.. good post Aero ..<quoted text>
You're probably not aware of this, but they call jails "correctional facilities" for a reason.
Not that they ARE correctional, but the real idea is to reform criminals, not just punish them.
As they stand, they ARE just punishment facilities, and in many cases turn minor offenders into hardened criminals.
I don't have the answer. And probably a lot of those incarcerated are incapable of reform, but that doesn't mean no attempt should be made.
IMO, education, or lack thereof, is at the root of the problem. We have a cookie cutter educational system that doesn't address individual potentials. Higher education is ridiculously expensive and out of the reach of all but the most talented and dedicated inner city kids, so they turn to crime to make a decent living.
I believe that education reform should be our biggest priority for the long term well being of this country, and the entire world. We place far too little importance on it. People whose kids are no longer in school have no interest in supporting education with their tax dollar, and that is just plain selfish and short sighted.
.. approximately 56%* of all prison inmates have mental health problems that are not addressed. Instead, we cage them like animals and wonder why the recidivism rate is so high ..