Locking people up in prisons is not the answer

Locking people up in prisons is not the answer

Prison and punishment do not lead to more harmonious and prosperous societies, writes Gerry Georgatos.

IF YOU GIVE LOVE, you will get the love back. If you give out hatred, you will incur hatred. Hatred breeds anger, poison, confrontation and grief. Until the past can be abolished, there can be no completely new day.

Many say that not everyone can be forgiven. Many say that not everyone can become a redeemer. Some say that there are those who are too far away. But who else is to judge?

In my opinion, the most wicked crime – even corruption – should not exclude hope and deny people salvation and salvation.

If the courts and probation boards extinguish all hope from an individual, they sentence them not only indefinitely to a prison cell, but also as wandering dead. No one is beyond redemption.

The Dutch government and their legal system have gone the way of love, understanding and forgiveness. As a beacon of enlightenment, they are quickly closes prisons.

Yes, they have turned the penitentiary into one of restoration, transformation, specialist support, love and care. The Dutch acknowledged that a significant proportion of those who were once imprisoned were people with mental illness or psychosocial disabilities.

A history of psychosis should not mean a long sentence in body care. This should mean dealing with psychosis. Is there any greater legacy than turning a life around?

Children in prison deserve proper medical care

Imprisoned children are not second-class citizens, but our federal government provides them with second-class health care by denying them Medicare.

Adequate resources for specialist social support programs in the Netherlands have seen people with mental illnesses who would have been imprisoned instead treated. This is not just salvation but prevents another crime. Authentic content-seeking outreach is a crucial requirement.

Society is kindest when it supports vulnerable people and treats people with severe personality disorders, dissociative disorders, substance abuse and trauma. Society is cruel when it imprisones the sick. Let us remind ourselves that any human being can become ill and mentally ill.

I have worked with people who have committed some of the most heinous crimes. I could turn them into their best selves. Is not this what we should want?

The humane Dutch strategy led to a reduction in prisons for decades.

Australia has 115 adult prisons, 18 in Western Australia. Australia has 17 child prisons.

Punishment is still imposed, but tailor-made support is given in the effort to improve the individual.

In Australia, the demonization of a perpetrator can be a brutal public spectacle, a horror show in which the criminal justice system and the media often portray perpetrators as irreparable “evil monsters”.

The Dutch legal system works redemptively with people who commit serious crimes. In general, criminals of serious crimes are at high risk of recidivism. The Dutch courts place them in humane institutions, safe environments, where they receive support – and programs work specifically for their successful reintegration into society.

At the last count, the Netherlands has 1,300 serious offenders in these institutions, the psychological state of individuals is treated in contrast to the declarations of invalidity and the unclean culture of guilt in a prison.

The Dutch also acknowledge the fact that the majority of crimes are committed by “not having” which is the case in all countries. In Australia, almost the entire prison population is from the lowest quintile of the income base.

My experience is that few people feel so bad that they cannot be helped. If you believe in someone, relentlessly, they will believe.

Inside the Australian prisons, including Banksia Hill Juvenile Detention Center, the detainees are being treated as if they were nothing more than nothing. It breaks the heart.

We may never have peace on earth. We will never have perfect societies. But we can achieve better and kinder societies.

We should also stop intimidating society with extreme horror crimes and stop the demands for tough laws against crime, such as universal mandatory sentencing and sweeping laws on high-risk criminals. Let’s spare the rod.

I have been robbed several times. On two occasions I went into the burglary attempts. I did not call the police. I do not recommend this, but in my case we talked. We shook hands before they left. I would rather give someone the opportunity for redemption than a death penalty. I have helped one of them many times since I met him again as a homeless individual.

One in ten prisoners in Victoria’s prison system is Aboriginal

The Victorian state government needs to do better in terms of the number of prisons for indigenous peoples, writes Victorian Green MP Dr Tim Read.

It’s not just the Netherlands. Sweden is known for Europe lowest recurrence rate. The Swedes focus on changing the lives of the convicts. Penalty is not linked to relentless guilt and further punishment. Repentance is linked to opportunities to improve oneself. Swedish prisons have been closed for several years.

Swedish prisons focus on rehabilitation. Swedish prisons are not about crime and punishment. They are about restoration and readjustment.

We call this “progressive” but I call it “right-wing”.

Swedish prisons focus on developing a person’s transferable skills. University courses, apprenticeships, a wide range of learning, which makes the individual employable. They can go to prison without an employment history but leave with a job set up. It is my general experience that people released from Australian prisons come out worse than when they entered. With the Swedes, it is the opposite.

Norway’s island prison, Bastoy, has few guards. The prisoners take care of their own daily affairs and routines. There are no locks on their doors. All this is a product of culture: humanity.

A former prisonnear Haarlem in the Netherlands, has been transformed into a multifunctional student housing village and social housing area.

We need to change the general consciousness: that framing tough stories about people will reduce crime. The truth is that it does not work. Just being punitive does not work. It makes things worse.

Decriminalization of soft crimes is a must.

I also mean many to understand that life is short and to live within their resources, but to live a full life that respects human life and gives people a second chance.

Gerry Georgatos is a suicide prevention and poverty researcher with a focus on experience. He is the national coordinator of the National Suicide Prevention & Trauma Recovery Project (NSPTRP). You can follow Gerry on Twitter @GerryGeorgatos.

Source: sn.dk




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