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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.



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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.
    • 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.

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