Prison & Criminal Justice Reforms- Misguided
By NEIL SISKIND
The federal and state governments are beginning to really focus on criminal justice reforms so that convicted criminals have second chances, which is important for the safety of society.
I agree that reforms are desperately needed.
Governments believe that they are being “proactive” in that they are preparing criminals for success in the real world through rehabilitation- rather than “reactive” through just spending money to punish them over and over with prison sentences after crimes occur (of course, it is also the intention of governments to keep society safe from violence and recidivism).
On this, I do not “completely” agree.
Governments are missing the point that providing training and tools to convicted criminals in prison is already being “reactive”- and not “proactive”. Lawmakers’ hearts and minds are in the right places- but once people are in prison, it’s, often, already too late.
Governments- state and local- and even federal- need to focus money and resources on at-risk youths in broken homes. Programs designed to be truly “proactive” in youths’ lives would be money better-spent than trying to reform and rehabilitate criminals- statistically difficult.
Using money and resources for “both” guiding at-risk youths and rehabilitating convicted criminals would be ideal. But if one or the other has to be chosen- as budgets often require- it is far more important to reach at-risk youths and give them direction and purpose for their lives- at any cost.