John Florez: Time to flip the Corrections system

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  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 17, 2013 4:29 p.m.

    So, what should be done? In Utah, everyone gets twelve years of mandatory education. Whose fault is it if a student doesn't apply himself? Saying that someone can't read or write is not the fault of the "system"; it is the fault of the student.

    Make it mandatory that every prisoner stay in prison until he has at least a GED. Make it mandatory that every prisoner stay in prison until he has learned a viable skill that will support him when he is released. Make it mandatory that every prisoner stay in prison until he has a sponsor who will help make the adjustment back into society. Give that prisoner ONE CHANCE to be rehabilitated. If he ends up back in prison, keep him there.

    It is not society's fault when people choose to break the law. Society has done everything possible to give people the opportunity to make something of themselves. It is extremely unwise to allow those who use their agency to mess up to blame society. THEY messed up, not society. They chose incorrectly, not society. They commited the crime, not society.

  • jrgl CEDAR CITY, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 2:58 p.m.

    We incarcerate more people in the US than any other nation on earth. Are we proud of this?
    Things must change!
    John Florez has valid points here. Education is the key.

  • stanfunky Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    If you change the perceptions that criminals are horrible, inhuman and unable to change (perpetuated by the media and politicians and parroted by many people as 'factual') then you can begin making progress. We are reaping the crop of the past 25+ years of "Lock them up & throw away the key", and it won't turn around overnight. It will take a generation of sustained change of this mindset, to effect change within the corrections system and in our society as a whole.

    Now for those who believe that some criminals won't ever change, think about this: If society believes that criminals are sick, horrible people, what do you think they believe when they exit prison after 10, 15, or 20 years? Change the perceptions and you change the perpetrator, and give them a chance to make something out of a shattered life.