimes it's like an outward bound camping program and so on), where the person is expected to follow orders and given responsibilities and tasks.

There's usually a lot of team work involved in this style of "rehabilitaton" and if someone screws up, they let others relying on them  down and there are certain "punishments" (like taking away priviledges or adding extra work).

I'm not saying I'm advocating this style of rehab, but when done right, it seems to teach some juveniles  discipline and sense of responsibility that they were lacking on the outside.  But it does  involve punishment and it's strict.

And of course, there are many who do not respond to this kind of treatment, so it really depends on the individual on whether it's effective or not.

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Well... December 11, 2004 10:01 PM

Personally, I think prison should be reserved for those who commit crimes such as rape, murder, and child sexual assault (and all of its aspects).

In my humble opinion, I think that one of the reasons prisons don't work as well as they should is because there are too many 'frills' for prisoners.  Prison is supposed to be about learning a lesson, not how to get the best reception for the huge color television, or the radio, or any number of the 'extras' that are available to prisoners today.

When the infamous 'chain gangs' were in force, virtually every inmate who made it out of prison did everything they could to prevent going back - because it wasn't a nice place to beIt wasn't an easy place to live.

In order for the so-called 'justice system' to be effective, efficient, and fair, prisoners must first understand that they are being punished.  Then, they need to understand that part of their punishment - and the effort being made to prevent them from repeating their mistake(s) - is to be denied of the life their victims have been denied.

I mean, really: What's the point in sending someone to prison, when they're not going to have to lose out on the very things they robbed their victim of?

  

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Well December 11, 2004 10:12 PM

Being in prison is itself a punishment. You lose most of your civil rights, your freedom, your family life. There's no privacy and everything you do is controlled and watched by guards  (and other inmates). Life is not easy in prison.

The problem is that people focus completely on punishment without doing anything to help reform or rehabilitate them so that when they leave they won't go back to their old ways.

Many people in prisons are undereducated, poor and if they had any family life growing up, it was spotty or dysfunctional at best. These people need therapy and mandatory schooling as well potential job skills so when they do leave the prison system they can become productive citizens.

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I'm not against rehabilitation at all December 11, 2004 10:48 PM

I think that what I'm trying to say is that prisons can only be effective and efficient if they serve their purpose in a way that encourages offenders NOT to re-offend.

Yes, Noel, there ARE many poor and uneducated people in prison. I don't dispute that. But, how is putting in color televisions and radios and other frills 'rehabilitating' prisoners?  How do those things help them to become better people?  If the inmates have access to things normally found on the 'outside,' what lessons are they learning?  Wouldn't it be better for them to sit down and write about their lives? To talk about their goals and dreams on paper? To learn through the process of writing down their life experiences, thereby finding both the causes of their actions, as well as the solutions? 

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OK December 11, 2004 11:47 PM

Yes, I agree with you - there's no need for "frills", but I do believe they need fresh air and exercise (for health reasons, both mental and physical) and mental stimulation of somekind, via education, reading, writing, therapy, skills courses, work duty, etc.

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on the other post December 12, 2004 7:03 AM

I asked how many prisons really have frills?  I looked up the prisons in Fl and very few even have retraining programs much less big screen tvs and the other frills I have heard mentioned in the media from time to time.  I have to think money is so tight that for frills to exist it must be in experimental prisons.  AND maybe the real question is, when released, what is the rate of repeating crime in their prisoners vs the others?  Now that would be interesting!

Prisons that offer job training, counseling, what is the rate of repeat offenders in those programs vs those with nothing offered?

Those are the stats no one ever shows us...

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I have the experience of having been.. December 12, 2004 7:42 AM

in prison for the last 10 years 8 hours a day 5 days a week. 5 years were spent as a guard, or CO. The rest as a caseworker. So, I know firsthand what I'm talking about.

First, any televisions owned by Inmates are purchased through the commissary, with their own funds. It is true, we do have cable, which they may hook up to for free. I, for one am glad of it. Why? It makes everyone safer. Noel said, "being in prison is punishment, you loose your freedom and most of your civil rights." And thats a fact. Furthermore, you are around many sadistic people looking to take advantage of you in every way imaginable. You work for $7.50 a month if you have no HS diploma or GED, $8.50 a month if you have one. The jobs you might have are nasty. Cleaning toilets that are used by a whole wing of Inmates. Scrubbing pots and pans in the steamroom. Sweeping up garbage. If you are very lucky and have a little higher education you might get to work in maintenance helping build or fix things that get broken around the institution. Still, for this you will make $8.50 A MONTH. All this makes for a very hostile and volitile environment. I'm glad Inmates have an outlet such as tv to help them relax, as I said, it makes everyone safer. Including the staff who do a job most people don't want. I don't know of any other "frills" except that we do have a gym. I consider exercise a basic human need. And the same applies to exercising as watching TV, it makes us all safer, people get tired after a workout, they are less likely to go and bust someones head!

Above all, we need to realize Inmates are human beings. They have feelings and hopes and dreams like everyone else. Treat them like animals they will act like animals. Treat them like humans, show them how humans act, in most cases, they will change. If I didn't believe this from having seen it in practice, I'd go back to school tomorrow and take up computers! Most of the Inmates I see come into prison without having the experience of being loved and cared for. Let alone having someone show them right from wrong. It's a sad fact of life.

You have to ask yourself, do you want these people back on the streets the way they went into prison? Or, with even more criminal skills? Or do you want them back as someone you could live on the same block with and not be frightened all the time? I believe MOST people, not all, but most, are basically good. They want to be good. They want to be like the rest of us who manage our lives in society without having to be locked up.

My motto is, "Anything is Possible." Also, "We're all different, expect it, accept it, respect it."

,

Spooky          

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Propaganda & The Media December 12, 2004 8:11 AM

Donna R. said:

"frills I have heard mentioned in the media from time to time"

The Talking Heads of the media, both TV and Radio, have been more than willing to spread this scripted propaganda about "frills" in Prison for many years and are still doing so today. Whipping the public into a fearful frenzy to support more and more Prison building. Essentially turning Americans into Haters that hate out of disproportianate fear.

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Which brings us back to point A December 12, 2004 2:17 PM

Maybe a great thesis for a criminologist degree...People relate to facts and studies no matter how benal. If the idea is to change people's perception then first you must change the facts presented to them. Where are the studies showing the impact of training and job skiklls, help on the outside to find work? Is there a lower rate of repeat offense? I would think so. I couldn;'t agree more that people treated in a humane manner often for the first time in their life, will have a better chance of trying to reconnect. Fear governs most of the issues now, if you don't want to spend more on prison reform, just use fear as a weapon. Sometimes it seems common sense no longer exits when trying to introduce the reasons for change.  [ send green star]
 
Donna R... December 12, 2004 2:23 PM

I can't wait until the day we have been doing this program long enough for the statistics to be there in black and white. We are still a pilot program, at it less than a year. This type of program was the thing I envisioned going into corrections. I know it'll have awesome stat's!

,

Spooky  

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Speaking Of Statistics December 12, 2004 3:10 PM

I *am* one of those people who looks up statistics and needs facts to back things up in arguments. I suppose I can be a bit clinical at times because I like to appear rational (I don't know if I do, though).

Anyways... I was looking up Rehabilitation statistics and I found an interesting site. It's a California Rehabilitation Center and there was some honest information on the actual prison (such as the fact it's filled beyond capacity). I haven't gone through all site, since a lot of it is PDF, but if you want a "clinical" look at a rehabilition facility, here one is.

http://www.corr.ca.gov/InstitutionsDiv/INSTDIV/facilities/fac_prison_CRC.asp

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The society vs the victim December 19, 2004 10:56 AM

Hello everybody

First of all; this is a great group and I really feel deeply for inmates all over the world.

I do not support the idea of punishment, as it has never proven to be constructive. Instead i prefer psycological and social treatment. No people are malicious although their behaviour might imply so. But there is always a reason for the specific behaviour. By punishing the person we only react on the symptom, not the actual problem.

I believe that punishment is more for the sake of the individual victim and not for the society as a whole. It is thus a very short-sighted solution. But focus on the duration of prison terms is often good 'vote-getting gimmick'.

Lots of happy wishes for the future

Signe

I apologize for my poor english and I hope, that I made myself clear in spite of this...

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Having no hope. December 19, 2004 11:54 AM

It will always be questioned if certain offenders could ever be released.  In reviewing many cases, especially child endangerment cases, it has been shown that some of these criminals would in fact harm, rape, and murder again.  Isn't there some sort of community service these inmates could do from inside these prison walls?  Acts of charity I feel strengthen the soul, and would actually be inspiring to maybe othe inmates who will eventually get out of prison.   [ send green star]
 
Signe December 19, 2004 2:54 PM

You made perfect sense and I`m glad you`re around as a voice of reason in a sea of reactionary "opinions".  [ send green star]
 
The majority December 19, 2004 3:06 PM

get back out Kimberly. What is it, Noel, Oh keeper of stats , 90%?

Anyway it behooves society that these people are released in good mental/physical condition. Returning back to society in wretched condition and no hopes of being productive members benefits no one.

As to those that society needs to be protected from and that won`t be released (tho even some of those will), yes I`d say something constructive/beneficial should be in place for them to occupy their time. If we live in a civilized society that is. Civilized people should want civilized treatment of the incarcerated shouldn`t they?

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 December 19, 2004 4:35 PM

The majority of people in our society think that once a criminal goes to prison that they are no longer their problem. Out of sight out of mind. Not thinking that the inmate will get out and come back into their communities. Prison is a quick fix to a problem but it's not a solution. These people need something other than punishment for their actions they need some kind of rehabilitation.

There are people who don't feel one bit of remorse for their actions. They don't even want help. There is a quote by Samuel Adams that makes alot of sense. Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest law will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. It's sad but it's true.

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The Keeper of Stats December 19, 2004 5:31 PM

Oy, I could not find how many "life" terms were not served completely (but I have NOT given up looking!). What I found either how life terms aren't 'life terms' (punishment proponents) or how screwed up mandatory life sentences can be - like the 3-strikes system (which I totally agee with).

However, I did find these, according to the U.S. Department of Justice · Office of Justice Programs · Bureau of Justice Statistics. I don't know if they will help in this discussion or not, but here they are:

Criminal History

  • Fifty-three percent of jail inmates were on probation, parole or pretrial release at the time of arrest.
  • Four in 10 jail inmates had a current or past sentence for a violent offense.
  • Thirty-nine percent of jail inmates in 2002 had served 3 or more prior sentences to incarceration or probation, down from 44% in 1996.

Recidivism (General)

  • Of the 272,111 persons released from prisons in 15 States in 1994, an estimated 67.5% were rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within 3 years, 46.9% were reconvicted, and 25.4% resentenced to prison for a new crime.
  • The 272,111 offenders discharged in 1994 accounted for nearly 4,877,000 arrest charges over their recorded careers.
  • Within 3 years of release, 2.5% of released rapists were rearrested for another rape, and 1.2% of those who had served time for homicide were arrested for a new homicide.

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 December 19, 2004 5:47 PM

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/welcome.html

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Hrm... December 19, 2004 6:21 PM

Looking at the repeat crime problem with sexual offenders is a bit troublesome, because there is a solution. It's controversial, and I may get my head bit off for bringing it up, but...

Many molesters seem to  be controlled through "chemical" castration. That may seem harsh, but therapy has not been found to effective in rehabilitating these people, in the sense of stopping their actions, even if it may put them in touch with some of their emotional instabilities. There seems to be some kind of severe chemical/biological imbalance that makes it extremely hard for them to control their urges. By eliminating the "desire", they are able to stop their impulses.

Of course, this does bring up Civil Rights issues - is such an sentence ethical (if involuntary)? But it isn't permanent, so as soon as the person stops the medication, their original sexual motivation returns. And of course, there's the determination of who should be treated this way; should it only be applied to repeat offenders?  Is this too severe of a sentence altogether? Should it only be voluntary?

Maybe this should be a different discussion, or maybe it doesn't belong her at all.

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opps December 19, 2004 7:14 PM

When I was in prep. school, the rumor mill had it that "THEY" put saltpeter in the milk.  For the next few days, milk consumption dropped to nothing.  Then, the next week it was another item..deserts etc.  (I had to add it here for a quick smile. )

Rehilitation and making people learn to be healthy, and good citizens is a most important goal for any prison.  Keep up this discussion! Keep thinking and learning!

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Turn off the TV's and people get shanked December 25, 2004 5:13 PM

I remember when the warden of the prison I was a (reluctant) guest of, decided that the 13" color TV's (which were purchased by inmates at a cost of $379.00) were a manifestation of "coddling prisoners."  (And he so wanted to be on that side of the argument --Punishment--when it was career-convenient.)

Within 3 days of no TV, there were 4 serious shankings (stabbings) in the yard and in individual cells, fights breaking out in the mess hall, and a general sense of oppression that led to even greater despair on the part of many inmates.   It was not until an irate inmate decided to stick a sharpened toothbrush into the neck of a Correctional Officer, that the prison decided to restore the "privilege of TV."

Easy for those who have never been there to extol the virtues of Punishment, and decry the "luxury" of a TV.  Try to sit in an 8 x 6 concrete and steel box (without access to books or magazines--they are not permitted to be shipped to inmates), stare at the graffiti on the walls while you are doing a 10-20 year sentence.  Then you will have the right to talk about the frivolity of watching TV.    There are very few diversions in prison and without the TV, I recall drug use (specifically, heroin) and some rather unsafe (and, shall we say, unsolicited) sex going up as well. 

Punishment is certainly part of the deal.  You do the crime, one expects to do the time.  But casual, petty, bureaucratic cruelty ("Let's take away their TV's!") should not be part of that punishment, especially when the inmate is required to purchase the TV from the prison store.

We must all try to remember, especially this Christmas season, the meaning of "compassion."

Just doing the time is punishment enough.

Jimmy @

http://www.jimmylerner.com

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Jimmy... December 25, 2004 5:30 PM

I'm so glad to see you in this group. I hope you'll be a frequent contributor. It's nice to have someone around who has also been inside.

I hope you're having a Merry Christmas...and was good to you! I'm relaxing with the book The Last Juror, by John Grisham.

,

Spooky

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Hey Jimmy December 25, 2004 6:18 PM

to our group! So glad you`re here to share your first hand experiences and knowledge with us.

I hope you`ll look around at threads/topics already started and weigh in there, plus feel free to start threads on anything you think of importance.

We`re a really new group but already have 53 members which is a lot right out of the gate for groups on CARE2. This says there is a need and an interest for it and I`m confident it will continue to grow with people concerned with its concept.

Our Co- Hosts are exceptional in that one has Correction experience in the promotion of rehabilitation (Christy/Spooky) and the other is a dedicated Death Penalty Abolitionist who is also the creator of the CARE2 group, STOP THE DEATH PENALTY (Noel).

Again, welcome, glad to have you aboard.

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 December 27, 2004 8:56 PM

In high school we were given the chance to opt for a new program. In this class, we were required to tutor kids in juvenile. I worked with them for the last 3 years of high school. Overall it was a good experience, and we saw many positive results. But there were several who kept agitating the tutors and refused to do their work. They also made it hard for the other kids to do their work.

When I went to college, this intrigued me enough to start my degree in sociology. In some of my practicum courses, we had to tutor and counsel people in county jail. We had to research their backgrounds & do profile papers on those individuals. Some of the people were the kids I tutored in high school.

In jail they could watch TV or read books. Some had jobs and went to work regularly. One girl in particular when released, went right back to the lifestyle she had before she served time, so she was arrested again. My professor told me that she couldn't function outside a structured environment. So, in reality, jail offered her the home she desired. It was something she was familiar with.

A lot of the girls decided to stay locked in their cells to stay out of trouble and away from the gangs. They chose to read books and do their time. These are the girls who did not complain, they just kept to themselves.

As part of my graduate program I was required to continue following the cases when some of these girls went on to prison to finish out their time. They had all kinds of contraband. Yes, they had to buy their own TV, but a lot of parents took care of that. Some of them hustled for what they wanted, but those who stayed to themselves in their cells & were quiet, got out quicker, found good jobs and went on with their lives.

One thing I learned from tutoring the kids to helping with the older inmates, is that they quickly learn what you want to hear and try to con you into believing that they have changed their lives to get you off their backs. These are the ones who slacked on their work or tried to get others to do it for them. They always wanted to go outside & play or stay in their cells and watch TV.

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Hi Kathi December 28, 2004 4:25 AM

Thanks for posting your experiences here.

Its unfortunate that not all want to benefit from education but nothing is ever 100%. Even with education on the outside, high school, college, vocational institutions, all have their dropouts. However they don`t close the doors of those schools because they can`t "save" all the students. Those who attempt to educate those inside the walls should adopt the same attitude.

Good teachers celebrate their successes, not their failures.

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Donna.... December 28, 2004 9:15 AM

That is so true! Speaking only for myself, if my example, advice, assistance, tutoring can help just one person then it's all worth it. My experience has been some people get tired of making the same mistakes over and over, and age plays a role in it too. Sometimes people get too old and too tired and make a conscious decision to change their life because they simply don't want to die in prison.

Spooky  

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Just a thought.... December 28, 2004 9:17 AM

Sometimes don't we all want to go outside and play? Or maybe watch TV or read a book? Or play on our computer? I'd say these are normal human impulses....IMHO, of course.

Spooky

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I`m Reactivating this thread March 13, 2005 11:16 AM

and redpinning it because it has so much insight that we should keep adding to it instead of letting it get put on the shelf in the archives.  [ send green star]
 
Great Idea... March 13, 2005 11:20 AM

Donna!

It seems as though it became derailed with some negativity...

Spooky

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US vs World April 01, 2005 2:23 PM

This was amazing and still is to me.

I read somewhere or saw on some news program that the US has more inmates than the rest of the entire world put together and yet we have high crime rates.  Does this mean that more Americans tend to be criminals than anywhere else.  I find that hard to believe. 

The three strikes and you are out sentencing rule includes people arrested for smoking marijuana and other non violent crimes.

Prisons are education institutions.  But the education given is not the one we or the inmates need.

True the military teaches the proper way to stab someone to death but I venture that the percentage educated by the military that actually do the deed to anyone even in war is less than those who are taught the art in prison.

There has got to be a better way. The problem is too many people do not care about recidivism until they or one of their family is a victum or they or someone they know and love is unjustly accused.  That happens also.

Just two cents worth

Tomy

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Tomy April 01, 2005 9:33 PM

Well, your "two cents" is a wealth of wisdom.

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 January 23, 2007 6:24 PM

First off, I am grateful for my invitation to join this group. I think that I can contribute a lot towards its advancement.

I have a book entitled My Paper Trail. It documents my background as the Executive Director of the National Bureau of Criminal Justice Research, Inc. (NBCJR).

August 1988, I filed a Class Action Civil Rights Lawsuit against the Department of Justice in behalf of each convicted felon with the US District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. US District Judge Julia S. Gibbons dismissed my complaint on the grounds of immunity. She cited the case of Brooks vs. Dutton. If Judge Gibbons had granted my First Amendment Right to petition our government for a redress of grievances, then I would have litigated and proven by expert witness that rehabilitation is a medical term. The Surgeon General is our chief medical officer of our Federal government. His office is in charge of the Department of Health & Human Services, Center for Disease Control, and Homeland Security. The duty of the Surgeon General is to protect each civilian citizen in our Union from any person practicing medicine without a license. State lawmakers aren't licensed to pratice medicine in the United States. As such, none may prescribe any treatment to correct or rehabilitate human behaviors. Congress voted to ratify Amendment XIII (Abolishment of slavery, except as punishment for crime). The doctrine of punishment derives its origin from religion rather than medical science. In other words, it is medical quackery. Religion espouses the doctrine that pain and suffering leads to healing of the human soul. Pursuant the First Amendment, under freedom of thought, theology and/or religion may express any doctrine that it may choose. However, the Separation of Church & State prohibits Congress from making any laws to respect the establishment of religion. Thus, Amendment XIII is ipso facto to make null and void the First Amendment. Thus, it constitutes a color of law. In essence it shields and/or conceals a hidden evil of religious persecution. To safeguard the Fifth Amendment Right to life, liberty or property of each civilian member of our Federation Union, the U.S. Supreme Court owns a oversight duty to delete the clause in Amendment XIII that asserts the language "except as punishment for crime". In accordance to our rule of law, each government personnel is held to the same accountability of the law as our civilian population. In others, Congress can't outlaw slavery as a private institution, and turn around to legalize slavery as a public institution for the U.S. Attorney General and/or DOJ to enforce upon private citizens. Wheras, our Preamble to the United States Constitution, is a mission statement to empower our government with authority to serve and protect the members who have joined our Federation Union. Consequently, the government and/or its agencies under agent/agency laws own a fiduciary loyalty pursuant to a tripartite agreement to represent the better interest of each Union member, without any competing interest to misrepresent and/or inflict harm upon any. The Department of Corrections (DOC) should be comprised of medical personnel (i.e. physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, nurses and/or interns etc.) They shoud be working in a hospital that is purposed to rehabilitate persons, whom the Court may determine needs to be quarantine for health reasons. Crime is a pandemic same as the bird flu or any other rampant spreading disease. To impose the religious quackery of punishment is legally wrong and must be estopped by our US Supreme Court. Judge Gibbons dismissed my case, because she knew that the U.S. Attorney General had no legal grounds to gainsay my argument. I have mastered the knowledge of the US Constitution greater than any Supreme Court Justice. I represent the full population of convicted felons. Pursuant No taxation without representation, our Federation Union must honor my petition to recognize the Tennessee Board of Governors, who signed the claim deed to affirm my college education as a graduate of the University of Memphis. Each inmate would benefit from my college education, if our elected civic officials were to secure my legal rights as a Veteran Soldier of our US Armed Forces. hugs & kisses Stanleyg Friend for life!  [ send green star]
 
Rehabilitation February 02, 2007 11:35 PM

In 2002 I was released from prison on a violent crime after serving 3 of a 5 year sentence.  During my incarceration I learned many things one of which pertains to this discussion.  Rehabilitaion in our systems is NOT working.  I am one of the few that will not return but that is because I was educated PRIOR to my incarceration.  The majority of offenders are drug related or theft crimes, violence will play a part but mostly when drugs are involved.  There is a small percentage of true violent criminals vs. those incarcerated on a violent charge do to drugs.  Most women I was released with have since returned.  Why?  They are released with the idea that the work involved in not returning will be short lived or easy.   They will come out and find a man that will take care of them or they will get a job using one of the skill taught to them in prison.  That is not the way it works out here.  For one, people do not like to hire ex-offenders.  Making in the real world is anything but easy!  Women hide behind religion with the hope that "God" will fix it all, or end up either back with the man they were with while committing the crimes or one similar, a large percentage turn lesbian while incarcerated and will end up together on the streets committing more crimes.  I think that Rehabilitation is possible if you start with the proper re-conditioning.  How do you teach someone not to give up when they have never worked for anything?  How do you teach a woman to value herself?  How do you instill in someone that good things do not come easy when they have already had riches they never had to work for?  Most Drug related criminals will lose more in 2 years than most of the working class will make in 10.  An average drug user living on the street will spend over $100,000 in less than a year!  Yet they are expected to be released to appreciate a minimum wage job that will not feed them.  A woman released in the state of Nevada will be released with a $25 check from the state to start her life over with.  I have been through the rehabilitation programs offered in prison and I can honestly say they do not work.  The correction facilities are rediculous to think that an anger management class facilitated by an angry inmate will work, or a drug rehab program where drug use is still glorified will be successful.  Programs offered to those released on parole are offered to those with a drug addiction in an area that has a high drug crime rate so when you walk out the door you can walk right back into the lifestyle.  There are few programs for violent offends even though the recidivism rate is much lower. 

Ok, I will end this rant for now....lol  Even as an ex-folon I have mixed feeling for rehabilitation.  I believe the first step to rehabilitaion in prison is to take away the psych. meds that are so freely given to inmates to keep them sedated.  Once they are released they no longer qualify for the medication and now they face kicking yet another addiction.  While they spent their incarcerated time floating by in a haze.  Most prison systems sound good out here but they are not that way in there.  Correction facilities do not do  most of what they claim and prisoners with a 2nd DUI is treated in the same sub-human manner as a woman who threw her child out of a car window and killed him.  All "criminals" should not be treated equally or housed together.

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 February 03, 2007 9:49 AM

I would love to put this on my group, if its ok? Carol Leonard www.groups.yahoo.com/group/PrisonMovement groups.yahoo.com/group/usprisonreform/ Prison Reform is NOT soft on crime --------------------------------- Now that's room service! Choose from over 150,000 hotels in 45,000 destinations on Yahoo! Travel to find your fit.  [ send green star]
 
Re: [Inmate Rehabilitation & Prison Reform] Rehabilitation vs. Punishment February 05, 2007 2:15 PM

Hi carol you can use any thing on people,have a great day JoAnn "  [ send green star]
 
Punishment or reform? October 15, 2007 3:15 PM

I don't think punishment and rehabilitation are necessarily opposed to each other. I see them as two different tools both of which have their place. Does anyone seriously believe that Ramirez, Sutcliffe or similar types of serial killer are capable of being rehabilitated? I have a friend who is a professional psychologist and she tells me that the only kinds of criminal who cannot be rehabilitated are serial killers and paedophiles. Even rapists, wife-beaters and gangsters are capable of reform. For the irredeemably depraved (or whatever other word you prefer if that's not PC enough) punishment HAS to have a place.

It must of course be administered with fairness and even with compassion and understanding.

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 October 15, 2007 7:03 PM

Actually, in my view, punishment cannot be used in a civilized society or that society cannot call itself civilized.

Separating the dangerous from society and freedom is punishment enough. Anything further serves no purpose other than feeding the cruel appetite of the punishers.

That said, the majority of inmates are not inside for endangering others but for nonviolent, usually drug related crimes. So the question is, has punishment ever done anything to help them not engage in crime again?

No, it never has and this diminishes us all as a society for the punished to come out of that debasing, cruel environment worse than they were than when they went in.

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 November 27, 2010 7:40 AM

So, is there a petition to sign on this ? If not, let's start one.  [ send green star]
 
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