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Thoughts on Prison

Back in 2000 I attended a lecture one evening on the failure of the U.S. prison system to truly rehabilitate criminals. The lecturer talked about how high re-offense rates are, but she also talked about the massive amounts of money being spent by the prison system and the overcrowding in many prisons. She did not compare our country with any others.

Last night I was watching a show about the San Quentin prison and the narrator was talking about how the prison, rather than rehabilitate criminals, actually creates a networking platform for them. Many times criminals come out of jail with more contacts and increased criminal know-how; not to mention the fact that many inmates spend a majority of their time working out and getting fit. It would seem that our current system is producing super-criminals: stronger, meaner and more connected.

I know that I am making generalizations of massive proportions, and that some people do come out of jail changed and ready to embark on a new life, but there also appears to be a large problem with they way we punish and rehabilitate.
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