I got to sleep in this morning, because Mrs. GF is still in Boston and I have to take Soccer Girl to school. So when the alarm clock went off this morning, I had the opportunity to spend a little time listening to NPR, which I enjoyed. There was the usual news, traffic, and weather stories while I showered, took the electric razor to the graying stubble on my chin, and as I got dressed, there was a story on gang-related crime in Virginia.
I will cut to the chase and tell you that the story itself was interesting, but what I found objectionable was the fact that some people (certainly not all) were actually of the opinion that since prison sentences for criminal gang members doesn’t prevent young people from joining gangs, criminal prosecution and incarceration isn’t the way gang crime should be combated.
This is what I wanted to talk about today.
I suppose that it won’t shock you to hear that I think that the sentiment expressed above is just so much piled up steaming horse**** on a cold Virginia morning. While I am as much about crime prevention as anyone, I believe that when prevention fails, as it sometimes does, that prosecution after the fact is the next logical step.
I have never been able to get next to the notion that “building fewer prisons” is a solution to anything. It seems to me that the “build fewer prisons” crowd is more about coddling the criminal class.
Yes, that is what I said… the criminal class. You did realize that there is such a thing, didn’t you? Those people who are wired towards wrongdoing… those that no matter what things you legalize, they will continue to break whatever other laws that there are, right? Those people. I call them the criminal class, because I think that is what they are, other people use a scientific name for them, they call them sociopaths. Well, not matter what you call them, they are real.
So, what do you do about the criminal class? For me the answer is simple: When a person is convicted of a crime, they should be incarcerated for a long period. Symbolic jail sentences and so-called country club jails should be things of the past. I say that if you commit crimes, you should do hard time. Why hard time? Because, generally speaking, rehabilitation doesn’t work.
Jail might not fix the brokenness of the sociopath, but neither will trying to reason with him (or her). Getting them away from the rest of society is about the best you can do.