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Why do we send criminals to prison?
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Why do we send criminals to prison?

If habits are formed in humans by repetition and are largely influenced by environment. Why do we send criminals to prison? Prison: a place filled with people that are against societies rules. Is it not so that small time crooks can learn from more experienced prisoners. Then why send them there? Isn't that asking for more trouble? I understand the fact that if you put them in jail, that they are not on the streets. BUT..someday they will be set free again. After years in prison: wouldn't they have become, better criminals, having learned from the pros. So I don't find "then society is rid of them, then the streets are safe, etc.." good arguments. It's when they come out, that the trouble begins. What would Ido then? I don't know. All I know is that we should reconsider the use of prisons. I think it's much better to rehabilitate the smaller crooks, so they don't become like the more hardened, criminals (without a conscience). The more resilient, harder criminals I would put away, separated from each other, if that would be a possibility. If they show they are willing to change and follow rigorous rehabilitatin, maybe(!), they can be put in a less strict environment. edit2 @Bill G I agree with you that hardened prisoners can't be rehabilitated to return to society. That's not what I would propose. They should be treated even more strictly than what's the case now. My point however was to take criminals with first offence and rehabilitate those, then rehabilitation may still have some positive effect. Maybe even using prison as a scare tactic in that phase. Because once they are in prison they will find out that it is actually not that bad. (food, clothes,..) because eventually they'll learn that they can survive there.

Apostle Jack
I think it's better than being at your door step.

Bill G
By the time they go to prison they already ARE hardened criminals. It's very unlikely that someone will go to prison for a first felony offense unless it is a violent offense. Particularly in these days of state budget shortfalls, probation is often used for first time offenders. People who are in prison are often people who have committed multiple felonies in their lifetime, and/or violated their probation. In theory your idea sounds great, but in reality, most people are in prison because they are a danger to society and they most definitely belong there. I have worked at three correctional facilities, including the largest maximum security facility in my state. Although there are some who change their ways after prison, most are NOT people who will ever be rehabilitated.

You're correct. The best place to get an education about how to be a criminal is in jail. This is partially why America has 5% of the worlds population but 25% of the worlds prisoners. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States America has some harsh penalties not befitting of the crime when the offense is a victimless crime/one of consent. But, many Americans want gov to dictate morality. Thus, the prisons stay full at taxpayer expense while the convicted can absorb the better way to crime. We send them to jail to get them off the street but unless they are violent, they will be back on the street a little wiser in a relatively short amt. of time. Some laws make a criminal out of otherwise law abiding citizens.

The purpose of prison is to keep dangerous, violent Felons off the street.

What else would you do with them?

Excellent point. For the majority of society's rule breakers, prison is counterproductive. Like you said, you're basically trapped with nothing but a bunch of other rule breakers (some far worse than you) so of course you're only going to learn how to become a better criminal and sit around and get bitter about being treated like a dog and denied proper medical care (which is the reality in prison). The only use I see in prison is to protect society from violent physically dangerous people such as serial killers. When you lock up petty drug dealers and check fraud artists, you'll really just wasting your time and tax money. Instead of prison, you can try probation, rehabilitation classes etc. There are other more humane ways of dealing with nonviolent offenders than prison.

Get Used to Cannibalism
I do think, until they legalize it, they should have a separate prison for pot offenders & the other pointless crimes we tend to lock people up for. Maybe something cheap & on the honor system

Mr. Sarcasm
We could set up a rehab center next door to you. Would you prefer that?

So what do you propose? Just let them walk free after killing someone?

as apposed to what?

Well what else are we gonna do with them? Let them go? Honestly rapists and murderers should be shot as soon as they are convicted but for petty criminals what are you gonna do besides put them in jail.

Because the death penalty doesnt work for all crimes

Actually society likes to think its better to lock all crooks in jail.

LDNZ1014 Lisa
I certainly don't want drug dealers, rapists and murders walking the same streets I do. Where else do you propose they go?

because if we dont they will kill you

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