Prison

Is it really right to lock people up for just one time offenses? Wouldn’t it be better to rehabilitate people like that instead of just locking them away in prison (even then are we just forcing them to conform to the standards set by society?)

Is it really right to lock people up for just one time offenses? Wouldn't it be better to rehabilitate people like that instead of just locking them away in prison (even then are we just forcing them to conform to the standards set by society?)
In Europe if is pretty usual to give first time offenders a conditional sentence or fine. It depends of course on the seriousness of the offence, and the situation of the defendant. And in Europe, rehabilitation is pretty usual after a prisoner is set free. In Europe we are aware that the best 'school for criminality' is prison. I assume you know that the USA has the highest percentage of inmates of all democratic countries? (Or even of all the world, I am not sure).

I’m aware of the high rate of incarceration. That’s why I’m wondering about the whole thing. I mean the amount of time is sometimes just intense, and the prison environment is honestly less then humane. Do these people really end up better for leaving?
But then again, if there is no punishment for actions then what would that mean? Just let people slide? How would society function? Is there a limit between controlling people just for peace

I'm aware of the high rate of incarceration. That's why I'm wondering about the whole thing. I mean the amount of time is sometimes just intense, and the prison environment is honestly less then humane. Do these people really end up better for leaving?
Mostly they don't.
But then again, if there is no punishment for actions then what would that mean? Just let people slide? How would society function?
Somehow society must attach unpleasant consequences to crimes. Otherwise it would not take itself serious when forbidding crimes. But what the best kind of consequences are, that have no negative consequences in itself, is a difficult question. I only know that simple answers tend to be wrong answers. Simple answers are mostly motivated from the feeling of retribution, or, on the other side, by ideological views that e.g. the individual is never guilty, that it is society that made the criminal what he is now. It is a difficult track between taking criminals serious as persons, not patronising them as people who are not able to behave responsible, but still show that society does not approve of their actions.
Is it really right to lock people up for just one time offenses? Wouldn't it be better to rehabilitate people like that instead of just locking them away in prison (even then are we just forcing them to conform to the standards set by society?)
Depends on the nature of the crime, of course. Murder, rape, child molestation, most drug dealing are crimes which require 0 tolerance.

I would recommend Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow. America has created a modern system of debtor’s prison. Google it, there are plenty of interviews out there. OnBeing had one recently.

We should look into how Scandinavian countries handle criminal justice. They have a much better record of humane treatment–and a much lower recidivism rate than the US has.
LOis

I agree. Our so-called justice system is seriously flawed. We were headed in the right direction until Ronald Reagan and his cowboy mentality took over. Then the libertarians convinced people that for-profit prisons are a good idea. They are not, and we can see the results. This is part of a larger overall problem in our country, wherein people would rather react than think. Instead of compassion people want revenge. Instead of rational analysis people make decisions out of fear.

That’s why I’m torn. I know the lives of people who are victims of the crime won’t be the same, but neither will those who are imprisoned the rest of their life. There must be a way to deal with such behavior but not if it means losing your entire life just rotting in a cell. But what about other cases like Charles Manson, I mean it’s obvious that not dealing with people like that is detrimental as well.

That's why I'm torn. I know the lives of people who are victims of the crime won't be the same, but neither will those who are imprisoned the rest of their life. There must be a way to deal with such behavior but not if it means losing your entire life just rotting in a cell. But what about other cases like Charles Manson, I mean it's obvious that not dealing with people like that is detrimental as well.
People like Manson deserve life in prison, of course. The problem we have far too many people in prison for nonviolent offenses such as drug possession, and those people are disproportionately minorities. Those are the extreme ends. The gray area is in the middle. What do we do about people who rob stores, break into houses or steal cars? I vote for the compassionate approach of rehabilitation. First, though, we should start with providing adequate education to everyone, not just those who can afford it. That doesn't mean everyone has to get a college degree. Vocational education is important too.
That's why I'm torn. I know the lives of people who are victims of the crime won't be the same, but neither will those who are imprisoned the rest of their life. There must be a way to deal with such behavior but not if it means losing your entire life just rotting in a cell. But what about other cases like Charles Manson, I mean it's obvious that not dealing with people like that is detrimental as well.
It takes a little mental work, but you need to separate the obvious problems from the not so obvious. Obviously Manson needs to be taken out of society, only the most extreme pacifist would think otherwise. Same goes for a lot of people. It's hard to say just how many just criminal convictions we have, but I would guess it's half of the people currently in prison, or even less. Take the guy from my area, Castille, shot to death when pulled over for a broken tail light and his "nose" looked like a recent robbery description. If you can't see that is code word for African descent, I don't think you are being honest with yourself. He also had been stopped 48 times before. Sounds bad doesn't it? But he never got a ticket for the same reason for which he was stopped. Our 4th amendment protects against this. Police aren't supposed to just pull you over and then start looking for something you did wrong. But they do. And, they can fine you or make you pay fees for the littlest things, like if you want to appear in court to contest your ticket. I'm just getting started here, really, read that book.

In 2009 a lawyer Harvey Silverglate wrote a book called “Three Felonies a Day". It is also said the average American breaks about 5 laws a day.
If this is true, then the “just one time offenses" does not hold water. Nor does rehabilitation. It all becomes about a money source for the local districts. And a paper chase game for the lawyers.
You may have broken some laws today and don’t even know it.

That's why I'm torn. I know the lives of people who are victims of the crime won't be the same, but neither will those who are imprisoned the rest of their life. There must be a way to deal with such behavior but not if it means losing your entire life just rotting in a cell. But what about other cases like Charles Manson, I mean it's obvious that not dealing with people like that is detrimental as well.
People like Manson deserve life in prison, of course. The problem we have far too many people in prison for nonviolent offenses such as drug possession, and those people are disproportionately minorities. Those are the extreme ends. The gray area is in the middle. What do we do about people who rob stores, break into houses or steal cars? I vote for the compassionate approach of rehabilitation. First, though, we should start with providing adequate education to everyone, not just those who can afford it. That doesn't mean everyone has to get a college degree. Vocational education is important too. It should be less a matter of who "deserves" any kind pf punishment, but protecting society from unstable and mentally unbalanced people. Education should be part of incarceration, but protection of society should be paramount. The focus should be on society and not punishment, per se Lois

I guess so. I mean the mass shootings are caused by mentally unstable people. Those types need to be away from everyone else.

That's why I'm torn. I know the lives of people who are victims of the crime won't be the same, but neither will those who are imprisoned the rest of their life. There must be a way to deal with such behavior but not if it means losing your entire life just rotting in a cell. But what about other cases like Charles Manson, I mean it's obvious that not dealing with people like that is detrimental as well.
Titanomachina - most criminals with life sentences aren't there for minor offenses, though a few unlucky bastards are. Life in prison is given to those who deserve it like murderers, molesters, rapists, big scale drug dealers; I emphasize these individuals need to be there. I'd guess you're talking about the problem of small-time hustlers who become institutionalized by being in and out of the system their entire lives, and that is really a problem of dealing with people who have difficulty functioning in society even on a good day.
That's why I'm torn. I know the lives of people who are victims of the crime won't be the same, but neither will those who are imprisoned the rest of their life. There must be a way to deal with such behavior but not if it means losing your entire life just rotting in a cell. But what about other cases like Charles Manson, I mean it's obvious that not dealing with people like that is detrimental as well.
People like Manson deserve life in prison, of course. The problem we have far too many people in prison for nonviolent offenses such as drug possession, and those people are disproportionately minorities. Those are the extreme ends. The gray area is in the middle. What do we do about people who rob stores, break into houses or steal cars? I vote for the compassionate approach of rehabilitation. First, though, we should start with providing adequate education to everyone, not just those who can afford it. That doesn't mean everyone has to get a college degree. Vocational education is important too. It should be less a matter of who "deserves" any kind pf punishment, but protecting society from unstable and mentally unbalanced people. Education shpuld be part of incarceration, but protection of society should be paramount. The focus should be on society and not punishment, per se LoisGotta disagree with you here, society needs to feel the right people get what they deserve because that is part of our sense of morality.

I can’t relate to this conversation, but I do know that every time I drive past a prison I am moved by the horrors occurring right there,
on the other side of those fences and walls.
I also know that the horrors of prison, and knowing that I wanted to stay as far from that scene as possible
made this little boy tow the line from the get go.
Mind you, my pre-teen years were getting to know Chicago back alleys (Lakeview District).
But then at 13, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9obLN0O_grc
Obey the rules and enjoy your freedoms as unobtrusively as possible.
It helps not to covet what others have.

But the prison environment tends to reinforce such negative behavior. How does that help them?

That's why I'm torn. I know the lives of people who are victims of the crime won't be the same, but neither will those who are imprisoned the rest of their life. There must be a way to deal with such behavior but not if it means losing your entire life just rotting in a cell. But what about other cases like Charles Manson, I mean it's obvious that not dealing with people like that is detrimental as well.
People like Manson deserve life in prison, of course. The problem we have far too many people in prison for nonviolent offenses such as drug possession, and those people are disproportionately minorities. Those are the extreme ends. The gray area is in the middle. What do we do about people who rob stores, break into houses or steal cars? I vote for the compassionate approach of rehabilitation. First, though, we should start with providing adequate education to everyone, not just those who can afford it. That doesn't mean everyone has to get a college degree. Vocational education is important too. It should be less a matter of who "deserves" any kind pf punishment, but protecting society from unstable and mentally unbalanced people. Education shpuld be part of incarceration, but protection of society should be paramount. The focus should be on society and not punishment, per se LoisGotta disagree with you here, society needs to feel the right people get what they deserve because that is part of our sense of morality. So what happens when prisons create their own immorality, which they almost always do? "Society" needs to know that the people in them are doing what needs to be done to keep the whole society safe and sane, not only that criminals "get what they deserve". That's what's always been done and it obviously doesn't work to anyone's advantage. Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
But the prison environment tends to reinforce such negative behavior. How does that help them?
Prisons were never set up to "help" people. Prisons are for segregating certain people from society. Enlightened societies have tried softening that reality with attention towards "rehabilitation" but ... Regarding the actual act of incarceration and all that comes with it. Take any spirited kid with a sense of independence, or worse rebellion, find some reason to justify locking him up with folks who have already gone through a few rounds with the legal system and learned the game. What can you possibly expect, but another bad outcome. daaa. These days the horror is the sheer crowding of individuals with no future in a world that's tapped out. Although the difficulty/challenge of dealing with an uptight world always has been there... ;-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3CPz21NzUc As insane as believing bombing out innocent neighborhoods will make you allies, but I digress. regarding the fruits of overcrowding: https://nihrecord.nih.gov/newsletters/2008/07_25_2008/story1.htm