Some form of compensation should be afforded to victims when propery is stolen or damaged or the ability to earn a living is impaired. Something equivalent for the injury seems only fair...mandatory.
Punishment - Puritanical Righteousness - Retribution - Suffering
I wonder if we would have fewer crimes if compassion instead of punishment was offered while in the state called incarceration. I've been here a coupld of months and I have to say that I have not seen any guard extend any amount of compassion to any inmate. And, as you might expect, when a guard leaves "the tank", the inmates have nothing pleasant to say about him or her. The cycle of hatred - I know that's a strong word yet that is what I FEEL in here - the cycle of hatred continues when only punishment is applied.
Society is somewhat protected while an offender is confined...and then???
If the 'system' would invest the time and money to teach the inmate a trade, s/he might not return. The recidivism rate MIGHT just lower. I'll bet it's high...I'll bet it's over 60%! There's an old parable about giving a hungry man dinner. The trouble is that he becomes dependent of someone else to provide him dinner; however, if he's taught a skill (to fish), he can take care of himself and his family. The 'system' feeds us three times each day. All we have to do is be awake!
Rehabilitation might also protect society! If the inmate had a trade, they might be less likely to return to a life of crime. I cannot tell you the number of conversations I've overheard about the crimes my tribesmen will commit when they get out! They are convinced they wont' get caught the next time. And, at the end of the day, they just don't know any other way to make their way through this life. Education and job training would help...I'm certain of it.
Time to Think
Someone famous once say "the unexamined life is a life not lived" (something like that!). Well, being "locked up" with nothing to do 24/7 has given me plenty of time to examine my life. Given that I've done accounting work for 39 years, you'll understand why I call this review my 'life-audit'. I have more liabilities than assets. My balance sheet is out of balance. But this audit has alerted me to what has to be done to balance the books. I hope I have enough time.
The subject of mercy...justice...jails and prisons is more complex than these five thoughts on the subject and when I re-read this blog, I feel it's a little naive...yet it's what is on my mind and how I feel tonite. I'm venting over the loss of my friend...