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Does prison solve anything?

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  • Does prison solve anything?

    The US is known for having one the highest inmates to population ratios, and overall, US or not, prison seems to be like an absurd system, that paradoxically works as a subsidy for crime and thus generally makes the crime situation worse.

    I fail to see how locking thousands of people like chattel for years and years (with all the financial costs involved), contributes to solving the crime situation or punishing these people or making them better persons. If anything, the current prison system, no matter how inhumane it looks, offers an option or a fallback plan for many desperate people in society, who at some point resorted to some sort of crime.

    It is sweeping dust under the carpet, we send these people to prison, we don't see them anymore so we think that the problem is solved. It is really an absurd system that has only come into existence in the modern world.

  • #2
    It's pretty efficient in separating horrible criminals from "normal" people. However, it doesn't really change them for better. In prison, they mostly interact with other criminals who may have committed even more serious crimes. Some ex-prisoners quit anything that involves wrongdoing and lead a normal life. Others don't really care. Moreover, they are getting used to their life in prison and don't really want to leave. They become scared of major changes in their lives. Those people are at risk of relapsing.
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    • #3
      Prison solves a whole lot when it comes to putting dangerous criminals into the system. I would much rather have a person who commits murder, spending their life in prison, rather than out in the world. There are some cases where I can feel bad for the prisoner and wonder why they insist on keeping a person for so long, but majority of the time it solves a whole lot. When a family member is put into the system, it's heart breaking. My heart goes out to the family that has to go through the withdrawal of their relative- but we pay the price for our crimes. I do think that our prisons need to have better programs, to help prisoners become more productive members of society.
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      • #4
        Prisons are part of a larger problem known as the Prison Industrial Complex. Prisons do not really solve anything in my humble opinion. Prisons are mostly about incarceration rather than rehabilitation. The prison system warehouses criminals which only breeds more criminals whereas the rehabilitation is not as important as the sentence in my view. Prisons do not solve anything contrary to what the popular opinion may be. Prisoners today have access to the same things they did on the street: Drugs, Guns, Sex, Alcohol.
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        • #5
          I don't think it solves a lot. I think that most of the people who come out of prison changed and reformed are those who personally used the experience to grow and change, and not because it was prison itself. That is to say, those who want to change and learn to do differently will, just as in any other circumstance. I suppose it does help in a way to keep some people off the street who might otherwise be a danger, however, there's also no way to prove that an offender will offend again. Statistics say it's likely, but likely doesn't equal an absolute. Prison is an expensive way to deal with crime, but I feel like a more effective way might be even more expensive.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by CarlosTL View Post
            The US is known for having one the highest inmates to population ratios, and overall, US or not, prison seems to be like an absurd system, that paradoxically works as a subsidy for crime and thus generally makes the crime situation worse.

            I fail to see how locking thousands of people like chattel for years and years (with all the financial costs involved), contributes to solving the crime situation or punishing these people or making them better persons. If anything, the current prison system, no matter how inhumane it looks, offers an option or a fallback plan for many desperate people in society, who at some point resorted to some sort of crime.

            It is sweeping dust under the carpet, we send these people to prison, we don't see them anymore so we think that the problem is solved. It is really an absurd system that has only come into existence in the modern world.
            Absurd isn't it? I read where a guy sued because he was sentenced to a Christian facility for rehabilitation and won. Just a matter of time before liberals try to stop prison ministries.
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            • #7
              Other countries look at in the literal sense. It is a correction facility and meant for rehabilitation and not condemning to a life of hell. I think a place of worship for those that chose to partake is a great start, with a emphasis on peace and prosperity.

              But on a side note, jails in the USA is about big money. Large corporations take over the security of said facilities and charges the state a lot of money to secure them, and the kickbacks go straight into government officials pockets. It is not about correction. It's about getting as much people in there for whatever the charge is to steal tax payers money disguised as a correctional facility.
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              • #8
                I actually think prison can solve things sometimes. I grew up in a family of corrections employees. My dad was a warden and many of my other relatives were correctional officers. I have heard many stories from the warden himself about his inmates turning a new leaf. I don't know about all prisons, but the ones I am familiar with have religious programs for the inmates. They choose to participate because they have limited options for activities. Through this, many inmates have come to know God, and when released from prison they continued this new lifestyle. My uncle was proof of that. He was arrested for drinking and driving (this was not the only "bad" thing he did, it's just what he got arrested for). He spent a lot of time in prison. He participated in this program and began reading his bible and changed his ways. When he was released, he didn't go back to any of his bad habits, and we could all tell he had been impacted somehow. Two months later he died in a car wreck due to a cow running out on the highway. We are all thankful that he had spent some time incarcerated because we know he knew the Lord. Had he never gone to prison, I highly doubt he would have ever been a follower of Jesus. I know this kind of thing isn't true for all prisons or all inmates, so for some people it may solve nothing, but prison can change a life for the better. I also believe that it keeps the criminals from causing harm to the general public.
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                • #9
                  Honestly, I don't think prison really solves anything when it comes to "fixing" the criminals, but it is the best choice when it comes to protecting the outside world from those people. I think we shouldn't focus on finding another type of institution to put criminals in, but to make prisons even better (which they are already becoming.) The US have the best prisons if I've correctly. In my country prisons are governmental and they're really really awful, the US did a great thing by privatizing them. Anyways, I think prisons should offer more psychological care and fight criminality behind bars as well.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tshaka View Post
                    Prisons are part of a larger problem known as the Prison Industrial Complex. Prisons do not really solve anything in my humble opinion. Prisons are mostly about incarceration rather than rehabilitation. The prison system warehouses criminals which only breeds more criminals whereas the rehabilitation is not as important as the sentence in my view. Prisons do not solve anything contrary to what the popular opinion may be. Prisoners today have access to the same things they did on the street: Drugs, Guns, Sex, Alcohol.
                    Warehouse for criminals, that is exactly why I think it reached an absurd point. There is something like 2.5 million people incarcerated in the US. The rate of incarceration per 100,000 has more than quadrupled from its 1970s levels, and recently just kept skyrocketing throughout the 2000s, how does this solve the underlying structural problem of crime, anti-social, unethical behavior in society? It simply doesn't, an old solution to a new problem.

                    Not only does it fail to correct these individuals, but also fails to punish them. Prison may be a bad place for the average person but for the seasoned criminal it is just a place you go to that isn't that bad. Their thinking goes something along: "What's the worse that can happen? go to prison? So? At least in prison there is someone to care for you, in the street you're on your own."

                    The whole system should be rethought, it is totally absurd to continue sending millions of people to prison and expect this to improve the security situation, doing things at such an industrial scale just normalized crime.
                    Last edited by CarlosTL; 07-11-2016, 09:21 AM.
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                    • #11
                      I agree that prisons generally don't rehabilitate their inmates, but can anyone suggest a better alternative? At least prisons do get them off the streets for awhile and by doing so protect their potential victims.
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                      • #12
                        The biggest problem with our prison system here in the U.S., is that in many cases, the prison is more like a resort than it is a place of punishment. Prisoners get three square meals a day, hot showers, television, libraries, in some cases monitored computer and internet usage. They have exercise facilities, open yards for fresh air and exercise, religious services, and jobs, among other amenities, and in many cases, the prisoners are allowed to roam around within the prison, 'freely'. Prisoners don't have much to fear on the 'inside', (except for each other in some cases) so they have no problem going out and doing more crime when they're released to society. In fact, many really WANT to be returned to prison as they consider it to be home and it's far easier there than it is to recover normal life on the outside where they will be discriminated against in many ways. If prisons inspired more fear they would serve a more useful purpose. I don't mean that they should be inhumane and cruel, but they should be less resort-like and more closely resemble actual punishment.

                        Actually, it would probably help if former cons were to enter schools (not convicted child sexual predators of course) and deliver truthful messages to the kids about what it's really like when you get OUT of prison. How hard it is to get a job or a place to live, and how restricted your movements are. If children become aware of the hardships that ex-cons experience on the outside, they might be less likely to feel like crime is an okay alternative for getting what you want.
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                        • #13
                          Currently, prison performs rwo functions. It protects you and I from known murderers, thieves, molestors, drug dealers, and drunks who have refused to stay sober. Secondly, it provides a miserable experience so that many people who get out strive not to reoffend so as not to experience that misery again.

                          As for rehabilitation, if one is a drug addict or alcoholic, the judge can mandate a prison based rehab program that must be completed prior to release. It is paid for by the tax payers and is free for prisonets.
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                          • #14
                            Well I was actually just listening to the radio where the host was going on a little rant about this very topic. His whole point was that we rarely see the "transformed prisoner" story that we all like to tell ourselves is how it works. It is locking people up, with other criminals, where they resort to survival mode and learn things they never would have learned otherwise, and then release then back on the streets. He had a little bit og a smug attitude but I cannot say that I really disagree with anything that he said, he was pretty much just stating it like it is.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by theophilus View Post
                              I agree that prisons generally don't rehabilitate their inmates, but can anyone suggest a better alternative? At least prisons do get them off the streets for awhile and by doing so protect their potential victims.
                              It's suppose to be a correctional facility where they should be torn down and built back up. To be honest they should turn it into a military style of boot camp. Tear everything they were before they enter and build them up to where they seem fit.

                              Other countries actually have rehabilitation programs in jail. In the USA it's the complete opposite. The worst of the worst goes to jail and they thrive. They should be given access to literature and programs to build them up. If you don't follow the path set forth, you go into solitary confinement.
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