11/15/2005

Escape Convicts

I was reading this article about the two men who escaped from the Iowa State Penitentiary. I can’t believe that our penitentiaries are not more secure. This is the second prison break in the last month. There are killers out on the loose! I just don’t understand why we pay so much money to pay for these facilities and they are not functioning effectively. I think that it would be cheaper and more effective in the long run to build more rehabilitation centers and try to clean these people up than to lock them up like animals. So many people come out of prison worse off than when they entered. What do you think?

5 comments:

Connor said...

Taylor, I think you might need to go visit a prison and see our tax dollars at work. I absolutely disagree with you concerning more rehabilitation centers and less of the prison-like atmosphere. So what if we have had three escapees in the past month? Considering how many are still behind bars, three is a minute percentage. Some people do come out of prison worse of than when they entered, but that as well is an extemely small percentage. There are programs available for the inmates that will assist them in bettering themselves. However, it comes down to the individual to have that self-motivation to become a better person and learn from his/her mistakes. Of my two friends that were locked-up in that state pen, both came out better. Now, I am not pleading my argument off of their experience. Moreover, I am looking at it from the collective point-of-view. Besides, how in the hell are people going to have a decreased desire to commit crimes if they know that they are not going to be harshly penalized for doing so?

Alex said...

I hope this doesn't offend anyone, but I find it kind of dumb that we lock up criminals and give them a life sentence. This is costing so much money! If these people have committed such a crime that they are being locked up for life, why don't we just give them the death penalty? This would be beneficial in a couple of ways; first it would make room for other inmates, making prisons less crowded, second it would be less costly than keeping them locked up forever. I know this may sound mean, but if they are that horrible, why not? Then when we have prisoners escape at least they wouldn't be the ones that like to murder and rape!

Bob said...

For the most part I agree with Alex and Connor. There are hundreds of thousands of criminals locked up in our prisons throughout the country, and rarely do prisoners break free. If they do it usually isn’t long before they’re caught and taken back to the prison to receive an even harsher sentence. As a matter of fact I believe they have caught at least one if not all of those prisoners who escaped from the Iowa prison. For a lot of these criminals going to prison is almost like going on an all expense paid vacation courtesy of the U.S. taxpayers. They get a bed to sleep on, three meals a day, a TV to watch, opportunities to play basketball, and many other things I think they don’t deserve. I read an article a couple years ago that showed how much affect the death penalty has on homicides. The more likely a murderer is to receive the death penalty the less likely he will be to commit the murder. Homicides have gone down in each state that institutes the death penalty. I say we make the prison stay hell so these criminals will think twice before they commit the crime.

Bree said...

I agree, rehab center my ass, these convicts are fed good meals, given hobbies, and air conditioned! What should happen is we should move some of our sweatshops into these "rehabilitation centers" and make them work. Sure we'll give them a wage that can be put into a fund for when they are released and maybe they could even learn some good skills that they could later use out in the real workforce. That, to me, sounds more like rehabilitation and maybe give them a chance to give back to society.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Taylor's post for poor grammar.

I'm not so sure this tells us anything about how the money is being spent. After all, it's the prisoner's "job" to escape.

With respect to Alex's comment, people who work in prison's are not in favor of life sentences either - it eliminates hope that can help give them the incentive they need to clean up their act.

There actually is a large economics literature on crime, and it strongly supports the notion that the deterrent effect of incarcertaion is important.