Is Prison actually useful for criminals or are they just more likely to re-offend?


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Yo Kass Profile
Yo Kass answered

I've never really felt that prisons were any good at reforming people. The impression I get is that people go to jail and come out hardened criminals... Especially true if they are young.

What's also worse is how difficult it then becomes for them to reintegrate into society.

I REALLY don't understand how colleges in the US can refuse admission to people that have been to jail.

I can understand an employer being wary and wanting to know about criminal history, but it's then a case by case decision whether someone gets hired.

To deny education to ex-cons is pretty much relegating them to the bottom rung of society, no matter how much they want to reform.

Having said all that, prison isn't just about reform. It is also about punishment and deterrent...

If people were sent to jail and spent their time there attending counselling sessions, learning to bake, and talking about their feelings, there would be no reason for people to be scared of jail.

Prison has to be harsh enough and scary enough that people don't want to end up there and will behave themselves when they are released so they never have to go back.

Maybe hard labour should be reintroduced like in North Korea!?

It's a complex question, and there's also the question of funding to consider too...

I keep hearing about how much it costs to maintain a prisoner, and how prisons are all overcrowded and people are being released early because the prison population is too big... How much more funding would it take to create a system that was effective in rehabilitating?

A lot I guess.

But you could argue that successfully rehabilitating prisoners would actually cut costs in the long run, considering the reduced amount of reoffenders...  But politicians and voters don't think about the long term much these days, we're all too worried about how we're going to balance the budget in the short term

thanked the writer.
John McCann
John McCann commented
" But you could argue that successfully rehabilitating prisoners would actually cut costs in the long run,"

How would you do that rehabilitation? Knowing that it has been tried before and did not work then. Prisons used to try to rehabilitate people, then the 80's came.

People who do the things they do need to be put somewhere.

Now, release all the drug offenders and you would have the room to do that and enough left over to try and rehabilitate people.
Yo Kass
Yo Kass commented
I'm not sure on the details of the rehabilitation, maybe like something out of A Clockwork Orange? I'm not sure....

That's a good point about the drug offenders... custodial sentences for minor drug offences make no sense to me at all
Adila Adila
Adila Adila commented
The thing is which prisons, because they're overcrowded the offenders don't get chance to change or help themselves because the overcrowding causes problems and mounts more fear into them.

When I visited a Prison last, one of the youth offenders told me that he didn't want to be released because he knew he would re-offend and just get back in prison again. When they tell you that it just makes you wonder what hope they have.

I thought that working with them they would be silly and fools but I've realised as mad as this sounds that some of the criminals were actually quite nice to me and it was nice getting to know them. Obviously I can't side with them for some of the things they'd done but I felt sorry for them.

I agree with you Kass, they shouldn't be refused the right to study just because of that, I think though it depends on the severity of the crime, sex offenders will obviously not even get touched if any bank, school, college whatever came across them. But minor offenses should be excused just a bit. I think anyway.

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