Whatever your thoughts may be on the matter — whether certain inmates deserve solitary confinement or not — I think we can all agree that it must be a maddening ordeal and a horrifying reality filled with fear, anxiety, deep depression, and hopelessness — enough to drive someone into the depths of insanity, no doubt.
As with many touchy topics (quality of life, education or a lack thereof, etc.) regarding prison systems — especially here in the U.S. — my feelings tend to change on a case by case basis. Even though I get enraged when I hear about a gruesome murder or some other sort of horrible, senseless act of violence, I really don’t know how I feel about certain punishments.
My initial, visceral response is a primal one — kill ’em all. Every murderer, every rapist, every child molester … just kill ’em. But then I come to my senses and realize that is not a society I truly want to live in, and that justice, not vengeance, should prevail. This dichotomy becomes tricky and confusing to deal with for myself and most folks, I would imagine.
Then you have the horrible reality some people have to struggle with when being the victim or family/friends of the victim. It’s a whole different strata and set of emotional peaks and valleys when it comes to processing your attitude and thoughts on the matter when you are actually involved.
I mean, yeah, as the Captain from Cool Hand Luke simply put it “Some men you just can’t reach,” and those people with no hope or chance of rehabilitation can rot as far as I’m concerned. But what about those who truly want to get better, serve their time in a productive manner, and become useful, contributing members of society? How do we know who is or isn’t sincere? What’s the percentage of people who actually do want to change their ways?
The fact of the matter is that it’s impossible to ever really know. We’ll never get any hard numbers because an incarcerated person will say whatever is needed in order to be free; whether they intend to go on and live the straight and narrow or plan on going back to slingin’ dope the day they get out.
I don’t know … I’m not even quite sure where I’m going with all of this. Other than further showing my confusion and the doubts I have regarding the way we treat, punish, and attempt to rehabilitate criminals, I’m really not saying much at all…
Give this short video a spin and get an insight into one man’s mind who served five long years in the hole. You can also read more about his story in this article from ABC News (Australia).
Source: ABC News (Australia)