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Rated: E · Editorial · Cultural · #1481630
Government vs common sense
The Problem Is…

Overcrowded Prisons.  The problem is not as much the overcrowding as it is the way they got that way in the first place.  There are a lot of factors that contribute to the problem.

First I think we need to reconsider what we view as a crime.  As I stated in another paper I think we need to legalize  prostitution, drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.  Everyone knows the problems associated with the abuse of these things, but they are not going away anyhow.  Contrary to what the “establishment” would have you believe, engagement in activity related to any of these things  are in fact victimless crimes.  The only reason they are crimes is that our elected officials have made them illegal, and I don’t know of anyone that has been forced to use or participate in any of these things.  I have heard of people forcing women into prostitution.  That is a crime and anyone forcing a person to prostitute themselves should be prosecuted like any other sex offender.

That brings me to another point.  The way we punish criminals.  Let’s face it folks, if you remove the weapon a rapist or child molester uses in the commission of the crime they will not do it again.  I’ve heard “experts” and even convicted offenders admit that the people who commit these crimes are incurable, and that if they were released from prison they would commit the same crimes again.  I think my suggestion would be a much better deterrent for those contemplating a first offence, and if not enough of a deterrent there will not be a second offence anyway.  But what do we do now.  We lock them in prison for the rest of their natural lives and we taxpayers support them.  I don’t know about you, but I, personally, do not relish the idea of paying to support someone like this.  Especially when I’m having enough trouble supporting myself.

Which brings me to yet another point.  The worse the economy, the higher the crime rate.  When it gets bad enough the criminals actually become heroes.  After the civil war the economy was in bad shape and you had people like Frank and Jesse James, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  During the Depression it was Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger, and even Al Capone, from what I understand, was well liked by those not in the business of crime.  Most people are as honest as they can afford to be.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  I even met a guy who committed a crime with every intention of getting caught and going to jail because he could live better there than he could on the street. 

That tells me that there is something seriously wrong with our penal system.  We really need to think about making prisons places that people don’t want to go.  I’ve known people that have gone to prison and when they were released they were in better health and physical condition than when they went in.  To career criminals our prisons are like vacation resorts.  When they go in  they just meet old friends, eat better, sleep better, get more exercise, and maybe learn how to be better criminals so that when they get out they are more of a threat to society than they were in the first place.  Does this make sense to anyone?

In my opinion our prison system shouldn’t even exist.  It seems to me that it does more harm than good.  I think we need to get back to something more closely resembling biblical law.  You know, an eye for an eye, a hand for a hand, a tooth for a tooth, etc.  There is supposed to be a guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment.  I really don’t know what would be considered cruel and unusual punishment but I do know that our current system is nowhere near it.  Except for the fact that I think it’s cruel that I’m forced to pay taxes to support criminals and unusual that I would be expected to do so when common sense will tell you that a law abiding citizen should not be paying for a crime committed by someone with no regard for the law.

Over the years I’ve heard so much crap about prisoners rights I think we’ve forgotten why they’re there in the first place.  They’re criminals.  I don’t think we should have prisons but if we must have them let’s make them downright uncomfortable.  Turn off the air conditioners.  Give them only enough heat to keep them from freezing.  Take away the gyms and the exercise equipment and feed them a subsistence diet.  In other words, feed them just enough to survive.  Deny them medical care for wounds and injuries incurred through acts of violence.  Their only recourse then is to avoid violence.  A lot of these people live in a violent world outside prison that they help to create so that’s nothing new to them.  The difference is that in prison medical care is more immediately available because the violence is noticed and attended to and they don’t have to wait for an ambulance.  Somehow that just don’t seem right.  If they kill each other off there will be that many fewer getting back on the streets to do it again.  Forget about educational programs.  They are available to everyone on the outside.  What we need to do is create the desire to seek them out.

You see, career criminals are only in prison for the crimes they were convicted of.  What about the ones they got away with.  Our current penal system is basically just a slap on the wrist for these people.  We need to create an environment that will make them fear getting caught.  We are never going to rid the world completely of crime but we can minimize it.  If we provide nothing more than subsistence for prisoners they will pay for their crimes with their health and well being.  The less healthy they are, the less able they will be to get away with more crimes and the younger they will die more quickly relieving society of the burden they impose on it.

Just my opinion.     


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