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Does prison solve anything?

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  • CarlosTL
    started a topic Does prison solve anything?

    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.

  • Bobby Cole
    replied
    Originally posted by William View Post

    Is there any precedence in Scripture for putting someone in prison/cage for life? I realize people were cast outside of society but I am not aware of putting someone in a cage for a life time.

    God bless,
    William
    It's a bit of a stretch but Gen. 9:6 does indicate that it is the duty of man to handle someone who murders another person. It's pretty straight forward about the type of sentence which is death.
    In the western part of the world there are many areas and also states in the United States which still honor the death penalty but then again, there are other states and areas which prohibit the death penalty and give the natural life sentence.

    Now, here's the query that makes it rough. Are we obligated to do what is written because it is a Biblical covenant (Noeic) or do we disavow that scripture because it no longer applies because of the newer covenant?
    A series of questions come to mind: What constitutes murder? Premeditated would certainly fall into that catagory but how about a drunk driver incident? A drug pusher selling to an obviously pregnant woman thereby causing death to mother and child could be classified as murder but to what length?

    As for theft and other illegal activities I do have a major question. If we put ourselves as the judge over someone who say, took the life savings from an old woman via identity theft, what type of judgment would we give that person? Or, a drunk driver or a drug pusher, a vandal, a rapist?
    What kind of reconciliation would we demand as a judge?
    What if that person refused to cooperate with your judgment?

    Granted, merely shoving someone into jail to pay for rape might not be the best thing in the world to do but, what would be the sentence you would give?

    The larger question might be: Is there a scriptural precedence for letting someone go other than Jesus making a point concerning M. Magnalene?
    He didn't say not to stone her, he just asked a good question.
    Thoughts?

    God Bless........Bobby

    Leave a comment:


  • thisnthat
    replied
    Originally posted by Bobby Cole View Post
    A past prisoner who has spent a few years being incarcerated really isn't readily prepared to meet the needs that regular society dictates. If they were trained and not just thrown into halfway houses with no training at all then they might stand a chance.

    One last comment here. My best friend (now deceased) was saved while in prison and went on to go to Holmes Bible College and later started the "Wisdom in Living Life" ministries. Ya gotta check out the web site!!

    God Bless.........Bobby
    That's true, I think. Turning them loose after being institutionalized doesn't really do them any favors when it's done without giving them the proper tools and support.

    I went to a church where the preacher was a former convict. That man was so passionate about the Lord. He built a church from scratch and there was a revival. You hear jokes about people falling asleep in church, but let me tell you that wasn't possible when this man was preaching.

    He felt called to go to other communities afterward and a local preacher took over the church.

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  • William
    replied
    Originally posted by Bobby Cole View Post
    I remember reading one of the posts that stated that prisons were a modern day world kind of thing and that the United States has more prisoners than any other country.

    In actuality, prisons have been around for eons and even Paul spent a bunch of time in a few of them. The trouble wih those prisons is that they were just a holding place until the charges were made and a decision on what to do with the prisoner was decided.

    In our "modern" day society, the United States has one of the most progressive systems in the world if you compare them to say....the middle east. They're pretty much the same as they were a couple thousand years ago whereby a thief would lose a hand, an adulterer is stoned etc. I'd say the penalties have a way of deterring anyone from doing stupid stuff.

    On our southern border, in Mexico, a person can stay in prison indefinitely and not even have been charged. That said, if you have a few bucks you might even get a blanket! Wow!

    The problem we have is not how many new people wind up in prison is how many go back. Nearly 41% of those getting out find themselves going back.
    I liken it to a soldier coming back from combat and trying to acclimate themselves to civilian life. Many of them rejoin the military just like a prisoner goes back to jail.
    We all have the ability to adapt to ANY situation but when we adopt some of them, such as prison, as a way of life, that is when the problems start. A past prisoner who has spent a few years being incarcerated really isn't readily prepared to meet the needs that regular society dictates. If they were trained and not just thrown into halfway houses with no training at all then they might stand a chance.

    One last comment here. My best friend (now deceased) was saved while in prison and went on to go to Holmes Bible College and later started the "Wisdom in Living Life" ministries. Ya gotta check out the web site!!

    God Bless.........Bobby
    Is there any precedence in Scripture for putting someone in prison/cage for life? I realize people were cast outside of society but I am not aware of putting someone in a cage for a life time.

    God bless,
    William

    Leave a comment:


  • Bobby Cole
    replied
    I remember reading one of the posts that stated that prisons were a modern day world kind of thing and that the United States has more prisoners than any other country.

    In actuality, prisons have been around for eons and even Paul spent a bunch of time in a few of them. The trouble wih those prisons is that they were just a holding place until the charges were made and a decision on what to do with the prisoner was decided.

    In our "modern" day society, the United States has one of the most progressive systems in the world if you compare them to say....the middle east. They're pretty much the same as they were a couple thousand years ago whereby a thief would lose a hand, an adulterer is stoned etc. I'd say the penalties have a way of deterring anyone from doing stupid stuff.

    On our southern border, in Mexico, a person can stay in prison indefinitely and not even have been charged. That said, if you have a few bucks you might even get a blanket! Wow!

    The problem we have is not how many new people wind up in prison is how many go back. Nearly 41% of those getting out find themselves going back.
    I liken it to a soldier coming back from combat and trying to acclimate themselves to civilian life. Many of them rejoin the military just like a prisoner goes back to jail.
    We all have the ability to adapt to ANY situation but when we adopt some of them, such as prison, as a way of life, that is when the problems start. A past prisoner who has spent a few years being incarcerated really isn't readily prepared to meet the needs that regular society dictates. If they were trained and not just thrown into halfway houses with no training at all then they might stand a chance.

    One last comment here. My best friend (now deceased) was saved while in prison and went on to go to Holmes Bible College and later started the "Wisdom in Living Life" ministries. Ya gotta check out the web site!!

    God Bless.........Bobby

    Leave a comment:


  • thisnthat
    replied
    Yeah, I'm sure there would be some that would try to ditch doing their service. I'm guessing enforcement for that would probably still be cheaper than jailing them (but that's just a guess). I think it would work well for some people too though. Everyone makes mistakes. When you pay for that mistake but are still treated with decency and dignity, allowed to earn your way back, I feel like that's more productive than being tossed in a cell.

    Many people in prison seem to come out worse, not better. it doesn't seem to be working, so at least trying something different seems like the way to go. I am all for programs like the one you mentioned.

    Maybe give stiff fines for failure to complete community service or keep adding onto the length of service.. two more days for every day missed. if they are fully non-compliant then I guess jail is their choice. I'd just like to see them offered other options first, but if they make that choice that's on them.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bobby Cole
    replied
    Originally posted by thisnthat View Post

    This. I think prison should be reserved for violent offenders. Lock them away to protect decent people from their heinous crimes. Non-violent offenders should have other options, in my opinion. I think community service would be a good start. Teach people to think of someone other than themselves. Fines, probation, and other methods, could work as well, but save the cages for the real animals.
    I do like the idea of giving people with simple misdemeanor charges something to do rather than locking them up but today's society is pretty well able to usurp any attempt to bring about a good change.
    An example of the point, New York decided that instead of merely making out welfare checks that the recipient of the checks were to do community service a couple hours a week. Initially, people started doing their appointed jobs but then within weeks the project fell through because the welfare workers simply didn't show up for work. The threat of non-payment was met by social workers stating that the recipients needed the money to take care of their children.

    What I am trying to get at is there is always something that will upset the apple cart. What if, again an example, a person simply decided not to do his or her assigned duty during probation? Do we go full circle and threaten them with jail time for contempt, another misdemeanor, or what would be the deterrent for non compliance?

    A ministry I used to work with, the Boise Rescue Mission, has a policy that if someone is in jail on a misdemeanor, they can apply with the mission to get into their 1 year Jesus Christ based recovery program. Upon acceptance, the prisoner then goes into the program for a year on probation and then after graduation all charges are dropped.

    Other than the immediate above, what I would like to see is if jail time is emminent that the time should be made productive. If a person doesn't have a GED, it's time to go back to school, or if a person has no real work skills, it's time to learn a trade.

    God Bless.........Bobby

    Leave a comment:


  • William
    replied
    Californian's don't think so, at least I would think not considering they just voted not to rid of the death penalty. Matter of fact they just voted to execute those on death row in a more speedily fashion.

    God bless,
    William

    Leave a comment:


  • thisnthat
    replied
    Originally posted by Jason76 View Post
    I think the prison system needs be turned into a real system of probation. In other words, they shouldn't be locked up in such an inhumane environment, but rather given other options, especially if the person commited a non-violent crime.
    This. I think prison should be reserved for violent offenders. Lock them away to protect decent people from their heinous crimes. Non-violent offenders should have other options, in my opinion. I think community service would be a good start. Teach people to think of someone other than themselves. Fines, probation, and other methods could work as well, but save the cages for the real animals.
    Last edited by thisnthat; 11-21-2016, 02:06 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jason76
    replied
    I think the prison system needs be turned into a real system of probation. In other words, they shouldn't be locked up in such an inhumane environment, but rather given other options, especially if the person commited a non-violent crime.

    Leave a comment:


  • David Lee
    replied
    The main purpose in establishing a government, any government, is to restrain evil. So w/o prisons (and unfortunately, w/o the "sword"), much evil would be go unrestrained. I also agree with Ferni concerning our need to find better ways to rehabilitate those who do find themselves behind bars. The question is, how can such a thing be done any better than it is today by a secular society that has chosen to separate itself from God? In reality, both prison's and society's problem is the same :(

    PTL that the Lord knows who are His, and even prison bars and walls cannot stop Him :)

    Yours and His,
    David

    Leave a comment:


  • ferni
    replied
    Prisons were made with the idea of preventing the crime doers to influence society in total and to cause more harm to the functional parts. Where they fail is the attempt of the government to essentially reintegrate the ex-inmates back to the society. If they were treated humorously bad during their served time in t he jail, I doubt t that will make them move and make a change in life. Also, the society stigmatizes the inmates so that makes their way back to normal life even harder. It is almost impossible for them to find a decent job, so what other option they have but to work against society again?

    Leave a comment:


  • biege
    replied
    The people before us already know that having a prison is the best answer to lower down crime. Without those bars separating sane people from not, crime rate won't go down. What do you think would be a better alternative? Of course torture and killing the person is against our beliefs as Christians but what do you think about turning the Psychology the other way around? What I was thinking is if the government train those criminals instead to catch other criminals. I might be thinking about it paradoxically but It's just a thought though. What do you think?

    Leave a comment:


  • Espiritu
    replied
    Originally posted by Tshaka View Post
    Does prison solve anything? We must also ask ourselves does rehabilitation solve anything? Does birth control or gun control solve anything? I personally think that prisons solve the problem, not the symptom. There is a whole myriad of books, documentaries, speeches, and other platforms that states prisons are a by-product of the Prison Industrial Complex. Prisons or colleges for criminals is somewhat skewed due to the criminal justice system that have many loopholes based on race and class.
    You're somewhat right, I actually liked your opinion, but I personally think that prison does not solve the problem, not either the symptom. Once a man becomes a criminal there is no way back, that kind of people always find a way to stick to their illegal activities without caring about anybody else, but them. Prison only soils criminals from the society punishing them to treat with other people of his same kind just to keep him away from anything else, it does not actually solve anything at all, unless you're a person that really wants to change which I really doubt it may be a thing that a convict would think about once they are in prison, that's my opinion though.

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  • Julian
    replied
    I think prisons help in two ways.

    One, they keep crime off the streets. Obviously, you've got to put criminals somewhere. Second, prisoners get to realize... Nope, scratch that. I don't think they get to realize any of their mistakes, contrary to popular belief. Instead, it is probably the fear of being locked up yet again, that prevents ex-prisoners from continuing to commit crimes. Of course, there are those who do better their lives using the time they are given. But they are definitely in the minority.

    Leave a comment:

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