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originally posted in:Owners of the Katana
Edited by burritosenior: 2/1/2013 5:53:00 PM
19

A Discussion on How to Handle Criminals

I wish to enlighten some people. Arrests don't lower crime rates. This is a problem with public perception. People believe that if we put all the criminals away or kill them off, less crime will happen. This is simply untrue. In states with the Death Penalty, the murder rate is higher than in those without it. And even in states without it, crime rates are still ridiculously high. You can blame what you want- economics, the people themselves, the job market, etc. However, the fact of the matter is that arresting people isn't getting crime rates lowered, and while imprisonment and/or death might be a deterrent, it certainly is not an effective one. I know an officer that goes around pretending to be a drug dealer or prostitute or whatever she needs to be to catch offenders in the act. She went to this one district years ago and came back six years later (you can't stay too long at one place or else you get a reputation and start getting noticed), recently. She said she was stunned that even though her actions arrested literally hundreds of people in this city over the course of her work, absolutely nothing had changed when she got back to that area. The same crimes happened with different people, and just as often. Many systems have switched to a focus on rehabilitation. What does this word mean to you? To most people, this means fixing the problems within the person. Make them not WANT to commit crime anymore. However, this too ignores the fact that being a bad person is not the only reason to commit a crime. Rehabilitation is not solely focused on the person, but their circumstances. Think about it. If somebody is in prison for years and just sent out, what happens to them? They might not have a home, money, food, etc. What do you think they are going to do next? Crime, of course, if only to get by. That is why states have probation. Probation, often/always mandatory on many sentences, is when a criminal is released from prison under the supervision of the government. They can be assigned to live somewhere, given aid to get a job, and are monitored to ensure they do not continue to commit crimes. By doing this, we are focusing on rehabilitation by circumstance where the offenders no longer need to commit crimes. This has been shown to be reasonably effective. The problem is that, like everything else, this costs money and time. The officers in charge of monitoring these people could have a hundred offenders a week they need to monitor and check in with, leading to gaps or delays in their work. Is this the most effective thing we can do? Now, here's something I found shocking. I talked with the Warden of a certain prison in my state. I was told that only about 1/3rd of the inmates there were there the previous year. 2/3rds of the people within a prison each year are new offenders brought back largely due to parole violations. This brings up a new point. You see, a prison with a maximum capacity of 5,500 now has 22,000 people. No, I do not exaggerate. We have a lot of people in jails and prisons, and despite the public perception of 'really high crime rates overflowing our prisons,' people don't realize that the majority of those people are simply those that broke previous parole conditions. It can be simple things- I know someone that was told by the judge not to step into a bar. He did, drank, and was sent back to prison for it. People around here were upset that some college kid was arrested for drinking too much, but they don't realize it was for breaking his parole requirements, not for drinking itself. Parole is different from probation. Parole is a sentence. A judge says, 'Look, OK. I don't want to send you to prison/ you have earned the right after being in prison for a time to try and be a citizen again. So just follow these rules, check in with an officer once a week, and you can stay free.' Probation is when people are released early as a REQUIREMENT, not as a sentence. As I said earlier, if we just release criminals from prison with no help, they'll just offend again. By putting people on probation before their 'serving time' is up, we can get them reacquainted with society and the neighborhoods. Probation is most certainly necessary to integrate offenders back into society. Parole is necessary for minor crimes and first time offenders because our prisons and resources are already far beyond capacity. Arresting people gets them off the streets, but does not solve the immediate problem- crime continues. Threatening people with punishments is not a deterrent, or at least nearly strong enough of one, to crime. So, folks. With all this in mind, possibly some new information you did not know before, how would you say we, as a society, could manage to lower crime rates throughout the nation? And while I speak as an American, I welcome foreign views of other nations as well. I am curious to that, too. And if you were curious, I rambled simply because I have an essay related to this to write and I wanted to jot down my thoughts haphazardly. Yet I thought it might make some interesting food for thought for some of you that are curious about such things.
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  • Improve education and parental education, that will save you a lot of trouble!
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    1 Reply
    • Didn't you do this before? But yes: Jailing people isn't the answer. Rehabilitation is. Finding the root cause of their problems, fixing that, and get them back going again is the solution. Jail should only be for the un-rehabilitatable.
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    • If all good responsible Americans owned a gun. No one would be bad. Know why? They would get shot before they had the chance to be bad.
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    • Intresting
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    • I think Russia has the right idea, rehabilitating those who can be saved and sending those who can't to oblivion on Earth.
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    • Cough cough, bump bump
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    • What if crime were legal? Then there would be no crime.
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    • I think the fear of arresting people does act as a successful buffer to good people doing bad things. Since how many times have you stopped your doing "illegal" things because of the fear you may get arrested. Also once you are arrested the chances of having a good career with a criminal record are very slim. So generally speaking I would say arresting is a good way to control are population without going against peoples human rights or discriminating against groups.
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      • A large portion of the prison population are in for drug possesion. I would also bet a lot of woman are in for prostitution. Legalize drugs and prostitution and prison populations will drop drastically.
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      • In a lot of cases, crimes may be better treated as a health issue. I don't want to get into specifics due to not wanting a ban of some sort, but yeah.
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      • I say we just shoot anyone we see committing a felony, I think that would deter people if they feared getting shot.
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      • We should stop making prisons a walled up hotel. Stop offering cable TV, pool tables, work out yards, all that crap. It's not a good thing to be in prison, so why do we allow them to enjoy themselves? Or we could just go old school and make examples out of people. If you steal, we cut your hand off. Steal again, and we cut the other hand off. Public executions for murderers and rapists that were proven guilty or confess. Bah, I don't know. Don't listen to me. I need caffeine.
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        2 Replies
        • [b][u][i]LOL[/i][/u][/b] You just never cease to amaze me.
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        • Correlation isn't causation. You certainly have many valid points, but the conclusion that arrests don't lower crime rates is fallacious. Perhaps they don't lower crime rates [i] enough.... [/i]
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        • IIRC, the prison that [google]Anders Breivik[/google] is staying in also has one of the (or [i]the[/i]) lowest recidivism rates in the world (recidivism: people getting out of jail and ending up right back in it). The facilities and programs available there are a far cry from what you'd find in US jails -- inmates lead comfortable lives and have various kinds of rehab-type programs and counseling available to help turn them into proper citizens. And, given the low recidivism rate, it's clearly working. I long for the day when the U.S. can boast of something similar, because clearly our current lock-em-all-up-and-throw-away-the-key isn't working at all.
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        • How to decrease crime rates? put them on a live tv show where they're in a giant battle royale and the top dog gets the honor of 1 cent when/if they get out of prison. People won't want to go to prison because of all the death, and won't commit crimes.
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          • Ties in with Brazil(?) who decriminalized Heroine and started treating the addicts rather than jailing them. Heroin use plummeted after that. Being hard on crime is a comforting notion that avoids addressing the problem. You get to punish the "bad" guys and put off having to actually fix them. Of course there needs to be a line drawn somewhere. If people get the idea that your a pushover and won't actually do shit but try to "help" them they'll try to walk all over you.
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          • Edited by Apple: 8/16/2015 6:42:58 PM
            fwa
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          • [quote]So, folks. With all this in mind, possibly some new information you did not know before, how would you say we, as a society, could manage to lower crime rates throughout the nation? [/quote] Sick sticks, like off Minority Report.
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