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Crime: Is rehabilitation possible?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Statement: If you believe that those who commit crimes can be rehabilitated, all efforts to rehabilitate should be made. Punishment does not rehabilitate, and should be discarded. Conversly, if you believe that criminals cannot be rehabilitated, there should also be no time wasted in punishment, as re-offending is inevitable.

Therefore: All criminals should either be rehabilitated with the maximum possible resource from the state. OR. All criminals should be executed on conviction.



Discuss.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I tend to agree and for the record am against capital punishment.

    But I think there are always going to be certain crimes e.g. the murder of a child where people are going to see the perpetuator as beyond rehabiltation.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Punishment isn't part of someone's rehabilitation, to me the punishment is there to dissuade people from doing something bad. If there was no punishment then I reckon a lot more people would do illegal things. Rehabilitation is possible and does work, but not necessarily in all cases.

    Like I said above, prison isn't part of someone's rehab, punishment and rehab is separate. So to me, I understand the OP saying that we should either have rehab or death etc, but I dont think that would be anymore effective. If anything it wouldnt make a change to the criminals who dont get caught.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    Statement: If you believe that those who commit crimes can be rehabilitated, all efforts to rehabilitate should be made. Punishment does not rehabilitate, and should be discarded. Conversly, if you believe that criminals cannot be rehabilitated, there should also be no time wasted in punishment, as re-offending is inevitable.

    Therefore: All criminals should either be rehabilitated with the maximum possible resource from the state. OR. All criminals should be executed on conviction.

    Discuss.

    I don't accept the premise: punishment and rehabilitation aren't mutually exclusive.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't accept the premise: punishment and rehabilitation aren't mutually exclusive.

    This
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    How is punishment helpful in rehabilitation?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Punishment isn't helpful within rehabilitation, but rehabilitation within punishment (ie confined in prison) is. Minor wording point, but does make a bit of difference.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If punishment isn't helpful within rehabilitation. Why punish?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    How is punishment helpful in rehabilitation?

    I guess it depends on how narrow a view you take on punishment. Though I'd say even the most base, crude punishments, such as fifty lashes, could be viewed as rehabilitative in concept: an attempt to alter a person's behaviour in order that they don't repeat past transgressions. And who's to say fifty lashes have never worked? It'd be a big shout to make.

    But anything that you're forcibly required to do is punitive - whether that be hard time, talking therapy, removing graffiti or meeting the victims of your crimes.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I explained above, the punishment is to dissuade others from doing bad things before they have done them, ie "do this and you will get sent to jail", if you dont carry out your punishment [whatever it is] then lots more people would do bad things. As I have said above, I dont think punishment is helpful within rehabilitation. However, rehabilitation within the punishment is.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    However, this isn't about whether "stick" works to prevent behaviour, but more whether "carrot" works better.

    Why use a combination of a poor but functioning method and a good method, when it would be more effective to use the good method alone.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think you need to lay your cards on the table.

    How do you use the analytic knife to separate punitive and rehabilitative efforts? Are they always distinct entities? What about my point that anything you're forcibly required to do is punitive to a degree?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    However, this isn't about whether "stick" works to prevent behaviour, but more whether "carrot" works better.

    Why use a combination of a poor but functioning method and a good method, when it would be more effective to use the good method alone.

    How can you use rehabilitation to help someone unless they have done something? How is "carrot" a preventative method in the first place, carrot may help prevent re offending, but can only do very little unless its dealing with something that has already happened. I'm not necessarily saying punishment should be strict and harsh, perhaps harsh punishment needs to be recognised to not be a good form of rehab in anyway. How does rehabilitation work in cases where there isnt someone that needs to be rehabilitated and there just needs to be an incentive to not do something, such as speeding in a car?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fair point; well made.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    Therefore: All criminals should either be rehabilitated with the maximum possible resource from the state. OR. All criminals should be executed on conviction.

    Going back to your first post fiend, you will find that executing criminals on conviction is still a form of "stick" or punishment, it just happens to be a little more severe than prison is. As I have talked through this thread, there is the incentive there for people to not commit crime, and that isn't just prison. It ranges from fines, to points on your licence, to community service, to prison, to execution in some places.

    So what Fiend suggests is just taking out the lighter forms of the "incentive" not to offend in the first place. Which if anything is likely in my mind to make rehabilitation harder to undertake. As I have said, punishment shouldn't be within rehabilitation as the whole point of the punishment is to dissuade people from crime in the first place. Except when they do commit crime, we have to follow through with the punishment (however light or severe) otherwise people will just start to do whatever the hell we want. If law and order breaks down completely, no point in rehabilitating someone into society as its society itself that would need to be put in rehab. However it is important to note that I think punishment should not be used as a form of rehab, but have rehab within the punishment if needed, such as rehab whilst person is in prison, or after it. NOT that locking someone up for 5 years is the rehab.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You do get rehabilitation excercises for speeding. Speed awareness workshops. I've done one, it wasn't completely effective, I've got 6 points on my license, which is where punitive comes in. You're not allowed to retake the course within a three year period, and you have to pay for the course. Arguably, 3 of them weren't for the attitude that speedy school was to address. But what also should be addressed by "perfect" rehab is the state of mind in which someone offends. For me, the second 3 points I picked up, I was feeling a bit low and was on a streak of behaving recklessly, when I'm feeling better, I don't speed, I can hold my rationality better.

    So, for perfect rehab, we would need a complete and total understanding of human psychology.

    Assuming that this is possible, can we move to a place in our justice system, where offense is always countered with a psychological reprogramming. Addressing the causes of behaviour and bringing a person into line with the rest of socital morality (Assuming also, for the sake of arguement, that all laws are morally correct)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    An interesting thought if in theory we could understand the human mind. Although it still harks back to an earlier point of mine, where is the incentive to not commit the act in the first place?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    Assuming that this is possible, can we move to a place in our justice system, where offense is always countered with a psychological reprogramming. Addressing the causes of behaviour and bringing a person into line with the rest of socital morality (Assuming also, for the sake of arguement, that all laws are morally correct)

    Sounds like North Korea.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Try to think of it as utopian, rather than dystopian, for the sake of argument. What the idea is, is that people are worked with to overcome problems, limitations, circumstances, and experiences, rather than punished for acting on them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    Try to think of it as utopian, rather than dystopian, for the sake of argument. What the idea is, is that people are worked with to overcome problems, limitations, circumstances, and experiences, rather than punished for acting on them.

    All great until the government starts making things illegal that shouldn't be, so how do you "cure" somebody for something when there isn't actually anything wrong with them?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Again, assuming that all laws are morally correct. Instead of worrying about a government making gay illegal, it's more what is really the best way to deal with crimes that pretty much everyone is against. Rape, murder, paedophillia, christianity(jokes!). etc
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I suppose, one of the things I'm looking at is if you're going to lock someone up for life, why not kill them? The answer is, because they can stop being a risk, (or because they didn't do it). So with the "perfect" rehabilitation program, you can approach the issues that matter. Helping someone being better, no longer a risk, or recognising that the wrong person was found to have done it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    Try to think of it as utopian, rather than dystopian, for the sake of argument.

    So a bit more Brave New World?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    I suppose, one of the things I'm looking at is if you're going to lock someone up for life, why not kill them? The answer is, because they can stop being a risk, (or because they didn't do it). So with the "perfect" rehabilitation program, you can approach the issues that matter. Helping someone being better, no longer a risk, or recognising that the wrong person was found to have done it.

    That still stops people from doing it again, rather than dissuading them from doing it in the first place.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If rehabilitating was the only aim of prison, then some of the first people you would let out would be murderers. After all, in some cases, they've already killed the one person they wanted to kill. But obviously prison is more than that. It's also a deterrent. And the death penalty would also be a deterrent, but it's harder to put that one right if you cock it up and get the wrong person. It's also to give the public a sense of justice, and is as much for the criminals own protection as anything else. If criminals were simply let off without any sense of serving a punishment, you'd probably find that pretty quickly people would start administering their own punishments and society would descent into some sort of vigilante-run shit hole.

    I think the most important thing is that the punishment shouldn't hinder rehabilitation when it is necessary. One of the main problems with the American system is that criminal records are permanent, for example, which make it very difficult to move on from a spell in prison, because it becomes hard to get a job for years afterwards, meaning that someone who already lived in an environment where they turned to crime for profit is actually returning to an environment where it's even more difficult to make money legitimately.

    And of course there are someone people who can't be rehabilitated, but the problem with that is that you don't know that until you try. These are often people who aren't fully responsible for their own actions either.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    If rehabilitating was the only aim of prison, then some of the first people you would let out would be murderers. After all, in some cases, they've already killed the one person they wanted to kill.
    The problem with a killer (someone who has killed not for a legitimate reason such as self-defence) isn't that they've killed someone, but that they're willing to kill someone for their own purposes. Even if they're not planning to kill anyone at the moment, they can probably do it as easily as they did the first time.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think that a death caused because of someone defending themselves, ie self defence is something that could be difficult to sort out. I reckon a lot more of it would happen if more people were put into that situation. Primarily due to it often being an instinctive deep rooted reaction.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    I think that a death caused because of someone defending themselves, ie self defence is something that could be difficult to sort out. I reckon a lot more of it would happen if more people were put into that situation. Primarily due to it often being an instinctive deep rooted reaction.
    I'm not sure if you were addressing me but I noticed a syntactical error in my message that could have caused misunderstandings, and fixed it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I realize I'm being a poor sport by negating the premis but... punishment is not exclusive from rehabilitation. Similarly rehabilitation sometimes can be considered (or at least feel like) a form of punishment.

    Prison senteces are certainly punishment in that the convict is being deprived of their freedom (they also have the added benefit of keeping offenders out of the general population). However, prison sentences could also be considered a form of rehabilitation in-of themselves because they demonstrate to the convict that there are tangible consiquences for breaking laws (not just abstract threats). And that's not to mention the various attempts at counseling in prison.

    Truth of the matter is that counseling and more obvious forms of rehabilitation aren't used nearly as often as they ought to be, but even if these rehabilitation methods are stressed they will never form a miracle cure for criminal behavior.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    That still stops people from doing it again, rather than dissuading them from doing it in the first place.

    But the good thing about psychological rehabilitation is that it also breaks the chain of negative experiences and environments that may lead someone to offend in the first place. Eventually, you end up with a society with no crime, and psychologically based prevention.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    Try to think of it as utopian, rather than dystopian, for the sake of argument. What the idea is, is that people are worked with to overcome problems, limitations, circumstances, and experiences, rather than punished for acting on them.

    i agree with this totally, but its also unrealistic.
    The majority of people in prison have learning disabilities or psychological/mental health conditions or neuro-atypical that potentially could have been worked with in childhood to lessen the impact on behaviour, but with limited resources and the fact that people are often disinclined (probably because of their own issues) to believe it.
    Some people will never make functioning safe productive members of society. Tehyre too damaged. Theyre beyond rehabilitation. They need long term incarcerating for safetys sake. Its so hard. Theyre still people, but theyre dangerous. Some people can be well rehabilitated
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