Because liberals have made the term ‘punishment’ politically incorrect, there is a general misconception that prisons are designed to rehabilitate criminals. Nothing could be further from the truth.
First and foremost, prisons are for punishment and the protection of society, not for rehabilitation. We punish criminals by locking them up. We keep criminals locked up to protect children from child molesters, women from rapists, homeowners and businesses from burglars, drivers from carjackers, cops from cop killers, etc.
To begin with, unlike the free world, prison inmates live in a highly structured society. They are told when to get up and go to bed, when to shit and shower, when to eat and what to eat, when to work and when to relax. There are any number of prison rules which when broken gets the inmate thrown into the ‘hole’. There are also the rules that have been established by the inmates themselves and when these are broken, the violator can expect to get beaten up or even killed.
When an inmate stays in prison for many years he becomes prisonized and if released, he cannot survive unless he has the constant help of family members and/or social workers. Many prisonized inmates refuse parole and those that are released because their time is up, often commit a crime just so they can be returned to their home, the prison.
So prisons cannot actually rehabilitate criminals. What prisons can do is to provide the inmate with the tools he needs to rehabilitate himself once he has been released to the free world. All prisons offer GED programs. Most prisons offer high school classes and many offer college degree programs … at the taxpayer’s expense, of course. All prisons offer some vocational programs such as auto mechanics, cosmetology, welding (especially useful for safecrackers), computer technology, carpentry, etc.
Vocational courses should be offered only for jobs that will be available in the community to which an inmate will be released. Every prison in California used to offer upholstery courses. The problem was that the demand for upholsterers comes from furniture manufacturers and those were not located in California. The inmate trained in upholstery could not get a job in that field because the upholstery businesses were almost all mom and pop operations.
Some of the Texas prisons have a Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) in which my friend and Houston real estate broker Jay Wall is committed to and involved in. PEP volunteers from Houston’s business community, like Jay, provide “real-world values-based business skills to inmates so that once they are back in society they have the tools, skills and support structure to pursue healthy, fulfilling and productive lives. Upon release, PEP supports its alumni with a comprehensive slate of re-entry services including case management, transition housing, assistance in finding employment and connecting to social services.”
So, there you have it. Prisons cannot rehabilitate any inmates, they can only provide them the tools with which to rehabilitate themselves once they are back in the free world.
Now there are some prison inmates who should never be released. Take Herman Bell for example. Bell was a member of the Black Liberation Army, an offshoot of the Black Panthers that engaged in robberies, bombings, prison breaks and attacks on police in the 1970s.
In 1971, Bell and two other BLA members ambushed and murdered NYPD Officers Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini. Bell also killed police Sgt. John Young in San Francisco. He was sentenced to life for the NYPD officer murders. Bell became a cause célèbre for liberals who claim that the scumbag has been rehabilitated and is remorseful about killing the three cops.
It is real easy to become ‘rehabilitated’ behind prison walls. Just follow all the rules and be sure to attend chapel services every Sunday morning and bible study classes every Wednesday. Then say how sorry you are for what you did and promise to do good deeds once you have been released to the outside. Voila, the inmate is rehabilitated.
Liberals go into a masturbation frenzy every time some celebrity inmate is reported to have been rehabilitated in prison and expresses remorse for the crime he has committed. Such is the case with Herman Bell, the scumbag who murdered three police officers.
The New York parole board succumbed to the demands for Bell’s release that liberal groups made and this week, after serving 46 years behind bars, Bell,70, walked out of prison a free man.
Murder is the most serious of all crimes and the murder of cops is the most serious of all murders. Those who kill a cop should be executed, but barring that, they should never see the light of day outside the prison walls.
By freeing Herman Bell, who murdered not just one cop, but three, the New York parole board stuck a dagger into the heart of every law enforcement officer in the United States!
The criminal justice system has come under fire for sending too many offenders to prison and for imprisoning a disproportionate number of minorities. Hogwash! A disproportionate number of minorities are in prison because minorities happen to commit a disproportionate number of crimes.
As for sending too many offenders to prison, California has reduced a number of felonies to misdemeanors, thus keeping many criminals out of prison. From all appearances, that has been disastrous, with a significant increase in the no-longer felonies and a corresponding increase in the number of law abiding citizens that have been victimized by criminals.
Those who commit serious crimes need to be punished by imprisonment. Some of those criminals should never see the light of day outside the prison walls. And don’t forget, prisons also serve to protect society, which is you and me.