Re: No Federal parole

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Tue Jan 30 2001 - 07:56:26 MST

From: Charlie Stross <>

>Er, no. We're discussing people who are in prison. They're in
>prison because a negative reinforcement -- threat of imprisonment
>-- didn't prevent them committing offenses while they were *out*
>of prison. Why should threatening them with a negative
>reinforcement work while they're *inside*?

They're in prison because they decided the possibility of being
incarcerated was lower than it actually is. Negative reinforcement
is used in jail already, its called solitary.

>There are several reasons why people end up in prison. One is that
>they may be participating in a victimless crime -- one that I
>assume everybody on this list agrees *shouldn't* be a crime, but
>is -- and they get careless or unlucky. (I'm going to ignore this
>category, with the caveat that it could be my turn next -- or

I agree to skip so called victimless crimes, I do not engage in any
behavior which if discovered could result in incarceration so thats
null as well.

>Another is that they've got poor impulse control and act stupidly
>(and illegally) on the spur of the moment. This latter group isn't
>going to stop acting on impulse just because they've been plonked
>into a new environment. However, if we can try to train them to
>consistently work towards a long-term goal, we may be able to
>improve their impulse control. Guess what: trying to qualify for
>early release has got to be a valid goal for a
>prisoner! So there's one category of criminal who may find the
>opportunity for parole to be a major incentive to reform.

I agree, which is why I suggested we set up a voluntary program
where they can work, and work hard on their rehabilitation. I
disagree on parole being used to ensure passive behavior.

>The only problem here is that it sounds like parole is automatic,
>in the system you're describing. The system *I'm* describing is
>one where it isn't automatic: you qualify for it by good
>behaviour. Clear?

Yes, it is pretty much automatic the way it is enacted now. We
agree that early release is omething they must actively work for
and qualify for.



Extropy Institute,
Adler Planetarium
Life Extension Foundation,
National Rifle Association,, 1.800.672.3888
Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W

That's something of course.

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