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Sunday, February 15, 2009

The purpose of prison

In my perspective of view I think that Prisons main purpose is to punish the crime and also try to fix the defections that are in the offender’s character. Sometimes even that we punish the crime and we lock down offenders, and increase incarceration for them, not necessarily will bring result. A lot of inmates adjust their behavior and start feeling very comfortable inside those cells. They are allowed to watch TV, play, run, and sometimes they have even better access to the drugs inside the prison that they will have in the free life. Further, this changes the concept of the punishment. It is not anymore punishment; it is place were they live and eat for free. So they don’t feel crime impose anymore, the crime is something that just happen in the past!?

On the other hand, some prisons don’t have a classification of the inmates at all. Some of prisons keep different crime offenders in the same unit. I am not sure if a classification is possible but I think that someone that committed a first degree murder should be treated different from some one that is locked up for pedophiles, or sexual harassment. Not necessary the punishment to be more aggressive in the time of incarcerating but in the way how we try to deal and rehabilitate them.
On other reason that I don’t agree with the “punishing the crime” without taking a close look in causes that brought that crime to be committed is that, if the offender killed someone trying to protect their family, should not be treated in a same way like a gang member that killed someone for gaining the respect from the others.
I think this should matter not just in the prosecutor’s decision but also in the prisons environment.

However, I think prisons like the ones that we have right now should be decreased in number and serve just for the “worst of the worst”. The money we will gain from decreasing the number of these prisons should be allocated in building more rehabilitating centers, from were the inmates with some defects after the rehab will get back to society as responsible people.

This may be just unrealistic theory but we should think more about the future of those people who get released, because their past will dictate their future in the real life despite the quote that past is something that should be forgotten.

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