May 1, 2007


Basically, I hold with the position that nobody needs to be incarcerated unless they are a threat to society, and only a judge can make that determination. The length of sentence should run until such time as the person no longer represents a threat to the rest of us (if that means that a dedicated drunk driver spends the rest of her life incarcerated, and crime-of-passion-killer gets out in a week, so be it).

This leads to a number of different conclusions than we are currently experiencing. For one thing it throws out the notion that punishment has ever been an acceptable solution to any behavioral problem. It also suggests that jails and prisons may not need to look like dungeons. As long as he plays golf on the inside of the walls, I have no problem with an inmate living out his life in a country club. Some of those who play on the outside now are a greater threat.

We have evolved at least to accepting that incarcerated people can learn soft skills and learn the behaviors that will help them re-enter society.

At any rate, Barry County is having a discussion regarding a bigger new JAIL, so weigh in, if you want to.
The first dozen comments are historical, but I've retained them for your pleasure. If and when a new discussion materializes, I will drop them to give easier access to new material.


truthseeker said...

el grillo,

appears I should read this blog more often, another interesting article by yourself.

As I stated earlier in another post, the "new jail" is going to be pushed with no holds barred.

You have a sheriff and a commissioner who have made their bed and are in it.

Watch the local rag, it will be a photo op for the two of them each week. Jacobs and his editor will be on this band wagon until the cows come home.

The fourth estate in Barry Co. what there is of it is flexing it's muscle and the elected ones will become their lap dogs.


el grillo said...

Well,folks, that was Oct.'06 to April '07. Most of it is still relevant.

The Charlton Park situation is vastly improved, and I noticed that some young men in orange pants were acting responsibly directing traffic and controlling trash. This environment is particularly filled with opportunities to convert incarcerated youth into useful citizens before their release dates.

There are still many people who are ignorant of the huge success of the Adult "Drug" Court which can show conclusive statistics on reducing recidivism (repeating bad choices). The number probably includes the same people being unaware of the Juvenile "Drug" Court.

Agnosticrat mentions the desire for revenge being important to policy, and I suppose "getting even" will be a large part of our frontier mentality for a long time. Gradually,(beginning with curtains on cell windows, perhaps) we may evolve into a society that recognizes that we not only throw people in the slammer, but that these people will eventually be let out. How they behave when they get out should be of more concern than making them bitter while they are in our care.

el grillo said...

The Seville Statement on Violence:

The statement contains five core ideas. These ideas are:

"It is scientifically incorrect to say that we have inherited a tendency to make war from our animal ancestors."
"It is scientifically incorrect to say that war or any other violent behaviour is genetically programmed into our human nature."
"It is scientifically incorrect to say that in the course of human evolution there has been a selection for aggressive behaviour more than for other kinds of behaviour."
"It is scientifically incorrect to say that humans have a 'violent brain'."
"It is scientifically incorrect to say that war is caused by 'instinct' or any single motivation."
The statement concludes: "Just as 'wars begin in the minds of men', peace also begins in our minds. The same species who invented war is capable of inventing peace. The responsibility lies with each of us."[