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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: 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.

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