Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rehabilitation and Prison

Can there ever be a 'rehabilitative prison'? Because prison damages, it’s what it is good at and predicated upon. It shreds your life, destroys your social capital, then spits you out with a travel warrant and a plastic sack of your possessions.

Can it ever be anything more? Is the best that we can hope for a prison which is less damaging than now? And in recognising this, limit its use to those who truly need confinement?


  1. That's a difficult question. I don't think prison can ever 100% rehabilitate but, run well, it can take someone utterly disengaged from society with no education and give them a leg up.

    It can't give them all the skills required to live life outside because prison is, by it's nature, somewhat protective (as in, there's alway guaranteed food and shelter), so some form of transition is always going to be required as well. Just not the rubbish we have at the moment in the form of open conditions :/

  2. Isn't it true that the majority of prisoners are from poor and working class backgrounds? Prisoners are systematically brutalised and it is no coincidence that there is a class origin.

    The prison system works for the rulers and the powers that be to subdue and brow beat the whole of the working class and poor (who are a majority in society) into submission.

    The minority who rule over us continue to profit in a system of wars, inequality and barbarity and there is so much injustice.

    Prisoners are at the sharp end of this.

    Any change to alter this class system would have to come from the workers, poor and oppressed struggling for it themselves, as the powers that be are not going to give anything freely, or without strings attached.

    In a different, more egalitarian society, or a transition to one, there would probably still be a need to imprison some, but if the majority has the say so over these institutions they would be ones based mainly on care (some punishment, but not overdone), rehabilitation and education.

  3. And yes, I do think that a majority rule society is possible, and consequently a much fairer prison and general system, furthermore it is one that people today from all walks of life, young and old, men and women, black and white struggle for (sometimes even without them consciously knowing it); it is called emancipation.


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