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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: 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.

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