2020 – 02 – why prison doesn’t work
Why prison doesn’t work: don’t take my word…
Here’s an interesting quote ptinted in the latest SAFARI news letter – these are the words of American judge and justice reformer, Dennis Challeen (1936-2018): “Prisoners: We want them to have self-worth, so we destroy their self-worth. To be part of our community, so we isolate them from the community. To be positive and constructive, so we degrade them and make them useless. To be non-violent, so we put them where there is violence all around. To be kind and loving people, so we subject them to hatred and cruelty. To quit being tough guys, so we put them where the tough guys is respected. To quit hanging around losers, so we put all the losers under one roof. To quit exploiting us, so we put them where they exploit each other. We want them to take control of their lives, own their own problems and quit being parasites, so we make them totally dependent on us.”
There’s a few sweeping statements I would have to take issue with but, on the whole, a fair summary of why prisons are the problem not the solution.
Be happy, be safe and be kind.
Graham Coutts, 5th January 2020