Paper Prisons

Submitted By CharlesCafe97
Words: 1167
Pages: 5

The American justice system rarely ever works. No matter where you are, justice is a loose term. In America, prisons are flooded over and in some states, prisons and jails outnumber the schools. Third world countries often use kangaroo courts, make shift tribunals that are often corrupt, as the main source of justice. However, there is a better solution that Geoffrey Chaucer brings up through the Wife of Bath’s tale. In it, she speaks of a knight who committed a crime but was shown mercy. If the justice system worked similar to the Wife of Bath’s idea-where the criminal had a chance to repent and change, the word justice might hold more meaning, prisons would not have a purpose, and justice would be given justice. Here’s a situation. A prison can hold x amount of people. Those x amount of people are given three squares and a shower a day. The average prisoner is in the system for 5-10 years. The numbers add up fast. That’s somewhere in the ballpark of 6000 meals per prisoner and 2000 showers. And then you have to consider that the guards need a salary and often food. The cost per inmate is somewhere near $100k for some cities. And the person that has to pay to keep that prisoner well fed and well groomed? The taxpayers and free citizens. If prisoners were given a chance to change in the outside world, we would see better results and more justice being served. In recent times, there have been multiple wrongly incarcerated people due to subpar lawyers and ended up losing their life both literally and figuratively. However, repenting and rehabilitation would allow for an innocent person to prove innocence and allow a criminal to become a proper civilian. The knight was about to be decapitated for his crime, however the queen stepped in and asked the knight to answer a simple question-a question relevant to his crime- within a certain time frame. If he found the answer, he would be spared and forgiven. However if he did not find the answer, his “neck-bone” would not be safe from the “iron”. It is similar to death row except for one main idea. In the death row, the prisoner might change for the better but would still be sentenced to solitude until he was finally executed. Knowing you’re going to be executed no matter what is torture and therefore illegal in America where punishments are not to be cruel and/or unusual. However if a prisoner knows there is a chance for forgiveness and freedom, there is time to find themselves, change their ways, and make up for their past sins. Now some will say, that this would never work and we would be putting criminals back out on the street. Mind you, this is a rough idea. Of course, there are varying degrees of crime and so therefore there should be varying degrees of punishment. You wouldn’t want to send Norman Bates back into civilian life without some proper rehab first. There have been plenty cases of sending soldiers fresh from combat to rehab before the Army discharges them and returns them to civilian life. These soldiers haven’t done anything wrong, but that extra measure makes sure they are all-right for civilian life. You could do the same for criminals, send them to rehab until they are ready for civilian life and then let them go into the world. Once in the world, they would be almost free to live their life. Here’s where I’ve heard the most from the other side. I’ve heard many people tell me that rehab doesn’t always work. Well, that’s true. Rehab isn’t an exact science. Humans somehow came to have free will and so there is almost an infinite different amount of thoughts a person can have. Therefore, there is always a chance for failure in some cases. A doctor can’t take in every possibility into account. So multiple doctors would be used to assess the functionality of a criminal. Another heresy I’ve heard is that the criminal would never come back to prove themselves in a second trial if they were freed. This is where the almost free from earlier comes into play. It cost…