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  • Rehabilitation vs Punishment??

    I've been doing a lot of thinking lately regarding the rehabilitation vs. punishment argument. I wonder what your experiences are, in that you've dealt with many people on the street, and I haven't.

    Do you think society has a responsbility to fix a "broken" person? Is rehabilitation possible? Under what circumstances?

    Do you think its better to lock people up indefinitely, instead of trying to return them to society as useful human beings? Is punishment the only thing people understand?

    Having said that, I am of the opinion that child abusers and sex offenders are not "fixable". But, what about drug users, alcoholics, burglers, carjackers, thieves, etc... What do you think?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Presence View Post
    I've been doing a lot of thinking lately regarding the rehabilitation vs. punishment argument. I wonder what your experiences are, in that you've dealt with many people on the street, and I haven't.

    Do you think society has a responsbility to fix a "broken" person? Is rehabilitation possible? Under what circumstances?

    Do you think its better to lock people up indefinitely, instead of trying to return them to society as useful human beings? Is punishment the only thing people understand?

    Having said that, I am of the opinion that child abusers and sex offenders are not "fixable". But, what about drug users, alcoholics, burglers, carjackers, thieves, etc... What do you think?
    I think it takes far too much time, energy and money to try to rehabilitate adults (keeping in mind the entire focus of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation). These societal needs represented by the criminal element (broken homes, abused childhoods, massive healthcare needs due to drug and alcohol abuse, etc) require MASSIVE amounts of time/energy/money, more than I have to offer.

    Now I wonder, can we even correct some of these fundamental issues, I mean, how do you change the behavior of a person who not only has manipulated people and lied his whole life, but thinks those that don't are fools.

    I'm all for granting resources and effort to those who want to make the change, and actually step up and do the hard work it takes to get it done. But those few are awfully rare, IMHO.

    The liberals think education and social programs can solve all the problems of the world. They're only half right. Education and social programs can solve a lot of problems, but the person has to want badly enough to benefit from the services to actually put in the effort and maintain the drive for the education and/or benefits to actually be of use.

    YMMV,

    EDJ
    "It's a game of cat and mouse. It's a game of hide and seek. Albeit games with deadly consequences. Like most games-the better you know the rules, the more likely you are to win."

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    • #3
      Thanks for your thoughts... I think you raise a great point- that in order to benefit from said social programs and services, one has to WANT to be better...

      I'm afraid for some people there just wouldn't be enough money in the world to make them WANT that... Heck, even WITH all the money in the world you couldn't make some people get better...

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      • #4
        For the most part, sequestering. For a lot of these guys, all we are doing is sequestering them away from their potential victims for the time being.

        As an example, I arrested a shoplifter the other day who had a ton of previous theft and conversion convictions. He was a middle aged guy, suspended license, pretty typical revolving door misdemeanor type of fellow. After he was cuffed he told the store personnel not to worry about going to court, he would take the plea bargain like he always does. Do you think he feels like he's being punished? It's just part of the job to him. Rehabilitation? Good luck.
        I miss you, Dave.
        http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

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        • #5
          Rehabilitation requires that the offender wants to change his or her behavior. It isn't a matter or creating services within the criminal justice system, sending the offender through said services, and VOILA! he's a respectable member of society when he comes out the other end. The offender has to want to participate in rehabilitation services and put effort into their own rehabilitation. Most adult offenders simply don't want to put out that effort..it's easier and more comfortable for them to continue doing whatever they're doing that got them into the criminal justice system in the first place.
          "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
          -Friedrich Nietzsche

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          • #6
            Rehab doesn't work. It was tried for a while, and in the 70s was a big thing, fueled by the Carter adminstrartion...lots of money there.

            But its record is dismal. If it worked, I'd be all for it, as it would be cheaper than incareration.

            However, there is something to be said for what C.S. Lewis called "just desserts." That means if a person commits a crime, he pays for it in prison, then gets out.

            Rehab beasically encourages games and lies. If someone beat your spouse or loved one, for example, and you beat the crap out of that person, then under rehab you'd be required to say, "No, I wouldn't do it again." But I would do it again, and would lie and say, "No, I wouldn't."

            "A Clockwork Orange" is a novel based of "forced rehabilitation, and asks the question just how far can a government go in "rehabilitating" a person? What are the limits?
            "Say hal-lo to my leetle frahnd!"

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            • #7
              to me it all depends on the crime. A killer should not be rehabilitated.
              just an example.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Khadafi310 View Post
                to me it all depends on the crime. A killer should not be rehabilitated.
                just an example.
                Only LE personnel are supposed to respond to questions in this forum. Note the large blue heading and red warning at the top of your screen advising of such.

                Just watching out for you so you aren't banned.
                I miss you, Dave.
                http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

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                • #9
                  In NY, we have this thing called "Drug Court" which is where most of the drug offenders go. They aren't incarcerated, but they have certain guidelines they have to abide by while part of the program including STAYING SOBER!!!! Its really a joke. Can't tell you how many of them fail the "program" or pass it only to fall off the wagon shortly after graduation and get back into the cj system. If people wanted to be rehabilitated, it wouldn't be the police's job to catch criminals. They'd be turning themselves in asking for "help"

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                  • #10
                    I truly believe that you are responsible for your actions and there are consequences for actions that are illegal. After punishment (Consequence) then we could discuss rehabilitation. If you are successful in Rehab then your consequence would be a better life. This is a choice that the offender makes, not the court or LEO. Yes, Rehab works if you work it and desire it, otherwise it is a waste of resources.

                    ONE MAN'S OPINION
                    Honesty Pays, Dishonesty Costs, ARE YOU IN DEBT

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                    • #11
                      Incarceration is society's way of telling you that you have violated our norms. Repeated violators are not getting the message, and need to be seperated from society, as in "3 strikes, your out" states.

                      In simple terms, we, as the sheepdogs, need to keep the identified wolves away from the sheep.
                      "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                      John Stuart Mill

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                      • #12
                        In the 1970s, when correctional rehab programs were all the rage, a criminologist named Robert Martinson published a paper that was the result of extensive research he had done in a wide variety of rehab programs. The title of the paper was "Nothing Works." He found that any rehab program that reformed 15% of its participants was wildly successful as compared to most others. Many programs claimed better success rates, but long-term examination of recidivism (re-offending) showed that those claims were mostly the result of data manipulation, usually in order to maintain their funding.

                        There are five objectives of punishment:
                        • Retribution: paybacks, an eye for an eye. Probably the closest thing we have to an instinctive response. This might make the victim feel better, but it seldom does much for the offender beyond annoying him intensely.
                        • Incapacitation: imprisonment, or at least doing something to the offender so that he is unable to victimize anyone else. Castration of sex offenders is another form of incapacitation, but even that doesn't always work. The Roots scene where the slave owner cuts off Kunta Kinte's foot to keep him from escaping again is another form of incapacitation. The death penalty is about the only form of incapacitation that is guaranteed to work every time.
                        • Rehabilitation: reforming the offender so that he does not reoffend. See the above.
                        • Deterrence: keeping the offender, or other people, from offending by creating an example or instilling the fear of punishment that is greater than the reward of the offense. Works well on most of us, but is useless on folks with poor impulse control who don't consider the consequences of their actions.
                        • Restoration: the only goal that focuses on the victim more so than the offender. A program where the objective is to make the victim whole again, by paying them damages or even just apologizing. Islamic law (Sha'ria) is very big on this, requiring payments of "blood money" to crime victims and/or their families. In earlier times, a killer might be conscripted to the family of their victim, to replace the victim's labor and contribution to the household.


                        There are obvious crossovers here. Rehabilitation can be combined with incapacitation when a rehab program is conducted in prison. The threat of a prison sentence can be a deterrent. No one I am aware of has come up with a way to satisfy all these goals at one time.

                        By the way, Robert Martinson threw himself out a window of a tall building in 1980, while his teenage son watched. There is lots of room for speculation as to his motive, but consider coming to grips with knowing that the topic you had studied and mastered your entire life was all useless.

                        I have my own ideas for what would make a better criminal justice system, but I'm saving those for a book. Free autographs for all O.com forum members - once you've paid for the book.
                        Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

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                        • #13
                          3 strikes?

                          Originally posted by Sleuth View Post
                          Incarceration is society's way of telling you that you have violated our norms. Repeated violators are not getting the message, and need to be seperated from society, as in "3 strikes, your out" states.

                          In simple terms, we, as the sheepdogs, need to keep the identified wolves away from the sheep.


                          what about when the third strike is something like stealing a slice of pizza? is that punishable with life in prison?

                          I'm trying to remember the exact case, and it's escaping me at the moment... but I think that 3 strikes should apply only to certain types of crimes...

                          although then it ends up involving all this mitigating circumstance crapola, and maybe it is better after all if ANY offense, being your third, counts. It SHOULD, should being the operative word, be enough to deter people...

                          though we know how well deterrence works... :P

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tim Dees View Post

                            By the way, Robert Martinson threw himself out a window of a tall building in 1980, while his teenage son watched. There is lots of room for speculation as to his motive, but consider coming to grips with knowing that the topic you had studied and mastered your entire life was all useless.

                            I have my own ideas for what would make a better criminal justice system, but I'm saving those for a book. Free autographs for all O.com forum members - once you've paid for the book.
                            Wow...that's terrible... I imagine that must have been a terrible thing to determine that your life's work amounted to basically nil.


                            I guess there is still a part of me that wants to believe some people CAN change...if they want to, bad enough. The rest of the time, I guess they are just telling you what you want to hear...only to revert back to true form once given the opportunity.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JonMcD1980 View Post
                              In NY, we have this thing called "Drug Court" which is where most of the drug offenders go. They aren't incarcerated, but they have certain guidelines they have to abide by while part of the program including STAYING SOBER!!!! Its really a joke. Can't tell you how many of them fail the "program" or pass it only to fall off the wagon shortly after graduation and get back into the cj system. If people wanted to be rehabilitated, it wouldn't be the police's job to catch criminals. They'd be turning themselves in asking for "help"
                              We have drug courts here in FL too, both for juveniles and adult... And Mental Health court too, for that matter... The idea being that they have to abide by those guidelines, submit to pee tests, show up to court on a certain schedule, meet with their social worker, etc..

                              I've sat in on a few of the drug courts, and it seems like in theory a good idea- people get this opportunity to get rehab, and I think it is a good thing for some of them... Though, there are still those who participate simply to avoid going to jail...who consistently fail the tests, or get dilute results (which is counted as a positive!)... And eventually those individuals are cut loose from the drug court, and they then have to go to regular court for the offense they were arrested for...


                              unfortunately, for many of them, I suspect they end up there sooner or later anyway... :P

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