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Returning to prison

May 23, 2013

Hundred of thousands of prisoners are released on parole or on probation every year, but the majority of them will return to incarceration in less than three years, and this will cost taxpayers tens......

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JerryfromRI

May-25-13 7:57 AM

Greece is hardly an example of a typical, stable government.

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JerryfromRI

May-24-13 5:29 PM

Hey Bobbie. Sup? Have BBQ plans for the weekend?

Do you have any examples that aren't half a century old? Maybe something present day? Wouldn't examples be pretty obvious if your argument were correct?

Why isn't Europe awash with criminals?

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JerryfromRI

May-24-13 1:16 PM

Hey Vince, if what you say were the case, wouldn't it follow then that in other places around the world where Socialism and Communism are more accepted, that they would have even higher rates of incarceration?

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VinceKnauff

May-24-13 7:30 AM

"I wonder why it is that so many more Americans turn to crime than elsewhere in the world." - JerryfromRI

Culture.

Because they feel entitled. Because they were taught that it's somebody else's fault that they do not have what they want. Because they grew up having no responsibility in any aspect of their lives. Because they have no self control.

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rmiller

May-23-13 10:35 PM

It is before the crime is committed that one needs to take responsibility for, not expecting everyone else to after the fact. This is called choice, or personal responsibility.

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spike2

May-23-13 9:31 PM

Erik -"I am a firm believer that we will be judged ". Maybe you should just stop there and try some introspection. Shulski - you are also right. The problem with the current system is even with a very low "pay" the inmate leaves broke. No return of commissary, etc. having no money creates a real problem after a max-out. No housing, no food, not even a bus pass to go to a job. Pa. no longer helps single adults for the 3 month limit. It is a grim situation. Vince- you are incorrect on voting. Individuals at Pre-release are allowed to vote if they request to do so. Don't believe me, call the PRC Manager. This is the law: "In Pennsylvania the only adult citizens who cannot vote are those who are currently incarcerated for a felony. Individuals in jail awaiting trial who have not been convicted, those incarcerated for misdemeanors, and those on probation or parole can vote. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release from prison."

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gavinf56

May-23-13 6:51 PM

I have lived and or been all over the world. We have a coarseness and lack of respect for others I have not seen anywhere else (part of that could be the result of a homogeneous society, which we do not have).

What we do have is a giving and outpouring of care and concern when disaster happens, and that is not seen on the level that we exemplify here.

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JerryfromRI

May-23-13 6:31 PM

@gavinf56

Care to elaborate?

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gavinf56

May-23-13 6:25 PM

"I wonder why it is that so many more Americans turn to crime than elsewhere in the world." - JerryfromRI

Culture.

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eriklatranyi

May-23-13 6:22 PM

Vince:

Of course.

However, the system is still failing if we do not find ways to make even those who are not able-bodies into productive citizens.

One only has to look at our wounded warriors to see the incredible progress we have made in taking brave heroes who lost limbs and suffered incredible injuries and turned them into able men and women who can lead productive lives.

The goal should always be to transform everyone into an productive person. That does not mean we invoke the liberal shortcut of aborting the handicapped or trying to breed a superior race.

I am a firm believer that we will be judged by how we help the helpless....not with a check and a handshake, but by making them a part of our society.

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JerryfromRI

May-23-13 6:05 PM

I wonder why it is that so many more Americans turn to crime than elsewhere in the world.

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nobud74

May-23-13 4:52 PM

Mr. Faust, all of your arguments have been aired a thousand times. In all of that there has never been one on the left who has indicated at what point we hold people responsible for their choices. Millions make the choice every day not to commit crimes but to do their best to improve their situation. Why is it only those who CHOOSE to engage in crime deserve our pity and less sentencing? I say to heck with all of them, spend the money on those who are doing their best to improve and stay out of trouble, they are the ones who need the help and to be rewarded!

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VinceKnauff

May-23-13 4:13 PM

Erik - I think you meant to say that we want a nation where no ABLE BODIED citizens need social welfare. None of us object to welfare for the disabled. We have to be specific about that, because Liberals twist that into claiming that we want to push grandma in the wheelchair off the cliff.

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enigma

May-23-13 3:58 PM

Erik, I would agree that the system has failed, but not in the way you think. If the system told able bodied people, "work or starve", they would work. If prison was concrete walls with no television or rec room and only subsistence meals, then criminals would try very hard no to go back. It's the time tested system of reward and punishment. If you work, you are rewarded, if you steal, you are punished, and with punishment that means something. That system never fails.

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eriklatranyi

May-23-13 3:22 PM

Phil:

I do not disagree, but if we looked at the issue from a point-of-view that the system is the problem before the individual, then these programs might get better and more effective rather than bigger and more useless.

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philunderwood

May-23-13 2:17 PM

Erik, I wouldn’t say the system has failed if an individual doesn’t make the right choices.

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eriklatranyi

May-23-13 1:30 PM

The question is not if the cost of prison is more/less than the cost of social welfare.

Neither should be acceptable to society.

If a repeat offender cannot be rehabilitated into an honest citizen, then the system has failed.

If a repeat welfare recipient cannot be coached into an honest citizen, then the system has failed.

This is what liberals do not understand about conservatism. They think we want no social welfare.

Actually, we want a nation where there are no citizens who need social welfare.

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Shulski

May-23-13 1:07 PM

One additional fact, briefly mentioned below, needs to be corrected. There is now more prison labor than there ever has been in US history. A recent article in the Huffington Post points out that it's correlated with unemployment in general. Now, the guys at the local PRC Center get 30 cents an hour to work at the landfill. I heard it's awful work. I don't have necessary issue that they pay them so little. My problem is that many get stuck there till they actually max out their sentences or find jobs in work release. The men who max out their sentences are often there for petty violations and don't have a "home plan" to be released. People who leave prison with no place to go and no money are very likely to offend again. They also get very angry at society and this makes it hard for them to think rationally and reform their ways. Just saying. Do some research and don't attack my evidence before you do. Please.

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Shulski

May-23-13 1:01 PM

There are some good comments here. However, one important point that more conservative leaning members should pick up on is the simple fact that it is much more costly to keep people in jail than it is to have them come out, behave themselves, and even live off of disability. It's literally cheaper to have them on disability than in prison. Now, if they are breaking laws, especially property laws, they could cost taxpayers more money by NOT being imprisoned. Criminal activity itself can have a cost on taxpayers for more policing etc.

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VinceKnauff

May-23-13 12:41 PM

Most everyone I know personally knows this about me. I usually say that getting arrested (actually) 31 years ago was the best thing that has happened to me. Taught me a heck of a lesson.

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spike2

May-23-13 11:59 AM

Nice personal share Vince!

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SteelerFan

May-23-13 10:28 AM

good for you Vince!! :-)

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VinceKnauff

May-23-13 9:50 AM

Some people use a brush with the law to straighten themselves out. Other people react to an arrest as if the system is out to get them. When one gets in trouble it is up to them to either learn from it, accept that what they did was wrong and actually get rehabilitated or they can do the opposite.

I speak from experience on this, and on the voting rights statement I made earlier. I used a felony conviction 33 years ago to straighten myself out.

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philunderwood

May-23-13 9:44 AM

People who’ve done time aren’t unemployable. What they choose to make of themselves upon release is entirely up to them. They may have to take an entry-level job, they can return to school, get experience at a trade, or start a small business. I’ve known of some that have done all of the above. First they have to accept that they did the wrong thing and work all the harder to set things right again.

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spike2

May-23-13 9:21 AM

Individuals from Pa. can vote after release from prison, not after completion of supervision. I think most are thinking of major felonies in their comments. You might want to look at Pa.'s classification of crimes. Do you really want people who are 18 or 19, sold a felony grade amount of marijuana to basically never be employable? Do you want a D.U.I. who had an injured passenger ( now charged as Agg. Assault with a Motor Vehicle, to not be employable? I think there are many felony classifications that most are not aware of. We all think of murder, rape, robbery and major drug crimes immediately. Truth is there are a lot more crimes that carry sentences. Wouldn't it be helpful to keep inmates employed while incarcerated(think back to when inmates made our license plates) and not pay outside wages but to have some kind of a check upon release? This produces a service at a lower cost and eliminates the need for a subsidy upon release.

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