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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?

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  • 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!

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