Wednesday, May 30, 2012


For the life of me I will never understand why people commit crimes. These days if you do something wrong they will catch you and put you away. Our state is pretty tough on some crimes, especially crimes that involve guns. There are mandatory sentences that will put you away for at least 5-10 years depending on the crime if you use a gun – even a fake one. Going to jail for doing a stupid thing that you may have done in a fit of desperation when you felt you had no option puts your life on hold and sometimes permanently.

If you do a more serious crime, like shoot someone, obviously 5 years doesn’t enter into the picture. It’s a lot more. Why would anyone risk doing it? Do people actually want go to jail? I shake my head whenever I read the news and see young men committing crimes like shooting someone because they want the other person’s iPod, or killing their best friend because they had a beef with them. Is it really worth throwing away your life? Yet the prospect of going to jail doesn’t seem to stop some people from doing the deed. I guess they don’t believe they will get caught.

Jail doesn’t really do anything to teach a person. It just warehouses people until their sentence is over. It is especially true now with our current governor who cut education in jails as well as schools.  No, jail simply allows people to spend all their time networking and learning about what others have done. All it does is make an offender, especially a young impressionable man who made a stupid mistake, more of a criminal when they get out. Then when they get out they have a record and are scarred for the rest of their lives. They have a really hard time getting a decent job, they may not be able to get school loans to improve their education, and they may not be able to have resources available to them that others have. One stupid mistake and you are messed up for life.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t put people away, and there is something to be said for being hard on crime, but there has to be more available for the person after they get out so they can put that kind of life aside and start over again. Resources should be easy to find after you have paid your debt to society and people have to have a chance to build trust in others. Above all, there has to be something else that really deters crime. My jury is still out as to whether jail is it.

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