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  #101  
Old 09-23-2018, 11:38 AM
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Their have been numerous cites in this thread, your failure to find any of them notwithstanding.
  #102  
Old 09-23-2018, 12:08 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I guess I missed how we weren't making broad declarations about the prison system as a whole without cites in this thread.

My apologies for so badly misreading the tone of the thread and introducing actual knowledge of the topic into a discussion where it was not wanted.
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post

The reality is that rehabilitation is the core of the prison system. It always has been. Prisons were invented as a means of rehabilitation. Prisons spend more money on rehabilitation than they spend on security.
This is the specific part that I think a cite would be useful for. It is not something that is public knowledge, and having looked around a bit, I cannot find anything that actually support this (though it is hard to find much about prison budgets.)

What is considered to be rehabilitation, in your view? IMHO, if it is not something that provides skills for living a productive life outside of prison, then it is not rehabilitation.

Also, what is considered to be security? Are you just talking about the labor budget for the guards who work the floors, or are you, as I would, including the entire cost of incarceration, including the building, the utilities, the administrative overhead, the transportation, and everything else that is designed to contain and control prisoners, that is not a part of the effort in rehabilitation.
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Saying you think prisons should try to rehabilitate people is like saying you think hospitals should try to make people healthier or schools should try to make people smarter.
Actually, that would be nice too, but is outside the scope of this thread.
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But even after a couple centuries of trying, we still haven't found a reliable form of rehabilitation. We keep developing new programs and trying them out. But nobody has found something that will reliably turn a criminal into a non-criminal. The only thing that works is when the criminal decides on his own that he doesn't want to commit crimes any more. All the rest of us can do is point him in that direction. But most criminals don't choose to change.
But, we also haven't found a reliable way of taking a child, tabula rasa, and reliably turn them into a responsible citizen rather than a criminal, does that mean we should give up on education as well?

A large part of that is what happens when they get out, as well as what happens while they are incarcerated. It doesn't matter if you got your GED and maybe some handyman skills while you were in prison if no on e will hire you due to your record. Well, no one, except other criminals and criminal enterprises.

Someone decides that they don't want to commit crimes anymore because the alternatives to crime are better. If they are choosing crime, then that is a reflection on our society and the options that we are giving them, rather than a reflection of the individual who is faced with these choices.
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So what do you do with the people who are committing crimes? Just live with the crimes? Give them a public whipping like they used to do before there were prisons? Exile them to a faraway colony? Or separate the criminals from everyone else so regular people aren't victims?
Depends on the crime. If it is a violent crime the demonstrates that the perpetrator isn't capable of controlling their violent tendencies while free in public, then you have to separate them for the safety of the public.

If it is a non-violent crime, prison is solely about the punishment aspect, not the public safety part. If we, as a society, decide that taking away someone's freedom is an appropriate punishment for committing a non-violent crime, then that can happen too.

Though I would avoid mixing the two in populations, as one is being sequestered from the public for the protection of the public, so putting them into contact with non-violent offenders poses a danger to those non-violent offenders, making rehabilitation much harder for those who want to return to society as productive members.

Last edited by k9bfriender; 09-23-2018 at 12:11 PM.
  #103  
Old 09-24-2018, 06:26 AM
JB99 JB99 is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
But even after a couple centuries of trying, we still haven't found a reliable form of rehabilitation. We keep developing new programs and trying them out. But nobody has found something that will reliably turn a criminal into a non-criminal. The only thing that works is when the criminal decides on his own that he doesn't want to commit crimes any more. All the rest of us can do is point him in that direction. But most criminals don't choose to change.
A lot of European countries seem to have it figured out. So are they just smarter than us?

Last edited by JB99; 09-24-2018 at 06:26 AM.
  #104  
Old 09-24-2018, 06:56 AM
Nava Nava is online now
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Maybe Americans' tendency to extremism is part of it? Y'all tend to be very "all or nothing", which can be good some times (it pushes people beyond "good enough") but a pain in the ass at others (hey, there was a baby in that bath still!). European countries don't expect a single method to work for everybody. If enough of the people in charge of American prisons are expecting a one-size-fits-every-single-person-ever approach... yeah, that ain't gonna happen!

Last edited by Nava; 09-24-2018 at 06:58 AM.
  #105  
Old 09-24-2018, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
The reality is that rehabilitation is the core of the prison system. It always has been. Prisons were invented as a means of rehabilitation. Prisons spend more money on rehabilitation than they spend on security. Saying you think prisons should try to rehabilitate people is like saying you think hospitals should try to make people healthier or schools should try to make people smarter.
Where does the concept of having ex-prisoners pay for their incarceration fit into the rehabilitation model?
  #106  
Old 09-24-2018, 07:12 AM
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Probably somewhere in the vicinity of never getting back your right to vote and of sex-offender registries.
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  #107  
Old 09-24-2018, 07:28 AM
Isamu Isamu is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
So if somebody is driving too fast, gets arrested and convicted, why isn't it reasonable to expect them to pay for the associated law enforcement expenses?
Haven't those law enforcement expenses been paid already through taxes? What are we paying taxes for then? Someone told me it was for things like law enforcement.
  #108  
Old 09-24-2018, 08:02 AM
JB99 JB99 is offline
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Originally Posted by Nava View Post
Maybe Americans' tendency to extremism is part of it? Y'all tend to be very "all or nothing", which can be good some times (it pushes people beyond "good enough") but a pain in the ass at others (hey, there was a baby in that bath still!). European countries don't expect a single method to work for everybody. If enough of the people in charge of American prisons are expecting a one-size-fits-every-single-person-ever approach... yeah, that ain't gonna happen!
Exactly. Americans do have a very all-or-nothing perspective, and view these things in terms of 'good' vs 'evil.' To most Americans, if a person is in prison it means they are inherently 'evil' to begin with. Over the last few decades - and especially since drug use became epidemic - there has been a theme among politicians about 'getting tough on crime.'

That's why, in the 90's, you would hear people say things like this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newt Gingrich, 1990
Crime is not a hard problem. We simply lock up violent criminals until they're too old to be violent. That means fewer welfare workers and more police officers and prosecutors and prisons.
The tropes that got repeated over and over were: (A) Crime should be met with longer sentences and harsher treatments and (B) politicians who favored rehabilitation were 'weak,' and put Americans in danger.

The response to this has been the 'warehousing' model for prisons, in which the goal is to isolate the prisoner away from the rest of society for as long as possible. The goal of the system is to maximize the amount of time a prisoner spends in prison, with little or no effort put towards rehabilitation. So - again - the idea that we should make it as hard as possible for a person to re-enter society is a feature rather than a bug. It should be no surprise that the US has the world's highest incarceration rate.

And then we hear things like this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newt Gingrich, 2015
Our federal prisons are in crisis, and expanding at a rapid pace. Between 1980 and 2013, the federal incarceration rate jumped 518 percent as we sent more people to prison and kept them there longer.
Well, NO SHIT, FUCKHEAD, you're the one who put them there!

Let's not give him too much credit... Gingrich is a Republican whore who will say or do anything to win an election. In the early 1990's, Democrats had controlled the House forever and Gingrich was hailed as a Republican Messiah for overturning their dominance. All he had to was enrage Americans, give them someone to hate, and then encourage us to fuck each other as hard as possible. (Huh... Sounds familiar...) Unfortunately, lots of people listened to what he had to say, and now we are stuck with people like Little Nemo as a result.
  #109  
Old 09-24-2018, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by JB99 View Post
Unfortunately, lots of people listened to what he had to say, and now we are stuck with people like Little Nemo as a result.
Woah, easy there; this is GD, not the Pit. While I disagree with his view in this particular instance, I have no problem believing that he, personally, believes in rehabilitation. And now if you'll excuse me I have to go to the Junior Mods corner and stare at the wall for one hour before writing down "I will not Junior Mod" a thousand times.
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  #110  
Old 09-24-2018, 08:25 AM
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The main problem is that America is vindictive (and wants to impose massive and sustained punishments for transgressions) but also cheap (and won't pay enough taxes to do it properly).
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  #111  
Old 09-24-2018, 08:27 AM
JB99 JB99 is offline
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Originally Posted by Nava View Post
I have no problem believing that he, personally, believes in rehabilitation.
That's funny, but he's the same guy who wrote this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
No, I'm talking about the part where you said being punished is a crime.

What do you suggest we do with people who commit murder or rape? Or even people who steal? Do you think we should just let them go because punishing them for what they did would be wrong?

I know people like to say "Oh, we should rehabilitate these people so they don't commit crimes any more." That's a great idea - but do you have any suggestions of how to do that?

The reality is that rehabilitation is the core of the prison system. It always has been. Prisons were invented as a means of rehabilitation. Prisons spend more money on rehabilitation than they spend on security. Saying you think prisons should try to rehabilitate people is like saying you think hospitals should try to make people healthier or schools should try to make people smarter.

But even after a couple centuries of trying, we still haven't found a reliable form of rehabilitation. We keep developing new programs and trying them out. But nobody has found something that will reliably turn a criminal into a non-criminal. The only thing that works is when the criminal decides on his own that he doesn't want to commit crimes any more. All the rest of us can do is point him in that direction. But most criminals don't choose to change.

So what do you do with the people who are committing crimes? Just live with the crimes? Give them a public whipping like they used to do before there were prisons? Exile them to a faraway colony? Or separate the criminals from everyone else so regular people aren't victims?
This does not sound like someone who believes in rehabilitation.

Last edited by JB99; 09-24-2018 at 08:27 AM.
  #112  
Old 09-26-2018, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Isamu View Post
Haven't those law enforcement expenses been paid already through taxes? What are we paying taxes for then? Someone told me it was for things like law enforcement.
And I wonder if to some degree these fees are an attempt by politicians to make up budget shortfalls when voters want all of these law enforcement services but squeal in outrage when asked to pay the necessary taxes to support the services?
  #113  
Old 10-03-2018, 07:28 AM
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You know who else charged prisoners for their punishment?
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Cruelly, the Nazis even charged the families of those they had imprisoned and beheaded. For every day that a prisoner was held, a fee of 1.50 Reichsmarks was charged. The executions cost 300 Reichsmarks. Even the 12 pfennig cost of posting the invoice was demanded back by the Nazi state.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...led-3-000.html
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