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Reply #16: What does 'rehabilitated' mean really? [View All]

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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-12-06 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #7
16. What does 'rehabilitated' mean really?
To change your ideas, your actions, etc?

Let's say you change the mind of a hateful person and they learn, they see the light as it were.

Then what? Do you leave them locked up where they can now do no good because before they did harm?

Perhaps a life sentence where they cannot harm others is ok - even when they no longer desire to do so. But then you must wonder - if someone can change and do good for many others where before they did bad, should that be tossed to the wayside in the name of justice?

Someone did bad. Now they want to do good. Do we deny them the ability to do good and make amends, or do we keep punishing them? This is different then letting them out of their confines. We can rehabilitate and still have societal punishment/restitution. It comes down to though - do we want them to 'suffer'?

I once corresponded with an inmate when I was 16 (I am 41 now). The guy is probably out now, but he realized his errors and wanted to balance out the scales and make life better for others - instead of doing things for himself as he had done before.

We suck the negative into our prison system, and then when they change to the positive we keep them there in the same conditions as people who have not yet changed. And sadly they may well fall back into the negative.

The solution? Perhaps gradients in prison where people who change can be given more freedoms to help others and in return we help them with their issues/needs. People are not in prison simply because they are 'evil' - they are there because we as a society have let them down either through education and leadership or due to one of many other things.

Most inmates I knew wanted the same things I did in life, but lacked the ability to get it and chose crime. Many lacked education or a solid foundation.

But for the grace of god there I go. * and crew could make us out to be criminals next, those with the might make right :)

We often lack the desire to know why and only want to punish the thing done. Life is not in a vacuum - and trying to change things is a good idea. Sure, maybe he will stay in prison for all he has done, but that does not mean he has to suffer and cannot contribute to the good of others now.
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