So that the guy who sneaks into people’s houses when they’re not home and steals their stuff for drug money gets a slap on the wrist and is told not to do that anymore? I bet that’ll make him straighten up.
Or the drug pusher who “never hurt nobody” keeps walking the streets with a reprimand? And the habitual shoplifters, the vandals, and the bad-check writers could just keep on truckin’.
And the white-collar criminals could take care of their business, knowing that they’re insulated from prison time.
Why are we even discussing this? Is it because the prisons are overcrowded with people even worse than these? We have a prison problem, to be sure, but taking that possibility away for certain criminals won’t help our society as a whole.
Probation? Maybe. What if they violate the terms of their probation? If jail is not on the menu, what is the deterrent?
Or maybe we could just legalize some of the non-violent activities. Hey, our crime rate would drop like a brick. But I don’t think any of us would feel any safer.
Look at what our society has come to. Faced with a burgeoning prison population, our best idea is go softer on crime? Is this an outgrowth of the don’t-spank-your-baby movement?
Or just a desperate attempt to deal with a very real problem?
When my son was fourteen years old, he did some illegal things and wound up on probation. He did some more illegal things, and got the probation extended. So he did some more illegal things, and I as his parent signed the papers to have him taken to the YDC. I told him that he could choose this if he wanted to, but he needed to know what he was choosing.
You would not believe the impact that one weekend had on my rebellious child. It turned him right around, and now, at age 33, he’ll tell you that that experience was probably the best thing that ever happened to him.
If society had not provided that alternative, my son might not have gotten the dose of reality that made all the difference for him.
Any person who breaks the law should know that there is a possibility of jail or prison. It’s not very different from child-rearing: if your three-year-old knows that all you’ll do is tell him not to, why should he stop pouring Koolaid in the floor, or stop playing in the street, or chewing on electric cords? The adult (the court) must have the means to MAKE the child (the citizen) do what’s right or pay the consequences. This just seems like common sense to me. But then, common sense is not all that common these days.