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  #1    
Old February 19th, 2014, 07:54 AM
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In my state, governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing a plan to provide college education for people in prison (here's an article on it). It would partner local colleges with the prisons, and provide college courses within jail for inmates, and said courses would count as certification towards an Associates or Bachelors degree. The plan is intended to reduce recidivism (fancy talk for repeat offenses), which is indeed a problem, since spending time in jail makes it more difficult to get a job, which is a vicious cycle for more crime.

According to the governor, it would cost the state about $5,000 per inmate each year. That's a fairly small fraction of what it costs per year to house each prisoner, which is $60,000.

The objections to this plan are that it costs taxpayers money, who themselves are struggling to put their own children through college. Another objection is that it gives people more of an incentive to commit crimes (i.e. rob a store => college education).

What are your thoughts on this? Good idea? Bad idea? Do you think the potential drawbacks outweigh the benefits? Would you support such a plan being implemented where you live?
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Old February 19th, 2014, 08:47 AM
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I would say a good idea depending on the time so said inmate is imprisoned, but to deal with is children themselves, they have to get in too right? Well couldn't there be a seperate college thing for prisoners that don't require the total dependence of local college and also do fund raisers, like baking, car washes, etc. Or have frequent shows or do a grant at first then raise money for the inmates. Or slowly save up and each year able to do more amd more inmates.
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Old February 19th, 2014, 05:54 PM
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I'm not actually sure how much of a problem this is, but OP brings up the point of having incentive to commit crimes. Even without the incentive of a college education, I'd imagine the living conditions in jail are better for some, so there's already incentive to commit crime. Adding "free education" would exacerbate that problem, assuming it is a problem to begin with, if not, well then it might just create that problem.
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Old February 20th, 2014, 02:18 AM
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By and large prisons already offer education support within their facilities, giving inmates who have not been able to complete their high school education to do so, at tax-payers' expense. Extending that to include college courses isn't that big of a deal, and the fears cited haven't resulted in an increase in jail population (with convicted felons indicating their crimes were committed so that the could obtain the free education they wanted).

As indicated, being convicted of any crime places a hardship on job applicants because employers generally do not want to take on the risk of hiring someone who has already demonstrated an unwillingness to follow the law, creating a potential hazard in the workplace. So getting a college degree in prison won't make finding a job once they get out any easier. For this reason alone you wouldn't see a sudden increase in the jail population seeking college degrees. Most of the inmates already incarcerated already know that they are unlikely to find employment, even in the retail or food services industries no matter what level of education they receive while in prison.
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 09:44 PM
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This is definitely a good idea if they don't provide luxurious accommodations for them. Yes, they can learn while they're in prison and potentially turn their lives around, but they can't forget the misery they dealt with in prison.

Prisons these days aren't the [bleep]holes they should be. People already want to get arrested because they get TV and computer use and weight lifting and decent beds in prison now. Why can't they sleep on an uncomfortable cot, be forced to only watch the news on TV, get no computers, have limited access to weights, have to eat disgusting food, and be forced to spend their time cramming? A college education is far preferable to some of the things they're given. Don't ADD college education to it - replace something else with it.

I'll never understand why prison inmates eat well but school cafeterias serve plastic-tasting food. Or why several states spend more per inmate than public school student. It's shameful. In my mind, schools should get plenty of money to actually teach kids how to be adults and give them opportunities to engage in hobbies, while prisons should get money for security, utilities, basic equipment, crap food, and possibly educating criminals to help turn their lives around. Prisons need to be correctional institutions. An education would help that far more than some of the things that they do now.
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  #6    
Old February 22nd, 2014, 10:02 PM
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I think this is a wonderful idea. I know that crimes can be committed by anyone regardless of their living situation, but I've found that most criminals in everyday news are more often than not people who aren't very bright and who have no goals and aspirations past being criminals (or at least, they don't appear to be doing anything to achieve them), and education can do a lot for someone if they're in the proper frame of mind. It changes the way you think, especially if you take the time to appreciate it and learn about something interesting. I don't particularly like school myself, but I could spend an entire day in a class like Anthropology, Philosophy, and Psychology. While they're doing time, then enlighten them. It could change a life, and in turn have a positive affect for many, many lives that that person could have affected in such a negative way had they not had that opportunity.
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 11:51 PM
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I really don't think that when people commit crimes, they're thinking of all the cool amenities they'll get in prison, lol. It's more primal, survival-of-the-fittest than that.

I like the idea, but the current model of prison system we have doesn't like rehabilitation and empowerment, they're increasingly for-profit and thus need prisoners to fill up the cells with. Once we turn the prison system away from the current model, then we can rehabilitate prisoners, give them an education, and hopefully return them to a decent place in society. It's a great idea, but given the gravity of the current state of the education system in the U.S., we need to make sure our kids get their education in the most affordable way possible first, before we go about trying to save societies lowest common denominator.
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  #8    
Old February 23rd, 2014, 05:24 AM
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Whether it is a good idea or a bad idea depends on who is receiving the education.
This should NOT be included for prisoners in jail for life or over a certain period of time, (lets say, 50-75 years) people who do not WANT it, and people who are straight-up butt-holes with the 'teachers.'
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Old February 23rd, 2014, 05:41 AM
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That's a terrible idea. As you stated earlier, people's parents have a hard time paying for their own kid's college. And then the student gets out of there with debt. Why should they pay more for criminals?

And honestly, most people in there for long enough to do a college class, probably wouldn't want to do a college class.
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Old February 24th, 2014, 06:57 PM
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Like Finnick Odair, I highly doubt the validity of the opinion that this program would incentivize people to commit crime. The assumption of the ever-rational homo economicus is already shakey when applied to economics alone, and much more in a discussion of social behaviours. I'm not sure if college credits => incentivizing crime can be observed empirically.

I see the logic in such a program. As was pointed out in the OP, introducing post-secondary education would seek to break the vicious cycle. However, I sense that the people in prison weren't very successful in school to begin with, so I'm not sure how successful such a program would be.

Also, those of you claiming that prisons aren't the way they used to be, you're right. They're overcrowded and underserviced. The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Add the trend of prison privatization and you have the private sector absorbing a disproportionately high amount of low-cost prisoners, shifting costly prisoners towards the state and reducing the quality of service. The outsourcing of food and medical service in an attempt to reduce cost will also reduce quality as the businesses try to make profit.

I think American society is very bourgeois - people care too much about celebrities and the wealthy. If the word "prison" means more of computers and comfortable beds than anal rape, then you're missing the big picture.
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Old March 1st, 2014, 09:02 AM
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My way of thinking is that education isn't something that everyone deserves it, but infact it is for those who are willing to learn. To say that because someone has committed a crime no matter how severe is undeserving of education is wrong, if they're are willing to learn they deserve it.

Going on what someone said before about parents paying money to send their children to school you have to realise it's that the parents believe their children have the willingness to learn and that the children understand this. Even when you're young most of us stride and want to learn, Of course as we get older some of us rebel against this willingness and may not meet peoples expectations on how we learn but we still see and learn even when you wouldn't directly see it as that.

Another comment someone made was that crimes are committed out of primal instinct and survival of fittest, but what you forget to realise is that they've still been learning even if the methods are unorthodox. Murderers have learnt that in order to get something they want they have to eliminate a person or people but it's still learning. If a prison wants to change the method in which a person learns to make it beneficial to society then I feel that it's the best thing to do because even the most hardened criminals can learn to be apart of society and those who re offend either haven't been given the education that the criminal is willing to take or they have rejected the willingness to learn in which case that person doesn't deserve it.
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  #12    
Old March 2nd, 2014, 04:05 AM
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I'm not even gonna look at what others have said. NOPE.

Answering the thread title only.

How about a world of hell-to-the-no.

If this is true, I should get arrested.

HEY MOM I'M GONNA GO MURDER A STRANGER BE BACK IN FOUR(TY) YEARS!

Okay, right... In all seriousness I understand the reason it's even a gorram idea. They think that by offering education and a chance at better jobs/gaining job skills, will prevent them from returning to crime or will enable them to have a decent life after prison.

NOT looking at the issue of, 'why the frank does a crack dealer get college and I don't?' it still is flawed. Who says they will even attempt to get a job? Not everyone changes, not everyone wants to change, hell for some jail is a goal, not a punishment. And even if it's offered to those that are 'most likely' not to follow their own example there is still a fact that most employers do not like hiring people with criminal records, especially federal offenses.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by PhantomX0990 View Post
I'm not even gonna look at what others have said. NOPE.

Answering the thread title only.

How about a world of hell-to-the-no.

If this is true, I should get arrested.

HEY MOM I'M GONNA GO MURDER A STRANGER BE BACK IN FOUR(TY) YEARS!

Okay, right... In all seriousness I understand the reason it's even a gorram idea. They think that by offering education and a chance at better jobs/gaining job skills, will prevent them from returning to crime or will enable them to have a decent life after prison.

NOT looking at the issue of, 'why the frank does a crack dealer get college and I don't?' it still is flawed. Who says they will even attempt to get a job? Not everyone changes, not everyone wants to change, hell for some jail is a goal, not a punishment. And even if it's offered to those that are 'most likely' not to follow their own example there is still a fact that most employers do not like hiring people with criminal records, especially federal offenses.
This sounds like a very naive view of criminals in general.

Those two kinds of criminals do exist but there are also people who, for example, may have been falsely accused (which is why I don't agree with the death penalty), may have done so to evade abuse or financial struggles, and while that makes them no less guilty, it doesn't mean that everyone's story is the same.

In my opinion prisons are set up completely wrong in the United states. America has this insane obsession with retribution to the point of ridiculousness and ruining someone's chances for redemption completely over one sinister act. If I kill someone with first degree murder when I am 20 years old the rest of my life is stuck in prison without parole. Think about that for two seconds. If I'm not allowed out of a prison for the rest of my ♥♥♥♥ing life how do you expect me to be willing to improve my behaviour? Furthermore, there are many crimes such as the fact that in some states if you're caught with marijuana too many times you can get a life sentence. Or crimes such as the guy who ran Megaupload who probably won't be out of prison for the rest of his life either, for operating a site that the USERS uploaded copyright infringing materials. Yes, there are some really ♥♥♥♥ed up people in there, but just because they are convicted of a crime does not mean that they are a ♥♥♥♥ed up person.

Instead of having prisons be morally fixed on Retribution, we don't address what they're also known as - Correctional Facilities. Prisons should NOT be about punishing someone so severely that they can't get back on their feet because they will return to the same crimes over and over again and that's why re incarceration rates are so high in the United States. How the ♥♥♥♥ do you expect someone who has been sheltered away from society for DECADES to be able to play a functioning role? Get a job? Try to turn his life around? Criminals aren't all the same and there are those Charles Manson types who are just ♥♥♥♥ed up. But honestly. How the ♥♥♥♥ do you expect someone to even have a reason to try to redeem themselves if they know there's nowhere to go EXCEPT prison?

It's also important to note that a lot of people are in prison for simply BEING ADDICTED TO A DRUG AND GETTING CAUGHT WITH IT. In fact, I'm willing to bet that some people who go to prison go there initially because of a drug charge, and because they can't find a job afterwards because of how aggressive and destructive prisons are to both a person's hope and their prospects of getting a job, they end up doing more aggressive charges because they HAVE NO HOPE.

On an unrelated note, it is absolutely disgusting how the United States treats drug addicts and instead of realizing that they are suffering from a psychological need for a drug, they treat them like criminals because DRUGZ ARE BAD. Seriously, go ♥♥♥♥ yourselves. We cry and moan about "aw don't hurt their feelings because they're overweight" or some stupid ♥♥♥♥ like that, but if they're a drug addict, who, unlike most obese people, made ONE choice instead of many many many choices and are suffering from an extreme addiction psychologically. Someone shouldn't have their life ruined by ONE MISTAKE. Someone should have help to aid them through their ONE MISTAKE so they can get back on their feet again, not get their lives EVEN MORE RUINED because of it.

Anyways.

I fully agree with college education of prisoners, as long as the prisoners are well behaved and have a history of nonviolence. Why? Because it's a step in the right direction, from retribution to rehabilitation. By educating our prisoners we give them an ability to maybe step forward in life. We give them a reason to try to become a member of our society. Many prisoners to begin with are there because they couldn't find a place because they were low income or something. Of course, extra cautions should be made, but that doesn't mean that people can't turn themselves around. Stop the retribution and bring on the rehabilitation, already. It won't work with everyone. But they should at least have the option.
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Old March 10th, 2014, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daigonite View Post
This sounds like a very naive view of criminals in general.

Those two kinds of criminals do exist but there are also people who, for example, may have been falsely accused (which is why I don't agree with the death penalty), may have done so to evade abuse or financial struggles, and while that makes them no less guilty, it doesn't mean that everyone's story is the same.

In my opinion prisons are set up completely wrong in the United states. America has this insane obsession with retribution to the point of ridiculousness and ruining someone's chances for redemption completely over one sinister act. If I kill someone with first degree murder when I am 20 years old the rest of my life is stuck in prison without parole. Think about that for two seconds. If I'm not allowed out of a prison for the rest of my ♥♥♥♥ing life how do you expect me to be willing to improve my behaviour? Furthermore, there are many crimes such as the fact that in some states if you're caught with marijuana too many times you can get a life sentence. Or crimes such as the guy who ran Megaupload who probably won't be out of prison for the rest of his life either, for operating a site that the USERS uploaded copyright infringing materials. Yes, there are some really ♥♥♥♥ed up people in there, but just because they are convicted of a crime does not mean that they are a ♥♥♥♥ed up person.

Instead of having prisons be morally fixed on Retribution, we don't address what they're also known as - Correctional Facilities. Prisons should NOT be about punishing someone so severely that they can't get back on their feet because they will return to the same crimes over and over again and that's why re incarceration rates are so high in the United States. How the ♥♥♥♥ do you expect someone who has been sheltered away from society for DECADES to be able to play a functioning role? Get a job? Try to turn his life around? Criminals aren't all the same and there are those Charles Manson types who are just ♥♥♥♥ed up. But honestly. How the ♥♥♥♥ do you expect someone to even have a reason to try to redeem themselves if they know there's nowhere to go EXCEPT prison?

It's also important to note that a lot of people are in prison for simply BEING ADDICTED TO A DRUG AND GETTING CAUGHT WITH IT. In fact, I'm willing to bet that some people who go to prison go there initially because of a drug charge, and because they can't find a job afterwards because of how aggressive and destructive prisons are to both a person's hope and their prospects of getting a job, they end up doing more aggressive charges because they HAVE NO HOPE.

On an unrelated note, it is absolutely disgusting how the United States treats drug addicts and instead of realizing that they are suffering from a psychological need for a drug, they treat them like criminals because DRUGZ ARE BAD. Seriously, go ♥♥♥♥ yourselves. We cry and moan about "aw don't hurt their feelings because they're overweight" or some stupid ♥♥♥♥ like that, but if they're a drug addict, who, unlike most obese people, made ONE choice instead of many many many choices and are suffering from an extreme addiction psychologically. Someone shouldn't have their life ruined by ONE MISTAKE. Someone should have help to aid them through their ONE MISTAKE so they can get back on their feet again, not get their lives EVEN MORE RUINED because of it.

Anyways.

I fully agree with college education of prisoners, as long as the prisoners are well behaved and have a history of nonviolence. Why? Because it's a step in the right direction, from retribution to rehabilitation. By educating our prisoners we give them an ability to maybe step forward in life. We give them a reason to try to become a member of our society. Many prisoners to begin with are there because they couldn't find a place because they were low income or something. Of course, extra cautions should be made, but that doesn't mean that people can't turn themselves around. Stop the retribution and bring on the rehabilitation, already. It won't work with everyone. But they should at least have the option.
How you described the prison system reminded me of a scene from the 2005 Mike Judge film Idiocracy. Here.


I think the prison systems are absolutely ridiculous. They serve federal criminals better food than our children in school that are innocent in every way, and bestow gyms and cable and internet for no money at all in exchange. Unless the prison system can be moved from a mode of retribution to rehabilitation (and not the kind in the video above), I see no benefits coming from this idea of giving free college education to criminals. If it wasn't ass-backwards, I'd be all for the idea. Yeah. :/
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Old March 11th, 2014, 02:31 PM
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I agreed with everything until you said that they shouldn't have it. What benefit would it be served to not allow well-functioning individuals who are incarcerated to be able to attend a college education. I don't think it should be free if others are not having it done for free - perhaps have them pay for community-college style education through labour - however, simply refusing the right is not a step towards rehabilitation.

Prison should ultimately be about rehabilitation, and college is a step in the right direction. Your arguments involving "they get better this and that" is not really relevant and highlights a different problem in our society.
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Old March 12th, 2014, 10:30 AM
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I've thought about this for a while and I've been kinda on the fence about it. I think the idea is woefully expensive given the price of a college education and such; and so I wouldn't just offer it over on a plate. The way things are going, prison will be somewhere desirable for people in dire financial straits!

Why not rehabilitate people with labour of some kind? I don't exactly know what it could be, but why not say "look, you do this work, you'll have a more pleasant time in prison as the perks of the labour (which we're currently just offloading to them anyway)" Perhaps one such perk could be education. But I believe it's important that a mentality of positively contributing and being rewarded for such a positive contribution to society is instilled on people as a means of rehabilitation. That and if such an idea can be carried out in a way where prisons expenses are curbed significantly, it could be very practical indeed.
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Old March 12th, 2014, 05:51 PM
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I think that providing college would help inspire and motivate many lost and confused people who are trapped in a negative way of life. It will help them escape the simple minded beliefs of what life and achievements should be and open their eyes to true success and enjoyment. It may also reduce the change of them landing back in prison. So if an average body in prison costs $80k a year, $5k is a good investment to keep the person from coming back. From a financial and humane perspective it is a good move.
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Old March 13th, 2014, 10:17 PM
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I agreed with everything until you said that they shouldn't have it. What benefit would it be served to not allow well-functioning individuals who are incarcerated to be able to attend a college education. I don't think it should be free if others are not having it done for free - perhaps have them pay for community-college style education through labour - however, simply refusing the right is not a step towards rehabilitation.

Prison should ultimately be about rehabilitation, and college is a step in the right direction. Your arguments involving "they get better this and that" is not really relevant and highlights a different problem in our society.
I'll tell you why, koff~

Criminals that care nothing for the laws and rights of others do not deserve the right to a free anything. Rights are stripped away from them like they strip away so much else. Do you think it's fair that I have to pay for my education, fight the bank into keeping my house, while struggling to feed myself and pay for everyday living expenses, pay off debt and having to care for someone else through my already measly allowance? That right there is the very definition of wrong. I should not have to pay for someone's education who broke the law. I should not have to pay for their teeth, or their health, their cable, their books. I can assure you that our prisons are nice strolls in the park compared to other prisons around the world. They keep coming back, so? Make it hell. They do not deserve my legally obtained, hard earned cash. Why? Because I'm not payed enough. Fight poverty, fight crime. See? That's what I believe anyway, koffi~
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Old March 14th, 2014, 04:14 AM
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Criminals that care nothing for the laws and rights of others do not deserve the right to a free anything. Rights are stripped away from them like they strip away so much else. Do you think it's fair that I have to pay for my education, fight the bank into keeping my house, while struggling to feed myself and pay for everyday living expenses, pay off debt and having to care for someone else through my already measly allowance? That right there is the very definition of wrong. I should not have to pay for someone's education who broke the law. I should not have to pay for their teeth, or their health, their cable, their books. I can assure you that our prisons are nice strolls in the park compared to other prisons around the world. They keep coming back, so? Make it hell. They do not deserve my legally obtained, hard earned cash. Why? Because I'm not payed enough. Fight poverty, fight crime. See? That's what I believe anyway, koffi~
This would be true if it was not shown that alternative strategies of incarceration such as those that are utilized in Norway were actually more effective in modifying the behaviour of inmates as opposed to the typical standard system. Notice how these individuals are doing something productive instead of simply being locked up and having our tax dollars pay for them, and notice how they're able to learn a trade that they can take with them outside of prison. There is a reason why they are not reincarcerated and that is because they have something to do. Of course, not everyone's perfect and you do get the Charles Mansons out there but I doubt most prisoners are like that.

Also, you're forgetting cases that may include people imprisoned for 1) being wrongly accused and tried 2) people imprisoned by questionable laws, such as marijuana use laws and 3) people who commit a crime for a very understandable reason, such as people who steal food because they are starving or people who have murdered someone because they were torturing them. It's true, that in cases 2 and 3 that they care nothing for the laws but sometimes, the law isn't right.

No, I don't think they should be given it for free, I take that back. I think that they should work for it through labour, yes, that they should earn the right to a "community college style" education, and pay the price in their labour as opposed to money. But honestly. How do you expect people to improve if you give them absolutely no reason to improve?
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Old March 14th, 2014, 05:42 AM
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I think it's fine but when it starts becoming the community's job to pay taxes to support this, then that'll be a problem that I will not be okay with.
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Old March 14th, 2014, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by daigonite View Post
No, I don't think they should be given it for free, I take that back. I think that they should work for it through labour, yes, that they should earn the right to a "community college style" education, and pay the price in their labour as opposed to money. But honestly. How do you expect people to improve if you give them absolutely no reason to improve?
Why, koff~

Have you ever heard of the 'no such thing as a free lunch' dichotomy? This is what it imposes. What is my pocket going to do with prison labor? Absolutely nothing. The people would still be paying for this program, whether or not they 'earn' it through labor or whatever else. They're offered jobs that make money doing laundry, ID plates, wood-shop, cooking and whatever else. For us to pay for their professors, teachers, books, etc. is wrong. It will never be free, and it will always cost the community money.

Perhaps the problem in the first place is that inmates and the prison system sees more cash than our entire school system. Talking about education, why not build it up from the very beginning and stop worrying about those already caught? If you're talking about educating people and making them wish to remake themselves better, then you're looking in the wrong place. I would suggest that educating them in the first place would be far more important than after the fact. And yes, some people slip through the cracks, boo-hoo. That's life. The system is far from perfect, but it's what we've got, and overhauling it would see even more people fall through the cracks.

If people followed the law in the first place, I suppose that we wouldn't have to bust druggies. That and drug addicts hurt other people by stealing, lying, and damaging others. It isn't like we just throw these people in there for fun. Plus, talking about rehabilitation, can you think of a better way for them to sober up than by depriving them of their addiction entirely? I cannot. Oh, and the Norway prison system would never work over here. I hate it when people use that as an example, koffi~
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  #22    
Old March 14th, 2014, 02:43 PM
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daigonite
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Why, koff~

Have you ever heard of the 'no such thing as a free lunch' dichotomy? This is what it imposes. What is my pocket going to do with prison labor? Absolutely nothing. The people would still be paying for this program, whether or not they 'earn' it through labor or whatever else. They're offered jobs that make money doing laundry, ID plates, wood-shop, cooking and whatever else. For us to pay for their professors, teachers, books, etc. is wrong. It will never be free, and it will always cost the community money.
It's really ironic that you use the "free lunch" dichotomy because that's exactly what our current prison system acts like with our tax dollars. Like I mentioned previously, I believe that they should actually work for their education through labour, which is doable, if they go through a community college. If you mark their hours towards money getting an education then yes, their labour, which, if outside of prison would be earning them money, instead directly earns them classes. How is that a free lunch? Read my post next time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoffeeDrink View Post
Perhaps the problem in the first place is that inmates and the prison system sees more cash than our entire school system. Talking about education, why not build it up from the very beginning and stop worrying about those already caught? If you're talking about educating people and making them wish to remake themselves better, then you're looking in the wrong place. I would suggest that educating them in the first place would be far more important than after the fact. And yes, some people slip through the cracks, boo-hoo. That's life. The system is far from perfect, but it's what we've got, and overhauling it would see even more people fall through the cracks.
I don't disagree that our prison system gets too much money, however, the bigger problem is the great mismanagement of money. Don't you get angry when you realize that a person who is serving live in prison spends your tax dollars for food and board while people who played the game straight can't afford their homes or food? It makes me angry and it should make you angry too.

So why should we insist on a system that has shown to cause reincarcerations? Why should we not embrace a system that has been shown to knock down this reincarceration rate from over 70% to less than 20%? I think investing in the well being of people so that they can be integrated into society is a much better investment than locking them up for a long time on our dime with no chance of them possibly turning themselves around.

And yes, you should care if a few slip through the cracks, even if you take a "who cares about these evil prisoners" mindset because those are more tax dollars "at work".

Quote:
If people followed the law in the first place, I suppose that we wouldn't have to bust druggies. That and drug addicts hurt other people by stealing, lying, and damaging others. It isn't like we just throw these people in there for fun. Plus, talking about rehabilitation, can you think of a better way for them to sober up than by depriving them of their addiction entirely? I cannot. Oh, and the Norway prison system would never work over here. I hate it when people use that as an example,
Except the laws aren't always right. That's why we have the Supreme court, that's why we have amendments, that's why we have a law making process in the first place because sometimes we aren't ♥♥♥♥ing right. The laws don't cover every instance, the laws don't consider changes in society, the laws are not the ultimate reality.

Drug addicts are people who suffer from a psychological disorder and the last thing that could help them is going cold turkey, especially since there are drugs that can kill people through withdrawal. There are people who also have psychological problems but those people are sent to psychiatric wards where they can actually (at least if the ward is worth its money) improve their condition and possibly fight off their addiction. No, that doesn't mean that the crimes they commit while they are abusing a substance is right, but maybe, just maybe, they're not doing it because they are human scum, but because they are desperate for another fix, which again, is a psychological issue.

True drug rehab takes months and going cold turkey can have devastating effects. This is why drug rehabilitation centers exist, and why we have systems for helping tobacco addicts through gum or patches and things like that (which is legal). Withdrawal can also cause effects like seizures and strokes. And even if that doesn't happen going cold turkey is an incredibly uncomfortable experience that can be equated to being very ill. And don't even begin with the ♥♥♥♥ing "Oh they shouldn't have done it in the first place" argument. We're so okay in this nation with some person making "mistake" after "mistake" and then suddenly they get obese and get diabetes, or someone smoking a single cigarette and getting hooked, and we're fine with trying to help THOSE people, but a person who does a drug is a horrible person and should be sent to jail. Please do your research on drugs before spouting ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ about them.

And by the way, I never said that we should adopt the system, but I was using it as proof that maybe treating people who committed a crime like people who need to have a problem fixed instead of locking them up for years with no ability to integrate themselves back into society is a concept that isn't too farfetched.
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Old March 14th, 2014, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daigonite View Post
It's really ironic that you use the "free lunch" dichotomy because that's exactly what our current prison system acts like with our tax dollars. Like I mentioned previously, I believe that they should actually work for their education through labour, which is doable, if they go through a community college. If you mark their hours towards money getting an education then yes, their labour, which, if outside of prison would be earning them money, instead directly earns them classes. How is that a free lunch? Read my post next time.


I don't disagree that our prison system gets too much money, however, the bigger problem is the great mismanagement of money. Don't you get angry when you realize that a person who is serving live in prison spends your tax dollars for food and board while people who played the game straight can't afford their homes or food? It makes me angry and it should make you angry too.

So why should we insist on a system that has shown to cause reincarcerations? Why should we not embrace a system that has been shown to knock down this reincarceration rate from over 70% to less than 20%? I think investing in the well being of people so that they can be integrated into society is a much better investment than locking them up for a long time on our dime with no chance of them possibly turning themselves around.

And yes, you should care if a few slip through the cracks, even if you take a "who cares about these evil prisoners" mindset because those are more tax dollars "at work".


Except the laws aren't always right. That's why we have the Supreme court, that's why we have amendments, that's why we have a law making process in the first place because sometimes we aren't ♥♥♥♥ing right. The laws don't cover every instance, the laws don't consider changes in society, the laws are not the ultimate reality.

Drug addicts are people who suffer from a psychological disorder and the last thing that could help them is going cold turkey, especially since there are drugs that can kill people through withdrawal. There are people who also have psychological problems but those people are sent to psychiatric wards where they can actually (at least if the ward is worth its money) improve their condition and possibly fight off their addiction. No, that doesn't mean that the crimes they commit while they are abusing a substance is right, but maybe, just maybe, they're not doing it because they are human scum, but because they are desperate for another fix, which again, is a psychological issue.

True drug rehab takes months and going cold turkey can have devastating effects. This is why drug rehabilitation centers exist, and why we have systems for helping tobacco addicts through gum or patches and things like that (which is legal). Withdrawal can also cause effects like seizures and strokes. And even if that doesn't happen going cold turkey is an incredibly uncomfortable experience that can be equated to being very ill. And don't even begin with the ♥♥♥♥ing "Oh they shouldn't have done it in the first place" argument. We're so okay in this nation with some person making "mistake" after "mistake" and then suddenly they get obese and get diabetes, or someone smoking a single cigarette and getting hooked, and we're fine with trying to help THOSE people, but a person who does a drug is a horrible person and should be sent to jail. Please do your research on drugs before spouting ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ about them.

And by the way, I never said that we should adopt the system, but I was using it as proof that maybe treating people who committed a crime like people who need to have a problem fixed instead of locking them up for years with no ability to integrate themselves back into society is a concept that isn't too farfetched.
This is quite ignorant of you, koff~

It seems that at some points you're for giving them money, but also against it. Then you state I 'should be outraged' about the system getting so much money. Haven't I made that clear enough? Have I not presented my distaste for dolling out riches to the wrongdoers? And my statement on sobering them up still stands. Stating that I should do 'my research' has nothing to do with the fact that the prison system sobers up those it holds inside. How did that simple idea manage to slip through your fingers?

Most people that are addicted to drugs (surprise, surprise) were not forced to take them. You're victimizing these folk. And as I said before, a drug addict not only hurts themselves but also those around him. There is a reason why we have so many addicts in prison. Know why? Because they burgle people. They steal from people. They take what's not theirs. They lift. Five finger discount. That sort of thing. If you were to do some studies into the police field, it shows that drug addicts often steal from those that they know. A big mistake if this person dislikes it when you take their goddamn stuff. Another reason why they steal from people they know is to avoid getting mauled by Rambo the homeowner. Oh, and to feed their habit. Gotta steal to feed myself crack, can't forget that.

We don't roll up on people using hard drugs and just slap 'em in cuffs and off they go for 25 years. The system does not work that way. Know how I know this? Because we no longer have any room available. Beds are filling up, and you'll find that non-violent drug addicts are being paroled before, oh I don't know, murderers? We're running out of room, and so the system is chewing them up and spitting them out as fast as it can. It's also easier to track thieving vagrants if you know where they are, by the way.

Disregarding the fact that we treat our prisoners better than several other countries, you plugged right on ahead and used Norway again. The reason why Norway's program will not work. Population, genius. You can take all of Norway's people, clone them all seven times, and put them all in California. It is a fact, and general common sense that gathering more people in one place causes crime to escalate. People split up, create their own diverse groups, create their own gangs, religious sects and so on and so forth. According to UNDOC, Norway has a murder rate of about 2.3 per 100,00 persons. California had about 5 per 100,000. That's over a 100% difference. California alone, by itself, had a higher homicide rate than all of Norway. We're not podunking about other crimes, we're talking about basic murder. Another fun fact: California is smaller than Norway. You know that annoying slob of a neighbor that you want to strangle to death? Well, some people down here actually do just that.

From what I understand, Norway's prisons are hardly prisons, and the prisoners get to walk about in wide open fields. That's great for Norway. However, over here, we try our best to accommodate the suckers. "Tooth ache? Dawww, here is some free care. Who's my little killer?" not exactly what happens, but you get the idea. Not to mention that people do not like looking at prisons in their cities. And that's also besides the fact that the guards are spit on, attacked, insulted, urinated on, and 'dive bombed' with human feces on a regular basis. Trying something like that in a Jamaican prison? Pssh. Let's just say that no one saw you getting your skull caved in.

The Norway program is impossible to implement here because the culture is vastly different. The mindset is different. Hell, every single everything is different. The government functions differently, the foods different, the weather, etc. You can't take a small population like Norway's and just say "they did it, so we can too". We can't! Have you seen the debt we're in? We're balls deep in the stuff and you want to go around throwing money at the issue. If all prisoners were model citizens, maybe, but they try killing each other over Jell-O so frequently that we have to view each and every one of them with the same degree of suspicion. Lest we're viewed as 'unfair' and 'playing favorites'. As much as you may not like it, the system is shaped just as much on the outside as it is on the inside.

Changing things costs money kid. Lots of it. We change laws all the time, and even then, there's confusion, missed opportunity, some states and areas functioning off of the old laws because they don't keep in touch, there's pamphlets to print out, books to correct, employees to notify, potential seminars the higher ups have to attend, the public has to be notified, depending on the law officers may have to get involved in community meetings. . . change is not a cheap thing. And we keep wanting to spend more than what we have (and we have none). And when I say no free lunch, I mean no free lunch. We would have to pay out to train people to teach these dorks. That's money. Our money. Their labor will not recoup the thousands lost. We already pay them to do jobs like roadside clean up (and in some cases public service is a sentence so they don't get paid, of course). So, what, we'd stop paying them 10 cents and what not? What's the point?

Again, I say forgo the whole mess and educate them while they're young. It's been proven that educating younger minds is a tad easier than trying to change Nate Dawg$ AKA PCP, because he's to cool for school and thinks books are for suckers. It's easier to instill the passion for learning in young minds. It's better to teach them all the ins and outs about society. It's better to notify parents where they're going, if they need help studying, or discipline than to give money to Nate Dawg$. Schools are steadily collapsing, giving rise to a poorly educated demographic. It's also been proven that lower educated areas creates crime. Educate them from the very beginning and what do you have? Less criminals.

The issue I have with you is that your scope is all reactive, and not proactive. I believe that schools are very important in society, and we're treating ours like crap.

And last but not least! Did you know, that we now have 'private prisons'? Prisons that are effectively leased to the government to throw people in? And pseudo-private para-military staff the joints? Hm. These billion dollar corporations like to keep their billions, so fighting the current system means also fighting them. And fighting billion dollar corporations is never fun. Especially when these companies were found to have quite a few judges in their pants pocket.

Let's recap. CoffeeDrink is pro-school and anti-prison in the case of loaning money.

New systems? With what money, say I.

Inmates getting college programs on top of their free dental? !@#$?

Do we have time or money to re-shape and re-train our sheriff staff? No. War and prisons gets the lion's share. We're also one of the few countries that cut education at the first sign of financial crisis. Boo.

CoffeeDrink's Official Analysis says: we have no !@#$ing money, koffi~
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  #24    
Old March 15th, 2014, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by CoffeeDrink View Post
I'll tell you why, koff~

Criminals that care nothing for the laws and rights of others do not deserve the right to a free anything. Rights are stripped away from them like they strip away so much else. Do you think it's fair that I have to pay for my education, fight the bank into keeping my house, while struggling to feed myself and pay for everyday living expenses, pay off debt and having to care for someone else through my already measly allowance? That right there is the very definition of wrong. I should not have to pay for someone's education who broke the law. I should not have to pay for their teeth, or their health, their cable, their books. I can assure you that our prisons are nice strolls in the park compared to other prisons around the world. They keep coming back, so? Make it hell. They do not deserve my legally obtained, hard earned cash. Why? Because I'm not payed enough. Fight poverty, fight crime. See? That's what I believe anyway, koffi~
You are right, they don't deserve free education, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve it at all. Forget about college level education, why not elementary, middle or high school education? Why not give them access to a library? Some of the inmates may have never attended school. Others might have "attended" but did not learn anything because they had to sustain a family. There can be many reasons for someone not to study or finish school. I'm in no way standing up for them. If they committed a crime and are guilty they deserve it. But we cannot deny them the opportunity to straighten themselves up. To change the path of their lives. That is a flawed system of justice. One cannot be the judge, jury and executioner.

Make the education optional and have them work for it. Maybe something like this can be implemented in a larger scale. Have the inmates pedal stationary bikes to charge batteries and power parts of the city. And instead of reducing their sentence, they can earn access to the classes or library.


Again, give them optional basic education, access to a library or teach them a craft. Make them work for it and give them a chance to change their lives, and this can change them drastically. If they are going to leave the prison one day or another, why not do something to avoid them from recurring?

EDIT:

I also agree that the best way to fight crime is with better education. I'm 100% sure about that. The education system needs a larger budget, yes. It should also be the priority. But you can't deny them an opportunity. Make it optional and have them work for it, that way they'll be paying for it and the government can focus on the education system. That way the people interested in changing can change and be productive and return to the society. And those who do not want to change get nothing from this program.

This concept is a little idealistic, I know. But I believe that many of the inmates aren't soulless bastards. I believe some of them have more to them than what you are acknowledging. I do believe it could make a change, I do believe some of them could and want to change.

Last edited by Omicron; March 15th, 2014 at 01:11 AM.
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  #25    
Old March 15th, 2014, 02:23 PM
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After reading all your posts on this topic, I thought why not give the discussion another perspective:

I live in Denmark. The country of crazy high taxes, free hospitals for everyone and the place where people earn enough in unemployment benefits to live a pretty decent middle class life.
Additionally, our students earn money from the state for taking an education. The amount of money that we students earn is enough to live in a shared apartment in the most expensive cities in our country, whilst students with a good oversight over their economy are able to save up money every month, to use on a future home or a car(which is really expensive here).

But let's get to the point. My neighbor works in the jail. She's a prison officer, and she patrols the place, which makes for a lot of interesting stories that make you think about stuff. So bear in mind, the following stories are completely anecdotal and resemble what is actually going on.
Danish prisoners earn money. A prisoner has a pretty normal day of labor. He wakes up in the morning and goes to his job inside the prison, and this is where my point comes in: Private companies have production divisions inside the prison! An example could be our local clothes pin company. They have a department in the local jail where the clothes pins are assembled. And for every bucket of pins that the prisoners make, they earn a token that represents cash. They can then use these tokens to pay for food, to get a new TV, and they can even get a bigger and more luxurious room if they pay a monthly rent!

What these prisons essentially do is to make a little civilization, just like the Norwegian article that daigonite linked to (interesting article by the way, nice find). They learn how to work hard for your money, that life is not simple, nor extremely complicated. These people can learn how to be citizens, and I beleive, like Omicron above me that at least some of these people can get out of the dark spiral that is crime and become citizens in our society. Society needs people, people need society, inmates need education!
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