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Short Sighted

There are two major causes of crime in America today. One cause is professional lawmaking in government that passes new laws against previously legal behaviors, day after day, without ceasing. The second cause is lousy parenting, most especially in the first five years of a child's life.

The damage done is seldom reversed, often compounded. The abused and neglected child eventually learns to abuse and neglect others because s/he has learned from negative models; in the home, the school and the neighborhood. S/he sees life as a struggle for survival and power. Poorly equipped to use power constructively through observation, any power is most often applied destructively and eventually, unlawfully.Society does not want to see that criminals, in most cases, begin as victims for whom law offers little to no protection. Society, in its foolishness, pays for the crimes committed by its victims.

It pays for the investigation and apprehension of its new criminals. It pays for the prosecution of them, and then pays for years of housing them in cruel, degrading, inhumane and humiliating cages. Cages that increase the neglect and abuse that set people on a criminal path in the first place; cages that transform people into beasts and monsters, no matter what the crime. In many cases a convict was supporting or contributing to the support of a family when arrested. The loss of family support then becomes an obligation to restore to the innocent that which imprisonment denies them. Society likes to think a prisoner is paying a debt to society.

The prisoner is paying nothing to society for caging allows a prisoner to do little or nothing of social value. It is society that at once pays all costs relating to the caging and is creating a debt to the prisoner that will never be repaid. The recovery of the prisoner's lost production.Society, in its infinite foolishness, prefers one size fits all punishment and cares nothing about punishment fitting crimes. Confinement fits the crime of kidnapping and murder.

Confinement is murder. One day at a time. Fear, resentment, anger and rage provide the daily sustenance for prisoners. When they then behave as we should expect, new punishments are heaped upon them.

Next, society decides prisoners have been punished enough and they are released with the advice to get their act together. No grubstake, little hope for lawful employment and probably little family support.They violate parole or re offends in some fashion because they have become institutionalized and socially dysfunctional, by the abuse and neglect of cruel and usual punishment. The cycle repeats. In Old Testament times, the punishments fit the crimes in cruel and merciless fashion. Jesus would later say this form of punishment was allowed due to the hardness of the social heart or consciousness.

Then He said we must forget those old ways - that we should love our enemies and pray for those who trespass against us and forgive them their crimes. Prisons are the proof His words fall on deaf ears that want nothing to do with mercy or forgiveness. The hard hearts of the days of old make the rules of today and a so- called Christian nation mocks Christ. Merciless fools will soon be mocked by Christ and their victims alike. There will be no mercy in the mocking.

Society, which prefers compounding problems to solving them, constructs more prisons to warehouse the enemies it creates. It can't afford the dollar costs or the social costs but society cares nothing about costs. It cares about punishment and pretends to care about deterrence. If we just continue locking people in cages as long as we can, everything will be OK. Then they shake in fear of the monsters they create and release upon their selves.

State governments are just beginning to figure out that caging non violent criminals is counter productive and costs more than government can afford. They are looking at imposing fines on anti social behaviors as an alternative to caging. Fines improve the treasury and allow offenders to remain or become productive and otherwise contributing to society, actually paying a debt to society instead of enlarging it. It has only taken ages for social leadership to discover this truth. Imagine how progressive we will be in just another hundred years.

Those who believe caging is a mild punishment ought to live in them for a few years as public service in lieu of government employment, or as a requirement for government employment.When society takes on the responsibility for any life under lock and key, it takes on the responsibility to maintain that life in healthful, transforming circumstances. But this is exactly where the budgeting kicks in.

We will maintain life at the absolute minimums to save costs; a diet that maintains life but not health. Medical care is substandard and withheld, interrupted or discontinued by administrative policy. If a healthy body makes for a healthy mind, there is no reason for a prisoner to enjoy either. Let us release them with diseased bodies and minds and keep a close eye on them. Let's compare the health statistics of our caged beasts with that of society at large.

I'm sure the statistics will tell a story.We belong to a cruel and dispassionate society, sadly lacking in wisdom and imagination. We need a criminal rights movement such as we had for civil rights and we need it yesterday.

Like the Civil Rights movement, the leadership will not come from the official social leadership, but from passionate and compassionate individuals who are not looking for anyone's vote. Sometimes and far too often, there are no votes in simply doing the right thing. No reward. No activity.

Saddam released his prisoners, who now prey on Americans and Iraqis alike. America has over two million caged beasts and de socialized monsters. More than half of them will be released. Would this help explain why armed citizens have no intention of giving up their guns? Criminals and victims are growing disproportionately to population.

The city that houses our national government is the murder capitol of this nation. Is it a coincidence, symbolic of criminal government or a predictor of what is to come? Are the wisest of us impotent and beyond solving problems? Looks like it to me.

.Ed Howes sought and found, knocked and entered. Now he sees things differently. To see more of what he sees, please visit http://www. or do an author search here at Ezine Articles.

By: Ed Howes

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