This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Times Plus
Just because I’m not a complete cynic, I tend to be willing to give prison inmates the benefit of the doubt. When they say they are sorry for what they did that landed them in prison and sorry for the crime they committed. Of course not knowing whether they are truly sorry, or not especially. If they are up for parole, or have a shot at one day being released from prison. I have this forgive, but not forget aspect about me. But we have a prison system in America and I imagine in other countries have prison systems for this reason as well.
That we hold people accountable for the decisions that they make in life for good and bad. And that if you make good decisions in life, chances are you will be rewarded for those decisions. But if they make bad decisions in life, like hurting innocent people, you’ll also be held accountable for those decisions as well. And as it turns out, we tend to hold people more accountable for their bad decisions than their good decisions.
The prison system is filled with people who’ve made a lot of bad decisions in life. And we also have a lot of people who are in prison for making bad decisions, but who didn’t hurt people. And have never been a threat to anyone in society and aren’t now except to themselves perhaps. But generally speaking, we have a lot of people in prison because they’ve hurt other people either intentionally, or unintentionally. But they are there for hurting people and are being held accountable for what they’ve done.
And this represents a perfect example of why prisons are a place which of course aren’t perfect, but that place where we hold people accountable for making bad decisions and hurting other people. And that’s what they should be for holding people accountable for hurting other people. Generally physically, but economically as well. And they shouldn’t be for people who hurt themselves. We have too many people in prison for that. And there are better ways we can be dealing with addiction than prison.
Prisons are full of people who’ve made a lot of bad decisions as you can see in this video. And these people just of made better decisions with their lives starting as adolescents. And then moving on as adults, which is why they are probably not in prison today. Which tells me at least that people need to think before acting. And not act off of anger, or emotion, but take the time to think about what they are doing and what’s the best course to take from there.
Welby Ainsworth: Prison Diaries- To Death Do Us Part