Prison is a brutal, racist, violent place that gnaws that the souls of those who live or work inside. It doesn't get much better when they get out. That's a problem for our society.
Well said Steve. I used to be a "lock em up" law and order type of guy. I used to scoff at those who advocated for rehabilitation and would argue that taxpayers shouldn't ever come to the assistance of a criminal. That these prisoners deserved their fate. But reading pieces like yours have reminded me that it isn't as cut and dry, and that some prisoners are dealt an unjust hand at times. I think that rehabilitation for those incarcerated, would go a long way in reducing recidivism. If we believe that a released inmate has paid his or her debt to society and deserves a 2nd chance(and what makes America great is that we are a 2nd chance society), then rehabbing them to transition to normal life is imperative.
I think part of the reason we have the highest incarceration rate in the world, is that we have far too many laws in the penal code. Many people are languishing in prison, having had their lives ruined for a simple drug possession offense, or a comparably trivial victimless crime. I think that prison reform should also be followed with cleaning up our penal code, so our prisons don't get filled with people who did something stupid, but do not deserve to have their entire life ruined over it.