[Paleopsych] prison

Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D. ljohnson at solution-consulting.com
Wed Aug 18 16:17:40 UTC 2004

Hummm . . . well, they (long sentences) deter crime while the perp is in 
prison. At least he can't break into my house or steal my car while he 
is doing time.

There is a common theme in this - crime is down BUT (say the news 
articles) total prison population is UP.  As if that were a contradiction.

Another way to punctuate this is:
Crime is down AND total prison population is up.

A more aggressive punctuation:
Crime is down BECAUSE prison population is up.

How do we want to tell the story? I sort of like the last one, the 
Guiliani version where you aggressively pursue minor crime and oddly 
enough, major crime declines.
Lynn Johnson

Michael Christopher wrote:

>>>Even if the U.S. Supreme Court shortly finds that 
>the sentencing guidelines are constitutional, THEY
>--Who said the goal of the prison system was to deter
>crime? I'd say it performs a narrative function, like
>a TV show. The good guy gets license to hurt the bad
>guy (this also requires the labelling of a "victim"
>who must stay in the role and not forgive), and
>there's no follow-up about whether other bad guys are
>deterred. Indeed, bad guys must continue to appear, in
>order to justify the hero's vengeance. The narrative
>can't survive if the hero, the victim and the villain
>are all human and beyond labels in their essence. None
>is allowed to be a whole person, and each depends on
>the others to define his or her role. Society involves
>similar narratives or games, in which those who
>transcend their role threaten the balance of
>relationships, whether it's the victim who forgives,
>the villain who changes, or the hero who is also a
>victim or villain in other contexts. Is vice and
>virtue a zero-sum game? Was Christianity on to
>something when it said "love the sinner and hate the
>sin", or in more trendy language "love the carrier of
>the meme and hate the meme"? 
>The function of prison is to inflict pain or
>intolerable mental chaos on the socially marginalized.
>The homeless and mentally ill, regardless of their
>ethical integrity, are another class of people who are
>designated to carry the "toxic ghosts" of society,
>giving the rest of us the ability to keep our
>psychological demons in line. Whether it works
>indefinitely or has a time limit, we'll see.
>Do you Yahoo!?
>Yahoo! Mail - You care about security. So do we.
>paleopsych mailing list
>paleopsych at paleopsych.org
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