Perhaps an inordinate reliance upon punitive consequence
In the United States and throughout the world, the methods of applied
justice, were, and still are, structured from the paradigm of punishment.
Punishment has been pervasively employed for so long we often simply
assume that it is time-tested reliable and effective.
Currently we appear to have a hybridized and somewhat schizophrenic version
of applied justice; seeming reluctant to commit to a discernible philosophy
and/or standards of application. .Our revulsion to 'cruel and unusual'
punishment 'laps' itself becoming once again that which it intends to avoid.
Absent are the permanent physical scars of torture, retracted into the largely
unseen realm of 'wrongs so wrong' current 'wrongs' seem 'right'.
It is not the length of a sentence nor is it any harsh treatment (though this surely happens
intermittently) that characterizes the nature of punishment. It is the skills not taught and a
And so it Remains...
In effect we continue to favor punishment over rehabilitation in a manner grossly
disproportionate. Aggregate society experiences consolation in knowing the criminal suffers
consequence to the crime while simultaneously perceiving society to be a safer place as a result.
We then allow for frequent early release as if an effective rehabilitation had, all the
while, both existed and was effective... Perhaps this occurs in some parallel universe
where ‘wishful thinking’ rules the day. It is a release oft driven by the need for more
cell space to accommodate the offspring of the convict now slowed by age and
representing the lesser threat. A more pragmatic and unspoken realization is that we
can merely hope that the stay was brief enough, and as a consequence, no new
criminal alliances were made by acquaintance and/or accrual of new technique. The
reality is that if our convict does not return, there will likely be no accounting to a
And So...The Story Perpetuates...
By varying degrees, the recently incarcerated convict will likely never be fully ‘ex’ and citizenship
will never be ‘total’ with a distinct and concurrent probability that more people were hurt the next
Many inmates likely find consolation in the realization that if post-prison life once again
becomes overwhelming there will always be the option of return to prison. Once again the
consistent provision of basic needs are met and the expectations are clear and fear is only of
the future upon the time talk of ‘freedom’ threatens to encroach upon the comforts of
predictable routine with fulfillment of primary needs never in doubt.
derives from a relative simplicity and ease of application. Or- perhaps the
appeal is in the process of administration that tickles a facet in the darker
corners of the human psych. Regardless; exclusive or even significant use of
punishment achieves no sustained positive outcome yet the employ continues
to enjoy popularity across the globe...
Karma's a bitch! M
Little thought is given to the nature of the preceding events/circumstances in
which the criminal was immersed. But, the criminal 'got what was coming' and
now has time to internalize the loathe of society only to one day emerge from
confinement to find self even further removed from that which now surrounds-
intimidating and foreboding.
disconnect between actions and accountability to results. It is the toleration (yatch!) of
segregation by race and even sexual orientation within our prisons systems. And so it
is our system punishes as largely intended but we fail to understand how it is we are
able consummate the targeted outcomes that do us little favor. In the absence of
mechanisms for the individual to exercise self-determination, punishment is achieved
but equates only to a monumental (and expensive) waste of time.
we now segregate by race
and even sexual
the show here?
There really are no lessons the
criminal can teach- other then
those taught through a
demonstrated willingness to learn