Re: Crime and Punishment

Michael Lorrey (
Thu, 03 Dec 1998 17:28:28 -0500

Brian D Williams wrote:

> I thought I would start a new but related thread.
> We seem to be of agreement that the U.S. prison system is in need
> of reform, I though we could share some idea's of how.
> First the nature of the criminal.
> Murderers in my book as you know receive rehabilitation in the form
> of seconal, pavunol, KCL.
> Violent criminals I'm not sure should ever be released.

I liked Piers Anthony's concept in _The Ring_ where violent criminals are equipped with an electronic 'concience' which gives a bit of a shock when the criminal has a violent thought, despite its civil rights aspects. Since many violent offenders tend to be sociopathic individuals, i.e. lacking in concience, equipping them with a prosthetic concience would be a positive rehabilitative thing to do. The worry is whos concience do you use as a model? A flower child or an Amish?

> Sex offenders only when we are sure they will not offend again,
> which tends to put them in the violent class in my book.

I would tend to put many sex offenders in the class of the political prisoner. Questionable 'crimes' like statutory rape is one of the largest classes of sex offender. It seems rather ridiculous when you have a case of two teenagers from different states that have different consent laws making it legal for them to have sex in one state but having sex in the other makes one of the participants a sexual offender. Then, you also have this 'crime' being used as a pawn in many child custody battles, with the use of manipulative CPS personnel programming kids to 'recover' memories of events that never occured.

> Drug offenders do not even belong in jail, as far as I'm concerned.
> If society insists on making drug use a crime, this should be
> handled with counciling, and community service.
> I am of the belief that most of a prison sentence should be
> punishment, even if that punishment consists only of being
> incarcerated.
> I've been thinking that the last year of a sentence should be
> different. There should be extensive counciling, and work towards
> job training and placement. Sort of like the civilian re-adjustment
> lectures we received when leaving the military.

Yeah, and get lots of Willie Horton's all over again. I don't think that would fly. I am all for job training. Most such individuals commit crime due to a lack of alternatives available, however it is also a matter of social setting and peers. Releasing a criminal back into an old social setting is merely expecting recidivism. Complete relocation, and possible reprogramming via LSD or other assistance is a good idea.

> I don't think anyone in jail should be released unless they are at
> least GED equivalent. And certainly basic literacy is a must. I
> think any other programs should tend to be voluntary, to encourage
> people to see the benefit of correct decision making.

A GED is useless in todays society. They should have at least 36 college credits worth of useful vocational/technical training. Here's an idea: For every college credit earned, the convict gets a month off the sentence. Every month of successfull counseling and good behavior gets a month off the sentence. However, I would restructure the sentencing guidelines to double the average sentence.

I would also advocate a Coventry-like colony.

Mike Lorrey