Tuesday, October 16, 2012

National Geographic: Prison Nation

Source:National Geographic- Prison Nation.

"With gangs and violence running our prisons, are inmates even more dangerous when they are released?" 

Most prison departments in America (Federal & State) are called something like the Department of Corrections or the Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation. I'm all for punishing convicted felons in America in prison. The number one job that any prison has is to punish convicted felons, especially violent felons, and violent felons that represent serious threats to any free society and are serving long-term sentences. But that punishment should only start at taking their freedom away. 

Once someone is in prison, how they serve their sentence and spend their time, should be completely up to them. They get with the program, follow the rules, their prison sentence should be productive and if anything beneficial, even if they're serving life without any possibility of parole, because they would have the opportunity to give back to society, even while in prison. 

But if prison inmates don't get with the program and just try to continue their criminal careers while behind bars, those are the inmates that the prison has to come down hard on. At that point, it's no longer just about taking their freedom away from society. But you need to take their freedom away in prison as well, so the staff can be as safe as possible, but the inmates as well who just want to serve their sentences so they can get out and not come back to prison. 

2/3 of all prion inmates are not just released, but end up back in prison. Which again gets to my original point about the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. You want less crime on the streets, let's have fewer inmates who break the law not just while inside, but in society once they're free from prison. Which is why we have to have things like education, counseling, job training, and real work for prison inmates where they can even make real money legitimately while in prison, so they have the skills that they need to live in a free society and be productive and not have to break the law to support themselves and end up back in prison at taxpayer expense.

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