General Question

babygalll's avatar

Would they change their ways?

Asked by babygalll (2753points) October 22nd, 2008

For convicts who are currently serving many years (10 + yrs) to life in prison. Do you think they would change their ways if they were given one last chance? Do you think they will still continue to do what they did? What if an 18yr old did something and got convicted to life in prison. Do you think they deserve a second chance?

Just for the record..just a question it has nothing to do with anyone in my life.

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11 Answers

Judi's avatar

After several years of being confined in a cage I’m not sure they would KNOW HOW to act in a normal society. Since I was a little girl I pondered the question of criminal justice. There has to be a better way.
Both my son in laws are correctional officers so I am now forced to look t a “less liberal” point of view. I think it’s good for me though, it balances me out.

deaddolly's avatar

It would depend on the crime. I believe in the death penalty for some offenses. i also think that some not-so-bad criminals come out for the worse once their in prison. I personally like the 3 strike law…tho of course not for heinous crimes like murder, rape, etc.
Interesting question. I’m just sitting here thinking about what Manson may do if he was released. He’d no doubt get rich quick by being the toast of the talk shows and the subject of another movie/book. Anxious to see what others think.

I’ll be back!!!

Judi's avatar

I can’t believe you are for 3 strikes! We have people spending the rest of their lives in prison for a final strike of posession of drugs while rapists and murders go free! 3 strikes means job security for my family but I don’t think it serves society as a whole.

RandomMrdan's avatar

good movie…A Clockwork Orange. It’s about rehabilitating criminals using brainwashing/drugs. It’s one of my favorite movies.

deaddolly's avatar

@Judi I’m for 3 strikes for certain petty crimes. I don’t consider posession of drugs, unless they’re selling or manufacturing, to be a big deal. I meant for crimes like traffic tickets (you’d be surpised how many of my employees are hauled away for those), non-violent crimes. Personally, I would like to see all rapists castrated; all murderers put to death. I don’t believe ppl who commit violent crimes can be rehabilitated. But, then there’s someone like Charles Manson…they kept him alive…and I doubt he’d be a treat to anyone anymore. His was a different time. A different era.
I also think, now that the brain cells are working again, that prison changes ppl—forever. Criminals should face their victims families. See how their actions impact the lives of everyone. Course those who have mental issues are another story. Who’s to say they will take their meds if released? I wouldn’t want to live next door to one.
So, I guess my answer, after consideration is, NO, no second chances.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@DD: Keeping Manson alive and in jail was absolutely the right thing to do. Dead and he would be a martyr for his supporters. It was an unusual case in any direction.

It’s pretty easy to look at the recidivism rates for these things and make a decision from there. But I think it is more interesting to look at recidivism rates in socially equal countries, then figure out what we or they are doing right and wrong.

Example: In the Czech Republic, the recidivism rate for rapists is something like 17%, while in the US it is something like 83%. (The rate added to 100 which fascinated me and I know we were 80s, they were 10s, I think I’m getting this right, but the class was 2 years ago.) They do a number of things differently when it comes to rape including the idea that rape can be a fetish—a psychological condition.

Thus, you can get tested to see if you have the fetish and are accordingly eligible for an insanity plea of a sort. If you plea insanity, you still go to jail, then after you go to a psych ward until they deem you ready to re-enter the world basically. And they do give you release if you’ve reformed/improved.

Now there may be other influences on these cases, I don’t know, but I do like looking at this very different system and saying, “Well something must be working there that does not work here” and wish we would implement some of their ideas. It might not be the perfect solution, but it would be a start.

I’m probably a bit off topic at this point, but I basically think that given the proper treatment and incentive, people can change their ways. But it would require a total overhaul of the system which currently creates an atmosphere so unlike the real world that those who exist in it for too long find they can no longer function properly outside of it.

mea05key's avatar

Yes. there are chances that they will change

Judi's avatar

I just wish there were a better way. Better prevention. I doubt that any mother looks into her babies eyes and says, “You are going to be the greatest drug dealer in the world!” Something bad is happening to these kids between birth and the crime. We need to fix it early and avoid all the heartache for all the parties and families involved. I would just bet you that preventing crime is much cheaper than incarceration.

boffin's avatar

Q: What if an 18yr old did something and got convicted to life in prison. Do you think they deserve a second chance?
A: I’m guessing that this person has had many chances prior to being incarcerated. Most states don’t lock you up on the first offense. Of course the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

augustlan's avatar

@boffin: If your first offense was murder (which is almost the only way to get a life sentence) they sure do lock you up!

I pretty much think that non-violent crime should be treated entirely differently than violent crime. By all means lock up the rapists, murderers etc., but some other form of punishment/rehab/restitution would probably produce a better outcome for non-violent offenders.

hatingdivorce's avatar

i have a relative that just served 10 years and is now beginning her life at 28 years old. not only does she have a lot of growing up to do, but there are only a handful of people that trust her enough to give her a second chance at life (ie. a job) yes, i think she deserves a chance. we should all learn how to forgive and not judge others for their pasts. we all make mistakes.

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