This is a very interesting topic. The best answer I can give is that it depends to a great degree on the individual. Do they have support of family and friends? What was their crime? Are they a substance abuser? Were they a member of a gang? Are they a career recidivist? The support is there in jail, IF you choose to take advantage of it. There are programmes for substance abuse, AA, support groups, church services, counsellors, education and training, plus more. So the building blocks for a better life are there. However, many gangs have infiltrated the jails, and many other organised crime groups. It would be very hard to turn away from crime if you are a member of these groups, as they would expect you to carry on your criminal enterprise in jail. Drugs are a big problem in jails, so if you can supply drugs in the jails, or have a drug empire outside, you are very important. The temptation to make money illegally is often hard to resist. Many people could never make such large sums of money on the outside, in traditional jobs, such as teachers, labourers, business owners. The incentive isn't there. The incentive to change is there, but it is up to the individual. Over 60% of inmates are recidivist offenders. It is a shame, but it is not as easy as ' learning from your mistakes '.
Ideally it should, but I don't think that's even the goal of the prison system in many countries. They're more about punishment, less about rehabilitation. And in some places prisons are run for profit instead of by the state, so there is no incentive to rehabilitate- they make more money if people re-offend and end up back inside.
Prisons should treat prisoners humanely, and offer the possibility of learning useful skills and qualifications so they can find work when they get out, so they don't end up turning to crime out of poverty (not that that's an excuse necessarily but it's a major factor in a lot of crime). Also they need access to help to rehabilitate if they have substance abuse problems. If prisoners are treated badly, or allowed to treat each other really badly, that's not going to make them live a better life afterwards. It's going to break people.
And some people just shouldn't end up in there in the first place. For example, I think it's awful that women who are trafficked into prostitution as children, turn to drugs to cope with their abuse, then to crime to pay for the drugs end up in jail, when often the men who trafficked and raped them do not.
A great portion of inmates need to be 'broken' and 're-made' that is where I am a full advocate for Military prisons...would do a huge part, the world of good.
Not to ever be soldiers, just have that mentality instilled....Years of training and a few good programs and they would turn out decent human beings.
I didn't mean broken in a good way. I mean when someone gives up on thinking of themselves as a good person and therefore has no incentive to try any more. The kind of thing you get with punishments designed to instil shame. I'm not sold on the idea that military training will fix people, at least not necessarily, because the actual military doesn't, as a rule. I'm not saying all soldiers are bad people or anything, but there are certainly rapists and murderers (and I don't mean killing in the course of their duty) in the military all around the world. The training didn't make them better people.
A couple more links http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/22-australian-defence-force-members-accused-of-rape-still-serving-and-rising-up-the-ranks/news-story/69ec75ee9d8597a40c8b5b9b4d71b3c2
"Teenage recruits were raped by staff and forced to rape each other as part of initiation practices in the Australian military going back to 1960, a public inquiry heard on Tuesday.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse is hearing evidence from men and women who say they were sexually abused when they were as young as 15, in certain divisions of the Australian defense force."
"If you serve in the U.S. military and you rape or sexually assault a fellow service member, chances are you won't be punished. In fact, you have an estimated 86.5% chance of keeping your crime a secret and a 92% chance of avoiding a court-martial.
These disturbing statistics illustrate an ongoing epidemic of rape and sexual assault in the military that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta believes amounted to 19,000 incidents just in 2010."
Jennifer.........what do you think happens in Jail?
Yes of course the Military have had issues, but that is Not the 'norm'.
Jail is a hell on Earth.
Military is a way to 'stop' inmates 'own' stinking thinking.....it stops in the tracks any 'what I want'. It instills discipline, which is what most inmates have no idea of.
If we are to think military is all bad, because of few actions, then it would fall apart.
On the whole they have strict rules...Believe me, prison guards are NOT what inmates need.
Being able to mix with other inmates, in a yard and talk about whatever you want is crazy.
I have been in those yards, walking among the men and have heard what their thinking is all about.I have done over 15 yrs inside, as a onlooker.
They have the worst thinking, and they need far far more than freedom.
They need to learn that in this world you have to become part of human society.
It is not your right to take a life, rob, hurt, and the rest of their evil ways.
That needs to be instilled into their thinking.
They need to take the very strong ''I'' out of their heads, and learn to work as a team...Understanding that the world is Not theirs for the taking, and what they do to other people is wrong.
These are people who think on the most basic level, and they will do whatever it takes to please their own ways.They destroy anything that gets in their way, and don't give a thought for the people in the way ~ Man~Woman~Child or even a tiny Baby!
They need to do hard time in discipline.
RAPE is a problem, but the Military is working on this, and Not the Jails?
No one comes out better from jail. It is just a waiting room, Inmates need to be re-made, into decent human beings, and it can be done and I have believed in it all these years.
I have asked inmates to tell me which would be better over the my 15 yrs inside, and no one has said No to the military jail. Not 1 person.
"Jennifer.........what do you think happens in Jail? Rape, happens."
It doesn't just "happen". It's committed. That aside, I'm sure it does, but what I was addressing there was the idea that military training automatically makes people better people. I have no doubt that for some people the discipline helps them sort their lives out, but obviously since there are some people who have had military training and come out the other side rapists, it's not a magic, one-size-fits-all answer to everyone's problems.
"If we are to think military is all bad, because of few actions"
I never said that.
"RAPE is a problem, but the Military is working on this" With 85% of rapists in the US military getting away with it they're not working on it terribly hard by the sounds of it. But that was not the point. Rape was just an example. A single solution isn't likely to work for everybody. It might be a good option for some. There might be other things that would be better than others. Jail as it is vs. military camp are not the only two possibilities.
Jennifer one thing I have learned about in my 60 something years on this planet is this: One can have a opinion, but you must have something to back up that opinion with issues like this one.
Just grabbing at ideas is no example, and to be honest I have racked my brain for many many years and the only solution, only one is to use what we have, and inmates need to be 're wired'.
I did back it up. Military training doesn't necessary make people good, moral people (setting aside any debate of what exactly good and bad mean here). That can be seen from the fact that there are people with military training who do bad things. As I suggested in my first post, I think some people would benefit from other types of training while in prison. For example, in some places prisoners are able to study TAFE courses while in prision, so that when they get out they have a trade and can make a living doing something other than committing crimes. It depends on what they're in prison for and other factors so they can't all be lumped together.
Jennifer, yes there are programs in place in some jails that do help inmates.
I am talking about inmates (greater percentage) have 'surpassed' a capacity to understand just what their actions do to other lives.
The deliberate need to hurt, and kill and empowering themselves, with little care for others..
This has disastrous effect not just on those who they have committed the crimes, but community at large...You and me can at anytime become a victim, and it is that ''thinking'' crims do not give a thought about.
They are people who have had ~ bad childhoods, no decent input, no accountability!
You and I have that accountability.......But in the only system we have at the moment, accountability.is installed in the military.
We do not have many options here, and they will never ever become decent soldiers, who protect us.No far far from that.
They are just given from the first day to the last someone to answer too.
That they do not think they are that law unto themselves...But mixing in jails with other inmates, and time-time-time on their hands, is one of the worst ways to deal with criminals.
(Did you know they even make 'pacts' to commit MORE CRIME, after they get out!! with other inmates.)
So where is the sense with jails we have now.It was not enough to spend years inside, but to want to do the same thing again! when they get out.
It is a intelligent move, to try to instill not only 'pride' of self....but discipline into inmates with such obnoxious and dangerous thoughts, to want to re offend...Not just for them, but you and me and the guy down the street.
We have no other option, it doesn't exist.
We are talking about 'ruthless' individuals here'..who are totally entrenched in violence.
You said you wanted to see prison boot camp for all but "the most extreme violent offenders". That leaves most of the prison population, which is not just "ruthless individuals who are totally entrenched in violence". It's a whole range of people with different offences and attitudes, and that one solution won't work for all of them.
Hate to tell you this Jennifer, but I live in the real world, one that tells me the prison system is not working.Your argument is as thin as tissue paper.
You really are just looking at info on computer, when I have lived it for many many years.
I did not sit in chapel and sing sweet songs, I did the hard yards with the men by asking questions, watching them and listening to what they have to say.
Of course there are some that nothing will do to help, they are the ones that military prison will not help.
I also spent time listening to the prison Psych's who would explain to me what their thinking is about.
But for the rest...the ones I have spoken too, and you have not. My 15 yrs tell me, we have to try to help them.....in a very different way.
Let me know when you have sat down with an inmate, and had a one on one conversation.
Your knocking something that ~ even Inmates have said would be better for them.
The Vile ones can stay locked up, they do not want to change, and raping little baby's is fun to them..Thats what I ment about Vile.
I was actually thinking of conversations I've had with people who had been to prison, and who did benefit from qualifications they gained while they were there. I know you have done work with prisoners, but you don't need to be patronising or assume nobody else has any knowledge or valid opinions on the subject.
I was not arguing that the prison system as it stands was working well. I'm not sure what gave you that impression. Did you read my initial post? I also didn't claim to have all the answers. I just disputed your assertion that that one solution would work for everyone or even the vast majority of people.
As I say Jennifer I don't talk about 'anything' I have no experience in.
I'm just being very REAL with you, and that fact that you continue to bring to the table ideas that one size doesn't fit all. Well guess what! Jail is that ONE SIZE that has to fit ALL.
If you know anything it is that 'if' the government had money-answers would come...I am more concerned also one putting really serious offenders, who do it over and over some sense of worth, and be part of society.
That thinking of theirs is way off.....so much so they go and do the same thing time and time again.
Has jail stopped them?...........NO.
It costs us (as of Feb 2015) report by S.B.S. News $292 per inmate PER DAY.
In ACT & TAS $400 per Day each Inmate.
So we Have NO Other Solution Zero! Nothing and why should we have, they need 'training' in how to live in the real world.
We already have the Military.
Get rid of every prison guard, give them a job in something else in Government. Then move the Military guys in, and even some that have retired under 55 yrs of age.
This is one very serious issue......and I will be very frank with you here, you want different programs for these men, well we have it.
But, nothing for hard crims, who refuse to work in the jails....and like to spend time in the jail yards talking for 5-6 hrs to other hard crims.
Day after day, using that stinking thinking of theirs......All the time planning how to upset the system, when out.
What part of all that I have written do you not understand, is it so hard to know that the system is not working.
Afterthought* I think I know why we both had not come to the same conclusion: Because you have not spent time talking to these very hard crims, and have no idea what they really see as normal (Crime) and they do not care how much damage they do to people and families.......we can not agree.
I will tell you that if (and it can never happen) but say I was able to show you and let you hear the thinking, and the e x t r e m e thinking these men have (and yes women) I have heard, you would be so shocked, that you would more than likely say to me: why? do they want to hurt people, so much with no conscience.
I have cried many many years over this, and have come to the conclusion that a person needs to be re-built with such extreme behaviours.
We owe it to them, and to each other....They are entrenched with violence.
They have no discipline, and that is the main focus of Military jails. Stop them cold.
I can see this is very important to you, jonaj. Jennifer, I think the kind of people you are talking about may be helped (and have been going on your experience) through the kind of programs you've mentioned. And, jonaj, I hear you saying that this kind of thing just wouldn't work for the cold hard crims who are entrenched in violence. Perhaps, then, that's the thing: for those who can be helped with rehab, then go with the rehab. For those who are hardcore, do the military stuff. And, for those who rape babies, they can rot in their cells.
I can't imagine what you've seen and heard, jonaj. You're a strong person to have been in that line of work.
Jonaj I am not sure why you continue to argue with things I did not even say.
What part of all that I have written do you not understand, is it so hard to know that the system is not working."
I NEVER said that it was. I didn't say it was perfect, or even close to it. I wasn't even attempting to describe the current system in Australia. I was talking about different ways prison is and can be handled, and you came in repeating your own answer which really had nothing to do with what I was talking about. I said I was in favour of programs to help prisoners learn qualifications while in prison (because I have met people who benefited from such programs- I never claimed to be an expert, but I wasn't just making things up as you seem to have assumed). What those programs should be exactly, and how they should be funded and structured I don't know (I know of some that did exist, but they possibly could have been run better, and at least one of them has since been shut down), but I very much think that different solutions would work better for different people. There are different things being used in different prisons and different levels of prison (or whatever it's called, minimum vs. maximum security etc). Not everybody is a "hardened crim" as you put it it, and they're not all men so not everybody has the same needs or would respond equally well to the same thing. I really don't see what's so controversial about that. I wasn't saying that really hardened criminals don't exist or anything like that. You don't need to try and prove to me that they do, or how awful they are.
"Get rid of every prison guard, give them a job in something else in Government.. " Um... Doing what? The State government (in QLD) has been laying people off for the last couple of years. Where would all these extra jobs come from, and what kind of jobs would they be? Jobs are in short supply with literally more people unemployed than there are vacancies for them to apply for. If new positions are created for all the prison guards, where does the money come from?
Turning prisons over to the military- wouldn't that be against the constitution? I don't know much about it but I imagine it would be very difficult to do. It might be possible, but the benefits would have to outweigh the expense and difficulty. I doubt the military would appreciate it either.
I can see that you are very passionate about this topic, and I do think it is wonderful that you want to help people.
I don't have much to say on this topic because I don't know much about it, but in general, I can't see how it would help people live better lives on the outside. I think more needs to be done in terms of rehabilitation. Also, I have read a bit that suggests that faith-based programs, particularly Christian ones, help reduce recidivism.