March 15, 2006

Criminal Penalties

I have listened to a great deal of discussion on news programs lately about "activist judges" allowing offenders, particularly child molesters and rapists, to go free after serving extremely short sentences, using the argument that rehabilitation, not prison time, is the answer. The news programs I watch have condemned these judges, and I wholeheartedly support this position. At the same time, it occurs to me that we seem to be unable to entertain the notion that we can enforce appropriate prison sentences and work to rehabilitate those serving terms for a whole host of crimes.

Why is this concept so hard to embrace? If our prison systems are equipped with methods to rehabilitate criminals in prison for even lengthy periods of time, do we not all benefit from the result? I am aware that the methods for rehabilitation may be in dispute, but beyond that point, those in favor of harsh prison terms never seem to mention rehabilitation, and those supporting rehabilitation seem not to believe in harsh prison terms. On this of all issues, can we not reach a consensus and help everyone in the process? Both are possible without compromising either position!

Posted by Andy at March 15, 2006 11:07 PM to the Politics category
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