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Society, which prefers compounding problems to solving them, constructs more prisons to warehouse enemies it creates. It can't afford dollar costs or social costs but society cares nothing about costs. It cares about punishment and pretends to care about deterrence. If we just continue locking people in cages as long as we can, everything will be OK. Then they shake in fear of monsters they create and release upon their selves.
State governments are just beginning to figure out that caging non violent criminals is counter productive and costs more than government can afford. They are looking at imposing fines on anti social behaviors as an alternative to caging. Fines improve treasury and allow offenders to remain or become productive and otherwise contributing to society, actually paying a debt to society instead of enlarging it. It has only taken three hundred years for social leadership to discover this truth. Imagine how progressive we will be in just another hundred years. Those who believe caging is a mild punishment ought to live in them for a few years as public service in lieu of government employment, or as a requirement for government employment.
When society takes on responsibility for any life under lock and key, it takes on responsibility to maintain that life in healthful, transforming circumstances. But this is exactly where budgeting kicks in. We will maintain life at absolute minimums to save costs; a diet that maintains life but not health. Medical care is substandard and withheld, interrupted or discontinued by administrative policy. If a healthy body makes for a healthy mind, there is no reason for a prisoner to enjoy either. Let us release them with diseased bodies and minds and keep a close eye on them. Let's compare health statistics of our caged beasts with that of society at large. I'm sure statistics will tell a story.
We belong to a cruel and dispassionate society, sadly lacking in wisdom and imagination. We need a criminal rights movement such as we had for civil rights and we need it yesterday. Like Civil Rights movement, leadership will not come from official social leadership, but from passionate and compassionate individuals who are not looking for anyone's vote. Sometimes and far too often, there are no votes in simply doing right thing. No reward. No activity.
Saddam released his prisoners, who now prey on Americans and Iraqis alike. America has over two million caged beasts and de socialized monsters. More than half of them will be released. Would this help explain why armed citizens have no intention of giving up their guns? Criminals and victims are growing disproportionately to population.
The city that houses our national government is murder capitol of this nation. Is it a coincidence, symbolic of criminal government or a predictor of what is to come? Are wisest of us impotent and beyond solving problems? Looks like it to me.
Freelance writer published in websites and newspapers. justanotherview.com firstname.lastname@example.org