Prison Reform that will reduce costs, recidivism
and keep predators locked up
The purpose of Prison is:
1) To keep people who are a menace to society separate from society.
2) To punish with a loss of freedom those who will eventually return to society.
There are some people that must be kept locked up forever, whatever the cost, and USUALLY they are. It is very expensive to keep an inmate in a conventional prison. The number of inmates in traditional prisons could be substantially reduced by putting non-violent prisoners into less expensive prisons which would greatly reduce costs, but still maintain control.
Rehabilitation is a term that the general public has soured on because it has resulted in the release of dangerous inmates who never should have been released. However, the fact is that sooner or later, most inmates will get out of prison and every effort should be made to rehabilitate them before they do. There are methods that work and there are methods that don’t work. Christian programs like Teen Challenge have a very low recidivism rate. Before behavior can change, changes must be made on the inside and Teen Challenge and similar organizations are very successful. Every inmate should have the opportunity to go through counseling programs designed by Teen Challenge and like minded organizations that have a proven track record.
Prisoners need something to do and something physical is even better. Every Spring, before farmers begin planting, appropriately screened prisoners should pick up trash in fields along roads. After harvesting, trash should be picked up again before fields get plowed under. Also, trash can be picked up along ALL roads several times a year.