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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 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.

        • 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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