Could We Survive Without Prisons?

Posted: October 28, 2010 in personal-development, prisons, social issues
Tags: , ,

One of my friends came up with this question recently and at first I thought he was joking, I’ve always been an advocate of locking up criminals, so much so that I had never even considered the alternatives before.

His comments got me thinking.

Would our society simply descend into chaos if the prison service was abolished?

Maybe it would, like I said I’d never considered the whys and wherefors of the subject before.

Not until now.

Fortunately, I’ve never been in prison, so I DON’T know what it’s like. However, I do know enough about prison to know that it’s no walk in the park.

So why do people re offend?

Personally, I don’t think we will ever live in a perfect society and we will always need some kind of penal system, but that’s just my view. What if prisons WERE abolished tomorrow, how else could we deal with offenders?

Here are a list of suggestions, some of them are already in use:

Community programmes
counselling
Instant punishments
public embarrassment
Fines
Rehabilitation programmes
Private punishments
In-work punishments
Incentives
Further education
Mentors
Second chance programmes
Prevention rather than cure
More school awareness
Public understanding

There is certainly a culture in all prisons and some people prefer it to living on the outside. Obviously part of it is institutinalisation but there has got to be more to it than that.

Prisons can offer a sense of importance to people who could not acheive success in normal life. Comradeship, prisoners can form strong family-like bonds with each other.

Does prison stop people re offending?

Statistics show that 65% of all prisoners re offend within 2 years of release.

Look at it another way only 35% of people going through the prison system are rehabillitated.

You can make figures say anthing you like but I am sure we can improve on a two thirds re offence rate.

How can we improve it?

The re conviction rate for people given community service is roughly the reverse of those given custodial sentences, so this has got to be extended for less serious crimes.

Maybe we should give prison and prisoners a lot more understanding, I believe there is good and bad in all of us and everyone deserves a second chance.

Serious offenders need more consideration and at a cost of £40,000 per annum to the tax payer for a standard prisoner maybe serial murderers and rapists should be dealt with differently.

There has got to be more education in schools about crime and it’s consequences. If our kids were given better guidance in the first place then the chances of them getting into trouble would be greatly reduced.

We as parents must take more RESPONSIBILITY.

At times we are all just too judgemental. The phrase “There but for the grace of god go I.” has passed most of our lips at one time or another.

The one thing that considering this subject has taught me is that we should all stop adopting the moral high gound, stop sweeping this subject under the carpet and put more of our energies into solving the inadequecies of the prison system.

I’m not talking about going soft on criminals, just the opposite, I come from a disciplined background.

If we really want to affect something we have to monitor it, give it care and attention and then we might just have a chance of changing it.

Andy.

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