I received this just this morning in Governor Wolf’s monthly newsletter:
If you have any criminal history in PA, go check it out!
I support the Ban the Box movement and also the Clean Slate Law.
My opinion is that all imprisonment is totally cruel and unhelpful to anyone. Imprisoning a perpetrator of a crime does not help the victim in ANY WAY! It doesn’t just wreck the life of the person imprisoned. It ruins the lives of all family members of the criminal. Imprisonment will scar the lives of the children who have not committed crimes. It separates families.
Let’s consider the case of Mumia, who, by the way, is imprisoned in PA. Has the wife of the slain cop become any less bitter in the three decades that Mumia has been locked up? NO! She is a bitter, vengeful woman. Keeping Mumia in prison won’t bring her husband back. Still, she gets on TV and other places and demands that they don’t let him out. What kind of harm would he cause by being freed? If she really thinks he is going to go around killing more of her family, she is totally deluded.
Why do people repeat-offend? I do not know, but how can imprisonment help them stop committing crimes? Prison causes trauma. It segregates a person from society, which isn’t helpful because they lose their social skills. It takes away their rights. Some become very very angry. Can you blame them? Anger is a natural and understandable reaction to being treated like shit. No, you do not need a college degree to understand the basics of this. The prisons actually profit from keeping their beds filled, too. A lot of people end up locked up who aren’t guilty, also. If you read The New Jim Crow you’ll see that the courts and judges are very biased and racist.
Isn’t it time to end this nonsense? I am not expecting any huge changes anytime soon, but shouldn’t the aim be to end ALL imprisonment?