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Comments made by ngscl

Prison Crisis: Parole, Rehabilitation, Reentry

The way California deals with criminality is NOT the way the civilized world does. California imprisons more people, with the longest sentences, and focusing in punishing rather than rehabilitating.
It is easy to accuse and judge the ones that are stuck in prisons. Yes, there are those in prison that have committed crimes so serious that makes our compassion vacillate - but the vast majority of those in prisons are there for minor offenses, drug problems, three strikes technicalities, arbitrary parole laws, and even more appalling, for mental illnesses.
Since Reagan shut down mental hospitals, people that really belong in hospitals end up in California's prisons.
My son suffered a severe head injury the month after he turned five years old. He has struggled with several disabilities while growing up, and after a serious operation to resolve a narrow trachea caused by a poorly done tracheotomy, he ended up with many scars in his neck, severe head scarring and a low, gravely voice. So, in addition to the head injury that left him with problems with impulse control due to frontal lobe damage, he also endured serious prejudice from peers while growing up, for his appearance. These compromised his development.
One day, after having suffered much rejection, years of alienation and of not fitting in, my son lost it and hurt someone who was demeaning and provoking him. He is now locked up in one of those crowded prisons in California, where he is not even given the dignity to have his own cell to stay away from trouble that his lack of social skills can bring.
Not only my son is being punished, rather than being given treatment, the system is also exposing him to the perils that he so tried to avoid while outside. The serious combination of his lability and his inability to fit in, pose a constant challenge for him for being housed in a crowded "warehouse" with triple bunks, while being expected to function as a “normal” person.

Kevin, you have no idea of the life my son had or the despair that led him to explode. Organic brain injury impairs one’s ability to behave in appropriate ways, and to exert impulse control.
My son is not alone. Many in our prisons start out as victims of circumstances, or of our society. Children of drugees or misfits, become the same. Some were raised with hatred and prejudice, lack and limitation, lacking an opportunity of a functional household or school. Others lived on the streets or foster homes, or had the misfortune of being born with mental deficiencies or acquired it, as my son did.
These people did not choose their circumstances, as they didn’t have the choice of a functional set of parents, and should not be blamed for it.
Kevin seems to take those things for granted, and to have no idea that many do with circumstances far inferior than his.

These are NOT ANIMALS as you seem to think. You offended my sensibilities and that of the human beings that read your comments. Not only because of my son...

October 15, 2009 at 1:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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October 15, 2009 at 1:21 a.m. ( )