Thursday, August 10, 2006

Prison Reform Rant.

On Sunday I commented on Pat Nolan's OpEd in the LA Times about the need for prison reform and his well thought out recommendations. Pat had been a Republican state assemblyman in California and spent 2 years in prison, he is an advocate for rethinking our criminal justice system and knows from experience whereof he speaks.

Today there is this letter to the editor in the LA Times:
Ex-convict Pat Nolan wrote as though these inmates were born in prisons, or that there were no public schools for them to attend when they were kids. Perhaps life in prisons should be made so dismal, painful and difficult that the actual experience would serve to deter more than just false hopes of rehabilitation of the inmates. Why not use fear to protect the law-abiding instead of the other way around? Criminals should be punished, literally, from the time they're incarcerated until they are released.

(Name omitted to protect the stupid.)
I hardly know where to start my rant. This is such a typical reaction and is really the reason we never solve the crime problem in this country. We fail to properly educate or train our inner city youth, we don't provide adequate jobs and living wages for those at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, we criminalize low level drug use instead of providing recovery assistance, we ignore the fact that over 90% of those incarcerated will be released and assume that just providing strict punishment will rehabilitate and prevent criminals from committing additional crimes.

I'm not sure what planet this letter writing idiot is living on. Has he ever spent one minute in jail or prison? If he had he would know that life is no picnic even in so called "country club" facilities. Life in any prison facility is something no one would ever aspire to--unless our society provided no better alternative. Oh, I forgot, for the poor and poorly prepared for life in our culture there may not be a better alternative.

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