What if non-violent offenders got therapy instead of going to prison?

Getting therapy for non-violent offenders would probably be much less costly than keeping them alive in prison and it would be much better for their rehabilitation, mental health and for society when they’re done.

Piper Kerman has learnt some strong life lessons while doing time in prison, taking responsibility for her mistakes. She wants people to tell their stories from behind prison walls, and believes that when people know the real stories of real people, they will realise that America’s incarceration mania is a real problem. America locks up more of it’s people than any other nation in the world, laws grow and tighten. Kerman expresses that American governments put people in prison who are “inconvenient, mentally ill, people who are addicts. People who are shut out of the new economy, and this needs to change.”

I believe the worst criminals like Murderers, psychos, rapists and child molesters, have a brain that’s wired up differently to normal people. They lack empathy and get satisfaction from hurting others, and I believe people like that will never ever learn from justice and punishment, they lack the capabilities to change their brains in such a way. And it’s not helpful to expect them to learn from their actions. They were born like that, and might also have had a traumatic and horrific upbringing or event that changed/developed the connections in their brains that lead them down such a path of destruction and pain. So I think people like that need to be taken away and locked up so they don’t do harm to other people. And at the same time, research how people like that become so fucked up in the first place and start to do something about the actual root cause instead of just the symptom.

Sentences are given to:

  • punish offenders
  • protect the public
  • change an offender’s behaviour
  • ensure offenders do something to make up for their crime
  • reduce crime in the future

This has been the way of things for decades probably hundreds of years but yet crime rates rise and prisons fill up. So maybe it’s not actually as good of a deterrent as the governments might hope it to be for small offenders.

Daniel D’Amico from LearnLiberty.org ask the questions – “are drug users likely to be cured from addiction by being locked up? Has locking up dealers and users lessened the demand for drugs? We spend billions of dollars each year on the drug war and continue to lock up hundreds of thousands of people. Surely there is a less costly approach to addressing drug use in America.”

“Many studies have shown that drug prohibition causes violent crime by leading to the formation of gangs and cartels.” Daniel D’Amico

We are all human with our own stories and I believe that some people who get put in prison don’t really deserve that fate. But no one seems to care enough about those people, in my opinion. No one cares enough to get to the root cause of why they committed the petty crime in the first place.

Drug addicts’s brains are uncontrollably addicted to a substance and they spend everything they earn on it, then they lose their job. But they don’t lose the addiction too, so they have to find some way of still getting the substance, and that leads to petty crimes. So what if, simply put, we had loads of places to help them get free from their addictions, (support groups, therapy, recovery centres) and this worked – crime surely would go down?

Sources: http://www.learnliberty.org/videos/why-is-the-us-prison-population-so-large/

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