Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Plank: Crime and Punishment

Criminal offenders are citizens, and human beings with inherent dignity, regardless of their poor choices and pernicious habits. The corrections system should be corrective, to educate the offender on socially expected behaviors, and mitigate factors that contribute to the inclination to offend. Yes, it's more expensive than throwing them in a prison for a few years, as the current corrections environment is not conducive to reformation. A concerted effort to implement restorative justice should be made.

- The Death Penalty should be a punishment of absolute last resort, not a violent reaction to a violent offense. Efforts to rehabilitate a violent offender should be proportional to the crime itself.

- Many, if not most, offenders will need treatment for mental illness, as well as substance abuse, and will aid in their rehabilitation.

- Offenders at all levels should be rehabilitated to the point where they are an asset to the community versus an ongoing liability.

anyone else want to chine in?


Kasia said...

Good. I would probably add something to the effect of:

"We acknowledge that recidivism is a severe problem. When rehabilitation efforts have failed, the government does have an obligation to protect society from habitual offenders via imprisonment or other means proportional to his or her offenses."

...maybe between "A concerted effort...should be made" and "The death penalty..."

Is that consistent with Church teaching?

St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

So long as we always uphold the inherent dignity of the individual, regardless of what corrective treatment is needed, I'm sure that we'd be well withinhe boundaries of Church doctrine. Remember, Christ is also with prisoners (Matt. 25), and our treatment of them will be of account on the Last Day.

Tiber Jumper said...

only but by the grace of God go I....

St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

Ummm, ok TJ, I'll bite...what do you mean? What do you think?