Jail the regulators not the “Criminals”. Crime Recompense and Deterrence instead of “Punishment”.

“At the end of the day, the system [of punishment and jail] economically is unsustainable.  At the rate we’re going. we’re just going to put everyone in Prison.” Bernard Kerik NYC’s top cop – interview by Jessica Humphrey Cintinio _ “Talk of the Town” magazine Holiday 2014.

What’s wrong with Punishment?

According to Bernard Kerik, there are 45,000 consequences across State and Federal guidelines where the punishments don’t fit the crime.  Some examples: Commercial fisherman can be jailed if they catch too much fish. Sell a whale’s tooth on eBay and you become a convicted Felon, claiming an inflated income on a mortgage application is fraud or in Bernard Kerik’s case, after 35 years of service to his country in the marines and the Police, sentenced to over THREE YEARS in jail for hiring a nanny who was an illegal immigrant. In the UK a man was put back in prison because the Job he started while on Parole began at 6:15 AM but his curfew wasn’t over until 7 am.

Aside from the general problem of allowing a Robo-Government, of fixed rules that allow very little discretion, the entire concept of how to handle criminals is flawed.   Punishment is useless and dangerous and based on a desire for revenge. That is NOT Justice.   Justice is based on compensation and deterrence.  Jail is not a deterrence. Jail is mostly punishment to society.  The Taxpayer pays for inmates room, food, health care, exercise and entertainment and training of first time offenders to cheat, steal and become seasoned criminals; not to  mention and recruiting and converting for Islamic Jihad.  

 You may have heard – “Don’t do the crime if you can’t handle the time”.  They can handle it.   Except Solitary confinement.  That leads to insanity and is torture not punishment.   If a couple of days of sleep deprivation is considered enhanced interrogation and even torture, how much more so weeks, months or even years of sleep deprivation due to all night screaming, shouting, flinging feces, banging, crying and incessant talking to themselves of the inmates in solitary.  Not to mention the rats, vermin, and water torture of a non stop drip.  

Once labeled a felon, inmates can no longer obtain a job.  Too many inmates are re-jailed.  How can the victim ever be compensated?    It is not a workable system. 

What works

Prisons need to be a place of healing for offenders and victims, where people are respected, where self-respect and self-control are instilled. Work to repay victims is crucial to Justice, self respect and atonement.  Prisoners should not be treated as property (legally that is what they are in the US) or vermin.    If you do then the role as a criminal outcast is reinforced and they become even worse criminals.  What ever screwed them up needs to be reversed.  

If they live constructive, contributing lives in Jail, they will do so when they get out too.     

Here is one place in Norway where this system has been implemented.  An island is an ideal place for “Jail”.

Prisons need to be based on rehabilitation and reparation not revenge.  Losing liberty is punishment enough.  To heal, one needs a semblance of a caring environment, therapy, counseling and practice in a self contained society to be a good citizen.   The victim can not be ignored either.  They need help to heal their wounds. That means monetary recompense from the offender by working to compensate their victim(s) and the expenses incurred by Society for catching them and for housing them and psychological help to the offender(s) and victim(s) among other things.    

“If someone did very serious harm to one of my daughters or my family … I would probably want to kill them. That’s my reaction. But as a prison governor, or politician, we have to approach this in a different way. We have to respect people’s need for revenge, but not use that as a foundation for how we run our prisons. Many people here have done something stupid – they will not do it again. But prisons are also full of people who have all sorts of problems. Should I be in charge of adding more problems to the prisoner on behalf of the state, making you an even worse threat to larger society because I have treated you badly while you are in my care? We know that prison harms people… In Norway, as in the UK and many other countries, we still think quite short-term, wanting to inflict revenge on criminals, wanting them to suffer for what they have done. But in most countries nearly all prisoners are going to be released. So what happens to them when they are in prison is very important.  

They should deal with this by rethinking how they address the public regarding what is most effective in reducing re-offending. Losing liberty is sufficient punishment – once in custody we should focus on reducing the risk that offenders pose to society after they leave prison.

For victims, there will never be a prison that is tough, or hard, enough. But they need another type of help – support to deal with the experience, rather than the government simply punishing the offender in a way that the victim rarely understands and that does very little to help heal their wounds. Politicians should be strong enough to be honest about this issue.” Arne Kvernvik Nilsen – Governor of Bastoy Island, Norway 

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