Criminal Reformation: 2017-06-24
After criminals serve their time we as a society should focus on supporting them, so they may become productive members of society again. When we cut them off from resources, ostracize them, make it hard for them to get work, take away any sense of community they may have, we make life tougher on them to the point they are much more likely to re-commit than if they do have supports in place to help them integrate back into society.
When we punish simply to punish that seems kind of sadistic in nature and almost lowering ourselves to their level so that we may feel better. Instead we should focus on discipline, teaching them how to do better, we should focus on rehabilitation and bringing them up to our level.
Yes they committed a criminal act, but they paid for it, and we as a society should assume they have learned their lesson, or if not perhaps we need to reform our penal system so it's less about punishing and fear and more about changing people.
How can you get your life back on track when it's tough to get or hold on a job, or meet unreasonable parole restrictions. You end up going back into old patterns to get by, and land back in jail. Treatment and therapy cost a lot less than having them serve time in prison, and yet sadly that seems to be more a last resort or after thought than a go to. Yes they hurt people, but nothing we can do now can change it, all we can do is try to help society as a whole, instead of focusing on punishing the individual.
Is it so easy to fall into that righteous rage, to go with the crowd and hate, but forgiveness never comes easily. Of course we should never forget, but at least we can do is forgive. When we become outraged we allow emotions and feelings to cloud our judgment, we don't care about facts about trends that make it less likely for people to re-commit, we don't care about how unlikely it is they re-commit if they have good supports in place, we just want "justice", whatever that may be. When we focus on society as a whole instead of enacting revenge or justice on the individual we can all improve, with decreased costs, decreased crime rates. We need to have a focus on empathy and understanding for all involved, when we don't who really wins?