Originally Posted by brewmenn
The purpose of the criminal justice system is to reduce crime. The one thought is to make prison such a horrible place to be that it serve as a deterrent to anyone thinking about committing a crime. The other is to try to rehabilitate those that end up there so that they can become productive members of society when they get out.
I think it should be some of both, depending on the circumstance.
it seems there should be some way to sort of do both. give them a basic cell, very basic meals, and some type of education, but outside of that, they should get nothing, or next to nothing. Make it hard, so they will not want to come back. Maybe then they would want the education to help keep them from having to come back. I have met a few guys that have tried to use what they learned in jail to better themselves. I know a couple who started small businesses with what they learned, couple others who were lucky enough to find someone to hire them to do what they learned while in. Seems this doesn't happen all that often though.
I do agree that I would not want an ex-con doing work in my home, but do you really know if this is the case when you hire a contractor? how do you know who is on their team/payroll ? Plus jobs that would have ex-cons working in your home are not the only things they can get trained for.
I also think there should be some way to have inmates either working on things out in the community (roads, landscaping...) or somehow working in the prison to help offset what it costs us taxpayers to put them away.
Like others, I'm not really sure what exactly the answer is, but it seems there should be better ways then our present system.