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Redefine the term "rehabilitation" in context of prison

The way I understand it, prisons are established for three reasons. 1. Deterrance: fear of getting caught keeps people from committing crime. 2) segregation: Keep people who have harmed others from doing it again. 3) Rehabilitation: the idea that the criminal will change in some way so to not break the law again.

I think the idea of deterrance is good. I also believe deparating criminals is a good idea, but ONLY if they endanger others. I do not believe the current prison system is concerned with rehabilitation. The term needs to be dropped, redefined, or removed. If anything, the prison does worse than rehabilitate.

Thoughts?

  • Feb 14 2014: Actual rehabilitation requires the following:
    1. Practical and scientific understanding of what causes THAT criminal to engage in THAT criminal act.
    2. Using #1 to figure out how to prevent THAT criminal from being in THAT situation again while doing the least necessary damage to the criminal in the process.
    3. The will and resources to do what is necessary to enact #2.

    It is that simple.

    The first problem is that dogmatics and dimwits do not want #1, ever, under any circumstances. They want their dogmas to be accepted without question. Note that "dogmatics and dimwits" is not synonymous with "liberal", "conservative", or any other specific political cult's name. It refers to anyone who uses a Cartesian approach to the question instead of a Baconian one.

    The second problem is that bureaucrats and pencil-heads do not want to do the work for #2, under any circumstances. They want cookie-cutter procedures that require no thought or responsibility on their parts.

    The third problem is that tightwads, along with dogmatics and dimwits, either want NO resources to be expended or they only want methods that agree with their little cult beliefs to be used.
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      Feb 27 2014: Looks to me very rational and reasonable analysis of the issue, as it should be. One thing important to remember when trying to rehabilitate criminals is that the rehabilitation process should not cause anyhow any risk or harm to the surrounding society and particularly to the criminals' victims. I know some cases from the news where I live when such rehabilitation trials had caused real and irreversible damage to innocent people, including a murder of a 16 years old girl in street by a criminal who was on a vacation from his prison in the name of such rehabilitation ideals.
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      Feb 26 2014: Excellent ideas Carolyn, have any prisons been designed around this approach you know of, I'll check myself in?
    • Feb 27 2014: It is the best redesign plan for the prison system I have heard. The guards would not have guns or tazers? No yelling, cursing, or hate speech? Would there be solitary confinement, and if yes, would that be punishment?
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      Feb 27 2014: That would be an interesting transition to observe Carolyn!

      It reminds me of a tiny thing I did when interacting with incarcerated offenders. I make aroma therapy "stuff" from garden herbs....usually starting with a base of mint and lavender infusions, then add other herbs as the spirit moves me:>)

      The facilities are dark, drab and smelly, so I started bringing a very small plastic spray container filled with aromas, which I sprayed on all permeable surfaces on the way to the sessions and in the room.

      At first the guys made fun of it, noticing that I had "perfumed" the room. I told them what it was, and that sometimes it just makes us feel better. They continued to joke about it and I continued to do it.

      After a couple times, they started commenting about how good it smelled, and soon they were asking me to spray their papers and notebooks so they could bring the scent back to their cells. A couple times I forgot to bring it, and they started playfully chastising me for forgetting it. It was interesting and enjoyable to observe the transition:>)

      Have you watched this TED talk?
      http://www.ted.com/talks/nalini_nadkarni_life_science_in_prison.html
      • Feb 27 2014: Colleen,

        We each bring an aroma with our presence and attitudes... usually starting with a base of this and that infusion, then other 'herbs' as the spirit moves us ::>) I hold that you comment can be generalized and abstracted into a wonderful process:

        We each bringing about a spray container filled with aromas, which we spray on all permeable and impermeable surfaces on the way we pass to the intersessions and in the rooms. At first other may make fun of it, noticing that we have "perfumed" the room. (some may even say we stank up the place) Tell them what it be, and how that sometimes it just makes us feel better. They may continue to joke about it in disbelief and we may continued to do it in belief.

        After a couple times, those in disbelief may start commenting about how good certain beliefs smell/feel/look, and soon each may ask to spray the papers and notebooks so each can bring the scent back to their cells. when someone forgets to bring the soothing sent , others can start to playfully chastising them to remember and bring it on. It can be interesting and enjoyable to observe the transitions taking place here and elsewhere.
  • Feb 19 2014: If the system really wants to rehabilitate people, they should be offered an immediate aptitude test and then basic training in some necessary skill that would enable them to find a job upon release. A son in law of mine learned welding while in prison. He not only makes a living now, he has become a serious and sober parent who is attempting to keep his own children from going down the drug path. Not everybody can go to college but wouldn't it be cheaper and more effective in the long run if these, the most hapless of our citizens, could emerge as effective providers for their families?
    • Feb 19 2014: Joan,

      Maybe take that initiative a step further and help them to become their own independent bosses capable of providing others the opportunities to better themselves... and others.
    • Feb 19 2014: It makes you wonder why schools still only teach subjects and not skills such as welding, plumbing, electrician, mechanics, etc... Every child should leave school with at least one of these abilities.
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        Feb 22 2014: Great point - even though children may be unable to handle some professions fully (some do demand heavy work) but schools shall INTRODUCE kids to different professions not only by describing these by words... However, this practicing might be pricy for schools - in terms of obtaining some equipment and paying new teachers.

        Non-profit organizations can make a great change practically supporting education in this direction.
      • Feb 23 2014: That kind of "education" is okay for proles but not for those who want to actually innovate or run society. Let proles get a prole "education".
        • Feb 23 2014: I know many upper classes and middle classes in these job roles. And I am not just talking about the skills mentioned in my previous post. I am talking about skills across the board from mechanics and plummering to journalsm, party politics and leadership. Surely learning journalism or forensic psychology would be far more beneficial to learning English or chemistry Respectively as a broad subject that leaves you clueless to your career options?

          We leave 13 years of education and all we are employable for is a checkout assistant or customer service role (if we decide not to go onto further education). 13 years!!!! There is something either completely flawed about the education system or it's a deliberation to keep those who don't feed into the further education system in the lowest paid jobs. I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly had the Intelectual capacity to learn my university education whilst at high school. It would save time and money to educate all kids from 14 years onwards in the fields they are interested in. The average person will never need to know algebra or logarithms to be successful in their prevered field of study. I have never used half the subjects In my adult life that I was taught at school.

          I would also like to say That those who are not born with a silver spoon in their mouth often have more aspirations and abilities than those who are. This may however be the problem. The rich are used to buying their position in society whereas the poorer have to work for it, but t the end of the day if the poorer kids were educated in the right field of study (manual labour or proffessional) they would certainly prevail as they also have something called life skills.
      • Feb 23 2014: Mint,

        In a way schools are more like baby-sitters that enable both parents to work...
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        Mar 10 2014: The keys is education - but also the people have to ask what does the term "criminal" really mean. "If you deface property with graffiti you can be charged with willful damage which is punishable with 5 years in prison." quoted from the Queensland, Australia, legal website. Whereas hooning (qld term for reckless driving) attracts a maximum of 6 months jail.

        A system that enforces such laws is definitely incapable to design meaningful rehabilitation programmes. Such a system is beyond reform and I can understand that many youngsters have no respect for perverse justice system of this sort.
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      Feb 19 2014: Absolutely Joan....it would be wonderful if incarcerated people could emerge as effective providers for their families. Thanks for the story about your son in law. It sounds like a very good outcome:>)

      Welcome to TED conversations Joan!
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      Feb 21 2014: Joan, Your story gives an inspirational example for Everyone - showing it is possible to learn under very difficult circumstances and even Use the troubling situation of any sort and turn it into something rewarding, mentally and practically.
  • Mar 9 2014: Without having read any responses, I'd like to express my first thoughts on the subject. Prisons seem to be an attempt at a 'one size fits all' fix. To me this seems grossly unintelligent and like Andy Johnson, I feel it does more harm than good in a lot of cases. In order to rehabilitate, you can't mix everyone together. As it stands, prison looks like somewhere you have to 'survive'... not learn a lesson or get better.

    in my mind, offenders should be locked up with similar offenders... And the staff on hand should be trained in the rehabilitation of their specific issues.
  • Feb 20 2014: The problem with all these ideas is that to change someone (which is what rehabilitation is), the person really, really, really has to want to be changed... and even then is likely to fail to change their habits.

    How do we make people want to change?

    What do you do with people that fall back into old, destructive habits?
    • Feb 20 2014: Darrell,

      I was going to state how what you said be at the core of the issue, and how it's even useful within dialogues where individuals choose to hold embrace cultivate certain ideas and how in exploring/resolving the issue of me thinks x---, you thinks y----, and moving to think about z--- (using angles radiuses rather than orthogonal 'moves' ) seemed reasonable .... until I realized an alternative, that has to do with disregarding wants and focusing on doing what ought to be done... learning and enjoying it

      You ask : How do we make people want to change?
      Simple answer : We invite them to ... enjoy ... suffer ... do what ought to be done. In other words they will learn and do what ought to be done one way or another sooner or latter willingly or not.

      You ask : What do you do with people that fall back into old, destructive habits?
      Simple answer: encapsulate them within a protective shield to keep them from harming others, stuff, themselves.

      I realize that my first paragraph is highly condensed and codified, if need be will help anyone interested in decoding it and understanding what I meant to convey by it. For the record, I think that to change, an individual just hast to change.In fact its bound to happen sooner or latter with or without the willing consent of the rider; for the ride process will take place "the rite of passage" will happen --- might as well have the proper attitude and move forward rather than backwards... of course it helps to move forward if one holds the appropriate habits, skills disposition and does what ought to be done, as it ought to be done, when it ought to be done..

      Know how to do it
      want to do it
      be able to do it
      accomplis the deed
      savor the ramifications (or suffer the consequences)

      Thank's your words and inquires made me thing of somethings and wonder about it...
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      Feb 20 2014: You are absolutely right Darrell...for someone to change, s/he really, really, really has to WANT to change, and if s/he really wants to change it might be more successful.

      We CANNOT change people, and we CANNOT make people want to change. We can offer some ideas (tools) which might facilitate change.

      Offer something different in a way that might entice them to want to learn more about it. In the cognitive self change sessions I co-facilitated, we stressed the idea of choices. People who repeat the same patterns over and over again causing challenges for themselves, have usually forgotten that they have choices regarding their behaviors. We usually started the sessions by talking about choices. As children, many of them did not have choices, so they repeated learned behaviors. As intelligent adults, they DO have choices.
      • Feb 20 2014: Colleen,

        As children, EACH of them had choices; they just didn't know all of the actual choices they had!
        As adults, each one does has choices; some which are known, and some which are unknown.

        Its true that if s/he really, really, really WANTS to change, a change might be more successful... of course its also true that some changes will happen wether one wants them or not... at most one can choose and influence a bit how the changes moves.
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          Feb 20 2014: Esteban....many of them did not have choices. When someone forces a child into being used sexually, OR get beat up, that is not a valid choice. Awareness and information sometimes helps people make choices which they themselves are in control of.
      • Feb 21 2014: Colleen,

        Even when forced into some situations each has choices regarding what to think/say/do ... Please note the empowering fundamental notion behind this statement... Also please realize that this seeks to short-circuit the blame game... I realize that many 'victims' get entangled in the blame game... rather than reporting factual objective observations, considering the options, and taking action.

        In other words recognize what happened (or what be happening) and move on to effectively deal with it.

        Again they did have choices and Awareness with information about the possibilities they had could had facilitated making different choices for themselves ... lets recognize what happened and move on to effectively deal with it.

        Yea some things are within our control and some things are outside of our control...
        Like the serenity prayer
        "serenity to accept the things we cannot change,
        Courage to change the things we can,
        And wisdom to know the difference."
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          Feb 21 2014: Esteban,
          My comment is..."As children, many of them did not have choices, so they repeated learned behaviors. As intelligent adults, they DO have choices."

          Very young children do not have the mental stability or knowledge to make informed choices. A 2 year old who is being sexually molested by male relatives, including his father has very few emotional or physical resources to be able to make different choices. It might help to familiarize yourself with some of the stories of those incarcerated, so you can speak about the situation with more knowledge.
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        Feb 21 2014: Colleen, I agree. When somebody wants to change it's a a moral obligation of the society in which he lives, provide him/her with the best tools, the best means to achieve this.
        A society does not benefit itself disregarding the person who really wants to improve, in the first place, because it's not moral disregards their need for real support, and secondly because if the person who wants to integrate can't do so by lack of means, society will again suffer the consequences of their conduct.
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          Feb 21 2014: True Sean,
          If we want to change the incidents of crime in our societies, it is helpful to be engaged with the process.

          I think many people assume that incarceration is taking care of the problem, when that is not the case! It is not in any way solving the underlying issues with individuals or society.
        • Feb 21 2014: Sean,

          As you sort of stated
          it is in the best interests of the society and the individual to procure and provide the best tools, the best means to achieve positive changes for everyone.

          regarding the person who really wants to improve, AND the one who doesn't
          each will 'benefit' from the consequences of individual conducts thus it is in one's own benefit to benefit others and help them to do the same... disregarding if some want the help or not and also disregarding if some want to help or not... it's a a moral obligation and even a selfish act to help each to be helpful . As Colleen stated "it is helpful to be engaged with the process... taking care of ... the underlying issues with individuals or society". Now days someone business ... is everyones business.
      • Feb 21 2014: Colleen,

        If you want to profess and insist that story-line rather than an alternate story-line so be it...
        as I see it you are basically stating:
        - an individual does not have the mental stability or knowledge to make informed choices
        . then an individual does have have the mental stability or knowledge

        the alternative story-line I am putting forth
        - Even when forced into some situations each has choices

        Of course that alternative story-line may just be a delusional notion because in reality individuals have no choice in the matter, some just think that they do have a choice and some just think that they do not have a choice...

        Basically individuals either have a choice or don't :
        1- having a choice, thinking one has a choice and choosing the better ways leads to the optimal state
        2- having a choice, thinking one has no choice leads to suboptimal state
        3- having no choice... well that says it ... a choice-less state

        IN the case that 'one has no choice ' I am not sure which is better --- recognizing what be or thinking one has a choice --- ultimately in this case it matters not; for in such a case one has no choice in the matters.

        Thinking one has choice, can be because one has no choice or because one does
        either way one proceeds as if one has a choice ...

        Personally I prefer to assume that everyone has a choice, though I do recognize the possibility/reality that some proceed under the influence of 'stuff that strips away any choices ... resulting in choice-less states'. Personally I prefer to assume that everyone has a choice even in the choice-less states because thinking one has a choice and choosing the better ways may leads to the optimal state.

        Just imagine the tragic humorous irony imprisoned by their beliefs, thoughts, ideas of being imprisoned... individuals could choose a better option they just choose not to choose it, while thinking that's better ...

        That's one of the reasons I state: chose what ought to be chosen.
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          Feb 21 2014: Esteban,
          My statement is clear...here AGAIN is my comment....
          "As children, many of them did not have choices, so they repeated learned behaviors. As intelligent adults, they DO have choices."

          "Very young children do not have the mental stability or knowledge to make informed choices. A 2 year old who is being sexually molested by male relatives, including his father has very few emotional or physical resources to be able to make different choices. It might help to familiarize yourself with some of the stories of those incarcerated, so you can speak about the situation with more knowledge."

          THERE IS NOTHING HUMOROUS ABOUT THEIR STORIES ESTEBAN!
      • Feb 21 2014: Colleen,

        You apparently taken the statement "Just imagine the tragic humorous irony imprisoned by their beliefs, thoughts, ideas of being imprisoned... individuals could choose a better option they just choose not to choose it, while thinking that's better ... " and found a particular subjective interpretation YOU deem worthy of cultivating and which evidently you projected for everyone who reads this to contemplate, think, experience... I noted how you chosen to create something and project it into words, capitalize words... I find what you have chosen to do and post to be an atrocious association that needs to be recognized for what it be.

        Yes your statement is clear and it advocates the story-line : "many of them did not have choices, so they repeated learned behaviors"... It is clear to me that you do not see how you are repeating your learned behaviors that disempower the fact individuals do have a choice. I realize that it may be the case that you do see how you are repeating your learned behavior and consciously choosing to repeat such way. It is just that I choose to prefer to think that you don't see it and thus act the way you do; for considering that you do see it and still choose to act the way you do to advocate that disempowering story-line rather than choosing to cultivate an empowering story-line seems to me quite atrocious...

        Originally I was going to agree with the notion that "HERE IS NOTHING HUMOROUS ABOUT THEIR STORIES" regardless of the fact it completely shifted the focus to a quite a different context... I was going to agree that indeed there isn't anything humorous about their stories... Then I realized that somewhere within their histories there be humorous things ... So is it a fact that there is nothing humorous to the situation or is it just that some individuals have chosen to see only certain stuff in a certain way?

        AGAIN I prefer to assume that everyone has a choice, you seem to prefer something else.

        Choice or no choice?
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          Feb 22 2014: Choice or no choice Esteban?

          I repeat...
          "As children, many of them did not have choices, so they repeated learned behaviors. As intelligent adults, they DO have choices."

          "Very young children do not have the mental stability or knowledge to make informed choices. A 2 year old who is being sexually molested by male relatives, including his father has very few emotional or physical resources to be able to make different choices. It might help to familiarize yourself with some of the stories of those incarcerated, so you can speak about the situation with more knowledge."

          Your foolish, inconsistent, contradictory comments are tiring Esteban!
      • Feb 22 2014: Colleen,

        the story-line I putting forth:
        - Even when forced into some situations each has choices
        At each moment each has choices.

        The words each 'employs' reveal what each thinks and that reflects back on what it is each chooses to cultivate... some observe their thoughts /feelings /actions reflect on where these lead consider the alternatives and decide the direction to follow.... some just keep repeating what they have learned...

        Thanks for your contributions to this conversation.
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          Feb 22 2014: I am very aware of your "story-line" Esteban.

          Little children often do not have choices, and there are many wounded children in our world, who grow up and continue the cycle of wounding others. Many of those who are incarcerated are wounded, and that is why Robin Casarjian wrote the book...."Houses of Healing"..."A Prisoner's Guide to Inner Power And Freedom". Wounded people generally do not function as well in our world.

          As adults, their is an opportunity to evaluate thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions to determine what choices they will make, which is what the Cognitive SELF Change program sessions are about.....providing the tools (ideas) that might help break the cycle.
      • Feb 22 2014: Colleen,

        I find the ideas in your first few line almost overwhelming and would prefer that you focused on actually providing positive ideas.

        Do you realize what it is you are feeding and cultivating with the notions:
        - 'they' do not have choices -
        - 'they' continue the cycle of wounding others-
        - incarcerate wound do not function as well?

        Why is it that you insists on invoking 'the negativity' rather than 'the cycle of healing others'?

        It seems to me that you want to keep the cycles you mention rather than embrace better ones. Now please focus on positive contributions. Lets make a definitive once and for all transformation that moves each and everyone towards a much better state where individuals appreciate and value positive ideas as they ought to do.

        Let's realize what it is we are feeding and cultivating with the notions/thought/feelings/actions/words/intentions we invoke :
        - 'Everyone' has choices - let each choose the better alternatives and help others do the same
        - Each can initiate, establish and maintain beneficial habilitating cycles of healing and enrichment
        - Lets confine and encapsulate what ought to be confined and encapsulated while promoting and liberating what ought to be promoted and liberated to function as well as possible and even better.

        That is insists on invoking 'the positivity' and bring about 'the cycles of healing'.

        In life there is always an opportunity to evaluate thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions to determine what choices will make better choices, as we improve ourselves, and our surroundings including others there...providing the tools (ideas) that bring about help and ensuring adequate implementation.

        Keep in mind the imagery of what it is actually desirable-sustainable-congruent with the ways of life.

        Use this opportunity now to take appropriate actions to improve...
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          Feb 22 2014: I prefer that you focus on the topic question Esteban!

          "Redefine the term "rehabilitation" in context of prison"
      • Feb 22 2014: Colleen,

        I am focusing on the topic question while I am also addressing you:
        - insists on invoking 'the positivity' and bring about 'the cycles of healing'.
        - Lets confine and encapsulate what ought to be confined and encapsulated while promoting and liberating what ought to be promoted and liberated to function as well as possible and even better.
        - Each can initiate, establish and maintain beneficial habilitating cycles of healing and enrichment
        - let each choose the better alternatives and help others do the same

        In life there is always an opportunity to evaluate thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions to determine what choices will make better choices, as we improve ourselves, and our surroundings including others there...providing the tools (ideas) that bring about help and ensuring adequate implementation.

        Keep in mind the imagery of what it is actually desirable-sustainable-congruent with the ways of life.

        Use this opportunity now to take appropriate actions to improve...
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          Feb 22 2014: Esteban,
          You are focusing on preaching to me, rather than addressing the topic question.

          I am in favor of learning, growing and evolving in every single moment of the life experience, and I do it with good, beneficial energy for myself and those I interact with. That being said, there is always room for improvement in all of us.

          I also encourage and support choice in people who are ready, willing and able to make choices for themselves. Little children often do not have the ability or opportunity to make choices for themselves.

          If you insist that children can make choices, watch this TED video, and tell me if the children featured had a choice.
          http://www.ted.com/talks/sunitha_krishnan_tedindia.html

          Many of those incarcerated, were abused and sexually assaulted as children...they did not have choices, and those are some of the underlying challenges they are dealing with.
      • Feb 22 2014: Colleen

        the underlying challenges we are dealing with here and everywhere have to do with what individuals choose to cultivate and do (and not do)... and what it takes to get changes to take place for/in/with the individuals, the circumstances, the groups, the institutions, the systems and a bunch of other locations. We each chosen to partake in this conversation seeking to address certain points and hopefully help figure out better ways which will spillover into actual specific actions through society that individuals take.

        I have chosen to propose and expose certain story-lines put here in a way that I consider individuals will find helpful and which will 'force' them to move and embrace changes in a better way.

        I see you tint and paint what you perceive I am doing... with your assessment that I am focusing on preaching.
        If we wanted we could delve deeper into the matter to see if in fact your assessment of what I be focusing accurately corresponds with your assessment ... or if the truth of be something else. Personally I have more interest in exploring more relevant matters and focusing on other topics related to this conversation...

        BTW I now that I find that resorting to such preachiness comment as a justification to dismiss out of hand without much introspection the notions expressed... I also observe how the claim "I also encourage and support choice in people..." is contradicted by the claim "they did not have choices".

        Little children do have the ability and opportunity to make choices for themselves... investigate the research... I recently saw an article about it... which said that even six months old choose the nice bunnies - I think i saw it on cnn and had the title : Do babies know right from wrong?

        Yes the children featured had choices, some choices where better than others... of course it would be much better if everyone had much better choices and even just access to only good choices...
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          Feb 22 2014: You cannot "force" individuals to change Esteban, and I do not agree with even trying that method. I understand from our very first conversation however, that is what you would like to do.

          Children often do not have choices Esteban. Yes, of course a six month old will choose a "nice bunny", as you say. Will that child choose to be raped? Can that little child do anything about it if someone chooses to rape him/her? No.

          If you actually watched that video and still believe that little children have choices, there is something missing in the information you choose to accept.
      • Feb 22 2014: Colleen

        I said 'force' within apostrophes for a reason... I realize that for individual true change to happen the individuals need to choose it ... what I would like to do is find a method where each and everyone actually chooses to embrace the better method regardless of the fact that they may want a less desirable one... in other words how do we redefine the rehabilitation process to ensure everyone there gets out of there and even serves to prevent others from getting into there...

        You insist with the story-line that 'Children often do not have choices' Why is that?
        I am sure you can find examples to justify your argument that they don't
        Can you find examples to justify the argument that they do?

        I can see how "there is something missing in the information you choose to accept" in fact I think you made that statement to me as a reflection of something you need to see and consider yourself... please followthrough and make the appropriate actions...
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          Feb 23 2014: Why do I say that children often do not have choices Esteban? Because it is true.

          Why do you want me to argue that children have choices when they often DO NOT have choices? That is ridiculous!

          Stop preaching and stick to the topic of this conversation Esteban.
      • Feb 23 2014: Colleen,

        Based on factual observations its clear to me that each and everyone has choices and possibilities regardless of the fact some (like you) claim otherwise. IF what you said was true, was true THEN you would be right in saying it was true.

        How do you reconcile the claim:
        "I also encourage and support choice in people..." given you claim "they did not have choices"... Maybe it is that you do not practice recognizing children as people...

        I also wonder how you reconcile the statement:
        "I am in favor of learning, growing and evolving in every single moment of the life experience, and I do it with good, beneficial energy for myself and those I interact with". with "That is ridiculous! Stop preaching ".

        The reason I ask is that actually a bit of an exploration related to this conversational topic. Imagine if it's so difficult for us to reach shared consensus on such a matter as "each and everyone has choices and possibilities"... even you have expressed the claim "I also encourage and support choice in people who are ready, willing and able to make choices for themselves." then how much more difficult it will be to attain such shared consensus with others... I suppose that given the factual observations... either you are not ready, are unwilling, are unable to make choices for yourself or a combination of those happens...

        Please note that I may choose to stop responding to your comments because I reached a point that I consider you will maintain unchanged your behavior.
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          Feb 23 2014: Esteban,
          Based on factual observations while volunteering in a family center, shelter for women and children, and the dept. of corrections for several years, and simply observing and exploring the life processes, with many people, it is clear that there are many possibilities for change with people who have the cognitive abilities to evaluate the situation and make informed choices.

          I am NOT "claiming otherwise" and it does you no good to continue to twist my words. You only discredit yourself.

          I have said over and over again, that little children often DO NOT have the cognitive ability and/or the freedom to make informed choices for themselves. That fact is backed up with psychological research Esteban, and if you really care about it, you can do your own exploration.

          Again.....often little children do not have the cognitive abilities or the freedom to make informed choices for themselves. Adults DO often have cognitive abilities and freedom to make informed choices for themselves. There is nothing to "reconcile" with those statements, and if you do not understand the statements, it is ok.....there is no useful purpose in twisting my words to try to justify your argument.

          While many of those incarcerated were abused and sexually assaulted as children, when they did not have choices, they DO have choices regarding their behavior as adults, and the "cognitive SELF change" sessions I co-facilitated, helped those who did not have choices as children, to learn that as adults, with exploration of "self", they DO have choices.

          You continue to twist my words and use statements out of context, Stay on topic Esteban. This conversation is NOT about analyzing me. The topic question is..."Redefine the term "rehabilitation" in context of prison". Please note....I would be grateful if you stopped harassing me with your off topic twisted comments.....that would be a gift to me...thank you.
      • Feb 23 2014: Colleen,

        Indeed " it is clear that there are many possibilities for change"
        - with people who have the cognitive abilities to evaluate the situation and make informed choices
        - with people who lack the cognitive abilities to evaluate the situation and make informed choices
        - with people who still have to acquire abilities to better handle the situation and make better choices
        - even with people who have it all.

        Based on factual observations of what you just posted... and a couple of notions...
        it does you, me and others no good to continue to discredit yourself (and others) by saying one thing and then the opposite. Yes you insist and continue to proclaim that in essence little children often DO NOT have the freedom to make choices for themselves when in fact each and everyone has such freedom (to some extent)... I put them words in parenthesis for you, to ease the acceptance of that last statement.

        I have done my own exploration and found that psychological research and other research results do validate the fact that individuals have choices. I realize that those under the influence of stuff can be impaired from following certain choices unless the impairment is resolved and they are under the influence of different stuff. Which in a way redefines the terms and abilities each holds, employs, uses, supports, practices.

        There is something to "reconcile" with those statements (you just don't see it; or see it and choose not to see it), if you actually understood the statements, and ramifications you would act differently. There is a useful purpose in twisting, dancing and interacting between us and others... I hope you come to see it...

        I too would be grateful if you stopped harassing me with your discrediting comments... I would appreciate if each and everyone would seek to appreciate and value the gifts each brings into the conversation... even if / when they don't understand it...
  • Feb 20 2014: I have been locked up and learning is a huge part of being locked up. I learned more about being a criminal during my time i spent there. i met new people inside that after my release furthered, and raised the bar (so to say) of my wrong doing's. it's safe to say that i received a degree for criminal knowledge while my time locked down. I also have associates that are older men now that have never worked a 9 to 5 job a day in there life. they also have started with mediocre crimes in there past, and after a few different incarcerations have gained a wealth of knowledge of many different activities. what i'm trying to say is if you don't get "scared straight" you usually end up just going to school for criminal knowledge. Now with that being said I have decided throughout this past year (starting a new family) to put away my old ways and turn over a new leaf. it is the right thing for me to do so i decided to do the right thing. However as far as REHABILITATION go's THAT'S A JOKE. it is purely a cash in hand business for the men and women who run it. the inmates are lowered to animal instinct's and treated like such. so why should they not hold a grudge at the system during and after there time spent there.
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      Feb 24 2014: These is a great personal story Michael, thank you for sharing these observations. It is not difficult to read between the lines here; you are someone that has made a great effort to reclaim your life and that is not only noteworthy, it warrants our support.
      I'm curious though, you have not included much about how you managed to accomplish all that you have. Perhaps I can encourage you to write a little more about this part.

      How did you find TED and this community?
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      Feb 24 2014: Kudos to you Michael for putting away your old ways and turning over a new leaf! You can tell us more about the system than anyone....welcome to TED conversations!
  • Feb 14 2014: Rehabilitation has definately been removed from our Justice system. The main culprit is the Private Prison System where convicts are not rehabilitated. Instead they are trained to be repeat customers. Isnt' Capitalism wonderful? Other causes are the Rich, who can buy Justice (Affluenza, anyone?); the War on Drugs which makes criminals out of otherwise law-abiding people; and the emerging Police State.

    Any Rehabilitation program is a Soft Science. That means lots of money, poor results and recitivism. Will we pay for it? Will we accept the failures?

    A Line must be drawn somewhere, beyond which you are 'not redeemable.' After that line a criminals only use to society is as a bad example. All rights should be revoked. Execution should be swift, public and gruesome. That would make a better deterrant than 'Life in Prison' aka '20+ years on Death Row at a cost of $75k/year then a quiet and dignified painless death.' All money saved should be used to pay for education thru college for the victims family. That might break the cycle a bit.

    The problem is that the Draconan measures needed will never be taken. Some of the solutions would be worse that what we have. For example, if Scientists found a 'crime gene' or developed a drug which erased bad thought processes the use would destroy more of society than it saved. Besides, such a 'crime gene' is actually important for the human race - all forms of deviant behavior have a purpose when looked at from the standpoint of Humanity's growth. (But that's a WHOLE 'nuther subject entirely.)

    Rehabilitation does need to be the goal. But we have choosen Retribution and Profits instead. Whatever happend to 'Paying your debt to Society?'
    • Feb 15 2014: Crime gene? Not exactly, but 80% of prisoners have education issues. 60% have reading disabilities and the majority of them are know to be dyslexic. One person in five in the population is dyslexic to some degree. With rare exception, public education is devoid of the programs capable of teaching dyslexics. Bring these programs to prisons and public education and the possiblility exists to reduce the prison population by half. For the other half, some could be trained in new skills, some cured of mental disease and for some a painless death might be deemed less cruel.
    • Feb 18 2014: I completely disagree. Rehabilitation has not been removed because you cannot remove something that never existed. There has been next to no actual rehabilitation in our penal system.
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    Feb 24 2014: We might also bring into the discussion the research to two leading neuroscientists, David Eagleman and Michael S. Gazzaniga

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/07/the-brain-on-trial/308520/

    "When a criminal stands in front of the judge’s bench today, the legal system wants to know whether he is blameworthy. Was it his fault, or his biology’s fault?

    I submit that this is the wrong question to be asking. The choices we make are inseparably yoked to our neural circuitry, and therefore we have no meaningful way to tease the two apart. The more we learn, the more the seemingly simple concept of blameworthiness becomes complicated, and the more the foundations of our legal system are strained."

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=neuroscience-in-the-courtroom

    "Today courts rarely admit brain scans as evidence at trial for both legalistic and scientific reasons. As neuroscience matures, however, judges may increasingly see such scans as relevant to arguments about a defendant’s mental state or a witness’s credibility.
    The greatest influence of brain science on the law may eventually come from deeper understanding of the neurological causes of antisocial, illegal behaviors. Future discoveries could lay the foundation for new types of criminal defenses, for example."
    • Feb 24 2014: Theodore,

      I have the idea that there exists an intricate body-thought-spirit interrelationship... which complicates matters a bit more... especially when individuals interact within and across circumstances and systems... nature, nurture, individual choices and a couple of other factor all play their parts.

      Fortunately the point here centers on what to do with the situation ... how to redefine the term related to rehabilitation ... or if need be related to habilitation ... from a theoretical stand point I agree lets do away with the death penalty ... in other words ensure everyone lives and learns to live appropriately... How do we do that with someone bent on their and others death?
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        Feb 24 2014: For starters, the so called "war on drugs" put people in jail ruining their chances of education jobs and housing.
        http://newjimcrow.com/
        Let's change that. Prison make these peoples lives unredeemable.

        Secondly, we have the right to a defense, as long as you have the money for a lawyer and your not a person of color.
        "William Stuntz was the popular and well-respected Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law at Harvard University. He finished his manuscript of The Collapse of American Criminal Justice shortly before his untimely death earlier this year. The book is eminently readable and merits careful attention because it accurately describes the twin problems that pervade American criminal justice today—its overall severity and its disparate treatment of African-Americans."
        http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/nov/10/our-broken-system-criminal-justice/?pagination=false
        • Feb 24 2014: Theodore,

          I think that prison is just a symptom of a much deeper disease... related to the 'addicts' ways... and the present system to treat individuals 'possessed' and under the influence of all kinds of stuff, physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual, circumstantial , systemic etc... of natural and unnatural origin. Similarly the so called "war on drugs", it is also a symptom of a much deeper disease...

          How do we rescue and restore someone bent on their and others death? what to do to remediate the situation ... how do we redefine the term related to rehabilitation ... or if need be related to habilitation ... from a theoretical stand point I agree lets do away with the prisons ... while ensuring everyone lives and learns to live appropriately... Maybe some level of segregation, 'sequestering' and encapsulation be required... to contain the disease and to protect the healthy public... of course ideally with the processes to advance from one level to the next ... It seems to me that this conversation here centers on precisely figuring out these processes and methods...

          Drugs and addictions can make peoples lives unredeemable just as make peoples lives bearable... Good addictions aka habits can ensure wellbeing... BTW I just noticed how you planted the story line:
          - ruined your chances of education jobs and housing
          In actuality that story line is a seductive lie (which was likely unintentional stated) here is a much better true alternative story-line
          - the so called "war on drugs" can put people in jail and complicate individuals lives including their access or opportunities to procurer education jobs and housing. Of course rather than get those things individuals can create them or the conditions to attain them things for themselves. Which is what rehab is about...
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          Feb 24 2014: You may have seen this article in today's NYTimes on this subject: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/24/opinion/keller-crime-and-punishment-and-obama.html?hp&rref=opinion
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          Feb 24 2014: Good article Fritzie, which also mentions how crime impacts families, our societies, and speaks of a "broken" system.

          I believe there are several broken systems that are all intertwined and adversely impact families and society. As a volunteer in a shelter, family center, and with the dept. of corrections, as well as a case reviewer for awhile with SRS (state agency which oversees children in state custody), we saw the same families going through all of these systems generation after generation. There are a lot of people falling through the cracks of systems that are supposed to be helping them.

          I observed some folks going through the motions with jobs in these systems, and not really paying attention to the people, and the reality of their lives.
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        Feb 24 2014: America’s justice system suffers from a mismatch of individual rights and criminal justice machinery, between legal ideals and political institutions. When politicians both define crimes and prosecute criminal cases, one might reasonably fear that those two sets of elected officials—state legislators and local district attorneys—will work together to achieve their common political goals. Legislators will define crimes too broadly and sentences too severely in order to make it easy for prosecutors to extract guilty pleas, which in turn permits prosecutors to punish criminal defendants on the cheap, and thereby spares legislators the need to spend more tax dollars on criminal law enforcement."
        William Sturz

        New order to rehabilitate the prisons we must rehabilitate the systems that fills them.
        • Feb 24 2014: Theodore

          The other day, I asked someone what it would take to change what individuals did and change the system
          They said to do that we must change the system that incentives them to act in such a way
          AND they said that the system isn't going go change so individuals aren't going to change.

          their response was a bit of a chicken and an egg conundrum... maybe we need to talk to the rooster

          I believe that seeking to change 'them' will be futile, we need to present a better alternative that catalyzes and brings them to change.
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        Feb 24 2014: It is frustrating to me that my resources are ignored by you.
        Did you listen, read, consider them?

        Here is a simple answer: We must change ourselves first. We are the ones that allow these things, they are done in our name.
        • Feb 24 2014: Theodore,

          Yes I listened, read and considered some of your resources. Why is it that you choose to feel frustrated rather than choose a different 'thing'? Why is it that you choose what you did choose rather than some other alternative? For example I think you could have been curious about the matter at hand...

          Why did you choose to consider that I ignored the resources rather than chose to focus attention on something I find a bit more pertinent to this conversation?

          Yes we must change ourselves first if we ought to change ...

          BTW
          Allowing you to jump of the cliff does not make me responsible for you jumping off the cliff
          even when you do it in my name ... it does not make me responsible for what you choose to do
          Please reconsider carefully what it is you want to do and what you choose to do.

          The ones that do these things ... need to reconsider what it is they do...

          Now I again have that urge to blurt a notion : With this I fulfill all of my debts as previously agreed.
          THIS IS A WAKE UP CALL :-)

          Of course now we can choose to move on and focus on what to do next...
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          Feb 24 2014: Esteban,
          This discussion may be a wake up call for you regarding this topic, and some of us have been addressing these issues for years. It might be beneficial for you to listen to information that is already well known.
        • Feb 24 2014: Theodore, & Colleen...

          Considering the notion that free will is a very limited proposition will make for this dialogue to be very limited in scope. Yes I hold and presented a 'free will' stance and way of thinking. Far from arguing from opinion, I am presenting statements for your (and others) consideration. If you care to dialogue, converse and explore them statements then great let's do that. If you want me to argue and convince you of the veracity of the statements then I will pass... been there done that too many times... besides having fulfilled all of my debts as previously agreed... it's now a matter of our individual choices.

          Considering the notion that free will is a very broad proposition will make for this dialogue to be very broad in scope. Let me know through this medium if you would like to delve into and jointly explore certain matters.

          Colleen from what I been observing here you may be addressing these issues for eons to come until a redefinitioal singularity point just happens... and the present wake up call is recognized and accepted... take all the time you need... if it was me I would heed and choose to embrace the present wake up call ... right now. Let me know through this medium if you would like to delve into and jointly explore some matters.

          Would like to just add a thanks ... so thanks.
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        Feb 24 2014: Where are your references? Are you arguing from opinion?
        You are presenting a "free will" argument here. Free will is a very limited proposition.
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  • Feb 21 2014: Prisons can create violent criminals, because some prisons are really rough inside and inmates have to defend themselves. If non-violent crimes are committed people should be ordered to pay stiff penalties or commnity service if they cannot afford to pay, there is plenty trash to be picked up off of highways, streets swept, parks cleaned, our prisons would not be so filled and tax payers would not have to pay $40,000.00 a year to house one inmate. Mandatory education in the prison system would be the way to go not just counseling..Educating. Make productive individuals not lifetme criminals. If the aim is to truly to rehabilitate run like a Military camp.
  • Feb 20 2014: I suppose we also have to remember that not all criminals are from socially deprived backgrounds. In fact there is an equal spread of criminality across all social classes if we exclude Petit crimes and robberies (which may be directly related to social class inequalities).
    The crimes which people really do require rehabilitation for are those which are violent and tormenting in nature. Tax dodgers and supermarket theifs don't bother me too much and should not even be locked up in the first place. If we start using the prison only for those that really need to be there/need to be rehabilitated then better rehabilitation programme can be concentrated on.
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      Feb 20 2014: Good point Mint Thinny!

      That is why I like the programs that focus on diversion, repair, education and community involvement. That is why I also like the idea of a self-sustaining village as a correctional facility.

      Putting people who are involved in misdemeanors, in with felons, simply gives the first time offenders more information about crime, and the atmosphere of a prison is not a good place to try to change the habits and behaviors that got them there!
    • Feb 20 2014: Mint,

      It seems to me that two things need to happen for a better redefinition of the term "rehabilitation" in context of prison.
      1- A shift from punishing them for what they have done to getting them to learn what they ought had done
      2- An institutionalization of a programs that focus on effectively 'directing', repairing, remediating and educating participants for enriching beneficial community involvements.

      Lets imagine a 'stratification complex' which be like a self-sustaining village of volunteers (be it by their choice or by the choice of others) where individuals can check-in and stay-in till they can manage to be self-sustaining 'productive' members of society.

      I would like to see a place that will take those needing habilitation and help them along the path of becoming better individuals that is optative for anyone while being a required for some. I think many just don't know better ways to follow to better themselves... Kind of like what someone mentioned regarding good behaving children who seek attention and their counterparts who resort to 'misbehaving'... In their mind I am sure it's something along the lines of whatever works thats what I will employ. Maybe there is a way of bootstrapping and get some traction for betterment which includes an open door to anyone who desires to partake in the initiative.

      I read that some 'criminals' commit a crime to go back to the way they know ... it would be nice if they could just go there to get genuine help... Ideally paying their-way through their participation.
  • Feb 19 2014: Prisons don't seem to invest the right type of time or effort into rehabilitating criminals. I am not sure if the government is bothered about rehabilitation programmes as many politicians and members of the public are incredibly sceptical and judgemental of a persons ability to change. The government also knows that to employ more control elements into society such as CCTV, I'd cards etc.. They need a continuose stream of criminals. Criminals help to establish the governments control agendas, so rehabilating would be counter productive to this as would helping disadvantaged groups and communities to the extent of lowering crime. In fact it has been known and is evident that the CIA, fbi mi5, etc..deliberately create criminals/encourage criminal behaviour for their own agendas. I personally would like prisons to be more about rehabilitation than punishment, as it is a more humane aproach to criminality especially since certain crimes have strong links to the circumstances of the individual that commited the crime. However this opinion will not be shared by many as people are predominantly revengful.
    Scotland upon independence aims to lessen the divide between rich and poor, something the UK government has been ineffective in doing. Increasing social equality will likely decrease certain crimes. So perhaps it's not just about rehabilitation, but equally about prevention through iradicating inequalities in society.
    Although we should not make too many excuses for crimals (as inheretently good people would not commit crimes no matter their circumstances) and we should sympathise with victims, we do need to recognise some of the contributing factors that give rise to crime. If we can eradicate these factors then crime will inevitably decrease.
    As such rehabilitating is not enough, as the contributing factors that drove that person to crime may still exist upon their release. These factors need to be removed from society, but few governments ever take responsibility
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      Feb 19 2014: Hi Mint Thinny:>)
      There actually are requirements regarding rehab programs, and it doesn't seem like they are always implemented within the correctional facilities. I also would like to see more attempts at teaching offenders skills and practices that might give them more incentive to stay away from crime. I would like to see correctional facilities be self-sustaining villages where offenders could learn skills and also learn how to live in harmony with others. As you insightfully point out, there are many contributing factors with this challenge.
      • Feb 19 2014: Many criminals are put on rehabilitation programmes, but I don't think these programmes make much difference because it is more about process/ticking the boxes than engaging the criminal in order for change to be achieved.

        I love the idea of correctional facilities being self sustaining villages. It really does make sense, but try convincing those that just want criminals to be punished and left to rot. They will tell us we have too much compassion for those that do not deserve it, but I think that is the way to be. Love breeds love and hate breeds hate.

        I agree with you that criminals need to be taught new skills in order to increase their self worth and opportunities. It makes you wonder why schools teach subjects rather than skill sets. It would most certainly benefit a child to leave education with skills in practical life assignments than to leave with knowledge in subjects that they are not interested in and that they will never use.
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          Feb 19 2014: I agree Mint Thinny....which is why I said the programs are not implemented....the offenders are often not really engaged in the process. I observed, in facilities, that there is sometimes a door with a sign saying "counseling services"...."AA meetings"...etc., when those programs were not actually available.

          To encourage learning skills and education may be demonstrating compassion for the offenders AND it also demonstrates compassion for the community. If offenders do not have an education and/or skills to help sustain them on the outside, they are probably going to repeat the same old patterns. By supporting them in changing a lifestyle, we are actually helping ourselves as members of the communities that are very impacted by crime.

          I agree...love breeds love and hate breeds hate....good point. I also believe that we are all interconnected, so with our effort to support each other on our life journey, we contribute to the whole.

          I also agree with you....it is beneficial to have skills to face real life situations. Without those skills, people sometimes repeat the same destructive patterns over and over again.
    • Feb 20 2014: Amaazing perspective. Prison as a socioeconomic cannabailistic system.
  • Feb 18 2014: We know that one of the basic human desires is the ability to change your environment, to be appreciated, recognized and respected. To be noticed and interacted with!

    A 5 year-old may stack blocks and then say "look at what I did mommy"! The 2 year-old, lacking the skill to stack the blocks will be content with their ability to knock over the stack of blocks made by someone else, then look to see if the parent noticed what they were able to do.

    Disaffect: "to alienate the affection or loyalty of; also : to fill with discontent and unrest "

    How much of our crime problem is the result of large disaffected groups of people? People feel trapped by circumstance, unable to make positive change, unable to receive positive feedback for their positive accomplishments, settle for having a negative change, getting the notice of other criminals and thugs.

    My daughter begins to ignore her 18 m/o daughter. The baby drops the TV remote into the dog's water dish. Mom jumps up and runs to try to save the remote. While mom is distracted drying the remote, the cell phone is next to go into the water dish.

    My daughter asks "Why is she being such a brat?"

    I say "She is trying to get your attention by attacking the things that take your attention from her, the TV Remote and your cell phone."

    "Well, I wish she would quit!"

    "Then turn off the TV, put down the phone and give her the undivided attention that she desires!"


    Kids growing up in the inner-city, surrounded by drugs, gangs and crime; sent to ineffective schools where teachers are underpaid, overworked and unappreciated, where the students that do well are beat down; disadvantaged by their skin-color, their ethnic sounding name and the household income of their single parent( or parents in rare cases), what opportunity do they have to cause positive change? What attention and appreciation would they receive? If they can not cause positive change and receive recognition for it, how would they not become disaffected?
    • Feb 19 2014: From reading what you posted I think the kids are looking for attention and validation that they can get from the extrinsic rather than the intrinsic domains. A while ago who one was stemmed from their values and work etiquette not status symbols, presently there seems to be a shift towards the material stuff individuals have. There was a time where an individuals word of honor and name sufficed to seal a deal... nowadays even with contracts and there subtleties in language used deals are dishonored ...

      Its easier to get negative attention than positive one... heck even generating positive attention can lead to attract the negative stuff... because it's easier to knock someone down than to raise to the top... its easier to take the stuff than pay for it... Everyone has an opportunity to cause positive change ... thing is bad apples tend to grab all the attention and immediate actions... while the patient generous ones may go without... as you said to your daughter ... if you pay the attention she needs she might learn there are better ways to behave and grab your attention ...

      The cool hip way to be should involve doing well and helping others do well... the insecure are the most violent ones to deal with
      • Feb 19 2014: That last statement resonated with me. I think insecurity may lead to selfish behaviors, since the unconscious frames everything within a narrative that seeks to validate. If, for whatever reason, we truly believe we are not of sufficient standard, we will do things to defy that narrative. This internal struggle maniifests as selfishness. With it comes cries for validation from others. We know the ways. Learn to fight. Work out. Look good. Get a degree. Even the appearance of selflessness may appeal to. One afflicted with this internal struggle: they will become involved in philantropy just to seek validity. How much more this is amplified in prison! A hell within a hell, living to validate. Peace and happiness are a rarity. Many would choose death, but the fear that the afterlife may be worse entraps them. A prison within a prison within a prison, in hell. For absurd lengths of time.
        • Feb 19 2014: Andy,

          cries for validation from others will rarely satisfy or provide the self-validation some individuals seek... Looking for self-esteem through what others esteem of self isn't going to be self-esteem :-) though what others esteem may facilitate the creation of one's self-esteem.

          At one time I thought/felt inadequate, regardless of the fact of being quite adequate. What helped me let go of that inadequacy thought/feeling involved focusing on what someone else thought/felt, which enabled me to think/feel adequate. Note that the fact of being quite adequate didn't really play much into the thought/feelings.

          BTW Peace and happiness are a thought away... of course only the appropriate thought will do. I have to wonder what makes some believe that they will resolve the matter if they just get the opportunity as they let go the present opportunity. One afflicted with this internal struggle will be afflicted by this internal struggle so long as they continue to be afflicted with the internal struggle. Maybe they need to redefine the term, what it means, and what they do about the matter.

          when one allow the current chance to be one of many possibilities and focuses on bringing about the better possibilities everything can change:

          How much more this is amplified in the present live moment! A dream within a dream, living to dream and bring about dreams. Peace and happiness are a rarity that each and everyone can enjoy. Many would choose to live the dream, and the peace that exists before-life during-life and after-life if they could just envision it. A thought entraps them while the thinker think it. A prison within a prison within a prison, a dream within a dream within a dream, a home within a home within a home. For ludicrous lengths of time experienced in an instant that endures so long as the thinker thinks it. Peace and happiness are a thought away; of course only the appropriate thought will do, and only, so long as it be thought; which can be forever.
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    Feb 18 2014: 1971, Attica New York, prison riot clamed 43 lives and was directly attributed to denial of basic and constitutional rights, an enclosed space containing twice the population it was designed for with racial prejudice at its core.

    Attica, where the famous "how you gonna RE-habilitate us, when we ain't never been habilitated in the first place?: was declared.

    Most folks scorn anyone possessing a criminal conviction and are morally outraged by the very existence of some. But those who have worked in the non-profit communities that attempt to offer some modicum of support to the disadvantaged amongst us will attests to, for many of these unfortunates their whole existence has been defined as either predator or prey. Either you are the one picked on or you are the one doing the picking. Laws and personal space and what is 'right' and 'appropriate' are transient.

    Prisons are all about prejudices and discrimination. A prejudice against violence or theft would seem to be universally acceptable and targeting such perpetrators for public sanctions has great popularity within the family and it follows to the community as well. But in both the family and the community there are always going to be those who abuse their authority and those who exploit opportunities for their own gain.

    so the emotionally, or physically, or psychologically abusive parent or sibling - whether consciously or not - inculcates the child/sibling with the understanding that what others would deem to be disrespectful, inappropriate, abusive or even unlawful is "normal". And it becomes increasingly more normal the longer the child/sibling is subjected to that person's influence.

    so when they go out into the world on their own, the die may well be cast and who ever bothers to see how the "criminal" was habilitated in the first place?
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      Feb 24 2014: This is the point supported by David Dow in his TEDTalk.
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        Feb 26 2014: sorry to be so long in responding.

        Unfortunately here we are 40 years after Attica and still most folks still have their heads firmly up their butts when it comes to prisons, crime and habilitation itself.
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          Feb 26 2014: If there is a positive to be found it is that we may be seeing a new age in politics, a return to states rights after a prolonged period of federal actions. The federal government have stalled on enacting any further changes, but some states are making progress.
          Corrections is one of the places where individual states can change. Lets call for an reform of drug laws, end the death penalty and end solitary confinement, for starters.

          * It costs $40,000 to house a prisoner, but we only spend on average, $8,000 to educate a child.
  • Feb 18 2014: I think the number one, biggest problem is that we treat drug addiction as a crime rather than as a mental disease.

    You cannot "fix" a drug addict by locking them up for a few days/weeks/months.

    A drug addict will do whatever it takes to get the money needed for their next dose: theft and prostitution are the two big ones that come to mind.

    Putting them in jail for the petty crimes may prevent them from committing crimes for the duration of the incarceration, but as soon as they get out they are back on drugs and back committing crime. It is doomed to be a revolving door.

    That said, I do not know the solution.

    You cannot help a drug addict unless they really, really, really want help, and most do not.

    Attempts to go after the dealers has resulted in increased price of drugs, creating crime on both sides of the transaction as dealers fight for the distribution territories and addicts have to commit even more crime to buy drugs.


    The war on drugs has been an unmitigated, total failure. It has not reduced drug use and has actually increased the amount of crime associated with drugs.

    But what would work better? I fear the answer is to de-criminalize, let prices fall, and just accept that a certain portion of the population is going to destroy their lives via drug addiction.
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      Feb 18 2014: I do not perceive drug addiction being treated as a crime Darrell. Many drug addicts are selling, and that is what gets them a spot in jail. Also, as you insightfully point out, a drug addict will do whatever it takes to get the money needed for a "fix". Often, drug addicts are incarcerated for theft, B&E, assault, robbery, etc.

      You're right....it's a revolving door.
      • Feb 19 2014: Drug addiction is a neurobiological disorder with a strong behavioral element. That being said, a large "natural study" has shown that many traditional professional assumptions about drug addiction could very well be flat-out wrong. This large "natural study" is the USA's involvement in the Viet Nam War. The level of hard drug use by American soldiers in the Viet Nam theater was amazingly high (it can be looked up). What was astonishing is that the vast majority of these people cleaned up and stayed sober once they were permanently removed from that environment. In essence, they were living inside a mental septic tank, and moving them to clean surroundings let most of them clear the disease.

        Now, how do we permanently remove people from the home-grown environments that spawn and perpetuate this disease? How do we do so in a way that doesn't violate various legal, moral, and philosophical principles? Remove the environment from the people? Who pays, and how?

        Don't know, just asking.
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          Feb 19 2014: I am aware that drug use in Viet Nam was high Bryan, and I'm not so sure how many "cleaned up" after leaving that environment.

          I don't know for sure either Bryan....wish I did!

          I suggest, however, that it would not be very beneficial to simply remove people from their environments. It might be beneficial to give people the tools that might help them make their own good choices.
      • Feb 19 2014: That would fall under removing the environment from the people.
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          Feb 19 2014: In my perception, it would fall exactly as I wrote..."It might be beneficial to give people the tools that might help them make their own good choices".
      • Feb 19 2014: Colleen

        Indeed " it would not be very beneficial to simply remove people from their environments"
        It would be very beneficial to give people the tools that help them their environments be good for them and others by helping each make their own good choices.
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    Feb 18 2014: Misdemeanors, felony misdemeanors, felonies, for theft, DUIs, drugs, fraud, assault, etc.....

    The avg. man in prison will have about 10 charges over a span of 10 years usually starting in their teen years of the above mentioned prior to getting a prison sentence.

    Treatment, house arrest, probation, fines, etc.... none proved effective in deterring the criminal behavior.

    Our last result is prison where these men are housed with all the other men who had upwards of 10 chances to stop making bad decisions but went ahead and continued to offend.

    When you've got a group of over 1000 men who have a long standing and fully developed bad habit of making horrible decisions, they end up reinforcing each other in a negative way instead of motivating any kind of change for the betterment of their lives.

    Inmates spend a lot of time jaw-jacking and in many cases talking up their criminal past to the others around them looking for the approval of the group. They rarely stop to think about the fact that they are looking for the approval of the lowest class of our society.
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      Feb 18 2014: All true Ang! So the facilities, as they are now, are not working...and we keep building more of the same kind of facilities that are not working... to hold all the repeat offenders who keep coming back to the same facilities that are not working........

      Aren't we a brilliant society!!! Repeating the same behavior over and over again and expecting different results???
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        Feb 18 2014: The very definition of insanity implemented on a grand scale by our leaders.
        • Feb 18 2014: I have never liked that as a definition of insanity. More like stupidity... unable to see a pattern in the data.

          I think of insanity as hallucinations, imaginary friends, faith, and other major brain malfunctions.
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        Feb 18 2014: Stupidity is repeating the same actions over and over "knowing" the results.
        Insanity is repeating the same actions over and over "expecting different" results.
        Very subtle change in the language.

        Insanity and mental illness are almost synonymous but not quite.
      • Feb 18 2014: The apocalypse is upon us. I agree 100% with this statement. Rehabilitation must become a priority, or we might as well just start killing all the convicts or branding them to use as state-owned slave labor. Warehousing doesn't work. However, the problem is that there are strong forces on the "left" and the "right" who will fight tooth-and-nail to prevent rehabilitation. We do not blink an eye at the restriction of free action of "mental patients" who are often only harmful to themselves, but to restrict, to the same extent, the activities of a rapist or man who sells poison to kids in order to change his lifetime behavior, that's a "violation of rights" of some sort.

        Well, then, let's lay it out: Are the criminal in their right minds? If so, then there is NO NEED for rehabilitation. Their habits are just fine, they just need to be reminded of the rules. If they then refuse to obey the rules, there is no moral barrier to removing them from society permanently. If it really is just a matter of free choice, then rehabilitation is a non-issue. However, if they do have to be fully rehabilitated, that means that psychiatric means are appropriate as needed on an individual basis. It would be no more a "violation" of "rights" to impose them on a convict than impose them on a "mental patient". Nobody wants to take that step. The left wants us to adopt a medical model of cause WITHOUT using medical modes of treatment while the right simply rejects any medical model.

        "Medical model" includes "environmental causes". It is completely accepted that therapy and drugs are appropriate remedies for "mental illness" with "environmental" causes. Likewise, it is perfectly accepted that forcible removal from an "environment" is acceptable to treat "mental illness". If criminal behavior is not purely moral, if it is not undertaken by a fully free agent making fully free choices, the alternative is a medical model. In that case, medical means are correct.

        Nobody wants to do this.
    • Feb 18 2014: Felony misdemeanors cannot exist. If it is a felony, it is not a misdemeanor. If it is a misdemeanor, it is not a felony. The two categories are mutually exclusive by definition.
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    Feb 17 2014: Rehabilitation is a tricky thing to get right - I'm not entirely sure it's ever going to be successful. Ex-prisoners may have the best intentions but when they return home, they are surrounded by the same issues they were in that caused them to commit the first place. So they're stuck in the same situation, they do the same again and again.

    So for me, the money should be invested in preventing it in the first place. Look at Singapore, which has some of the lowest crime rates in the world - 16 murders in 2011 with a population of 5.1million. Unheard of!

    It's down to a very harsh justice system (3 months in prison for graffiti!) with firm penalties (i.e. each offence has a maximum and minimum penalty). It has also been linked to birth rates - Singapore's crime rates dropped when they introduced incentives and penalties for mothers to stop giving birth after having two children. Penalties in the form of reduced child support and the additional child delivery fees and incentives such as priority school admission for the first two children. The reasoning for such a link is simple: Legalised abortion made it easier for women to obtain abortions, and since unwanted children are statistically more likely to turn to crime, it follows that crime rates are lower.
  • Feb 17 2014: Very few people are aware of the laws thus deterrence is not a factor.
    Segregation is needed for a small percentage.

    A major factor is that in the U.S. prisons are for-profile corporations with the main goal to make a profit for their shareholders. Thus they need prisoners to make a profit.

    There is a lot of corruption in the legal system. The incentive structure is designed to benefit lawyers.

    Lawyers have created thousands of laws most of which very few people even know exists. Their strategy is to set a trap. They catch people who are completely unaware of the laws and then charge people thousands of dollars with hopes to avoid jail.

    We must reform the entire legal system.

    Secondly the legal system including prisons must stop blaming and trying to use guilt as a method of changing people. These methods clearly are ineffective and very out-of-date.
    The legal system should identify the source of the unwanted behavior and address any issues including mental health issues or negative past programming.
    Thirdly the legal system needs to educate the public about the laws.

    People who are accused of crimes should be treated as someone with any other medical condition, i.e. with care, love, and positive treatments. They should be put in a positive, nurturing environment that demonstrates the positive traits of human nature.

    The current legal and prison system in the U.S. does much more harm than good. It destroys self-esteem, puts people at risk of physical harm, fails to provide a positive environment.

    A complete change is desperately needed.
    Obstacles:
    Many people in society do not care about anyone classified as a criminal.
    And once convicted of a serious crime a person is not allowed to vote.
    Politicians are motivated to show they are protecting society.
    The bottom line is that people are all human and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
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    Feb 16 2014: I know that prisons in Michigan (where my daughter was an inmate for 3.5 years) is just lip service. When I investigated their system it was, and still is, a farce.

    My daughter had me send her materials to regain her Project Manager certificate when she got out. NOT many of those that are incarcerated have that drive.

    Most seem to have given up. I think it is because they have lost hope.

    The major reason I was given was that there is not any money in the budget to help prisoners get training and some kind of education.

    There is the stigma of having been in Prison that some can not overlook. I think some potential employers would recognize the desire of a prisoner to go straight if they know the prisoner went to school to improve themselves.There will be failures and there will be those that try to game the system, and that may be what got them into prison in the first place, but we should provide the opportunity.
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    Feb 16 2014: Andy, I have worked in law enforcement and the prison system. I can assure you that the only remorse they feel is getting caught and that most of the felons have absolutely no remorse and feel they are the victims. They force their will on others. Prison is no different than life ... bullies exist every where. They did not obey laws on the outside and do not obey any laws or rules on the inside. They treat family with distain .. most have a wife and family and two or three girlfriends .. we monitor phone calls and mail ... if out to recreation they will stay until over and then go to visit family waiting for a hour or two.

    These people go to kiddy jail, then to Juvy, and finally end up in prison. Education was available and even forced on them .. the opportunity for change was available ... they didn't want it then and don't want it now. They go to classes / church / anything to get out of their cells to make drug buys and extort others.

    I worked on high risk yards and for a while on low risk yards ... the mentality is the same.

    Prisons are not funded for rehibilitation ... to be honest they are storage areas for the undesirable elements. You keep making reference to the mental illness .. courts make sure they are capable of standing trial ... that does not say they are not nuts ... by thier action (crimes) alone they are out of the norm.

    Are there some who should be in a work camp instead of prison sure .. but they committed the crime and must be punished in some manner.

    Crime and punishment is as old as time ... I have read your comments ... very liberal thinking ... how would you change the legal system?

    If you think prison is bad wait for the emerging liberal/socialist police state that is emerging .... you ain't seem nothing yet. The media, education, libraries, and the educated population will be the first targets ... so says history ... good luck professor.
    • Feb 16 2014: Robert,

      The story-line " they committed the crime and must be punished in some manner" is actually a Non sequitur... quite similar to "work hard and enjoy the benefits"... neither one seems to considers the notion of enjoying the benefits bestowed by others... nor changing to embrace the better ways...

      The police state you seem to refer just takes the concept of a prison and extends it to the general population...
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        Feb 16 2014: Do the crime and do the time is a player ... just like working and enjoying the benefits .... only the lazy, self centered, and free loaders of the world think in terms of enjoying the benefits bestowed by others .. that is a liberal/socialist concept ... so what is your better way?

        Do you not think that lving in a police state would be simular to prison????

        I have worked within the system and can tell you that they consider the very peoiple who work to eliminate the death penality and cry over conditions are weak. They see them as someone they can dominate.

        Is the subject still rehab?
        • Feb 16 2014: Robert,

          a family member can think in terms of enjoying the benefits bestowed by others as a gift without this implying they be lazy, self centered and free loaders, thus it stands to reasons that not only the ones you mentioned think in terms of enjoying the benefits bestowed by others... In fact some members may enjoy being able to bestow benefits on others members of the family to enjoy.

          Labeling a particular concept a certain way may serve you to justify doing away with it but that's akin to dehumanizing the enemy to do away with it.

          Yes I think that living in a police state would be similar to prison. I also realize that some of them think they can dominate others when the truth of the matter is that they can't even dominate themselves. It's quite common for individuals to project unto others and detest stuff that they can't bear to consider about themselves.

          When a family member enjoys the benefits bestowed by other family members actions they can both rejoice.
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        Feb 16 2014: What you say is true ... the subject was about prisoners .. not family.

        I was under other opinions of the subjectand was not considering family.

        You are of course correct.

        Bob.
        • Feb 17 2014: Bob,

          I got involved in this conversation because I misperceived the subject line and then thought it would be appropriate to share that misperception I had ... In a way the subject about "rehabilitation" in context of prison (OR in context of poison - the poisoned) can be extended to everyone who is a prisoner of their beliefs, thoughts, feeling, actions, societies, sotry-lines.

          Something I sort of do involves looking into the fundamental srotiy-lines being put forth and drawing attention to them 'beasties' ... 'Do the crime and do the time' like 'no pain no gain' 'one must suffer for another to enjoy' 'work hard to enjoy the benefits" seem to me like a bad idea disguising as a good one. There are a bunch of additional underlying notions and story-lines playing along on multiple levels. In fact yesterday while waiting in line to make a payment I got into an interesting conversation regarding what was required for individuals to change and change the system. Curiously the other said something like for people to change the system has to change but the system isn't going to change thus people are not going to change. To me thats akin to So which comes first the chicken or the egg... maybe it's the rooster!

          I think many operate under the influence of the story-lines they hold and it may be possible to embrace better stories to alter what individuals considerations and choose to do. I have at times wondered about how some prisoners roam the streets while some freemen reside in prisons, even how some of our brethren be imprisoned in need of rehabilitation. Well maybe it isn't rehabilitation; maybe what better describes what is needed is habilitation - ‘made able' - a restoration implies the reinstatement of a previous practice, right, custom, or situation- and what be needed is an establishment of a better way. A good start is through Redefining the terms used and story-lines employed.

          Maybe 'prisons' should be habilitational bootcamp workplaces without pay.
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        Feb 18 2014: In referece to your interest in story-lines, you may take interest in this talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/shekhar_kapur_we_are_the_stories_we_tell_ourselves.html
        • Feb 18 2014: Yes indeed story-lines can be told in multiple levels using different forms and views... I learned that in visually conveying information even the absence of something can be rather meaningful. Of course to appreciate the fullness requires encoder and decoder to dance with the meaning.

          To use a metaphor teacher and student learn together each being the teacher and the student and the learn... Thanks for the link.
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      Feb 18 2014: I wholeheartedly agree Robert...." bullies exist every where"....some get caught....some don't....some are accepted in society....some are not accepted in society.
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      Feb 18 2014: Robert Winner-

      This TPC Initiative...what have you heard about it so far and what do you think?
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        Feb 18 2014: By TPC do you mean the3 Transition from Prison to Community Initiative?

        This is the latest in the effort to reduce recidivism. There are three basic tenants:

        •Collaboration - The DOCR working closely with state, local, and private agencies that have a stake in public safety to craft evidence-based policies.
        •TPC Model - Utilize the model to improve outcomes at each decision point of an offender's movement through the system.
        •Organizational Development - Empower staff throughout the agency to develop their skills in working with offenders to improve outcomes and reduce recidivism.

        All of the elements involved both static and dymanic and have remained consistant. The bottom line is to provide the community with and asset while providing for public safety and reduction in crime.

        The barriers also remain constant. lack of family supoport, divorces, communities that have adopted no felon zones, limited employment opportunities, lack of education,and lack of skills.

        The things not discussed are the influences of gangs in the life of the felon who wishes to "go straight" ... the return to his neighborhood where his friends and associates bring him back to the environment that sent him to prison before.

        These initiatives are very costly ... and more than not are ineffective.

        The successes are praised and widely acknowledged ... while failures are returned to prison in the dark of night for fear of jeapordizing the program.

        Because the programs are both state and federally controlled is also the reason they are doomed to failure. Documentation is not used as a tool to advance and learn from but as a weapon to defeat the project. Government run programs are seldom successful.

        Being a felon is the modern "Scarlet Letter". The odds are against you ... no study, program, or another approach can overcome this.

        Liberals give lip service ... but no active help ... throw money at the program and sleep well.

        Thanks for the reply .... Bob.
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          Feb 19 2014: It's coming to a prison near me very shortly.

          I've been reading up on the concept and looking at PDFs of the models and I completely agree with you.

          The failure to work with an individualized plan for these offenders and find out what would have to change in their personal life after being released to keep them out of prison in future means the program is far too rigid to be effective.

          Many of the statistics I came across were open for interpretation as to what it was actually referring to.
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        Feb 19 2014: You broke the code. Most of these are cookie cutter programs ... one size fits all. The language is decieving and written in governmenteze. Never believe the stats they put out ... Always remember that "Liers figure and figures lie".

        The socialist/liberal left are very much against prisons ... which is really funny. The most harsh nations against all of the things that they want the USA to endorse, gays, no prisons, drugs, etc are all delt with in those socialist/liberal nations with death, guglags, or real bad treatment. But yet they want the USA to endorse this. They also have ridgid laws against immigration (both ways) and attack the USA for its policies. Even funnier is that the media, colleges, and the unions who sponor all of this will be the first to be "controlled" by a socialist/communist take over. Pick a nation Russia, Cuba, Venseulea, etc ...

        One way that this program could work would be if the states swaped inmates and individualized the efforts. ... it would take the friends, neighbors, and their neighborhood out of the picture ... the gangs however have long arms and could still track them and make them do "errands" for them.

        The final analysis is that if the felon "really wants" to overcome all of this he may be able to and I wish him well .... if not then there is no program in the world that can make him.

        Thanks for have a open honest and clean conversation on this subject ... most often it is overcome by emotions and political indoctrination.

        I wish you well. Bob.
        • Feb 19 2014: Bob,

          Thought to highlight a key point in what you stated (replaced 'felon' with 'person'):

          "The final analysis is that if the (person) 'really wants' to overcome all of this he may be able to and I wish him well .... if not then there is no program in the world that can make him".
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    Feb 16 2014: The whole concept of prison is sickening. Legislators conceive the definitions of criminal acts and if we look at their history we'll see they range from the absurd, (failing to adhere to religious dogma in effect at that time (burning witches?), to the petty ones contrived by police, (driving without a license), to the current popular focus on drug abuses which is mostly based on laws rather than their impacts on society. Is a man slumped on the sidewalk after ingesting crack or heroin really a threat to those who walk by, or just a sad failure? Is a man smoking pot in his own home dangerous to the rest of us?
    So why are so many arrested, thrown in gaol to suffer disgraceful attacks and evil indoctrination from other inmates? Clearly, the system of incarceration is out of control and, worse than that, is now moving into the hands of for-profit private companies. Prisoners don't lounge in the library, they pump their bodies on gym equipment. Just what we don't need – muscles rather than education.
    Bullies among street pimps and cops with Taser guns are crippling society. Those of us who never cross the line of good behaviour drift comfortably through life while those who made mistakes are beaten into the gutter to rot. Is this our future path of humanity?
    Here's where we are: guns are being placed in our schools and even into the hands of the children with the twisted approval of the powers that be. Do you think crime will rise or fall?
    Perhaps a strange, impractical suggestion: send offenders to work apart from the general throng: forests, oceans, desert water pipelines, for example, definitely not in the army where they are trained to kill. Again, we do not need people returning to our communities with the so-called PTSD whose only friend is their machine gun.
  • Feb 15 2014: As a college student majoring in psychology, I believe rehabitative services are the most important/powerful aspect that prisons can have on convicts. Prisons segregae criminals from society for a time, but once released they usually go back to their old ways. The US has issues with overcrowded prisons, and rehabilitation is the way to resolve the issue. Rebilitating criminals would lower the amount of money going towards funding prisons, as well as increase money in the market place as criminals get out and find ligitimate work.
  • Comment deleted

    • Feb 14 2014: As I said about dogmatics who are not interested in actual science in my earlier post...
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    Feb 14 2014: The idea behind rehabilitation is to re-structure the persons behavior in a controlled and rigid environment. Ideally the "criminal" is put there to think of what he/she did wrong, to be reminded that there are consequences for doing wrong in our relative society, and also to be reminded that there are consequences for their actions. So if the person who did wrong is not is a controlled and rigid environment then the person is not likely to change. The problem with the prison system is that it essentially concentrates the bad and in that environment a wrong doer is unlikely to change, but it is the best option we have currently for people who choose to be above the law. Personally I believe that prison should be for murderers, rapists, robbers, and abusers and that is it.
  • Mar 12 2014: Two words: clockwork orange.
  • Mar 11 2014: I though appropriate to repost here something I said elsewhere…

    "Stories seek to share values and beliefs. Storytelling is most worthwhile when one contributes what one stand for, and enriches what individuals think/feel/ do. I think our attention be precious. What matters is to matter, and enrich Lives. Be what made an actual difference to change for the better… be the tipping point that establishes once and for all the appropriate direction to accompany".

    How do individuals do that?
  • Mar 10 2014: love!
  • Mar 9 2014: I was just thinking the same thing. And sometimes certain drugs lead people to crime. Alcohol seems to put many people at risk for violence, for example. Then treating some of the uunderlying causes may help. And maybe grouping people could help in some situations. Maybe there are common causes for similar types of crimes. This would take a lot of the work out of the equation when it comes to rehabilitation.
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    Mar 7 2014: "The Onion" takes on Prisoner Rehabilitation in a tongue in cheek fashion:

    WOODBOURNE, NY—Reportedly left dumbfounded by the news that recent parolee Terry Raney had been reincarcerated on charges of assault and battery, officials at Woodbourne Correctional Facility struggled Tuesday to make sense of how the prisoner had not been rehabilitated by 15 years of constant threats, physical abuse, and periodic isolation. “It just doesn’t seem possible that an inmate could live for a decade and a half in a completely dehumanizing environment in which violent felons were constantly on the verge of attacking or even killing him and not emerge an emotionally stable, productive member of society,” said chief warden Albert Gunderson, who noted that, as hard as it was to believe, Raney’s recidivism proved that his criminal impulses had not in fact been corrected by the sense of grave distrust he felt toward every other person in the facility, including both fellow inmates and prison authorities, every day since 1999. “We surrounded him with a combustible mix of rival gangs and made sure that he was consumed by a round-the-clock sense of terror that the slightest misstep on his part could result in a sharpened piece of scrap metal being shoved into his neck, and yet he still leaves this facility with the same criminal thoughts and violent mindset as before? I’m truly at a loss for how this could have happened.” Gunderson then noted his additional confusion at how the man’s criminal record and the social stigma of his prison sentence had somehow failed to land him a steady job immediately upon his release.
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/15-years-in-environment-of-constant-fear-somehow-f,35434/
    • Mar 7 2014: Theodore,

      In a tongue in cheek fashion, a rehabilitated individual through such a system would indeed be a wonderful thing to behold… just imagine they had everything against them and some how still manage to turn out ok...
  • Mar 6 2014: Everywhere along the line, the cycles need to be guided by each and everyone towards what ought to be done!

    even in a conversation like this, that principle applies, each needs to do their part to guide the conversation!

    Note:
    a-) we can choose to change and hope for different results because what we did induced a change of results…
    b-) we can continue to do all the same things and hope for different results because something else changes …

    Sometimes it takes a while for the changes to become a change and individuals need to keep at it till accomplishing the transformation.

    For example and individual could have changed and it may take a while for others to recognize and accept such change took place… In a way said individual will continue to do all the same things and hope for different results from others because others finally change their held position towards them. At the start when they chose to change their actions the resections from others continues to follow the old patterns, so even though they do things differently they still get the same responses they used to get. Sometimes this may take a long long time. I wonder how long it takes for someone tagged to be untagged. To use a metaphor when is the alcoholic for all practical purposes considered not an alcoholic? More appropriately how long ought the liability of an act last, how sever ought it be? Should all DUI be treated the same? Like Theodore said the present system is geared to catch and punish rather than seeking to correct the behavior… which ought to be the goal.
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    Mar 5 2014: This reminds me the movie "Shawshenk Redemption". I think those in charge should have sympathy for others and ask themselves "what if i was asked the question 'do you feel rehabilitated?' and my release documents were rejected according to the response i gave?"
    • Mar 5 2014: Enis,

      Was it bad luck they ended up there? What brought about that purely misfortunate state of being?

      Those in charge should ensure to make the right judgment ... the key here is about being rehabilitated or being habilitated ... from observing what individuals have commented I think we would all basically agree about the need for rehabilitating the rehabilitation and the system to ensure better results... Please note that it's not about feeling or thinking rehabilitated, it is about actually being a certain way... in accordance to what such certain way requires. Some individuals have learned to give the responses others want to hear regardless of such responses being right or wrong ... especially if others will reject/accept them according to the response given.

      What if one was asked the question "Do you consent"?
      based on the response others allow us to freely do something or forcefully make us do something.
      Willingly or unwillingly individuals will do what be appropriate.
      It's better if they do it willingly!
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      Mar 6 2014: Hi Enis,
      I believe release does not happen based on one question and answer. There are usually several criteria considered when it is time for a parole hearing.
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    Mar 4 2014: What's would you want to change about this situation?

    Thrown in jail for being poor: the booming for-profit probation industry
    Many poor Americans face jail when they can’t pay steep fines for nonviolent crimes, like $1,000 for stealing a $2 beer


    In January 2013, Clifford Hayes, a homeless man suffering from lupus and looking for a night off the streets, walked into the sheriff’s office in Augusta, Georgia. It was a standard visit: he needed police clearance, a requirement of many homeless shelters, to stay overnight at the Salvation Army.

    Hayes expected to go straight to the shelter. Instead, he was handcuffed and later thrown in jail. Hayes hadn’t committed a crime – or at least, he hadn’t in many years since 2007, when he committed several driving-related misdemeanor offenses, for which he pled guilty and was put on probation. That probation left him $2,000 in debt for court fines – and fees he was supposed to pay to a private company the state hired to monitor him until his probation ended. Hayes needed to pay $854 to the court to avoid a jail sentence; because he had no money except a $730-a-month disability check, he was thrown in Richmond County lockup.

    The cost to taxpayers of Hayes’ eight-month jail sentence: $11,500, according to Georgia court documents.


    http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/mar/02/poor-?CMP=ema_565
    • Mar 5 2014: Theodore,

      For starters stop stealing ...
      for seconds find better way to spend the money...
      finally implement schemata's that resolve the issues... rather than exacerbate them

      The thing with many institutions is that individuals there just mindlessly follow the rules rather than seek to actually resolve the issues. In fact some individuals seek to conduct the system for profit, their own profit, regardless of who pays the price...
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        Mar 5 2014: Re: regardless of who pays the price...

        We are the ones paying the price, to the tune of $11,000 in this case.
        I find the many of your replies miss the mark.
        • Mar 5 2014: Theodore,

          That is just the tip of the iceberg ... there are many other costs in this case alone! I am sure you would agree that the opportunity costs involved alone can rack up quite a number and then there are the other unquantifiable costs.

          I realize many find that my replies miss the mark. Often times I observe from what individuals state that they just don't understand what I stated. Thus their judgments are on what they think I said rather than what I actually said. In other words many find that what they think I said misses the mark while claiming that what misses the mark is what I said. If what they think I said appropriately corresponded to what I said then distinguishing a- 'what one thinks to be' from b- 'what happens to be' would be quite irrelevant. I think you would agree that first we have to understand the point and then choose to agree or disagree and comment over the particular point. What I have often observed happening is that individuals are talking about different matters, sometimes even employing completely different rationalities.

          If you want me to elaborate and further explain something I said or even corroborate that what you think I meant corresponds to what I meant, I will do my best to clarify the point. Please note I have little interest to convince and bear the burden of proof. In other words if you are interested in jointly exploring something great lets do it... if you are interested in a debate / duel over the truth of the matter... let's just say I am pro life win-win-win and would rather gracefully dance than get entangled into a fight. Jointly Collaborate yes, wrangle on no thanks . The truth is accepted or rejected rarely something to be accorded by a consensus.
        • Mar 6 2014: Theodore,

          I am curious about your thoughts on the above message… especially since now it's evident to me that you been following this thread and even chose to comment elsewhere. From the fact you have responded there and not here I take it you actually choose not to respond here. Still I am curious about your thoughts on the above message… I would understand if you choose to drop this thread… though ti would be nice for clarity sake for you to state it… rather than just not respond…

          Note that 'a no response' can be due to multiple factors that include all sorts of issues: from wanting to respond and not being able to do it to not wanting to respond… and even not even seeing the message… for clarity sake and to work around plausible deniability its best to just ensure clarity of actions… of course ultimately some will choose not to respond and just leave the conversation… rather followthrough dealing with the stuff.
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        Mar 6 2014: see my reply to Colleen.
        What are the best outcome for society in this case?
        • Mar 6 2014: To Learn that it may be better and more cost effective to help the individual secure better and more productive ways of existing … Show the man better ways to get a $2 dollar beer…as I said: That is just the tip of the iceberg ... there are many other costs in this case alone! I am sure you would agree that the opportunity costs involved alone can rack up quite a number and then there are the other unquantifiable costs.

          See my response to Colleen below for additional comments…

          pd, noticed that you responded without directly addressing the point of what you thought about my thoughts on the message above… and with that I will now drop that matter unless of course you choose to address it.
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        Mar 6 2014: Esteban,
        This is NOT about a $2 beer. It is not even about this poor individual. Its about the fact that the system is broke if this is how it response. It is about punishment for punishments sake, and a system that cannot self correct. You are focused on the solely on individual. I choose to focus on the system, since it functions in my name, as an extension of me.
        • Mar 6 2014: Theodore,

          If you notice my response to your question 'What are the best outcome for society in this case'? stated "To Learn that it may be better and more cost effective to help the individual secure better and more productive ways of existing "…

          The system and individuals ought to learn better and more cost effective ways to be… incorporate self correcting schemata's that enrich each other… from your response I noticed that you think I focused solely on individual… when in fact I was focusing on the individual, the system, their interactions and a bit more! Oh and for the record this case does involve a $2 beer and a poor individual, and the other particular and general nuances… it also involves incorporating within ourselves some abilities to better dialogue and communicate ideas. I trust you will consider what I just stated an an invitation to further the dialogue … For example I see an opportunity to correct that notion related to what you claim I be solely focused on… stemming from what you choose to believe.

          As I said elsewhere "its going to be interesting to observe what it is individuals choose to: what will each seek to cultivate from this point forward"?
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      Mar 6 2014: Theodore,
      You ask....what would you want to change about this situation you mention above?

      First of all, I don't think the guy was thrown in jail simply because he was poor, as you suggest, although it probably was a contributing factor.

      There are so many variables for different people. If this person was "suffering from lupus", as you say, he might get better care in a jail/prison than he gets out on the street....depending on the facility he is in.

      Clean and sober is a requirement for many shelters, and if the person is doing drugs and/or drinking, that is a choice s/he makes, which prevents them from staying in a shelter, and often facilitates being put in a jail, or staying out on the street!

      There are so many contributing factors with different people, it's really difficult to say what I might change about the story you offer!!! People like that are falling through the cracks with many of our systems, and I also realize that they make some choices for themselves. We cannot rehabilitate someone who does not take some of the steps needed for change in his/her life.
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        Mar 6 2014: Incarceration today is a Catch 22 for government officials: they avoid putting non violent offender in jail
        because of costs and overcrowding, but establish few programs to monitor and provide meaningful help to rehabilitate these individuals.
        This is not a problem of resources since the shortsightedness of officials results in taxpayers contributing the $11,500 to jail this individual.

        Might that same money provide a better outcome for the individual and society? You be the judge.
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          Mar 6 2014: In my perception Theodore, it seems logical to invest the time and money to create change BEFORE so many people are victims, and so many people are incarcerated, and that doesn't seem to be how our systems work.....unfortunately!

          It is a catch 22 for everyone....victims, offenders and society as a whole. Many of the same families go through the shelters, family centers, jails and SRS (agency which oversees children in state custody).

          You're probably aware of the recent case where a 2 year old was killed by her biological mother's boy friend? Apparently, family members contacted SRS to ask that the child not be returned to the biological mother because there was substantiated abuse. SRS gave custody of the child to the mother, and now that little child is dead.

          Somewhere along the line, the cycles need to be broken.....we cannot continue to do all the same things and hope for different results.
      • Mar 6 2014: Colleen et all,

        The individual choices often facilitates being put in a situation, or staying out on the street… evidently its complicated to rehabilitate someone who chooses not to take some of the steps needed for change… so how do 'we' facilitate 'individual' choices be made. In other words: how do we change the system ? How do we change the individual? how do we change the choices each of these be choosing ?
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        Mar 6 2014: Colleen, I do not disagree with your assertion, but it seems to me that "the before" approach is how we got to were we are, as in this sad case. Therefore, the real issue becomes one of monitoring how well that is working, and seeing the need for revising the problem anew. The current systems in place are weak in these areas. The police are the stand ones the problem falls to and they are not invested in "changing the system" as much as they seem to be ingrained in a culture of punishing.

        Being in Vermont I feel fortunate to be able to walk into the Statehouse and speak to politicians directly. This is rarely the case in other states or cities.
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          Mar 6 2014: Theodore,
          I'm suggesting that we take action before the situation escalates, and it does not appear that is what was done in the case I mention.

          Yes, genuinely monitoring situations and taking appropriate action. I observed quite a few people in the system often saying....we don't have enough time.....we don't have enough money....etc.

          When I had a short stint as case reviewer, stepping in for someone who was on maternity leave. there was a case manager in the office who personally had 124 cases....more than any other case manager in the office. He consistently got things done on time, effectively monitored his cases and seemed to genuinely care about all the people involved in the case. My perception was that if he could do that, every single case manager in that office could do it.....they just didn't.

          I agree, we do have the opportunity for more interaction with representatives than people have in many other states.
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        Mar 7 2014: Respectfully, I think you are reading a bit too much into this particular incident. The story reports,"More than 1,000 low-level courts across the US rely on the so-called “offender-funded” probation model, signing contracts with for-profit companies that oversee probation requirements like monitoring, drug tests and fine collection. The decades-old, for-profit probation industry is deeply rooted in the south, and especially in Georgia, but courts in states as far-flung as Michigan, Montana and Washington have also embraced aspects of privatized probation.

"

        So this is the same dysfunction we see where for profit prisons are involved, there is a need to fill the beds, not to provider rehabilitation or common sense approached to these issues.

        “The Mr Hayes of the world may not be the greatest citizens in the country … but they do not deserve to be locked up,” said Georgia attorney Jack Long, who filed a habeas corpus petition on Hayes’ behalf. Long won Hayes’ early release from jail by arguing that Hayes was unlawfully incarcerated for being poor.
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          Mar 7 2014: Theodore,
          You gave the details of an incident, and you ask..."What would you want to change about this situation?"

          I responded, and now you say I am "reading a bit too much into this particular incident"?

          Apparently my response was not what you wanted!!!

          I am well aware of our dysfunctional prison and probation systems, as well as aware of other dysfunctional systems that all interact with individuals and families at risk.
        • Mar 7 2014: Colleen

          Theodore said :

          "This is NOT about a $2 beer. It is not even about this poor individual. Its about the fact that the system is broke if this is how it response. It is about punishment for punishments sake, and a system that cannot self correct. You are focused on the solely on individual. I choose to focus on the system, since it functions in my name, as an extension of me".

          Theo asked : What are the best outcome for society in this case?

          I said : To Learn that it may be better and more cost effective to help the individual secure better and more productive ways of existing …

          Show the man better ways to get a $2 dollar beer… is just the tip of the iceberg ... there are many other opportunities in this case alone! I am sure you would agree that the opportunity extends to even how we here interact with each other and the statements we each makes.
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    Feb 27 2014: Earlier on Theodore A. Hoppe pointed out that * It costs $40,000 to house a prisoner, but we only spend on average, $8,000 to educate a child", which I assume is in the U.S.

    Consider that that $8,000 is pretty much the annual overall infrastructure and staffing cost per student.

    Now consider that when you add to that $40,000 imprisonment cost figure is added to the cost of the cops and all the expensive equipment, training and sundry infrastructure they require - calculated to be $200,000 to 300,000 per cop in Canada -, added to the cost of the courts, lawyers for both sides, judges, bailiffs and transporters of prisoners, plus the probation, parole and social workers at the other end it looks like leaving them ignorant and locked up is by far the more profitable arrangement.
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    Feb 26 2014: "America’s federal prison population has soared, particularly for drug offences. Until the mid 1980s, the number of federal inmates was relatively stable, at around 24,000. Today around 200,000 inmates are in federal prisons, a four-fold increase from 1990. Nearly half are in for drug crimes."

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2013/08/daily-chart-11?fsrc=scn/gp/wl/vi/dc/shootingup
    • Feb 27 2014: I am British but it needs to be said: you could halve the USA's 200,000 prison pop. by legalising illegal drugs.
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        Feb 27 2014: Prisons, especially in the U.S., are not about rational thought or even intelligent discourse. They are about using the law to further control marginalized segments of the population - usually the economically and educationally deprived - and are invariably aligned with prejudice and discrimination. .

        For ages politicians, legislators and national leaders, along with celebrities and those with wealthy and status have proven time and time again through their own criminal misdeeds and blatant flouting of the laws , that it is not about what you do, but simply the getting caught doing it that matters.

        .
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      Feb 28 2014: Theodore, I know there is probably a better place for this link, but I want you to see it. It is about interventions to reduce crime and also about raising young men, so I know you will find it interesting. http://www.macfound.org/maceirecipients/74/
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    • Feb 27 2014: Carolyn,

      A side note:
      You comment was posted at the top of the conversation... probably because you responded in the 'gray' box below/above some comment rather than click on the 'red reply' to get the response box that puts the replay below the post you want to address. Note that after three levels down there isn't a red reply and we either go up the thread and find the appropriate 'red reply' to use or push the comment to the top of the conversation...
      end side note.

      indeed we need to embrace our collective minds about caretakers of the garden
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    Feb 26 2014: I think that prison can't make ANY changes in the good way.
    Those 3 ideas are on the paper, but practically, who get from prison as better person, "improved"? And, for sure, does prison exist just for those 3 ideas? I define prison, as one way of revenge for prisoner, and conditions in prison are so miserable, that frustration for prisoner becomes even bigger. So there is NO rehabilitation.
    Also, I would like to mention, "Shawshank redemption" and "Clockwork orange" - the movies that support mine opinion.
  • Feb 25 2014: To justify the role of skills learning at school instead of subjects, which would in turn reduce crime you just have to watch the following talk, were a child was introduced to a skill by her father.This is why the education process should identify a child's talents and work on them. This kid has more skills in her chosen interest than what first year university students do.
    http://new.ted.com/talks/maya_penn_meet_a_young_entrepreneur_cartoonist_designer_activist
    • Feb 26 2014: Mint,

      Thank you. What would happen if we turned that second statements on it's heat?

      How can a child's talents and work guide the educational processes surrounding that individual?
      How can an individual's talents and work guide the rehabilitation processes surrounding that individual?

      Underlying this post is the notion :
      what should be foremost emphasized ...
      --- a child's talents and work
      --- the education process
      What's generally foremost emphasized?
      What can be done to focus on what ought to be emphasized?
      • Feb 26 2014: Good questions. I personally think children should be taught the basics so they can function well in the working and social world, so basic skills in reading , writing and math are important. Beyond these basics each child should be given time to express what they are interested in. And these interests should form the core of their education with other subjects such as math, science and English integrated into their learning. For example if a child is interested in architecture, have them create a building from matchsticks, but before hand ask them to calculate the number of matchsticks needed and the cost to purchase these matchsticks and any other materials. Tell them to take notes of the build and write an essay on what they could have done better or what they would have done differently. Not only will the child be interested in the education process, but they will be learning everything that is necessary.
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      Feb 26 2014: Mint Thinny,
      I would like to view the link you posted, and it's not available....can you try to post it again?
      • Feb 26 2014: Sorry about that. The link should work now.
        • Feb 26 2014: Mint,

          Thanks for correcting the link and providing it...
          FWIIW - I used what was originally available (copied and pasted) and got to view the link.

          When there is a will, there usually is a way...
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          Feb 27 2014: The link works now Mint Thinny.....thank you for posting it! Maya Penn is delightful, and a great inspiration. Yes....absolutely.....we need to encourage and nurture kids
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    Feb 24 2014: 27% of TEENS on Rikers Island are placed into solitary confinement

    http://cnnnext.com/video/6915/questioning-solitary-confinement-for-teens-at-rikers-island-2-22-14/
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      Feb 24 2014: Those are really discouraging, disgusting conditions Theodore! On the other hand, teen inmates are often raped when in the general prison population, so maybe they are more safe in solitary! I am not advocating that.....I'm just sayin'.........what a horrible situation!
      • Feb 24 2014: Boredom is why teens end up in prison. Boredom is why people rape teens in prison.
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          Feb 24 2014: Why do some people choose to feel bored Rodrigo? There are so many interesting things to explore in our world, I have never chosen to feel bored. Can you help me understand the feeling, or reason for boredom?
      • Feb 24 2014: One reason is because you are a teenager in solitary confinement. Another is because it is boring at the top of the food chain. I don't believe you don't know what boredom is.
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          Feb 24 2014: You don't have to believe it Rodrigo....I'm telling you the truth....I have never felt bored because there are so many interesting things in our world to explore.

          What do you mean...."it is boring at the top of the food chain"? How does that cause boredom?
      • Feb 24 2014: Ask around. It will be an interesting thing for you to explore.
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          Feb 24 2014: I'm exploring it with you Rodrigo...asking you for your thoughts, feelings, ideas and opinions. I've explored it pretty extensively with others, including lots of guys who are incarcerated. I am interested in what you think and feel...if you would like to share that information
      • Feb 24 2014:  'It is boring' means: after we have filled our bellies and got warm next to the fire, there is an excess of energy that seeks to be used for either constructive or destructive purpose.

        The implication here is that ANY constructive or destructive act EVER committed by a human being was the result of boredom.
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          Feb 24 2014: Ok Rodrigo.....why do you think some people choose destructive and some people choose constructive?
      • Feb 24 2014: We don't choose between constructive and destructive. We simply use up energy so that we don't feel like we need to use up energy. We explore.
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          Feb 24 2014: For me, exploring uses energy, and that feels like a constructive energy....what do you think about that Rodrigo?
      • Feb 24 2014: Yes. I feel that way too. And I think we feel that way when we set out to commit a crime. Ask around.
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          Feb 24 2014: I am asking you Rodrigo.....do you think/feel that committing a crime feels constructive?
      • Feb 25 2014: Commiting a crime would alleviate boredom. And if we are materially and socially better off by it then it would feel constructive - until we are in solitary or being raped in prison. Prisons should give the opportunity to experience something really constructive. So that we can tell the difference. But I think simply telling somebody that they are in prison because it is boring at the top of the food chain will do the trick. We are intelligent. We could be more intelligent.
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          Feb 26 2014: Hi again Rodrigo,
          I've read several of your comments in other conversations, and you say several times....it is boring at the top of the food chain.

          You are suggesting that humans are at the top of the food chain, and therefor everyone is bored? If that is what you are suggesting, I do not agree.

          You say... "if we are materially and socially better off by it (crime) then it would feel constructive".

          Crime may help someone feel materially better off, if s/he has stolen something from someone, and do you honestly think that one is better off socially? Perhaps you are thinking in the social structure of criminals? I suggest that crime does not put one in a socially better off position.

          Some of the guys I interacted with in prison talked about the idea that they felt separated from society. There is a sub-society of criminals, but they felt separated from the rest of society, and were constantly on the "look out" because they knew they would eventually be caught. They expressed the idea that once they were caught, it felt better, because they knew they didn't have to worry about being caught anymore. What do you think about that?

          I totally agree with you Rodrigo...."Prisons should give the opportunity to experience something really constructive. "So that we can tell the difference." That seems like a very intelligent statement.
        • Feb 26 2014: That's what I was thinking man. There should be a way for prisoners to promote their socioeconomic status. Or maybe just their self worth. Maybe running a charity would work for some, but for most, it's about making money or gaining knowledge. I think those avenues should be made available to prisoners. And, of course, if we didn't have so many laws because of our broken legislative system, would we have the resources to make this happen. Maybe a prisoner can send some cash home to the kids. Or to the victims. Or buy a house for when he gets out. Otherwise, it's back to boredom and crime.
      • Feb 26 2014: I think that having to look over our shoulder all the time will give us something to do for a while but it gets boring. And then going to prison makes a change but that gets boring too.
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          Feb 26 2014: Hi Rodrigo!
          From what I was told by the guys I interacted with, looking over their shoulder all the time was also kind of tiring...uses up a lot of energy that might be used for something more constructive?
      • Feb 26 2014: Well let them out of pison for the afternoon so that they can go and tell the kids in school.
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          Feb 26 2014: I wholeheartedly agree that talking with school kids is helpful Rodrigo!

          There was a guy (lifer) in a facility here who started a program called "Get a Life". He was not allowed out of the facility, but the program grew to a point where classes were brought in to here him speak. Another inmate participated....then another....and another....

          Soon, there were several inmates telling their stories and leading tours of the facility explaining to kids, and other groups, how it was to live in prison, and how their life of crime eventually brought them there. It was a VERY successful program!
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          Feb 26 2014: Afterthought....

          I think/feel that society puts people behind bars thinking that the problem is solved, and we know that is not true.....right Rodrigo?
      • Feb 26 2014: I think that other people's boredom will always be a problem until we become aware of it.

        "Was" a successful program?
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          Feb 26 2014: Good point Rodrigo!
          I think/feel that anything can be a problem or challenge until we become aware of it on several different levels....excellent point!

          Yes.....unfortunately "was" a successful program! One day, the program disappeared!!! No one really knew why....the participants, counselors in the facility, correctional officers....nobody seemed to know why it was discontinued. The suspicion, is that administrators simply cancelled it because it WAS successful? If we actually decrease the incidents of crime, a lot of administrators are going to be out of a job! So sometimes, administrators don't seem to encourage and support successful programs!

          I experienced another similar incident while doing a one on one program with an inmate. It seemed to be going really well after several sessions, and he seemed to be genuinely changing his perceptions and attitude based on our conversations. One day I showed up at the facility for our regular meeting, and he was gone....they never informed me of his move, and that's all they would say is that he was moved to another facility in another part of the state!
      • Feb 26 2014: Volunteers cost nothing. People get bored; that's my philosophy!
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          Feb 26 2014: You are right Rodrigo....volunteers cost nothing, which is why we are good for the system:>)

          I understand your philosophies. You very insightfully said... "I think that other people's boredom will always be a problem until we become aware of it."

          I believe that one's own boredom will always be a problem until s/he understands it.
        • Feb 26 2014: In a privatized capitalistic prison, they don't want a decrease in crime. The more inmates, the more money they make. Pretty cool, eh? So the powers that be are not representing the people properly in this regard. We elect them, but nobody would agree with this system unless it was making them money. How can we fight against this corrupted model?
        • Feb 27 2014: Rodrigo for andy

          focus on cultivating the desirable model even-though of everything presently in place... bluntly put rather than fight against the corrupted and corruption work for creating an honest effective alternative... that makes even more money...
    • Feb 26 2014: With regards to this situation you have got to ask; Who are the worst criminals, the teens or the people that place these teens in isolation? I know the answer is the later. Secondly you have to wonder, if these authorities that know no other way of dealing with teen crime, but with inhumanity are in fact helping to create the anger in these teens which make them commit crime. Inhumane humans are basicly given the responsibility to look after and rehabilitate criminal teens. How can that possibly work and is it not a cause for concern.
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        Feb 26 2014: I believe it is a HUGE cause for concern!
      • Feb 26 2014: Mint,

        For those who believe the earth is a prison ... yea the Inhumane humans parents are basicly given the responsibility to look after and rehabilitate the criminal teens put under their tutelage ... with the caveat that sometimes a volunteer old soul incarnates into a family to teach parents brothers and sisters a thing or two...

        For those who believe the earth is a school ... to learn all kinds of lessons revolving about certain choices under uncertain circumstances ... the question shifts a bit... Some kids refuse to eat what's good for them, until they learn to like it... some parents will confiscate the sweets till desert ... the child is given the choice wether to eat or not to eat while they are not given the choice as to what to eat... hunger will eventually lead the child to eat what nourished their body, unless there is a emotio-ideological disorder... of course some parents cede to the children's tantrums ... and/or their own desires for them sweets...

        For those who believe the earth is a garden to be cultivated ...with all kinds of stuff revolving about certain choices that involve individual freedoms ... the question shifts a bit further... Some kids like to cultivate hallucinogenic psychedelic magical nightmares... until they learn something really fun to do... like cultivating wonderful divine dreams... given the choice to create anything with a mere thought ... can lead to wonderful empowering enriching situations, unless there is a emotio-ideological disorder... of course some beings cede to the tempting seduction of deception until they learn how to behave appropriately.

        Parents are basicly given the responsibility to look after and habilitate those put under their tutelage ... with the caveat that sometimes a volunteer old soul incarnates into a family to teach play and have fun with parents brothers and sisters.

        y: How can that possibly work and is it not a cause for concern.

        Eventually each learns that the best way is the best
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    Feb 24 2014: Jon Ronson gave a wonderful and entertaining talk at TED.com. It was similar to the one he did for the radio show "This American Life."

    http://www.ted.com/talks/jon_ronson_strange_answers_to_the_psychopath_test.html?c=515615

    The talk reminded me that I had recently heard an interview with Dr Robert D. Hare.
    Dr. Robert Hare is the person who developed the Psychopathy Checklist, Revised (PCL-R). He is not a clinician, he is an experimental psychologist. He was recently interviewed on National Public Radio. The story is in two parts because it also examines the case of Robert Dixon. "In November 2009, Robert Dixon took a test to determine whether he was a psychopath.

    After 26 years in prison, he was due for a parole hearing. In California, before a "lifer" like Dixon appears before the parole board, a state psychologist must first evaluate whether he poses a risk of further violence if released. To do that, the psychologist administers a test — the PCL-R, or Psychopathy Checklist-Revised — designed to measure whether that inmate is a psychopath.

    This test has incredible power in the American criminal justice system. It's used to make decisions such as what kind of sentence a criminal gets and whether an inmate is released on parole. It has even been used to help decide whether someone should be put to death."
    http://www.npr.org/2011/05/26/136619689/can-a-test-really-tell-whos-a-psychopath

    "Psychologist Robert Hare created a test that measures whether someone is a psychopath. The test is used extensively in our criminal justice system to help decide whether inmates should get parole — and even to determine whether or not someone should be put to death. But Hare is now worried that his test isn't being properly used."
    http://www.npr.org/2011/05/27/136723357/creator-of-psychopathy-test-worries-about-its-use
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    Feb 24 2014: This essay is about policing, but for the sake of this conversation I believe we might include correctional officer (which in California is the Sheriff's Department but each state is different). My point is that there is a psychology that is reenforced.

    The New York Times

    July 27, 2013
    Some Chiefs Chafing as Justice Department Keeps Closer Eye on Policing

    There are at least two sides to ever story, and this NY Times article attempts to report them all.

    “The state of American policing is not where it should be,” Mr. Bratton said, who as chief of the Los Angeles Police Department from 2002 to 2009. But, he continued, “there is a tension, and it is felt by police chiefs, between the constitutional policing that we’re obligated to provide to operate within the law and the obligation to provide public safety in terms of controlling crime and disorder.”

    The Times story also takes police department nationwide to task for what the the Justice Department calls a pattern of the use of excessive force—and civil rights violations.

    "Civil rights violations by police departments have been subject to investigation by the federal government since 1994, when Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. But federal intervention has become far more common and much broader in scope under the Obama administration, a development proudly highlighted on the Justice Department’s Web site."

    “In the year 2013, no police department should be in a position where it can be sued by the Justice Department. The past records indicate what problems they need to be aware of and what to do about such problems if they have them.” said Dr. Walker, of the University of Nebraska, so many federal investigations have now been conducted that no American police department really has an excuse for engaging in practices that violate civil rights.
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    Feb 24 2014: I have a great deal to say about this issue:


    Rehabilitate or punish?
    This is indeed a complex problem that I have done a great deal of research on. Take for example the fact that mental illness in the prison population is at least three times the national average. So for me this is not an easy topic to provide a simple answer to.

    I could recommend some books that detail with the cause of the problem:
    "The New Jim Crow: Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander
    "The Collapse of American Criminal Justice" ,by William J. Stuntz

    This report is from 2003 but makes several relevant points.

    "It's not a very good time to be a prisoner in the United States.
    Incarceration is not meant to be fun, of course. But a combination of strict sentencing guidelines, budget shortfalls and a punitive philosophy of corrections has made today's prisons much more unpleasant--and much less likely to rehabilitate their inhabitants--than in the past, many researchers say."

    http://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug03/rehab.aspx
    An audio visual presentation on the dancing inmates of Cebu, Philippines.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xlqxl0na0qY

    CEBU Dancing Inmates

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZC6JuTlOVM
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    Feb 24 2014: We have a vast amount of knowledge about the brain and how it responds to each one of the elements [of solitary confinement]. The lack of physical activity, the lack of interaction with the natural world like sunlight, the lack of interactions with other human beings, the lack of visual stimulation, the lack of touch - each one of those has been studied not just in humans but in animal models such as rodents. And each one by itself is sufficient to change the brain and change it dramatically."

    The use of solitary confinement in the US grew rapidly during the 1980s with the spread of so-called "supermax", or "super-maximum security", prisons.

    Legal challenges are now being brought against these jails.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26165964
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    Feb 24 2014: I will add this and hope that more people give it a listen, from the radio program "The Story."

    For two weeks ( of 7/22/13) thousands of California inmates in solitary confinement have been protesting conditions in security housing units with a hunger strike. Among the demands: that a photograph be allowed in the cell, and that counseling and more nutritious food be provided.

    Host Dick Gordon speaks with Steven Czifra, who has been out of prison for a decade but is participating in the hunger strike in solidarity. Czifra spent eight years in solitary confinement starting when he was 14 years old. At one point, he spent a whole year without ever leaving his cell. “I think the point is to crack people,” he says. "They don’t care if you go crazy."

    http://www.thestory.org/stories/2013-07/hunger-strike-protest-across-california
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    Feb 24 2014: Prisoners in California are currently staging a hunger strike.
    California was also ordered by the federal courts to reduce their prison population. Gov. Brown has refused to comply with this court order.

    "A divided U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that California must dramatically reduce its prison population. The justices found that overcrowding in the state's prisons violates constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment."
    http://www.npr.org/2011/05/24/136599887/california-ordered-to-reduce-prison-population

    Taking some action in support of prisoners in California would call attention to the problem nationwide.

    That said, I believe that the real problem is the general public who continue to ask for more and more laws, out of fear, even though crime in the US after 9/11 has declined to the lowest levels in decades.

    "Hate crimes reported in Los Angeles County fell to the lowest level in 21 years..."
    "At the year’s midway point, crime rates in Los Angeles generally have continued their decade-long decline,"
    "Long Beach reported a 40-year low for violent crime in 2012,"
    "Officials say that in spite of budget cuts and an understaffed police force, L.A.'s crime rate reached a 50-year low." the source of these headlines is the LA Time.

    The man who may run against Gov. Brown, former LT Gov. Maldonado used fear as a selling point against any effort on the part of Gov. Brown to address the need to reduce the prison population.
    "Mr. Maldonado, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, told the paper, that this issue threatens the lives of Californians.

    "This notion of families being afraid to go out on the street, being afraid of parking garages, families who are just afraid," he said. "The governor uses a fancy word called realignment. At the end of the day, it's early release.... A shell game is what it is."

    However, the evidence backing Mr. Maldonado's claims are questionable, at best."
  • Feb 23 2014: Colleen,

    Maybe electronic displayed self help books can be made available in the cells... along with other 'earned' privileges. I am sure that with today's technology it's feasible. Wether it's actually economical may be a different issue. Though I imagine that effective tools that actually helps prevent re-incidence can be economically justified by the reduced overall costs.

    As you sort of said: Unfortunately, PRESENTLY choices for the inmates are decreased because of administrators, and the rules of the facility, which in some cases is needed.

    Though I am sure new tools and behaviors for 'ender wiggin condition' can be created and implemented...
    ... so as to be entirely self-sufficient from a very young stage and with assurances that they will always have a bond
    in order to guarantee that they would never need to look to anybody else for help. I am using as a metaphor a fictional character and it's conditioning towards becoming a supreme commander for humanity as a means to posit certain fundamental ideas that individuals need to incorporate to become their own prodigy commanders.
  • Feb 23 2014: Bog,

    It was too crowded to respond below your post, so this will show at the top. My general impression while reading a post that began with "thought" involved something I read about the rarámuris ways, their cosmological theologies, and medicine ways involving a 'fiesta'. What's missing from in the common progressive ethics: involves the transparency of justice coupled with a graceful caring mercy within a divine constant everyone can trust and rely upon to set things aright ? Evidently financial hate crimes as well as any other wrongful act ought to be cured through remediation, rehabilitation and inoculation of individuals and different socioeconomic groups. This chore should work individually and universally to bring about acceptable exchanges, that enrich each, redefine interactions, methods, process to create wealth in, among and between individual and collective members of a human community, state, nation, world. Financial habilitation presents the global community a catalyst for a global economy where every human (living or not) shares the wealth and riches in dynamic beneficial exuberance of wealth using win-win-win alternatives.

    Even actions without thinking the consequences through can bring about wonderful experiences and serve to establish cycles of bountiful exchanges, in which, 'children' lead to the potential of becoming the realized adults. Imagine the experience of PTSD akin to being just a passenger in for the ride to 'disconnect' and redefine what will happen next. Imagine a reasonable self, collaborating with the emotional self, the spiritual one and others to thrive and appropriately satisfy the adrenalin rush of past, present and future representations guiding the crossing and actions taken to form and reform affiliations to bring about the perpetuation of acts deemed acceptable and honorable to the code of affiliation.

    Yes whit appropriate equalities make the 'working' life more attractive, fun and rewarding than the other ways.
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    Feb 23 2014: Which place (country or state) are you talking about?
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    Feb 21 2014: Whilst we live in a world with a global military industrial complex misaligned to the significance of human targets and the induced poverty this brings, inequality will generate crime. Crime is a by-product of a universal war zone encapsulating and infecting our condition. The art of war is the art of crime, whilst, the art of both is the art of economics and the induced class-war being the fittest represents in the art of survival. Rehabilitation is a global problem demanding a global solution = equality.
    Thoughts?
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      Feb 21 2014: Bog Creature,
      I believe that everything is interconnected, so what you present certainly can be contributing factors regarding crime, and many other challenges in our world.

      My thoughts, after interacting with incarcerated men for years, is that survival tactics were learned and practiced as children. Many of us, as children, learn about cause and effect...with behaviors, there are consequences to ourselves and to others.

      One question I often asked offenders was...."what were you thinking or feeling when you committed the crime"? The answer often was "nothing"......"I wasn't thinking or feeling anything". There seemed to be a disconnect between the behavior, and thoughts or feelings at the time. After the fact, they often tried to justify and explain their actions with blame toward the victim, society, etc. It felt like in their mind, what they were doing was justifiable, and needed for their survival.

      Offenders usually have low self esteem and lack of confidence in themselves, so that might be an indication that in their heart and mind they do not feel equal to everyone else? They were often abused as children, and that experience may lead to a feeling of inequality and a need to survive in any way they can.
      Thoughts?
      • Feb 21 2014: Colleen,

        I think you are addressing something important... in your post above... would like to explore further why in the mind of individuals they justify, rationalize, and explain illogical stances in what seems perfectly logically propositions. Abraham J Twerski M.D. in Addictive Thinking: Understanding Self-Deception mentions how the rational thing to do from the addictive thinking point of view is to continue with their addictions! To the irrational the rational is irrational and the irrational is rational... So asking them to be rational sort of leads to more irrationality and for the rational to ask them to be irrational may seems rather irrational... In a way operating under the influence of mind altering stuff which influences the stuff can produces self-sustaining patters that are negative addictions are positive habits. There also exists some neutral behaviors that could be polarized a certain way. So for example the depressed have depressing thoughts which depresses them and leads to depressing thoughts. The optimistic have optimistic thought which lead to optimistic experiences that produces more optimism. Sometimes one can just try something out and discover that they actually like it. Of course sometimes expect play a role, even a determinant one.

        I think we could personalize how we go about considered this:

        "what were we thinking or feeling when we acted that way"?
        Will we say : "nothing, wasn't thinking or feeling anything".

        I agree sometimes there is a disconnect between the behavior, and thoughts or feelings. How do we close the gap?

        Some seek to justify and explain their actions one way or another rather than just recognize "It felt/thought like it was the thing to do".

        We usually act without real reasons and then try to justify it because recognizing the truth of the matters seems a preposterous indication that spirits, heart and mind may do all sort of things...
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          Feb 22 2014: Esteban,
          You say you "would like to explore further why in the mind of individuals they justify, rationalize, and explain illogical stances in what seems perfectly logically propositions..."

          I'm sure you know that when a person is trying to justify something to him/herself, or to others, s/he uses an argument and examples that support what s/he is trying to justify. These are old patterns for lots of people.

          I suggest the "gap" gets closed when people are clear with themselves and the message they wish to convey.

          I do not agree that we all "act without real reasons". When we "know" ourselves and are clear with ourselves and the message we wish to send, we do not "act without real reasons". That is part of what the cognitive SELF change teaches.
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          Feb 23 2014: Thoughts...
          If killing is right, we have failed to reconcile the evidence of death in the rear chamber of morality.

          Is a lack of financial literacy missing from a common progressive right in legal transparency of justice as a constant we can trust? Are financial hate crimes against different socioeconomic groups acceptable.



          Should work individually and universally equate to a common rate of exchange, given work seems to be the method and process by which wealth in exchange for work is distributed between members of a human community, state, nation, world?

          Is financial rehabilitation a socioeconomic problem for the global community, if a global economy is an economy every living human is sharing, how would you posit the distribution of wealth as a democratic alternative to the system of stagnation and excess?

          Hi Colleen, Esteban,

          Actions without thinking the consequences through I'm sure in a lot of cases as to do with a cycle of abuse, in which, abuse to children leads to the potential of becoming the abuser in adult life. My own experience of PTSD was akin to being just a passenger in my own body as the self is in flight from the episode of abuse in the rear chamber. It's a disconnect from a reasonable self, where the emotional self thrives to satisfy the adrenalin rush crime represents to some.
          Then there's crossing the Rubicon into group affiliation and the status this brings to the perpetuation of acts deemed acceptable to the groups dishonorable code of affiliation.

          I think we have to make the working life more attractive than the life of crime, whilst inequality does the opposite.
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          Feb 24 2014: Heard a sentence recently that made me think...instead of prison it was a sentence of a 150 hours unpaid work to a female accessory to a crime. What a great idea, to give working sentences instead of jail for the convicted of lesser crimes!

          I like the idea the person learns a job as a part of punishment and after serving the sentence is hopefully offered the job on a full time basis. I think for first time offenders, younger people this is a great opportunity to rehabilitate!
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          Feb 25 2014: Bog Creature,
          It is indeed a GREAT opportunity for offenders, the community, and is often based on the "Real Justice" model, where offenders are given community service and asked to repair the damage in various ways.

          We have a "diversion" program for first time teen offenders, and a "reparative" program for older offenders, both of which use the real justice model and encourage education, community service and reparative processes as appropriate.

          I know of one guy who worked with a town road crew to fulfill a community service requirement, and when the community service time was finished, they hired him:>)
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        Feb 22 2014: Hi Colleen,
        Excellent thoughts, resonating with your words. Should they be surviving in the modern age or living and what financial bridge do we utilize to define the difference between living and surviving in a humane civilization, if quality of life is a principle of autonomy we all share?
        My direction of thought with regard to equality is the equality of pay, the equality of opportunity and the transparency with which this is delivered through the education process.

        Thoughts...
        Is crime a revolution against injustice experienced in an early stage of development?

        The Prison
        Life is a natural prison we cannot see the true scale of, yet, if we could see beyond the physical perception of order, the reality might define a layer of beauty beyond the physical senses of the common kind, a shared map of reasonable awareness within the existential layer of life as a space time continuum.

        The geometry of the mind is a natural chamber of conscious time, space perpetual absorption, a stream of common / unique natural energy in motion, but, what type of animal should the human bee in a civilised future?

        Is there a real enemy in the universe, outside the experience of our own memory (us)?
        What is a civilised future equals what is a common natural awareness of self in relation too, continuum in the universal 4th dimension appreciation of law as a meaning to life as opposed to survival.
        If educationally law as no meaning to the quality of life as a financial contract of liberty we share between birth and death, what is the purpose of law?

        Is knowledge a visual experience we should all be able to look at in a rational way, is knowledge wealth?

        Is knowledge a law we can look at in a more comprehensive way?
        • Feb 22 2014: Bog,

          Life is a natural sanctuary some can see the true scale of... when some see beyond the physical perception of order, the reality might define a layer of beauty beyond in and within the physical senses of the common kind, a shared map of reasonable awareness within the existential layer of life as a space time continuum of enduring moments possibilities and realities. Of course right now in this life-time we got a sort of definitional situation taking place where individual choose which way to embrace and habilitate. In actuality there is just one outcome ... some choose to comprehensively comprehend it and some chose something else.

          Please note how I redefined what you proposed life to be...
          What is it that you truly want life to be?

          On what followed the thoughts line above: those things are just seeking to be part of individuals consciousness through all sort of schemata's and schemes... Experiences in an early stage of development can become the established thinking patters if the thinker allows it... just keep in mind what it is you keep in mind, why, the alternatives and what it is that you truly want to share your life with...
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          Feb 23 2014: Oh my goodness Bog Creature......so many qustions.....so few clear answers!

          In an attempt to stay with the topic idea (Redefine the term "rehabilitation" in context of prison"), I perceive ALL of your questions and thoughts to be important and relevant.

          Those who are incarcerated have different backgrounds (although sometimes similar), different experiences (although sometimes similar), different perspectives about life (although sometimes similar), etc......just like those of us who have NOT experienced being incarcerated.

          I observe that EVERYONE's exploration of the life adventure may be different, while sharing similarities. It seems like one of the challenges, is that those on the outside who are free, have more possibilities to choose from when it comes to making changes in their lives, while those incarcerated have fewer possibilities.

          So, if we are seeking rehabilitation programs, they have to be brought to, and offered in the facilities. Unfortunately, I've witnessed situations where self help books are taken away from inmates because there is a rule that they cannot have books in their cell!!! Those kinds of "rules" are counter productive.

          Unfortunately, choices for the inmates are decreased because of administrators, and the rules of the facility, which in some cases is needed...like behaviors that threaten others for example.

          Somewhere along the line, there has to be reasonable, logical, applicable rules and standards for administrators and inmates. That balance seems to be elusive in our facilities as they are now.
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        Feb 22 2014: Thoughts...
        To what extent do we as humans respect the rules that govern us, if we cannot see what that means within the perimeters of our own awareness as consciousness responding to death within the subconscious micro pathway of unity within our own common and unique condition as perpetual motion?

        To what extent is war a copycat crime?

        Are all deaths preserved within the fabric of time and if so what does it tell us about truth and right when one human kills another?

        Hating oneself and hating others is the worst type of hell, abuse as forced us to share.

        Do religious people worship weapons more than they worship God?

        Violence is the wrong way to express anger, is what I learnt about anger on reflection given the opportunity?

        Is the chain reaction of violence something we should understand and learn to deal with in a more humane way? Why don’t the state and the public utilize soft power to defuse anger that can erupt into violence?

        If law as a rule is a basic respect for human life as an individual and universal duality of right how do you teach respect or define a common appreciation of what appropriate justice is?
        • Feb 22 2014: Bog,

          'within the fabric of time' ... which particular time did you consider when you made that statement? Oh did you also consider all the possible times contained in a single transitory moment and the other possibilities and realities ?

          Yes the state and the public ought to utilize soft power to encapsulate, appropriately deal with certain stuff... in response to your question why? well because they don't think to do what ought to be done and just do what it is they think ought to be done ...

          Your last question is a good one...
          You asked:
          If law as a rule is a basic respect for human life as an individual and universal duality of right how do you teach respect or define a common appreciation of what appropriate justice is?

          Make them live forever experiencing the repercussions of their individual actions in ever increasing magnitude... sooner or latter each will realize 'hey it's better to be better'. It seems some still have to learn that insight...and behave as they ought to behave to be better...

          Note that when the individual truth embraces the universal truth as their individual truth the distinctive duality individual-universal 'vanishes' leaving just 'the truth'.

          Also note that the distinctive blur underlying the question :
          how do you teach ... something
          when the activity actually involves each learning ... something
          So did you teach it or did they learn it... or did you and them shared an experience and adventure each teaching-learning- and a bit more...
      • Feb 22 2014: Colleen,

        Yes I know how some individuals "uses an argument and examples that support what s/he is trying to justify" rather than resort to more appropriate evaluations and better patterns. I also know that appropriate arguments and examples can basically eliminate the 'gap'... heck its even possible to push some into a complete cognitive dissonance where their argument serves to invalidate their argument while at the same time validating and conceding the counter-position that happens to be self-validating and a bit more. Of course a rational approach to irrational behaviors is a bit irrational and an irrational behavior to an irrational behavior can yield more irrationality; akin to twisting the twisted yielding a more twisted thing, still if one twists the twisted just right one ends up with a straight thing. Of course some find all the twisting and maneuvering rather meaningless, especially when it's forcing them into a position they will not accept.

        For those who understand no need to explain,
        for those who won't understand no explanation will do.

        Anyways I am wondering out loud what it takes to get some into that uncomfortable stretch position that helps to extends the abilities pass the point of discomfort into healthy enjoyment. (without disrupting or severing the muscle ligament or causing sever damage).

        Upon first reading your post I thought to ask: "who truly know themselves completely and clearly"?

        My comment that "We usually act without real reasons and then try to justify"... sought to convey the idea that sometimes we just do stuff and then try to figure out why we did it... in conjunction with the fact that we sometime don't clearly know ourselves and a couple of other notions that have to do with espoused theory, theory in practice, the reflective practitioner and a notion I been developing known as the 'Preflective practitioner' - that incorporates consciously guiding actions based upon directing beliefs and story languages in use.
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          Feb 22 2014: Esteban,
          You ask..."Upon first reading your post I thought to ask: "who truly know themselves completely and clearly"?

          We can "know" ourselves at any point in time at any level of "knowing". In my perception, it is a life long process because as we change, there is usually knew information and new "knowing".
      • Feb 23 2014: Colleen,

        It seems to me that knowing oneself completely and clearly is at best just an ideal... it's an ongoing process that has new information added constantly... well in some cases the new information hardly changes from moment to moment as the individual is incapable of learning a thing... of course in some cases the new information changes and redefines almost everything from moment to moment as the individual is capable of learning a thing or two ... One ought to wonder how completely and clearly one actually knows oneself (and others)...

        Beware on which case you think to stand, where you actually stand, where you want to stand, where one ought to stand ... and the congruency between them all... I am aware that statements applies to 'each', 'you' 'me' 'we' 'others sentient beings, creatures of all kinds and forms '.

        Still wondering about what it takes to get past that uncomfortable stretch position that keeps some constrained within what they think and know to be and how to extends the abilities pass the point of present comfort zone into healthy enjoyment. (taking care of avoiding harm, causing damage, disrupting or severing the ligaments to appropriate ways of being). Any thoughts ideas or recommendations?
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          Feb 23 2014: We seem to agree Esteban, that learning about ourselves is an ongoing process. Each individual explores the process differently, although many of our thoughts, feelings, ideas, perspectives, perceptions and beliefs may intertwine.

          I suggest that moving beyond the comfort zone often takes a "wake up call" for some people. You are probably aware that people often do an exploration on some level when there is a trauma in their lives. Trauma takes one out of a comfort zone, and perhaps motivates exploration.

          You ask...."Any thoughts ideas or recommendations?"

          The first step, is that someone needs to want to change something in his/her own life. The process cannot be forced, and that action will often push a person further away from an exploration. People need to be ready, willing and able to explore in themselves. That is the only time people will be willing to even consider thoughts, ideas or methods presented by someone else.
      • Feb 23 2014: Yes.

        THIS IS A WAKE UP CALL :-)

        Now lets jointly proceed to consider thoughts, ideas or methods presented here, by you me and others.

        I am seeking to understand how to catalyze the exploration and motivate it... specifically in the unwilling; those who do not want to change something and who better change something... I agree with your assessment that the process'cannot be forced, and that action will often push a person further away from an exploration"... I also realize that particular process will take place with or without individual consent where the individual does hold a limited say into the matter... in other words 'the work' will be done with or without the individual willing participation, though what the individual chooses to do will have implications for the individual and others. I think you would agree that 'teasing someone into the process' may be risky business as well as rather effective when the rapport between participants can contain the nudges as friendly measures rather than provocative maneuvers. Of course some 'tightly wound up time bombs' can be set off by almost anything, and everything, even the inaction can be the triggering mechanism. What I am seeking to understand is how to effectively deal with such 'tightly wound up time bombs' to catalyze, diffuse, neutralize, redirect and even beneficially canalize the contained energy.

        Yea it would be nice if people where to be ready, willing and able to explore the experiences before getting into deep waters because being carried by the undercurrents, still you likely know that the only time people can act is in the now, ready or not, willingly or unwillingly, each must choose what to do now... and now... and now... So please consider thoughts, ideas or methods presented by each.

        I have had the urge to state : Now that all of my debts have been payed as previously agreed... lets jointly proceed to consider thoughts, ideas or methods presented here, by you me and others.

        NOW WHAT's NEXT
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          Feb 24 2014: As I said in a previous comment Esteban, this may be a wake-up call for you, and some of us have been addressing these issues for many years.

          As I've told you, I volunteered for years in a shelter for women and children, a family center, and with the dept. of corrections.

          NOW WHAT's NEXT for YOU Esteban? What have you done.....what are you doing now.....what are you planning to do in the future to address these issues.....other than preaching about it?
      • Feb 25 2014: I am relieved that my debts have been payed as previously agreed...
        Yes this may be wake-up call for me you and everyone...
        I certainly hope each and everyone make amends once and for all...
        wether they choose to do it .... is now up to them...
        I just realize that I too volunteered for year and years to address these issues...
        Now for me its time to volunteer for better chores and activities...

        Why is it you choose to employ the words you employed
    • Feb 21 2014: Bog,

      What does the global situation demand? How does it demand it? from what you said I would like to highlight and focus on "encapsulating and infecting our condition" ... viral propagation of better ways that encapsulate and 'infect' every ways making everything better :-)

      we live in a world with much diversity and possibilities that invites each to cultivate this or that... question is what will each choose to feed, and cultivate with their individual actions. I noticed what story-lines you put forth and choose to respond with this lines because I would rather cultivate a simple aligned significant human productive bridge where singularities are valued and appreciated to generate more significant 'matters' and useful by-products of universal and individual benefit. The art of graceful peace driving the thriving survival and evolution of the better ways. Equality? Appropriate equality! Evidently some possibilities are better as just possibilities ...
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        Feb 22 2014: Hi Esteban,

        How would you define appropriate equality, appropriate law...appropriate to who and why?

        Who owns the copyright for the meaning of law as a process?
        • Feb 22 2014: Bog,

          A recurrent issue in many interchanges and conversations over definitions / redefinitions involves a shift from a-'what' be done' to b-'who did it'. In a way this shift is from an objective stance into a subjective position. It is also a shift into what someone thinks to be (rather than what actually happens to be (- almost sent 'things' rather than 'thinks') ). I trust you and others see the difference in that. There are several possibilities when the focus be into what someone thinks to be; which influence/determine what it is that we be focussing into. When the focus be into the things that be; 'what be' influence/'determine' what it is that we be focussing into. Asking - What determines/makes the veracity of a statement valid? be quite different from - Who determines the veracity of a statement ? (with the complementing question - how do they do it?).

          WHEN 'what someone thinks to be' appropriately corresponds to 'the things that be'...
          ( that is when 'this' appropriately corresponds to 'that'
          . that is when 'variable V' appropriately corresponds to 'constant C' )
          THEN differentiating between them two becomes a bit of a pedantic exercise, for 'this' and 'that' actually denote the same thing, yea using different words while for all practical purposes being identical while still distinctly different. When a variable corresponds to just one constant value, for all practical purposes the variable becomes identical to the constant while being distinctly different. The fact of having the ability to change and choosing to remain constant differs from remaining constant dew to not having the ability to change; though the two may seem identical fixed. A variable can contain a constant and a bit more while a constant can only contain a constant.

          I would define:
          - 'appropriate equality' as treating each as each ought to be treated.
          - 'appropriate law' rules and regulations that be sustainable-desirable-congruent with life ways

          (no more space to respond)
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        Feb 22 2014: Beautiful response Esteban, I'll chew it over and check in later!...Thanks

        Feel free to add another strand, there's plenty of space below this snippet...especially interested in that continuation of a response with regards to the appropriate rule of law as a constant to the value of common awareness, what we share we grow from...potentially!

        Is Respect not the fundamental purpose of the law, a respect for all life?

        Is this place we reside in and call home a universal prison colony for human inhabitants...you call it a sanctuary, but, define sanctuary, for who for what and for when?
        • Feb 22 2014: Bog,

          I am glad you liked the response.

          In regards to the appropriate rule of law as a constant to the value of common awareness, what we share we grow from...potentially...

          I would posit 'the diamond rule' - do what ought to be done as it ought to to be done
          this is actually a notion I created based on taking the golden rule a step further... and ensuring beneficial kind ways... Employing the golden rule of 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you' can open the door to nastiness, rather than only allow niceness. Yea I know that the nice people would think everyone wants to be nice, and to them the golden rule makes perfect sense... but what of those who would have other do nasty things to them and who would justify their nastiness to others by using the golden rule? One way to ensure only niceness involves 'the diamond rule' - do what ought to be done as it ought to to be done. This diamond rule also incorporates the sage's wisdom. Of course implicit in the directive is that one understand and knows what happens to be, the possibilities, what ought to be, and what to do with it all. -do what ought to be done as it ought to to be done- simple words that incorporate quite a bit, from complex systems, circumstances and individual actions to repercussions and implications of actions (and no actions). I can even condense that directive a bit more... into one word : LOVE!

          Someone once told me that the more rules, regulations, notions one need the further from understanding one was. A filtering notion that has helped me discern stuff involves employing sustainable-deisrable-congruent with life ways. It kind of gives each what they want while giving each the same thing --- sustainable-deisrable-congruent with life ways ---. Notice how life passes the test--- and how life gives life to life and though life it gives death both life and death to death...
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        Feb 24 2014: I would posit 'the diamond rule' - do what ought to be done as it ought to to be done

        What ought to be done and what is done is about an impairment in the psyche, but, the psyche is responding to the evidence the environment is transferring, our disconnect is between what is done and what it means, until what it means becomes attractive as evidence we all share, how would anyone know objectively what ought to be done?

        The real diamond is that of the light years reflecting upon the membrane of each eye, the common light of human unity with something I recognize as wealth, a universal membrane of reality in motion, a layer of universal equality, a badge of common significance in the credibility of anything we choose as law which makes it feel right to our sense and sensibilities.

        What ought to be done…End the arms race concerned with human targets, adapt the global military to an external threat based potential scenario to engage with the distinction between what is certain and what is unknown. The human is not the enemy the unknown is the enemy we cannot see. Our attention is repressively internalized to defending concepts which have no translatable, transferable value to a progressive future on an individual and universal scale.

        What ought to be done…Adapt the Global economy to distribute the meaning of wealth in a more egalitarian way to end the reality of crime in all of our lives. The real crime is the money system and its failure to deliver value in exchange for contribution tendered for reward. Increase the volume of real opportunities in life to exceed the number of humans.
        • Feb 24 2014: Bod,

          Rather than seek to change the system and get into the system simply 'work' alongside the system to create an alternative...that will attract people and which people may adopt and embrace... just realize that that is what is happening right now! In actuality one system encapsulates and contains the other... and it would be better to stay out of the confinement facility... though some choose to go there for all kinds or reasons...

          Knowing objectively what ought to be done be the simple part, getting some to recognize and do it - now there be the challenge.

          "the credibility of anything we choose as law which makes it feel right to our sense and sensibilities" corresponds to a subjective appreciation of an objective reality... which if done appropriately can lead to credibility... well at least credibility in the eyes of those who know and embrace the truth of the matters.

          What ought to be done…establish a peace race that includes everyone concerned with human wellbeing, adapt the global system to deal with external and internal threats based on potential scenarios and real one so as to effectively engage and neutralize and contain the pathogens within distinct innocuous structure that serve to even get benefits from them things in known and unknown ways. what is certain and what is unknown really may matter little ... as humans know that the unknown may bring along the friend we ought to get to know. Beware that our concepts may induce our attention to repressively internalize and defend agains concepts which have no translatable, transferable value to a progressive future on an individual and universal scale... just as they can serve to do the exact opposite... and prevent us from recognizing that which will benefit and change us and everything else. The key resides in which concepts we happen to choose to embrace, cultivate and hold.



          to the better w
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        Feb 24 2014: What ought to be done…
        I see death in many ways, but, in continuum we do not die, since, we have transferred what we are to those around us, hence, how we represent law (legal awareness worldwide) as a rule we understand is not beyond comprehension if we can make law a visual representation of meaning (in which for all intent and purpose, the human is the law), we can visually engage with the entirety of deaths our so called laws have historically defended, the real property in knowledge, our subconscious imprints with age and our reasonable experience of it.

        The human is the law, the real property in wealth, each judicial chamber is the pinnacle of intrinsic value and a commodity unlike the physical property (which as more laws protecting it) to be bought and sold in the criminal market system of greed. Socially engineered drones fed into the wheels of production to sustain the idealized representation of wealth as an object we should all want to aspire too. B*******, if wealth is an attraction only a few realize, how is it moral or of value to the meaning of rule in law? Who owns the copyright of the rule, how should we measure work as a value in a progressive future modern age?

        If reality is not the natural prison we understand the real dimensions off, how, can we be free individually and universally?

        Should we preserve death in the way we were once supposed to preserve life, this is the real evidence children in school should be looking at if we want to change the future of violence.
        How should we represent a respect for life that is universal in the applicable significance of its purpose? What is the purpose of law beyond its ability to select and focus on particular crime, whilst, ignoring other crimes in the financial quandary of universal inequality?
        • Feb 24 2014: Bog,

          The human be the human, the law be the law... beware of the original temptation dressed up anew... Everyone can attain righteousness if they embrace righteous ways... beware of the temptation that seeks to equate bad with good rather than recognize good as good and bad as bad... some ways are better than other ways... from what you said I think you will understand that the natural be just a part of the real dimensions ... you might even understand the existence of many possible natural states ... even possible states within possible states within possible states... and realities within realities within realities that have multiple possible states within possible states within possible states... The pathway into prison is also the pathway out of prison some can traverse it freely for they understand the real dimensions off, how, can we be free individually and universally...

          Yes we should preserve death in the way we were once supposed to preserve life (remember that life gives live and life is also the death of death and what gives everything life), this is the real evidence children in school should be looking at... want to change the future? what kind of future do you want?

          y : How should we represent a respect for life that is universal in the applicable significance of its purpose?
          By living and giving life to universal applicable significances and purposes.

          Y (sort of): What is the purpose of law beyond its ability to select and focus on particular acts, whilst, ignoring other acts in the financial quandary of universal inequality?

          Get each to learn to pick the valuable lively fun benevolent ways and reap in abundance what each sows...what kind of future do you want?
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        Feb 24 2014: A rule is a system of measure and in terms of transparency the only scale we can measure rules of law by is the temporal jurisdiction of motion to which all lives are naturally interconnected.

        You said the human is the human, the law is the law, and this comes across as bit black and white if you don’t mind me saying.

        The human and right is a temporal combination of both as is the citizen and the right. Hence, the right is a temporal awareness of unity as truth in motion, between the significance of the individual right and the credibility of purpose in the universal right. Is this not an awareness of the interrelated nature of systems and how we organize them to influence accessible participation with a common good, as opposed to righteousness through an uncommon God?

        I don’t know what part of an education system law as a rule is covered in, the definition of what it means as human action and non-action…any thoughts?

        Rehabilitation is about the temporal attractiveness of parallel judicial paths of reasonable awareness and I would imagine many inmates have absolutely no idea what the law really means, other than through the direct instruments of law, they are familiar with, the courts, the police, and the government and the guns and the bombs and the ever more horrendous ways to kill. When should it stop, do you think it is possible for a species to take control of its own bad nasty habits in one day in the future?

        When is enough, enough, can this species stop killing in the progressive future of a common day?

        How do we examine the effect of our own behavior in a transparent and reasonably fair way?

        Stop killing US with Guns, stop killing anyone with guns, stop using the guns to oppress, put all the money into creating universal guns to defend a human and species sanctum with guns on the outside in the external environment looking out? All existing global weapons of any description are now surplus to requirement, antiques with a higher value in the future?
        • Feb 24 2014: Bog,

          Why is it that the measure you choose to use resides within time? Seems to me that a variable temporal jurisdiction would vary with time... I prefer to use an atemporal measure where an absolute remains constant rather than variable; it makes for much simpler dialogues. To use the black and white analogy in a much simpler form we could dialogue in terms of light, or truth. (dialoguing in terms of darkness or lies makes for a much much more difficult dialogue). Those who know the truth can determine the veracity of a statement... were as those who know the lie can only determine that the veracity of that statement is false without necessarily being able to determine which statement is true. Yes I did say the human is the human, the law is the law, white is white and black is black, light is light and darkness is darkness (or the absence of light). Note that those who exist in the light can experience darkness through the absence of light ... whereas those who exist in the darkness can't know the light unless they come to exist in the light.

          I think you bend over backwards to put forth the notion of an uncommon God... rather than just recognize that the uniting common universal right stems from God. Personally I accept God existence while recognizing that others may not. Kind of like with the truth of the matter... some accept the truth of the matter and some reject the truth of the matter.

          I do think that it is possible for beings be it individual or collectives to take control of their habits... one day at a time :-)

          y: How do we examine the effect of our own behavior in a transparent and reasonably fair way?

          observe it as it is, as it could could had been, as it ought to be with this and that behavior...
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        Feb 26 2014: Is this fragile membrane of reality we share, you call sanctuary, the gateway into the inner sanctum and is the air stale in your misery or fresh as a mountain stream? I am no more, no less than you are, we share a common ride, a common lot, but, where do we want this ride to take us and should it work in the universal exchange, converting the imprints of ancestral public space into private chambers of our own subconscious data streams of cause and effect, if humans are the law to which I am sure they are, how do you represent that through the utilization of weapons or the existence of education?

        Why is it that the measure you choose to use resides within time?

        Time is the natural constant rate of measurement there’s no variation in the law or the human other than the common effects of age time as on the lives of inmates and out-mates of the human condition. Is not the sentence itself a temporal constant in the judicial process, where’s the variation? Find me an inmate who doesn’t understand the reality of time in relation to incarceration.

        Intelligence is temporal where all action is based on the feedback loop between the consciousness in motion and the subconscious tail of the human lifespan. The human confronts all situations thinking in two alternative ways. Thinks fast to solve problems or thinking at a more considered rate to solve problems. The child victim of abuse suffering the effects of trauma are in constant flight within the effects of ptsd, hence, the duality of thought ability is impaired. Whilst all humans make mistakes, the abused child is going to continue making mistakes at a higher rate as a result of their impaired condition.

        Give me an example of anything you believe to be atemporal other than God?

        No bending involved what so ever, the light, as the dark is a harmonious blanket we all wear together in the reality of our common union.
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          Feb 26 2014: I agree Bog Creature....it would be difficult to find an inmate who does not understand the reality of time in relation to incarceration.

          I also agree that humans face situations in different ways, and the child victim of abuse may experience the trauma in different ways throughout his/her life, therefor impacting their ability to make informed choices.
        • Feb 26 2014: Bog,

          Thank you for those words and ideas which I have read and think to understand whilst holding that other alternate notions do exist.

          Is it actually the case that time happen to be the natural constant rate of measurement? Is it true that ' there’s no variation in the law or the human other than the common effects of age time as on the lives of inmates and out-mates of the human condition'?

          The sentence itself can be a temporal variant in the judicial process... whilst it's true that once uttered it be one of those things with a beginning that persists and impacts what's to come, it's also true that anew utterance can render it innocuous... and impacts what's to come... what be and even what used to be... from an atemporal constant perspective things are what things are, intelligence and actions are based on intelligence and action., where 'the constant' involves 'a variable' that can vary and/or remains constant while still being the same constant variable. Seems that the constraints of present language system interfere with appropriately sharing the notion... The human thinking of some humans is constrained to two alternative ways, sometimes even to just one ... when in reality human thinking has many possibilities some of which are much better to employ. SOME victim of abuse and duality of thought have temporary impaired abilities... the same can be said of perpetrators... and of everyone... sure these will continue making mistakes at a higher rate as a result of their impaired condition UNLESS they and/or others introduce something that renders mistakes innocuous or even transforms them lessons into guiding insights. Personally I would abstain from emitting a condemnatory sentence towards the victims.

          I believe what we each choose to do now becomes a singularity which sets once and for all what we each chose to do... each action becomes an atemporal event. Of course from the atemporal view things are what things are. Some possibilities be atemporal
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        Feb 26 2014: I accept the ‘belief’ in the idea behind God existence, but, the evidence is yet to be revealed 

        The common good is not about God, it’s about the free thinking human beings with the right to associate themselves with this belief or that belief as they choose. Politics and social justice is there to support and protect all beliefs, hence, to many inmates God is uncommon and I don’t see the problem in saying so in the context of rehabilitation…I don’t think the conversion rate of inmates yielding to your righteous light ways to get out of incarceration is solving crime, historically speaking!

        This blood-stained rock we call home, you call sanctuary is an education of many kinds, but, the patterns of behavior linked to the failure of ‘Thou shalt not kill’ are an on-going litany of offenses, creating patterns of death in continuum. To study the patterns of death in continuum is an educational appreciation of a reality we share with the ancestors of our human condition. The history of death as a visual language is a journey into the inner sanctum of our present and ancestral behaviors. How we appreciated the patterns of death might illuminate the ways in which we access the patterns of life as a meaning.
        • Feb 26 2014: Bog,

          I am much more interested in creating patterns of life in continuum ... To study the patterns of life in continuum is an educational appreciation of a reality we share with the ancestors of our human condition. The history of life as a visual language is a journey into the inner sanctum of our present and ancestral behaviors. How we appreciated the patterns of life might illuminate the ways in which we access the patterns of life as a meaning.

          I realize that the faking of conversion to get out of incarceration adds to the litany of offenses and isn't solving crime ... just as redefining the term "rehabilitation" ... needs to be considered given the facts of what happens there is there a innocuous reoccurring habilitation taking place there? I hope you appreciate me taking and using your words with a few modifications... in a way it sought to give you a bit of food for thought into what it is you choose to invoke... Evidently I prefer to call upon life and God ... some prefer to call upon other possibilities, which I think ought to remains as possibilities...
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      Feb 23 2014: Bog Creature,
      This is a response to the part of your recent comment which begins...
      "Hi Colleen, Esteban,"

      You write..
      "Actions without thinking the consequences through I'm sure in a lot of cases as to do with a cycle of abuse, in which, abuse to children leads to the potential of becoming the abuser in adult life."

      Absolutely, which is why I brought the idea of thinking about consequences and abuse into this discussion. Many times, with abuse, children block out thoughts and feelings as a way of trying to protect themselves from the trauma. It could be a conscious, or subconscious effort to survive. Consequently, they do not learn how to evaluate information for the purpose of making informed choices. As you insightfully say, it is a disconnect from a reasonable self or dissociation from that which causes pain. Unfortunately, many of those who are incarcerated have been abused in various ways when they were children.

      I venture to say there is NO little child on this earth who chooses to be abused. It is something that is out of their control, and the ramifications of abuse are far reaching. If we do not understand this one factor with many of those who are incarcerated, there is no chance for change.
      • Feb 23 2014: Colleen,

        There is ALWAYS chance for change! I am glad you put forth an example of one choice that children have and choose to make to protect themselves... Of course the disconnect may eventually need to be reconnected and effectively dealt with to form a reasonable self. If we do not understand this one factor then change, while possible, will likely be rather complicated and the chance for change slimmer...

        Edited to add a response to the comment below.

        My comment put forth the notion how children DO have options to deal with a situations for example some can resort to disassociations which latter needs to be resolved and reintegrated...the case I was putting forth is that individuals have choices. There is ALWAYS chance for change!

        Now to deal directly with the comment below..
        Technically the first sentence of what Colleen stated is actually true AND it has little to do with what I actually stated! The second claim which directs to stop doing something may convey to some the impression of an action taking place that needs stopping. The astute reader will not be seduced by such ploys. Finally the third sentence seem to me to be something the writer of that message needs to apply to themselves.

        Edited to add
        The astute reader will see into the truth of these matters and perceive who promotes what... each is accountable for every thought/feeling/act ... including what they choose not to do. Each should apply what they say to others ... to themselves ... they may learn quite a bit that way... I see what you say to me applies to you... now recognize the truth of the matter and learn what ought to be learned...

        Yes each demonstrates with their words what they actually know about this topic... some demonstrate the little they know using little words and some demonstrate how much they know appropriately choosing words.
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          Feb 24 2014: Esteban,
          I DID NOT put forth an example of children making a choice to be abused. STOP twisting my words to try to support your argument. You continue to discredit YOURSELF!
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          Feb 24 2014: Esteban,
          Regarding your edit:
          Children sometimes DO NOT have options. I agree....the astute reader will not be seduced by such ploys as you are demonstrating Esteban.

          When you continue to say that abused children have choices you....

          1) deny yourself accurate information from which you might learn something, and/or with which you might actually be helpful to the cause.

          2) you reinforce a common practice of abusers, by saying the children have choices, or they asked for it, etc.

          3) you demonstrate how little you actually know about this topic.
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        Feb 24 2014: Hi Colleen,

        Children block out thoughts and feelings as a way of trying to protect themselves, but, this process is the natural autonomic response to trauma called freezing I believe. In this state the ability to think rationally is severely impaired as the child carries the scars of the trauma...they are victims of a world which victimizes them as they grow blinded without direction.

        I think the autonomic response to trauma flips reality on its head between the conscious and subconscious function. The consciousness is drained of power as its objective is to protect the part of the subconscious damaged by trauma. I think the mind is just coasting on reduced functional power as the senses are heightened to the potential and threat of copycat trauma.

        Colleen said-
        "If we do not understand this one factor with many of those who are incarcerated, there is no chance for change"...excellent, I totally agree we have to look at rehabilitation outside the prison to manage the huge cost of what goes in. What type of rehabilitation outside the prison to curb trauma to children do you feel is viable?
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          Feb 24 2014: Hi again Bog Creature,
          I agree that the process of blocking out thoughts and feelings is a natural response to trauma. It is similar to the body going into shock with a physical trauma, and blocking out as much pain as possible. Sometimes, there is a blockage of both physical and mental pain.

          You ask what type of rehabilitation to curb trauma with children? I say stop the abuse of children.....seems like an overwhelming task!
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        Feb 26 2014: I second that answer!

        Do you think the devolution of power as control in peoples lives would transform negative behavioral patterns into positive ones and to what extent is financial scarcity creating anxieties and pressures which lead to abuse.

        What is abuse, but, the utilization of one individuals power against another a misinterpretation of power in the eyes of the lawful. I know from experience, whilst, individuals who abused me were in a position of power, I look back and consider that they were also helpless, pathetic and unaware of the long term effects of their behavior was having...which doesn't make it right.

        We could do with some famous people backing a public campaign to confront the damage abuse is doing, it's everyone's future that is interconnected! Such a campaign might also illuminate to children being abused, something wrong and long lasting is happening to them.
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          Feb 26 2014: Yes Bog Creature, I believe if there was less need to try to control other people, there might be a better chance for change.

          I've mentioned this before, and it is beneficial to mention again.....there is a book and workbook called "Houses of Healing"..."A prisoner's Guide to Inner Power and Freedom", by Robin Casarjian. This book/workbook/program has been used in at least a couple states as a requirement for parole.

          The "power" most offenders demonstrate is not real power, as you seem to know, and when they realize that, sometimes there is change.

          I agree that those who abuse are often lacking in self esteem and self respect, feeling helpless and unaware of the long term effects of their behaviors on themselves and others.

          My father was a violent abusive person, and my mother was kind and unconditionally loving. I saw him as the weaker person, and her as the stronger person.

          I believe there IS a campaign happening right now, because we are at least speaking about it. When I was a kid, nobody wanted to talk about it, there was no place to go, no place to get support. Now we have shelters, education for law enforcement authorities, victims, offenders and the general public. We are FINALLY starting to address the issue on several different levels, which needs to happen, and we can do more!
        • Feb 26 2014: Bog,

          Bluntly put... rather than confront war... promote peace!

          Promoting the idea of meeting (someone) face to face with hostile or argumentative intent just doesn't seem to lead to peace... I sometimes will present a cognitive dissonant situation to people as a means to get them to realize something which will lead to a transcendental change in them... sometimes the appreciate it and value it and sometimes they dismiss it employing other schemata... To this day when I ask someone "Does it seems logical to them that by focusing on bad they will find something good"? Most say something along the lines that's just absurd. Indeed, only by focus on what be good does one find something good! Of course when I ask them "Does it seems logical to them that by focusing on the problem they will find some good solution"? Most say something along the lines that's sounds logical. Hope you see the cognitive dissonance in them two questions, and how it is only by focusing on a certain kind of possibility that good things emerge.

          Yes, we could do with some famous people backing a public campaign to promote peace and better ways!

          Colleen,

          I agree with the notion that the "power" some demonstrate/seek is not real power, and when they realize that, sometimes they choose to change. I also agree with the idea "We are FINALLY starting to address the issue on several different levels, which needs to happen, and we can do more"!
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    Feb 21 2014: I think that some truthful introduction to the systems that deal with crime should be a must-course in schools.

    Stories about "crime and punishment" have to be explained from the sound educational point of view - not by biased "entertaining" media, or some "hood members".
    • Feb 21 2014: Vera,

      Yes, and it has to be done in such a way as to foment good ideas without in the process seeding bad notions.
      I once read an article that basically said : Instead of telling someone: not to do ... this nor that nor...
      tell them what and how to do something better while ensuring this and that and... Even little instructions like let me help you finish it or lets put that in a safe place to finish latter (and ensure the latter does come and gets it finished). Stuff like 'Stop doing that, it's too dangerous' could be replaced with "Stop, that requires precautions, let's do it together, let me show you a better way'.

      Rather than stoping children from doing stuff, encourage them into what to do!
      I agree Stories about ways of being have to be explained from the sound educational point of view - rather than just by biased "entertaining" media, or some "hood members" and done in a way to foment good ideas without in the process seeding bad notions. For example I once heard someone talk about the way of business in those places that still need to learn about decent ways to dress themselves and still need to learn the proper ways to conduct themselves in legitimate, enriching forms that one can be proud to expose though which one knows to prudently handle. Notice the positive terms and how the talks foments good ideas independent of the fact some still have to learn about stuff... I was trilled that the talk was handled in such a way because my jung children then would ask about 'decent ways to dress' rather than the alternative framing... the older ones could understand perfectly well what the talker was addressing... it has to be done in such a way as to foment good ideas while in the process encapsulating certain notions to safeguard everyone.
  • Feb 19 2014: Thank you for the welcomes, I've long wanted some sort of forum to talk to intelligent people about interesting things and suspect I may have found it!
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    Feb 19 2014: /

    Prison is an old idea. It's refreshing to see that we might rethink its purpose. As with the rest of government in the USA my concern is for the cost and unfair uneven treatment of accused populations. I would say treatment is the necessary perspective. Otherwise, with the exception of extreme cases, why bother? So from the very start the real unasked question is about what prison is for. Perhaps we may collectively decide that it is an unnecessary concern. After all, in cases where great harm is done our concern and efforts ought to be toward the victims. They are the ones that need resources to regain whatever was lost.

    Why is always a central question and the hardest to answer adequately. Given a why, what we do and how we do it become relatively easy.

    Thanks for this one, Andy.
    Peace.
    Mark
    • Feb 19 2014: I think that one of the main purposes is to keep them bound and from doing it again... which could be accomplished by the appropriate effective treatment ... though the difficulty is finding such a way
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      Feb 19 2014: Hi Mark....nice to see you!
      I think we have been rethinking and pondering the prison model for a long time, and now we need to apply some of what we have learned!

      I agree that concern and effort should go toward the victims, and one of the programs we use in this state considers the offender AND the victim, and depending on the offence, there is a meeting of the victim and offender IF the victim chooses. Many times they do not agree to a meeting because it feels like being victimized all over again. When they agree to a meeting, it is usually beneficial to both parties. The meeting takes place with members of the community (reparative board) so there is good facilitation for the meeting.

      The way our legal system is now, the victim and offender rarely meet.....there is a court procedure....plea bargaining....etc., and the processes are carried out by attorneys and a judge.

      There is a "Real Justice" model, which helps facilitate the offender and victim meeting, so the crime has a face for the offender. The process involves trying to repair the damage in some way with educational and community service components.

      It is certainly not easy, but I think/feel it offers a lot of beneficial possibilities.
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      Feb 24 2014: Re: "Why is always a central question and the hardest to answer adequately"

      The answer to any "why" question is always "because;" there are always reasons.
  • Feb 18 2014: As a foundation as to what we should do with criminals is a more fundamental question. Can people be "fixed" without their consent? With their consent? Can we induce consent to wanting to be fixed?


    If the question is limited in scope to "should we fix criminals or just lock them up forever" then the obvious answer is "fix".

    But, is "fix" a realistic option?

    Is there some "point of return"/"point of no return" for criminals?
    • Feb 19 2014: What to do with criminals?

      encapsulation within a benevolent system 'forcefield' that allows them free movement while limiting the effects of their actions towards benevolent outcomes. Bluntly put everyone does good --- some love it -- some hate it regardless everyone does good... some get to appreciate it ....some don't get to appreciate it ... until they choose to appreciate it ... if they choose to appreciate it... Of course the system involves different spaces and domains where similar beings exists... in fact some beings in one area can move to other areas based on their behavioral conducts... the better one behaves the more one appreciates and the greater freedom of movements ...

      Yes a fix is a realistic option... yes there are points of return / no return ... well actually every point is an inflection point to move to better state or worst state... of course the notion of better state or worst state is somewhat artificial for everyone will be at a perfect state though their perceptions that some have of such state will be much better than others.
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        Feb 19 2014: What is the practical application of the information you provide in your comment Esteban?
        • Feb 19 2014: As has been mentioned in other posts by others: one of they key aspects for rehab involves overcoming the systems that surrounds the individual influencing them back into a particular state... originally I was going to mention segregation though that doesn't fix the situation it merely separates the apples and the pears... and ultimately what ought to be accomplished is a complete overhaul where the individual recreates the benevolent system wherever they go. Right now it seems to be the other way around... The practical application also involves getting the individuals into productive enriching fulfilling ways of being that even attract others to participate. Who knows maybe even getting them people into helping them people ... of course them people involves everyone!
        • Feb 20 2014: Building wealth is a good idea I think because it is better than trading. A medium of exchange is one of the greatest achievments of economics. If they make money through honorable work, they no longer subscribe to the social struggles within prison. They can also buld wealth for when they get out. Or hire a better lawyer. And as for an isolated colony, I disagree. Look at australia. It gets pretty complicated.
        • Feb 20 2014: This is a reply to your comment about "providing the opportunity to 'build wealth', in a correctional facility"

          I agree that it is important to learn about exchange and making money through honorable work. "Building wealth" is a part of that as is learning that there are consequences for individual action. Sometimes one pays before the play, sometimes one pays after the play, sometimes one pays during the play. Sometimes others pay for our admittance/participation into the play... sometimes one pays for other ... So to me it makes perfect sense for 'inmates' to have the opportunity to build wealth while incarcerated, of course that means first covering the cost of them being there, then some compensatory retributions (though sometimes it's impossible to pay back and reimburse for what one did) and if there is any extras get to have some for themselves ... Of course sometimes the reimbursement involves them changing their ways and incorporating better ways.

          Yes I too think/feel that offenders need to learn that there are consequences for their actions, without that invoking a complete loss of hope for the future... once a liar always a liar... thought it actuality it becomes irrelevant if someone was a liar or a truth teller when what matter is their present state of telling the truth or something else...

          I also agree there isn't such thing as an isolated colony.... that is why I would like to see a village, and people interacting with other people... each choosing and helping others choose the better ways... Please note that I stated : each choosing and helping others choose the better ways rather than say someones particular ways.... I see a profound difference in focusing on the better ways and distinguishing it from someone's individual ways... some may see any way equal to every way... point being which ways be the better ways...
      • Feb 19 2014: I think location is a big issue when it comes to turning bored, idle prisoners into productive and self-improving states of mind. Work release, for example, sounds terrible. A guy in an orange jumpsuit running a machine somewhere? Well, we need to bring work to the prison. Allow them to build wealth. Instead of turning them into slaves, which is essentially what privatized prisons do it seems. And even a free man would become frustrated with no work to do. Work, as long as it is honorable and honored, is a great way to rehabilitate, to rewrite the internal narrative. Men could research and contribute to wikipedia. Men could take old media and digitize it. Men could proofread, earn a degree and teach online. I am sure there is plenty more that I can't rthink of, that the privatized prison system doesn't want me to think of.
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          Feb 19 2014: Andy,
          I suggest that HOW work programs are managed makes a difference. I don't think most privatized facilities have many work programs.

          I'm sure you know that many offenders get an education while incarcerated? That is often an option for them, and they are the ones who need to take the initiative.

          Some of the work programs that seemed to be successful in this state were painting crews, which painted the outside of buildings housing government offices and non-profit organizations. The mechanic shop was beneficial because the guys maintained the facility vehicles, as well as other vehicles. One facility I volunteered in has a large garden project where they grow their own food and enough to supply some non-profits. That is one program that is still running and expanding, which is great!

          Why do you think offenders should be allowed to "build wealth"? They are, after all, serving time for an offence against another individual, and/or the society. Personally, I would like to see correctional facilities as self sustaining villages, where offenders can learn skills to help support them when/if they are released, and where they can learn to live peacefully with other people while contributing to the whole community.
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          Feb 20 2014: Andy,
          This is a reply to your comment beginning...."Building wealth is a good idea I think because it is better than trading."

          Bartering is very much a part of my personal economy, and it works well for others too, so I think it is equally as valuable as using money. That being said, I agree that it is important to learn about exchange and making money through honorable work. "Building wealth" is the part I do not agree with. I think/feel that offenders need to learn that there are consequences for their actions, so providing the opportunity to "build wealth", in a correctional facility doesn't seem logical to me.

          And as for an isolated colony....I do not agree with isolation either, except maybe for the most dangerous of offenders and that is why I would like to see a village, and people interacting with other people.
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        Feb 19 2014: Esteban,
        Your comments seem to be philosophizing, speculating, analyzing, and suggesting "what ought to be accomplished".....which is fine as a way to ponder and analyze the situation. Again I ask....what is the practical application of your thoughts, feelings and ideas regarding this topic?

        I agree Esteban, that it involves everyone, which is why I volunteered with the department of corrections for about 6 years, working with incarcerated men one on one, mediating with convicted felons, facilitating programs, etc.
        • Feb 19 2014: Colleen,

          When we understand what ought to be accomplished we have a guide to guide individual actions... we can observe where we be at, where we want to be at, compare, contrast , and make adjustments.

          I second what you said "Personally, I would like to see correctional facilities as self sustaining villages, where offenders can learn skills to help support them when/if they are released, and where they can learn to live peacefully with other people while contributing to the whole community". Heck Personally, I would like to see communities in that light... as self sustaining villages, where everyone can learn skills to help support them when/if they are there, and where they can live peacefully with other people while contributing to the whole community.It would also be nice if they could help get others that want to be there to get there... even if there is somewhere else!
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          Feb 19 2014: A prison that creates a business and then there are job opportunities for the released offenders to expand and grow that business from the outside????

          Take your gardening prison...the offenders on the inside grow the food and the released offenders handle the deliveries, scout for new recipients, gather the materials, and create management positions for themselves.
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      Feb 19 2014: Your last comment is replied to me Ang, and that is not my suggestion. I did not suggest that prison creates a business, although that has been done in some places.

      The gardening project is non-profit within the facility. They grow produce for their own use, and when they have more than they can use, it is donated to non-profits....food shelf....soup kitchens....family center....shelter.....etc.
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        Feb 20 2014: Was just thinking that an offender operated business would be a good way to develop skills and then I used the gardening as an example of how it might work both inside and outside the prison.

        I didn't specify that in my comment.
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          Feb 20 2014: It's a good idea Ang....ANYTHING that might help is a good idea and worth a try!
  • Feb 18 2014: In a visit to Venice, I was a little surprised to learn that the idea of incarceration of criminals is a fairly recent concept.

    While it was fairly common to lock up political rivals, locking up criminals was almost unheard of prior to 1600, and still quite rare until the 1700s.

    Prior to that, punishment was usually quick, painful, humiliating and frequently disfiguring or fatal.
  • Feb 18 2014: Had a relative get into trouble with the law when he was a teen.

    He was heading for teen-jail (juvenile hall), but his parents pushed real hard to get him into a bootcamp style program: discipline, life skills, job skills, etc.

    It cost his parents $10Ks out of their pocket, which obviously most poor people could not afford.

    A decade after completing the program, he has never gotten in trouble again. He makes a good living with the job skills (welder) he got from the program. He is now a husband, father, tax paying, productive member of society.

    California stopped participating in the program because it did not qualify for US federal government Dept of Justice funding.
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      Feb 18 2014: Darrell,
      Other facilities in other states have discontinued work programs because the facilities are now privatized, and the important thing for them is the financial bottom line. There is no incentive to teach offenders skills when they get out, because as a private facility, they want to have as many "clients" as possible....increases the bottom line!

      Good story about your relative and I observe that the work programs had positive results.
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      Feb 18 2014: For most of society getting into trouble on a legal level for the 1st time acts as a deterrant for future criminal behavior.

      That's the dividing line between the men who end up in prison and the rest of us in many cases.
      • Feb 18 2014: Very valid point. My story is anecdote, not evidence.

        To be evidence would require full outcomes of all participants compared to control group.

        I sit corrected.
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          Feb 18 2014: Still glad your relative got his act together. :)

          In MN we have a prison primarily for young women, usually late teens and early 20s where they do team building activities. It's set up almost like a camp where they have to learn survival skills and are put in situations where they have to trust in each other.

          This particular prison is only home to about 20-25 at any given time but it's proven to be fairly successful. Instead of using the sentencing time as punishment the institution takes it as a time to develop new skills and build confidence in these women.

          The thing is that the differences between incarcerated men and women are so drastic that no comparison can be made between them as far as what is and is not effective. What works for women might not make even the slightest bit of difference for men.
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        Feb 18 2014: I agree Ang, that getting into trouble for the 1st time may act as a deterrent. That is why we have the "Court Diversion" program, for first time teen offenders, and the "Reparative Program" (court ordered) for older first time offenders of misdemeanors.

        These programs use the "Real Justice" model, and seem to be effective as a way to keep people out of prison, and hopefully show them something different.
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    Feb 18 2014: "Transition from Prison to Community Initiative"

    Have you heard of it?

    They've already begun this in a handful of states, 8 now I think.

    There are statistics posted online to give an idea of how effective it has been since they started it in 2002.
  • Feb 18 2014: Yes, Esteban, I know. I was employing sarcasm to show that retribution does not fix anything. I was not advocating kicking child abusers. It only exascerbates the problem. Jail is essential. I know there are absolutely evil people, and we rarely see them, because they are in jail. They may be demons for all I know. I know that I feel better that they are in jail. Segregation is OK, but rehabilitation is tough. And deterrence? Well, that's a joke. Odds are, you won't get caught, but if you do, your life is over because the system is quicksand. Doesn't matter what it is. We all have our vices. What percentage of the population has used drugs.? Or driven while intoxicated? Or cheated on taxes? Stolen from work? Hit someone in the face? We do it because we get away with it, not because we are not afraid of the consequences or getting caught. The consequences are unimaginable.
    • Feb 19 2014: Andy,

      Individuals think they get away with it, when the truth of the matter is that the consequences are unimaginable ... in both good and not so good ways... a simple smile can change it all... you are right the way the system is set up it be quicksand...
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        Feb 19 2014: Really Esteban.....a simple smile can change it all....good luck with that!
        • Feb 19 2014: Yes Colleen a friendly attitude can change it all... especially if it stems from them :-)
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        Feb 19 2014: I wholeheartedly agree Esteban, that a smile and friendly attitude can contribute to change in every aspect of the life adventure. I do not expect that a smile and friendly attitude "can change it all", as you say. It may be one contributing factor:>)
        • Feb 19 2014: Colleen,

          I think you will agree that when an individual changes, 'everything' changes...
          To make it more personal, when oneself changes, 'everything' changes...
          The way to change the whole is through changing oneself...

          Each one contributes to change in every aspect of the life adventure.
          Like the children's books story "I think I can..." comes to mind.

          Maybe I could change the words, maybe the words need to be changed ...
          '"I think I can, I feel I can, I'll be at it till its done"
          "there, see it, hear it, touch it, smell it, taste it, appreciate it all and let's be grateful"
          '"I think I can, I feel I can, I'll be at it till its done"
          "there it is, done. see it, hear it, touch it, smell it, taste it, appreciate it all and let's be grateful"
          "I thought I could... and did find out about that truth"
          "now it's time for the next life adventure!"
          "be it in a dream be it for real: "I'll think I can... till I find the way and get it done".
          "there it is, done. see it, hear it, touch it, smell it, taste it, appreciate it enjoy it all and let's be grateful"


          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Engine_That_Could
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        Feb 19 2014: Esteban,
        I am well aware of the story of the Little Engine That Could.....I learned that as a wee little lass, and think of it sometimes for encouragement:>)
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    Feb 17 2014: So unfortunately many people put their mentality in some old thick suitcases and drag them to the rest of their lives. Hard to get through. I guess that "process" of building a mental suitcase commonly begins in our very childhood. No air gets through such minds.
  • Feb 17 2014: I am glad to see so many differing viewpoints. I should say that I do not consider myself a liberal or socialist, but I also hate capitalism and believe that it spirals out of control without constant, effective checks in place. I can say that for-profit prisons seem criminal in themselves. I got a few glimpses into that dimension through Vonnegut. The statistics here are plain and undeniable. Our system is broken. Maybe we need new language. Most people don't like to hire people who have been to prison, not beca use they have committed a crime-nobody's perfect-but because they have been (to borrow from an above contributor) "poisoned." Since they have been in prison, they are contaminated. As though serving time is more degrading than comitting the crime. Justice, then, is a corrupting agent. Terms like "rehabilitation" are condescending and distance prisoners from society. But if policing were perfect, and each truly had to face reckoning, who would run the prison? There would be noone left outside the gates!
  • Feb 17 2014: The problem with rehabilitation is this: it takes an enormous amount of time to change a habit!
    Most people and institutions are not willing to invest the required time to change a habit.
    I asked my sponsor how long I have to go to AA meetings. He said how long were you drinking, I said 12 years. He said that is your answer. I looked at him puzzled and disappointed. He said "If you walk five miles into the forest, how many miles will you have to walk to get back out?" I said five... I got it, it made sense to me.
    So back to the original question about rehab, if a guy has been stealing for thirty years, do you think not stealing for a few months is going to change that habit? Highly unlikely and the statistics bear that out. One of the reasons AA is more successful that most is people keep going to meetings, some for the rest of their lives. Each meeting is a reinforcement of the new way of thinking and a new habit to replace the old one. Another reason is cost, it is free (self-supporting) and can go on forever unlike paid counselors and institutions. If you have had a habit for a long time, it is going to take a long time to change it but it is possible and worth it. 33 years clean and sober, sanity? well the jury is still out on that one.
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      Feb 17 2014: Keith, don't be so ready to accept glib catch-phrases like 'if you walk 5 miles into a forest, you need to walk 5 to get back out'. The flaw is 'back'. Perhaps the forest is only 6 miles deep, 1 more mile ahead will take you out.
      Similarly, re the alcohol situation, retracing your steps will be a hard trail to sobriety, wading through all those drunken days behind you. Forge forward where it will all be new and there you stand a better chance of seeing the light of substance-free experiences.
      Personally, I have never seen the value of group rehab meetings like AA. Hanging out with a ton of people with the same problem sounds too co-dependent. Bust out of the ditch by yourself rather than lean on others to help. Then you will be free.
      • Feb 17 2014: Brent,

        You are thinking under the influence of your thoughts, beliefs, stories, values and a couple of other things... Hanging out with a ton of people with the same issues some of whom have explored the different trails of the forest can facilitate getting out of the forest... Yea, it may be that the door out is a couple of steps away, just as it may be that the next step may lead you into a pit that is impossible for someone to escape. Though quite possible for a couple to get out. Rehab is accomplished one moment at a time... what one has done in the past isn't a guarantee that one will do it in the future... each moment counts. In a way it's like getting into a healthy diet to control the weight which turns into a way of life. How long does one have to be on the diet? As long as it takes and then some more!

        To change a habit takes but a decisive instant...
        ... to maintain the habit is a life long endeavor!

        how long I have to go to AA/rehab meetings? As long as it takes and then some more!
        At some point there is a shift from '...have to...' to '...want to...' of course there be also a point where one '...chooses to...'

        I was going to say I noticed how some focus on it being an institutional job to do the rehab vs it being an individuals job to to the rehab when it may take a combination of the two to get the job done. Yesterday I came up with the metaphor of cleaning a window being both an inside and outside job. The individual has to change and the system has to change for the situation to change.

        I would say that most people and institutions play the blame game rather than focus on doing their part to change the situation. Being willing to invest the required time to change a habit can go on forever, especially when there is an unwillingness to change the habit because some are thinking/feeling/acting under the influence of certain houghts, beliefs, stories, values and a couple of other things... In a way its a "tug o' war" scrimmage that peace wins
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          Feb 17 2014: "Each instant we can redefine who and what we do feel thinks say... yet how many of us choose to embrace this moment anew? How many appreciate this instance recognize what be, the possibilities and act according to the better ways to be? I have often asked "what make one think that if given another opportunity to act one will choose something different than what they choose to do at this instant"? This seeking to invite individuals to act and change now"

          your point is excellent, Esteban.
      • Feb 17 2014: Brent I did a little background check on your thinking and I see you have some absolutely grand solutions to a variety of other people's problems none of which you have tackled yourself. It appears your methods jump from years of repetitious habit permeating ever aspect of one's lives, right to solution (and they lived happily ever after). It seems you have missed your calling, maybe you should open your wonder clinic and methods to the whole world so they may benefit from your instant cures. You could give a magic wand and a unicorn to every graduate. :) :)
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        Feb 17 2014: Our minds create internal scenrios which we often see as "objective" reality. One's Self plays its role in it and so a person acts it out. We develop our good or bad habbits based on our internally played repetitive scenarious where we practice the same stubborn character. We might play it to the rest of our life. If our habbit is harmless - there is no need to change our acting. In case if one perpetually harms others it is crucial to drastically change that old mental scenario, as well as his/her "leading" role in it. A new , unknown environment is very helpful, it welcomes and shapes up a new different character of Self.

        A Rewarding productive work, when one immediately sees positive results of his/her sound efforts -- is the only way to rehabilitation. A new life scenario/environment and a new "role" in it helps one replace one's illsome mentality and its ill character in it.

        This does not take years at all.

        Why I'm talking about that internal Self "acting"? There is no living creature, we may know, who does not act out its own internal character. It can be changed but only from within one's mind, only by one's wish. It works within and without.

        Not sure I'm clear enough..
        • Feb 17 2014: Vera,

          We develop our habbits based on played repetitive scenarious where each practices the character, the role, the actions and a bunch of other stuff... . If our habits need to change our acting needs to change and our repetitive plays need to change. To drastically change the play, the actors, their roles, languages, beliefs, though and the scenarios ought to change ... A unknown environment can be very helpful, just as it can set in motion more of the same past routines used to deal with the unknown ... Some do welcome a new different character of Self while some fallback on/ into their old ways.

          Each instant we can redefine who and what we do feel thinks say... yet how many of us choose to embrace this moment anew? How many appreciate this instance recognize what be, the possibilities and act according to the better ways to be? I have often asked "what make one think that if given another opportunity to act one will choose something different than what they choose to do at this instant"? This seeking to invite individuals to act and change now

          The story/play can be changed from within one's mind as well as from without one's mind... that is others can help us embrace the better possibilities though the stories each tells and the actions each takes and the sets arrangements (rearrangements). Of course individuals are free to accept the gifts given them and change or can choose to reject them gifts and stay the same. Some individuals have learned to always learn and be grateful for what happens... were as others have learned a different habit... which one will each embrace at this moment is vitally important!
  • Feb 17 2014: there is almost NO rehabilitation happening within our current system. not even rehabilitation for substance abuse as drugs are s easy to get in prison as on the street. there are a few tech classes available to the interested few. but too many inmate's only interest is doing their time and getting out...only to return in a short amount of time. prisoners aren't given any training or help finding jobs on release. why is the recidivism rate so high? there is very little deterrence. many spend the day with friends from the neighborhood. hey, texas fold 'em anyone?
    until we're ready to change the system - level the playing fields for non-violent crimes, possession, etc - and change our school systems to train non-college bound students in a viable trade, we're kind of screwed.
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      Feb 18 2014: Todd,
      You present some good and valid points. The recidivism rate is high because offenders usually have not changed their habits and behaviors....simple as that! If there is no alternative plan, they are probably going to do what they've always done.....then they go back to a prison facility where the patterns are reinforced.

      If we do what we've always done, we'll get what we've always gotten. We are repeating the same patterns over and over again and expecting different results....I think that is called "crazy"!

      I totally agree with you...unless/until our societal systems change, we ALL continue to reinforce the patterns.
      • Feb 18 2014: Colleen,

        Given the patter reinforces the patter and gives raise to the patter sustenance what can individuals do to change what happens? Can individuals actually change what happens? Will individuals choose to change what happens?

        BTW note that we can do what we've always done, and get different result; just as individuals can do stuff differently and get what they've always gotten...

        Given "we ALL continue to reinforce the patterns" maybe it's time to shift what we reinforce with what we think/feel/do/believe/tell/share/expect...

        I am curious how to inspire individuals to change and embrace better ways of being... and would like to know what you an others think on this matter...
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          Feb 18 2014: Some individuals choose to change Esteban, and we (society, corrections, etc.) can provide the tools they may use to change. The "cognitive self change", and other sessions I co-facilitated in correctional facilities seem to be effective.

          Most of the people incarcerated have been repeating many of the same behaviors their whole lives. Most of them (95%) are drug and/or alcohol dependent, and most of them were born into that environment. They are NOT going to change simply by putting them behind bars. They need something that will help motivate them when they are on the outside....education, skills, etc.

          People sometimes embrace different ways of behaving when/if something different is offered as a possibility. I think you know how difficult change is for people.
      • Feb 18 2014: Did a quick search for "Cognitive Self Change"
        Seem the Program focuses on the thinking behind behavior that consists of learning and demonstrating ability to:
        1- Pay attention to what each thinks.
        2- Recognize when thoughts / feelings are leading toward to particular actions.
        3- Think of new thinking patterns to think /feel /enact
        4- Practice using this new thinking in real life situations.

        A major tool of Cognitive Self Change involves a “Thinking Report” that in essence is a structured objective description of thoughts / feelings / actions, with 4 parts: 1) a brief description of the situation, 2) a list of the thoughts had, 3) a list of the feelings had, 4) a list of the attitudes or beliefs had.

        I imagine that from there it moves to explore alternatives & considerations and then to implementation.

        I understand that people 'incarcerated' have been repeating many of the same behaviors for eons most under the influence of quite addictive ideas/feelings/actions/and other stuff. Many even were born into the existing system. Of course they are NOT going to change simply by putting them somewhere. As you mentioned: They need something that will help motivate them when they are on the outside....education, skills, etc. People sometimes embrace different ways of behaving when/if something different is offered as a possibility.

        Of course the key to perceiving the possibilities resides in recognizing and paying attention to what each thinks.

        Yes I know - how difficult change is for some people... I also know how simple change is for some people... I believe that with the proper story-line change is unavoidable ... though some seek to avoid it for as long as possible rather than just embrace it and make the best of it all.

        Thanks for your comments they served to validate something I been working on...
      • Feb 18 2014: Colleen,

        Hey I see you linked the link I saw to get an idea of what you might have meant by "Cognitive Self Change". You may have noticed how I took the ideas there and generalized them (Redefine the terms) to make them applicable to everyone. In a way I took the "know thyself" and made it "know each self"!

        What is each one thinking? What is each one feeling? What are the consequences of each one's actions? What are the ramifications to each one and their surroundings? How could each one do things differently? Why does each one choose to behave as they do? etc.etc.etc.

        I realize that this conversation on one level is about redefining the term "rehabilitation" in context of prison while on a quite different level it is about how each one chooses to act and to define their habitual ways of being. We are all prisoners within our individual ways it is just that some have nicer prisons and nicer cells. Maybe it's time to improve the place we be living in...
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          Feb 18 2014: It looked like you were getting information from that link Esteban, and I noticed how you "took the ideas there and generalized them (Redefine the terms)..."

          That is why I posted the link.....to be clear.

          The ideas are already applicable to everyone Esteban, and are ideas that many of us learn as we are growing up. One can use the concepts of "cognitive self change" to redefine our lives anytime, and it can happen on many different levels for different people.

          I agree that some folks are prisoners within their own individual ways, and if you want to explore that idea, there is a good book and workbook called "Houses of Healing" "A prisoner's guide to inner power and freedom" by Robin Casarjian.
      • Feb 18 2014: Colleen,

        Just to be clear, I did mention that from a quick search,...
        Just to be clear, the link explicitly states that the program is for convicted violent criminals who meet certain criteria

        What you mentioned that those ideas are already applicable to everyone seem unsupported by the information at the link. Your other claim that they are ideas that manny of us learn as we are growing up seems to me to stand on shaky grounds given some empirical evidence, especially on how many require rehab for their and others well-being ...

        At least we agree that the ideas are applicable to everyone and each can use the concepts to 1- observe what be going on, 2- consider the possibilities and 3- acting accordingly. I was rather happily surprised to observe a similarity to stuff I had mentioned previously. Many live under the influence of their thought/feelings/beliefs/actions/stories often oblivious to their story-lines control over them.

        Thanks for the book recommendation... It may be similar to Addictive Thinking: Understanding Self-Deception by Abraham J Twerski M.D. ... curiously I read that book thinking it was about addictive thoughts rather than the thoughts processes of addicts ... was quite fascinating book to read it as I did... From that I got the notion that we are all addicts... and living under the influence of stuff ... to what each is addicted determines if it be habit or an obsession... the story line of someone being stubborn or being persistent when they simply are determined to carry forward some action... Redefine the terms can change everything
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          Feb 18 2014: I agree Esteban, that "many live under the influence of their thought/feelings/beliefs/actions/stories often oblivious to their story-lines control over them".
      • Feb 18 2014: Thus the importance of learning and demonstrating ability to:
        1- Pay attention to what each thinks.
        2- Recognize when thoughts / feelings are leading towards a particular action.
        3- Think of new thinking patterns to think /feel /enact (if need be)
        4- Practice using this new thinking in real life situations.

        I was fortunate to have had the experience of giving up a belief I held and embracing a new pattern in a prolonged conversation about knowledge management. After that 'initiation' I was able to 'freely' choose which belief to hold and allow to be under the influence of. Though unfortunately was unable to help my counterpart in that dialogue to accomplish the same feat. Given their express wish to just let the issue remain unresolved and each part separate ways I moved on. I certainly know how difficult change is for some people. Some even live under the influence of their thought/feelings/beliefs/actions/stories conscious to how these story-lines control them... and under the belief that there is nothing they can do to change their fate nor the destiny of the system in place, their role in it and a bunch of other stuff... I prefer to have faith that one can make a difference, hoping to make a difference... at the very least one can choose the attitude one will choose to cultivate going down the river...
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          Feb 19 2014: To apply the concepts of Cognitive Self Change Esteban, the first step is...
          Pay attention to YOUR thinking. It is NOT "Pay attention to what each thinks", as you have altered it Esteban.

          I am aware of how YOU like to pay attention, and analyze what "each thinks", and that is not a concept encouraged with the cognitive self change program.
      • Feb 19 2014: Colleen

        Note that :
        the concept I described includes the concept you describe
        While
        the concept you describe does not include the concept I described

        From what you just stated I take it that
        the cognitive self change program encourages focusing on just oneself thoughts
        and dealing with those ideas rather than seeking to deal with what others think.
        In other words take care of fixing your house before getting involved in fixing the neighbor's house
        or take the plank out of one's eye before the attempting to take the splinter of someone else's eye

        I saw a presentation that pointed out how to become proficient with certain steps before incorporating additional ones... Of course one ought to be proficient at paying attention and dealing effectively to what one does, rather than paying attention and dealign with what others do, especially given that tendency that some have which want to change others before chaining themselves. Still some can learn from others what they needs to learn, especially if one can report objective factual observations without getting entangled in judgment calls or interpretative justifications.

        I liked quite a bit a thought I read ... something along the lines:
        This isn't about getting you to change , its about helping you to learn how to change.

        observing / reporting / considering / enacting
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          Feb 19 2014: Yes Esteban, it is beneficial to take care of our own house before trying to fix everyone else. That is true for the cognitive self change model, and any other model we use to "know thyself". It is about changing in one "self"....cognitive SELF change:>)

          I am well aware of your idea of getting others to change and helping others to change. It needs to start with our "self" to truly be effective. We cannot give to others, something we do not have in our "self".....we cannot teach something we do not understand and/or know how to use effectively in our "self".
      • Feb 19 2014: Colleen,

        To take care of our own house, we may need to take care of other's houses! (its one way of getting the resources needed)
        Helping EACH one is a way to help others and oneself! Besides, for change to truly be effective, it just needs to be truly effective change... Noted how again : the concept I described includes the concept you describe, while the concept you describe does not include the concept I described. An please consider this as just an objective observational statement.

        Some can give to others, something that isn't in their possession, in fact some can teach something they do not understand and/or know to do/use effectively in their 'self' ... its called lip service ... sometimes giving it be the way of getting it.

        I mentioned that I liked quite a bit a thought I read, and now consider it needs refinements :
        This isn't about forcing change, its about helping each to learn how to change, which in itself involves bringing about some changes in each one.

        I certainly hope that you are aware of my idea of changing what needs changing as it ought to be changed when it ought to be changed. I mentioned in other posts that it's about knowing what be rather than knowing who knows it and who doesn't. Note that knowing what be includes knowing who knows what and a bit more...
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          Feb 19 2014: I do not think/feel it is good practice to try to take care of other's unless they ask Esteban.

          I do not agree that one can give or teach something s/he does not have in him/herself. I am indeed aware of your idea of "changing what needs changing as it ought to be changed...", and I do not think/feel imposing your own personal beliefs on others is beneficial. We've had this conversation before Esteban.

          You ask me to consider your comment just an objective observational statement. Actually, it appears to be "preaching" again Esteban....preaching about how YOU think things "ought" to be.

          The topic here Esteban is..."Redefine the term "rehabilitation" in context of prison".
      • Feb 19 2014: Colleen,

        Yes the topic here is ."Redefine the term "rehabilitation" in context of prison"... part of that involves the stories individuals employ and hold; individually and collectively. The assessment of the situation and thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and the rest of of the stuff involved in this story-line.

        I realize that you think one thing while I think another and that each sort of insists on imposing their storyline as the storyline with the caveat that:
        - the concept I describe includes the concept you describe and a bit more (where as the concept you describe does not include the concept I describe) .

        Then there is the issue of focusing on the topic at hand vs focusing on what this or that individual thinks/feels.

        To me its self-evident that it is good practice to take care of each and everyone. You seem to insists that it is good practice for an individual to take care of themselves, and unless asked by others to intervene to mind their own business. That would be like walking down the street and only getting involve in what happens there when those there ask for help; I say everyone should offer to help. In fact everyone is involved in one way or another; thus I say to get involved in an enticing helpful way.

        Yes I asked you (and other readers) to consider certain of my comment just as objective observational statement and you claimed that (it appears to be ... ) without constraining the storyline to your subjective interpretative narrative. That action leads me to think that you are seeking to project your ideas without proper care. Three is a fundamental difference between reporting 'what one thinks to be' and reporting 'what be'. I observed how many individuals can't differentiate one from the other which at times makes it rather difficult to focus with them on what be going on.

        "preaching about how YOU think things 'ought' to be" involves your own personal beliefs and interpretations which it seems to me that, you seek to impose.
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          Feb 19 2014: Esteban,
          You are twisting my words and I do not appreciate it!
      • Feb 19 2014: Colleen,

        I am sorry that you choose to see it that way, and wished that you would see it differently.

        FWIIW Like you, I think that in some parts of what you stated, you also twisted my words and did not appreciate what you did there... we could get into that if we wanted to explore it further... just as we could get into exploring what it is we appreciate in what each states. Please consider that there be the pin-pong related to the story-lines individuals use and there is the actual individuals themselves. I appreciate you regardless of the fact of how you choose to see certain stuff.

        Each can choose:
        - to appreciate the words, actions, thoughts, feelings, intentions, individuals etc...
        - not appreciate them
        - to take personal possession of stuff
        - to consider this or that story-line without personal ownership attachments
        - many more options...
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          Feb 19 2014: I'm sure you do wish I would see things your way Esteban. You seem to want to fix everyone, or help everyone based on YOUR perception of how things "ought" to be. I do not agree with insisting that everyone accept YOUR personal preferences. We've had this conversation before, as you may recall.
      • Feb 19 2014: Colleen,

        Yes we have had the conversation regarding subjective vs objective stances where you insists it's subjective and I insist it's objective... Making the conversation about someones perceptions about stuff vs the conversation focusing on certain stuff... distracts from focusing on certain stuff... For some well known reasons you insists it be about seeing things my way vs your way rather than seeing what be based on what be... Yea my personal preference is to use the objective stance and for everyone to accept the objective stance... your personal preference is to use the subjective stance where everyone and everything is equal (though where my preference isn't accepted)...

        Being objective I can always accommodate the subjective stance within the objective stance and hold both at the same time; so that the distinction between subjective vs objective ceases to matter... The subjective stance can only do such a feat when it just happen to have picked the objective stance ... again - the concept I describe includes the concept you describe and a bit more (where as the concept you describe does not include the concept I describe).

        I have also chosen to consider that the subject of this conversation - Redefine the term "rehabilitation" in context of prison - includes the notion of changing the 'criminal' story-line into 'the benevolent enriching story-line'... and on a more general form changing 'this' story-line into 'that' story-line... so the conversation about observing stances, what they lead to, the alternatives and adopting them... can demonstrate in a practical way how to Redefine the term used in particular contextual prisons.

        For the record, whether someone chooses to accepts or deny the objective stance for dialogue (which happens to be my preferred stance) matters rather little in the overall scheme of things... like I sort of said to others; the veracity of the claim doesn't change because someone acceptts it or rejects it, 'what be' be 'what be'
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          Feb 19 2014: The topic of this conversation is..."Redefine the term "rehabilitation" in context of prison".

          I have no desire to go round and round in your ridiculous circles Esteban.
      • Feb 19 2014: Colleen,

        So how do you propose we do to deal with inmates who state:
        - I have no desire to go round and round in your ridiculous circles
        - Forceful imposing violent bulling ways are the only viable way to survive
        - The only way to get respect is to let people know you’ll hurt them if they don’t.
        - Without the ability to be violent, no one will respect you.
        - When someone orders me to do something, they are disrespecting me.

        Interesting to observe the framings of to last few... statement...
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          Feb 20 2014: Esteban,
          You ask...."So how do you propose... to deal with inmates who state:
          " I have no desire to go round and round in your ridiculous circles"

          I would probably say....being here in the cognitive self change program is a choice YOU made for YOUR self, and if you want to be productively involved, we can do that. If you want to continue to take everyone's time with your BS, you can leave. And I would probably say this only after repeated attempts to engage the person in a productive conversation.

          One way to get respect Esteban, is to be clear with your SELF first...(cognitive SELF change). Misinterpretation, twisting another person's words to manipulate the conversation is a reflection of YOU, and is not helpful to YOU. If you think it is, then carry on. Yes indeed Esteban, your framing of the statements above are interesting to observe.
      • Feb 20 2014: Colleen,

        "if you want to be productively involved, we can do that".

        Framing the statements in 'emotive' 'disrespectful' 'demeaning' judgmental ways is a reflection that the author has little to no rational, respectful, appreciative factual observations to make, and is likely attempting to 'dehumanize' the other's claims to justify treating them in certain ways (like just getting rid of them or shifting and manipulating the conversation towards an emotive form). I would prefer everyone would follow 'rational, respectful, appreciative factual observations that seek to humanize' in their statements, thoughts, feeling, beliefs as everyone jointly explore why it is that individuals state what they state. (I just realized that seeking a rational rather than emotive dialogue could also be a way to dehumanize - thus seek both while ensuring positive focus)

        In the five statements I asked what proposals you (and others) had: I included a statement you made, a notion I consider quite pertinent to the inmates mind state and three statements from a quote related what an inmate's claims in their thinking report.

        I found interesting to observe the preoccupation with 'getting respect', rather than giving it... Inmates seem to resort to violent rage tantrums rather than to demonstrate better control of their feelings/thoughts/actions. Personally I think that respect isn't something one can demand and extort from others through violence; if others want and care to give it or not thats their choice. For me It's nice to have, without it being a determinant objective to attain, nor what guides my repeated attempts to engage in a productive conversation.

        Individual interpretations, twisting of words to guide the conversation is a reflection of each and what they seek. Pay attention to where it leads! I like to consider that twisting the twisted just so it ends up straight is a cleaver way to
        redefine the term in context of the twisted to introduce the straighter ways.
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          Feb 20 2014: Esteban,
          You asked..."So how do you propose we do to deal with inmates who state:
          I have no desire to go round and round in your ridiculous circles"

          I told you honestly how I would deal with that situation, and the way I would deal with it is honest to all participants. As the co-facilitator of sessions in which there were 10 offenders participating, all of whom volunteered to attend the sessions, I had the authority to ask any disruptive participant to leave, and I expressed that honestly. I was very clear and honest about that, and I never had to ask anyone to leave.

          You say..."Inmates seem to resort to violent rage tantrums rather than to demonstrate better control of their feelings/thoughts/actions"

          I don't know where you got that information and it is NOT my experience with inmates in the years I interacted with them. Being clear and honest with them was very successful.

          That being said, and hopefully understood, I am sorry that you feel that twisting a conversation is in any way productive or constructive. Twisting a conversation, causes disrespect, confusion and lack of understanding. Being open and honest is much more successful in any interaction.
      • Feb 20 2014: Colleen,

        Seeking to move a conversation towards productive or constructive interactions and terms seems to me to be self-evident productive or constructive; even when that involves a bit of a tease. Of course some will take the playful way as a provocation rather than just an invitation into a fun gentle interchange of ideas, stories, possibilities to consider. Some will get the be nice intention an explore the interchange nicely.

        It seems evident to me that you did not appreciate how labeling something I said as " go round and round in your ridiculous circles" could be considered quite disrespectful, especially when the claim is far from reflecting the actual truth of the matter. I have little desire to get into proving to you (and others) that the merry go round some be on causes confusion and lack of understanding, Its kind of funny for me to stand on the side (or at the center) and observe the people go round and round yelling "your turning is making me dizzy" ... in actuality its their turning which is making them dizzy.

        Unfortunately telling someone who is being uncooperative to stop being uncooperative or be escorted out may reaffirm the uncooperativeness rather than bring about cooperation, especially when individuals have a choice in the matter. In the case you presented, it seems clear that you had the authority to direct what the others did, you likely also had the backing of the officers to implement your directives. Though the treat to force them to leave is similar to the treat to hurt them.

        Yes open and honest is much more successful in many interactions.

        I constructed the caricature statement - resort to violent rage tantrums- in part based on information from ( http://www.annasalter.com/annasalter/Slides_files/2Cognitive%20Self-Change%20Pdf.pdf ).

        Twisting a conversation may causes the conversation to move towards shared understanding, insightful perceptions, innovativeness ... among other alternatives... depending on what each does
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          Feb 20 2014: You can try to justify your communication style as much as you want Esteban. Teasing, manipulating and twisting a conversation serves no useful purpose. I have no desire whatsoever to go round and round with you in your attempt to manipulate a conversation Esteban. It is interesting that you perceive it as "funny".

          I mentioned nothing about "hurting" anyone Esteban...you are twisting my words AND my comments again, and I do not appreciate it. Trying to twist a conversation is not constructive or productive in any way Esteban, and you simply discredit yourself.
      • Feb 21 2014: I will say it again ...

        Seeking to move a conversation towards productive or constructive interactions and terms seems to me to be self-evident productive or constructive.

        Yea I find rather funny and amusing how each one's words reflects for all to observe what it is they hold and cultivate.

        Twist a negative conversation into a positive one can be constructive and/or productive in many ways, even if/when some claim otherwise. The importance of learning and demonstrating ability to hold and cultivate positive constructive productive interchanges seems to me to be a notion we both agree upon.

        I would like to thank you mentioning the cognitive SELF change.
        Personally I like to consider it as:
        1- Pay attention to what each thinks/claims/does.
        2- Recognize when thoughts / feelings /actions are leading towards a particular action.
        3- Consider new thinking patterns to think /feel /enact (if appropriate incorporate them )
        4- Practice using this new thinking in real life situations.

        Of course I recognize that you mentioned a focus on self rather than others ... evidently to me each must change themselves. I just find that by observing others and what they do, I may learn stuff about myself and what to do (and not do).

        Seems to me you didn't perceive the analogy I made between
        - 'asking' them to leave
        - treat to hurt them

        My intent was to explore ways to get someone to willingly collaborate when they are uncooperative. Of course without threats. Heck even without incentives. Act on pure firmly held beliefs or opinions... conscious chosen. Of course this whole conversation revolves around the notion of how to redefine the terms beliefs and opinions employed by individuals.

        I sort of have a pet peeve with the word 'convictions' for its positive and negative association. I wished there was a better word to describe consciously held and followed beneficial determination that would inspire each to embrace such ideas and employ them.
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          Feb 21 2014: Esteban,
          You are not in any way twisting "a negative conversation into a positive one". You are twisting comments to suit your own agenda.

          You can interpret the concepts of the "cognitive SELF change" model in any way you choose, as long as you are clear that it is YOUR interpretation, and not the intent and focus of the established program.

          I DID NOT mention "a focus on self rather than others". I showed you the concepts of a program, which I facilitated, which you asked about. The focus of cognitive SELF change is evaluating the patterns and behaviors in one SELF. It is NOT paying attention to and focusing on the patterns and behaviors of "each" or "others".

          I agree that by observing others you may learn stuff about your "self".

          I perceive and understand what you are writing Esteban, and I do not agree.

          I suggest that one way to get people to willingly collaborate, is to listen carefully to what people express to you, and DO NOT twist their words or meaning. Be clear and honest with communications.

          The topic of this conversation is..."Redefine the term "rehabilitation" in context of prison".
      • Feb 21 2014: Colleen,

        I noticed how you seek to move the conversation...
        You can interpret the concepts ... in any way you choose...
        Note that as long as you are just focused on subjective interpretations (your subjective interpretation) rather than objective observations, understanding of the intent, focus, and what actually be going on will likely be outside and beyond what you get to appropriately appreciate.

        For the record : Following a post I ended with : I am curious how to inspire individuals to change and embrace better ways of being... and would like to know what you an others think on this matter...

        Your response started : Some individuals choose to change Esteban, and we (society, corrections, etc.) can provide the tools they may use to change. The "cognitive self change", and other sessions I co-facilitated in correctional facilities seem to be effective.

        From there I responded: Did a quick search for "Cognitive Self Change"
        Seem the Program focuses on the thinking behind behavior that consists of learning and demonstrating ability to:
        1... 2... 3... 4...

        So technically you pointed at the program which enabled me to investigate and report back the concepts of the program. It seems to me that the focus of cognitive SELF change is evaluating the patterns and behaviors, understanding the flow of events, considering the alternatives and putting into practice. The matters about it being just about one self rather than every self seems to me to be a sideline pet peeve issue stemming from a subjective rather than objective standpoint.

        Its somewhat curios how you in essence agree while still insisting on holding on to being in disagreement. By observing one may learn stuff about one's "self" and about others. I am not sure why individuals choose to resists and choose not to agree with objective truisms and instead prefer to claim self-contraditory paradoxes. Personally I prefer the more objective firm better stances rather than the subjective ambiguities .
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          Feb 21 2014: For the record Esteban...
          1) I mentioned an established program (cognitive self change), which has established concepts.

          2) You chose to CHANGE the concepts to something you preferred

          3) I said you can interpret the concepts in any way you choose....that is YOUR perspective....it is NOT the established concepts of the program.

          I don't care how YOU interpret the concepts Esteban. If you choose to twist the established concepts of an existing program for YOURSELF, that is YOUR choice.

          The most important concept of the Cognitive SELF change program is evaluating one SELF. It is NOT evaluating everybody else. What part of that do you not understand???
      • Feb 21 2014: Colleen,

        For the record emotions to the side- Note the factually inaccuracies of your claim "I showed you the concepts of a program, which I facilitated, which you asked about." I observe that it be factually inaccurate on multiple levels and considered it worthwhile to set the record straight!

        Yes you mentioned an established program (cognitive self change) without actually showing the concepts of the program... I reported back what I found for you and others to consider... My report included the statement - "Of course the key to perceiving the possibilities resides in recognizing and paying attention to what each thinks".

        On a latter post I stated: "You may have noticed how I took the ideas there and generalized them (Redefine the terms) to make them applicable to everyone. In a way I took the "know thyself" and made it "know each self"!

        BTW I think that the most important concept of the program stems from observing, with actually little to no judgmental evaluating. In order to make a fearless inventory participants need to feel they can just report the situations as is, without someone stepping in and evaluating it, nor the need to explain and justify. Reporting what happened exploring the patterns the possibilities and actions requires a keen observational agility both in theory and in practice.

        To me it's quite evident that these interactions serve to expose different notions that have to do with the redefinment to the term related to "rehabilitation" in context of prison"... both applicable to the inmates and us... each and everyone!

        I hope that you are comfortable with someone drawing attention to the veracity of your claims and choose to perceive it in a positive maker. Personally I welcome when someone draws attention to explore the veracity of my claims. Sometimes what is a bit of a nuance is when someone draw attention to what they think i said and insist in focusing on what they think rather than what be...
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      Feb 18 2014: "Transition from Prison to Community Initiative"

      Have you heard of it?

      They've already begun this in a handful of states, 8 now I think.

      There are statistics posted online to give an idea of how effective it has been since they started it in 2002.
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        Feb 18 2014: Vermont started transitioning people from prison to community in 1986.

        http://www.dismasofvermont.org/
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          Feb 18 2014: They're reintroducing the initiative and rolling it out state by state.

          They've just started it in my state MN at the all women's prison and will begin to implement it in the men's prisons probably later this year.
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        Feb 18 2014: Good....it's about time huh Ang?
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          Feb 18 2014: We'll just have to see how good it turns out to be. I agree with the intended purpose of the initiative and hope to see the desired results but that will depend on how well the program is implemented and the type of training offerred.

          I'm hopeful.
  • Feb 16 2014: I originally read the topic line as:
    Redefine the term "rehabilitation" in context of POISON ...

    Now that I read the original notion of prison... things both change and they remain the same.

    My thoughts is that the current prison system is NOT concerned with any of the point mentioned!
    1- For some it's preferable to be in prison than outside of it!
    2- Evidently prisons hold those who have been convicted (keeps hostage those who have not harmed while getting convicted and leave out those who have harmed without getting convicted)
    3- the system is NOT concerned with rehabilitation it is concerned with what to do with convicted offenders who refused to play by the rules... and have gotten poisoned and/or contaminated

    Some have been sequestered to keep the poisoning disease from spreading when what needs to be done is implement a process that transforms the wastes into an enriching resources while ensuring to encapsulate or stabilize contaminants. Binding components into more useful beneficial substances.

    I like to say that the best solution to the problem involves not having the problem, that is take actions to prevent having to deal with the situation. It may be easier to keep from getting poisoned than to remediate the poisoning. Similarly it may be easier to prevent an out of control reaction initiation than it may be to stopping it. The thing is what to do with the out of control reaction that has been initiated... easier to not break the window than to fix the broken window ... of course the broken window needs fixing ... the broken glass needs proper handling ... it certainly can be converted back into window glass though it may be better to find a alternate use for it... some seem to insist on just throwing all the garbage into a landfills rather than incorporating enriching and better recycling practices.

    We certainly ought to Redefine the term "rehabilitation"; along the lines of proper safe handling and uses, effectively guiding actions.
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    Feb 15 2014: My mother is the supervisor of the substance abuse program in two prisons in North Carolina. I have also interned in this department of the prison system, so I do have some first hand experience. I am not sure what all prisons are like, because I have only spent a limited amount of time at a specific location of the country. However, from my own experience and from my understanding of the experiences for other, the rehabilitation aspect of prisons are deeply failing. Because of North Carolina's lack of funding for inmates (due to large populations of non-violent offenders being objected to long term sentences) rehabilitation programs are used as incentives for those who have minimal infractions and good standing in the prison system. Those who are cooperative receive help, those who don't know how to live and behave in ways that earn them this privilege are left out. I believe that this is a very backwards way of rehabilitating individuals who may not understand why they keep repeating the same choices that land them back in prison. I am personally very well read in the addictions arena. I believe that a 12 week (very underfunded) substance abuse treatment program for inmates is not enough to help them understand their disease of addiction, recover from many traumatic experiences that tie in with this disease, and become stable enough to be put back into society as a previous offender, having to battle with their new or repeated stigma of a felon while still trying to apply what they may or may not have learned during rehabilitation. At the end of the day these individuals, specifically non violent offenders, are going to be reunited with society. I really wish that out state government in NC would realize what kind of negative impact they are having not only on the lives of those who have been incarcerated, but by hurting these individuals, we are all being hurt as well.
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    Feb 14 2014: In my opinion, all prisoners should be rehabilitated so that they become better people than they were used to be in the past. All or most prisoners will serve their sentences one day, so they have to rehabilitated before they get out of prison. A prisoner is a human and therefore, he or she should not be mistreated. Punishment is important because it deters people from making the same mistakes. But that would not be enough. Prisoners need a change that can make them better and good people in their societies. They need awareness, education and values in order for them to change. Without change people would remain the same.
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    Feb 14 2014: This paper may provide useful reference material as you consider this issue: https://www.ncjrs.gov/criminal_justice2000/vol_3/03d.pdf
    • Feb 14 2014: Thank you. If anything, this material does give a good history in how we have arrived at our current state. It also suggests that implementing a rehabilitation system to reduce recidivism is more complex than lawmakers want to deal with. I believe the biggest loss to our criminal justice system has been the reduction of power from our judges.
    • Feb 14 2014: But the problem remains: overcrowding, dangerous, abusive environment in our prisons. Truly we fail compared to many other countries. Truly it is in dire need of significant overhaul. We are one of the most litigous states in the world, yet we tout freedom. Segregation of criminals is fine when they are a risk to others, but that is truly the only reasonable justification for a lengthy stay. And even then, they should be safe during this time, not subject to sexual torture. Deterrence and reducung recidivism should be approached separately. Likely incarcerarion iis not the best answer.
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        Feb 14 2014: This subject is discussed often on TED. There was also an excellent article in the New York Times in the last couple of weeks on what is being done to address this almost universally recognized problem. I will look for it, but you might also.

        This is not the very recent article I had in mind but is also applicable" http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/26/us/us-prison-populations-decline-reflecting-new-approach-to-crime.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

        Here is the one I meant: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/27/opinion/keller-america-on-probation.html
        • Feb 15 2014: Thank you for that piece. I wonder, should we give up on rehabilitation altogether? It does seem a bit condescending. I mean, most criminals are not caught. It is a well known fact that crime does indeed pay. If I were caught for everything I have done, I would be in prison as well. But instead I am a college professor. I did not get caught in my youth. Maybe Deterrence and prevention are more practical. More robust child protective laws, for example. But one thing still digs at me. Most the people in prison are being tortured. They stay there for profound lengths of time, at the directive of a confused system. Most have mental issues. Imagine if you were there, and suffering from social anxiety or depression. Each day is a day in hell, and may continue on simply due to the fear that life after death may be worse. And they are there, right now. You and I put them there, and we don't even have a solid reason for it yet.
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        Feb 15 2014: There is a thread right now hosted by a person who changed his life in prison. You might look for it and seek his input.

        From what is known about habits, these are most difficult to break if you return a person to the milieu with all the forces that created the initial problem or impulses without better tools and choices to make.

        I am not an expert in this area, and I do agree that it is easier to help people avoid bad choices than to change habits later, but I have seen nothing to convince me that rehabilitation cannot be worthwhile and effective. Many people in prisons are there for things that few would consider hardened criminality.
  • Feb 14 2014: I agree that perpetrators of non-violent crimes should not be thrown in with the wolves. What I have a hard time dealing with, is our apathy toward the subject. Many of us take pleasure in knowing a criminal will be abused in prison (as is often the case) or that they will in some way suffer. This is retribution. Rehabilitation is different from retribution. I would want someone to feel remorse and and suffer internally, to understand what they have done. If they are mentally ill, then they should be given the right therapy for that. Prisoners have no voice and are raped, beaten, join gangs, then come out rapists and gang members. How is this rehabilitation? What can we do to improve the "rehabilitation" aspect? Leaving someone to their thoughts is fine, but is it grounded is scholarship? And the rapes, dehumanization, beatings? Are they founded in studies that show some value in rehabilitation?
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      Feb 17 2014: Prison is the end of the line, not an arena to begin a better life. It all has to happen before you're behind bars. I believe grandparents have accumulated all the advice and guidance you'll need. Teachers should be in that mix somewhere except they're probably too tired and underpaid. Wouldn't girlfriends have a justifiable interest in you're being a good guy? Sports team-mates, too?
      Years ago, young delinquents and drop-outs in Maryland (Glen Burnie), were given the choice of prison, army, or pass a GED course (General Education Diploma that represented something similar to a High School Diploma). I was selected to teach that course.
      Being English, I was nothing like the people they ran into every day. I had their attention and I had to keep it. We joked our way through basic mathematics after we had understood geometry, angles, areas, distances, and then came to the blackboard to make the circles and lines into humans and animals engaged in some kind of activity. Sadly but predictably, many were shown holding guns and needles.
      Nevertheless, creativity burst into the room.
      Filled with laughter and eager to go on, we turned to the other half of our curriculum: English. We wrote dialogues for the characters we had drawn; adding scripts of narrators, reviews of the dramas, and finally we held a short story contest. Most of them were autobiographical, of course, some of them brought tears to those street toughs, a sight to see. I declared them all winners and treated them to lunch at a fast-food joint in the mall where our classroom was.
      All 20 of them passed the GED test.
      For three years I traced the futures of my graduates and none crossed the line of the law. Now, that's a diploma worth having.
      • Feb 17 2014: Education is a good thing to look at, because failure here is a precursor to jailtime. But there is a precursor to school. And there is one for the parents that kicked the kids around. And their parents. Some say it's finances, some say since people can't find full-time work, for example, they are left to kick around their kids and smoke crack all day. I can agree with the idle hands maxim. But that's not what this thread is about. It's not about prevention. If you want, I am sure there are plenty of conversations about it on this site. This is concerned with rehabilitation and why it is even mentioned within the context of jail. In my city, it is called the "Justice Center." But if you look, at some point in all the legal transcripts and mission statements, you are going to find that word. And it does not belong there. Jail now is solely for retribution. When someone goes to prison, we rejoice in the fact that they will be raped. Listen to "Date Rape" by Sublime. A very popular and somewhat contemporary tune. All will be well when the criminal is raped. All will be well again. Someone should kick down the door and kick around the guy who kicks around his kids. And then follow those kids till they start kicking around their kids, and then give them some good kicks. We should delegate a secret squad, so that justice will always be done. Deterrence is OK, when people know what the laws are. But they don't. Did you know that you can get seven years for selling LSD? I knew a guy who sold a ten-strip to a cop and his life was over. Pretty harsh. And if you don't think it is, check the laws on drug possession. Have you ever smoked pot? The president did. What if he were caught? He would be a convict. Instead, he was not caught, and is the president. Segregation only makes sense when it is a violent crime. And rehabilitation currently has no place in the rhetoric of criminal justice, because it is false advertising.
        • Feb 17 2014: Andy,

          "...kick down the door and kick around the guy who kicks around ..." will need another kicker to kick the kicker kicker... which basically exacerbates the kicking... its similar to putting out the fire by burning everything down ... I do realize that sometimes a controlled fire can contain and out of control fire...while at the same time recognize that the controlled fire can get out of control! Personally I think there are better ways to contain a fire that need not employ a fire...

          Of course adequate education is a good thing to look at, because it can be a precursor to what happens latter... though each ultimately chooses what to learn from the interactions...