In the article dubbed “Early release,” the columnist depicts prisoner-rights advocates as manipulative. The governor is portrayed as lacking in wisdom or informed judgement. All prisoners are insinuated as deranged in our complex of mental and ethical traits. So I sit here day after day, bearing, patiently, the results of my own conduct.
The columnist seems worried that people without a conscience, or of questionable character, might be getting released from prison. It happens every single day, and you don’t see much worry about the obsolete practices of reform or correction that helps spin the revolving door. There is no light shed on people in prison. There is no magic button that imposes morality on prisoners and instills a socially-acceptable set of virtues. If the character is what decides who gets released, then why isn’t there any uproar about what’s being done, inside prison, to help those who actually desire to correct and reform their character?
There’s certainly scare-mongering at play here. But it stems from the naivete of the columnist who thinks the threat of an early release, from a broken, inefficient criminal justice reform system, is any greater a risk on society than the regular scheduled release of people each day. Making people do does not lead toward clarity of consciousness or develop character. The dictated prisoner complies only to avoid punishment. Most prisoners are getting out, and they’ll be less open, confused with a deeper resentment for the system. Fix the prisons first.
BRIAN K. POTTS