Cap 17, 00 / Dec 18, 16 20:38 UTC

Punishment vs Rehabilitation  

According to James Gilligan, a clinical professor of psychiatry and an adjunct professor of law at New York University, "people learn by example: Generations of research has shown that the more severely children are punished, the more violent they become, as children and as adults. The same is true of adults, especially those in prison. So the only rational purpose for a prison is to restrain those who are violent from inflicting harm on themselves or others, while we help them to change their behavior from that pattern to one that is nonviolent and even constructive, so that they can return to the community". As the administrator of the Facebook Law Group, I spent time reviewing the most debated topics of the Community. One of them was the subject of penalties and criminal punishment. People expressed the benefits of rehabilitation, to avoid the "negative conditionning" of imprisonment.

I would like to read your thoughts about it. Do you think it would be wise to follow the example of other countries like Sweden, which is actually closing jails for lack of prisoners ? Please comment, and let us hear about your opinion on that matter.

Cap 17, 00 / Dec 18, 16 21:35 UTC

Since my country was brought up as an example I feel compelled to add that it is more then successful rehabilitation that has decreased the number of inmates in Sweden. There is also a prevailing opinion among many groups that criminals "get of to easy" in Sweden. Anecdotally there are people who commit crimes just to raise their standard of living because of the lenient conditions in prison and that stings for others who struggle to make ends meet. I have no data on how often this happen though so it could just as well be a non issue.

I believe wholeheartedly in rehabilitation over punishment, special for a future where space as a resource will be limited, but we would have to work hard to anchor that opinion with the community unless we want to deal with revenge crimes and vigilantes.

Cap 19, 00 / Dec 20, 16 20:23 UTC

Well, considering places like the USA are making profit off of sending people to prison, apart from heavy racial profiling, and imprisonment for non-violent crimes all we need to do here is figure out a way to depending on the situation treat it accordingly rather than have default punishments.

Speaking of which, there has been discussion on Facebook regarding what security guards would use. I would recommend strictly against firearms of any sort (because you know, creating holes in a pressurized environment in space can be bad and kill us all) rather I would support the use of possible bean bag/rubber bullets, a stun stick/baton/flashlight of some sort and cuffs. That's pretty much all they would need aside from maybe medical gloves/slash gloves.

Your thoughts?

Cap 19, 00 / Dec 20, 16 20:32 UTC

It is hard to rehabilitate those who are or have been institutionalised by a criminal justice system ruled by a revolving door. To break the cycle of low recidivism, one must rehabilitate offenders at the first entry into any court system. Asgardia, like any nation state must have clear ans set policies regarding criminal justice intake and offer rehabilitation first and punishment second.

Cap 19, 00 / Dec 20, 16 20:53 UTC

It's a difficult issue, and one that on earth is currently in many countries seems to vary from severe punishment, to severe putting them in a jail and failing to do anything more than that and seeing it as the solution.

Consideration should be given to the fact that most people will have some role in keeping the community functioning , be it chef / welder / scientist / technician , so to put someone in jail for a crime is going to mean that is a punishment for others having to fulfil that role. Hence, depending on the risk to others, it seems sensible that they should continue working.

Rehabilitation seems to be the obvious choice, and one feels that one wants to impose a payback as a deterrent, although I think we may need to think beyond this as the in a space station it's difficult to think of what could be imposed in what would need to be a open and sharing society. So it seems sensible that every criminal, even for minor crimes , after conviction should undergo a psychiatric and / or counselling session(s) , finding the root cause and curing that being the ideal solution so that they don't re-offend.

The question would then be that is prevention better than cure ? Should all space based Asgardians undergo regular enforced counselling sessions regardless, so that any likely issues are picked up before a crime is committed, being stuck with possibly a minimal number of people it seems that there will be a big strain on the individual, and this will need a release and counselling may be a good option.

Cap 19, 00 / Dec 20, 16 21:07 UTC

This is a fascinating thread for me. Being from Canada, and having studied law enforcement (a completely different aspect of law I realize), one thing I have come to realize on a personal level is that motivation for committing a crime is morally how we should judge it. Laws set on paper usually tend to get repeated rather than interpreted via judges. Rehabilitation I believe is a good way to circumvent a dogmatic approach. For instance, we refer to it as restorative justice. Responsibility is given to elders in the community and victim and perpetrator are sat down to settle it.

Human-Hybrid Enforcement in confined spaces is especially difficult, and as far as firearms in a pressurized tin can goes you're absolutely correct. My vote is on martial arts made mandatory for every body. The conversation changes then because the dynamic is different ..... being a cop in the city vs. being a cop on a military base. Every situation is approached with the caution that is needed compared to a reactionary approach. Just my two cents anyway.

Cap 19, 00 / Dec 20, 16 22:15 UTC

I have noticed that it doesn't matter how much punishment you apply it will NOT work if the system is broken. Only if you raise the education level (not the brainwashing "education") it will make a difference.

Cap 20, 00 / Dec 21, 16 02:14 UTC

Rehabilitation is the only logical method in my opinion.

No matter what crime is comitted, there is ALWAYS a reason why.

Either the person felt forced at the time of the crime (for example stealing food becase they can't buy what they need) To prevent this we need to avoid what is forcing them, not punishing for desperation.

Or there are some sort of mental condition behind it, which should be properly diagnosed and treated to avoid more crimes.

Punishment is not effective in any case, since you keep the cause. We need to help these individuals and give them what is needed for them to be productive in society again.

Cap 20, 00 / Dec 21, 16 02:33 UTC

If we look around the world a number of issues arise with crime, punishment and prison populations.

how to have a low crime rate

a) you need resources for education rehabilitation

b) you need the correct culture from eductaion and societal practices and norms eg in Japan a culture of manners is the focus of education until 10 yrs . The culture does not accept criminality lightly..unlike many in the West but also the standard of living is high so they have removed much of the "need" element to crime

c) while puishment should fit the crime societies where punishment is harsh seem to have fared better than much of the liberal practices of the West other than those western countries that already have established and maintained the cultural norms of good behaviour AND have a low number of poor. So harsh punishment is probably a means to reduce an excessive crime rate .

As Asgardia has no laws or legislature or means of enforcement and punishment the crime and punishment issue is more theoretical than practical at this stage so I assume we are deliberating on future best practice.and that depends on what the eventual Nation expects from its citizens which has yet to be decided other than in general terms. These expectations or obligations need to be debated and decided before law is created. However as I posted on another thread protocols to deal with certain objectionable behaviour issues on the on line community should be created with the worst punishment currently available being temporary or permanent exclusion but coulod include entry into various programs of therapy or education if we are to be truly inclusive to all people...which brings us back to a) resources ..above. Practical 1st steps 1 define citizens rights and obligations and the powers/or absence of the State over them 2 Have an official position on if we are totally inclusive and if not what are the boundaries 3 If we are totally inclusive we create protocols and programs to deal with those who venture outside the boundaries of what we have decided as acceptable . 4 debate and create a legal system for an eventual Nation ..very complicated....and how this impacts , if at all ...laws in their original Nation

Cap 20, 00 / Dec 21, 16 02:35 UTC

Human-hybrid I share in your quite logical and common sense expression in non DEPRESSION of our sweet air and there is a company as far as I know they still exist.This company designed a "weapon" a self defense mechanism really.It looks like an advanced pistol but it actually fires a pellet which opens on impact with the target and causes depth distortion,sinus stimulation,intense watering of the eyes and mild to medium nausea effectively rendering them harmless.The weapon was called SALT

Cap 20, 00 / Dec 21, 16 06:55 UTC

I would just like to say that here in the United States we are finally moving in a direction more towards Rehabilitation than punishment. The basic reason for this movement is the fact that the criminal justice system in the United States replaced mental health institutions in the early seventies. You will find that most people that are incarcerated have an underlying mental health issue or an addiction problem. Neither of these underlying issues deserve punishment. It is not cost effective nor humane to punish someone that has a mental health condition or an addiction. Rehabilitation does work with the process of CBT cognitive behavioral therapy or DBT dialectical behavioral therapy. Which in a nutshell is basically retraining the brain how to think feel and react. So with that being said I do believe Sweden has the best model for a criminal justice system. I hope that we as a new nation based on science, Mathematics and Technology would realize punishment is ancient and does not work, The brain, with it's thought patterns controlling emotions and behavior are what controls the act of criminal activity. Therefore reprogramming the brain stops criminal activity.

Cap 20, 00 / Dec 21, 16 14:48 UTC

Punishment is useless. There are two causes of crimes: lack of some essential goods or mental illness. We must build society were there is no first cause, so that every person could have enough food, clothes, housing, etc. And mental illness must be rehabilitated. In some exceptional cases when rehabilitation is impossible, deportation may be used.

Cap 20, 00 / Dec 21, 16 23:18 UTC


Just one thought on the last part.

(I belive:) No person is actually impossible to help, even if some cases may be harder... but wouldn't it be better if we used those cases to learn even more on how to help, instead of giving up on them? As a scientific nation, should we not take every chance to learn more?

Cap 21, 00 / Dec 22, 16 00:27 UTC


  Last edited by:  Beatrice Lentzen (Asgardian)  on Cap 29, 00 / Dec 30, 16 23:49 UTC, Total number of edits: 1 time

Cap 21, 00 / Dec 22, 16 01:50 UTC

Interesante, es una cuestión que nos ha incitado por mucho tiempo en la tierra, tenemos la capacidad de reflexionar sobre nuestras acciones a través de la historia. en la parte a la que se refería uno de los compañeros acerca de exilio, esto solo se podría realizar si fuera necesario en los primeros caso, en los que los ciudadanos tienes su nacionalidad terrestre, pero de allí a la siguiente generación nacida en el espacio sería un complique, porque ¿a donde se exilian? Volviendo al tema, es claro que debe haber un castigo ejemplar para una corrección de la conducta si las acciones se cometen en plena conciencia, paso siguiente o en caso contrario pasar a la rehabilitación ... ambas opciones deben ser tomadas en cuenta, pero si nos enfocamos primeramente en prevenir estos incidentes, tendríamos un paso al frente ante tales casos, pienso que si construimos una nación en la que prime la edificación de valores pulcros como fundamento y enfocar los ideales nuestros y de nuestros antecesores al aprendizaje como principal herramienta de superación, ganaríamos muchisimo... y deberíamos procurar iniciar esa superación desde una edad muy temprana, seria estupendo estudiar desde esas edades el temperamento primordial de cada uno, ya que al aprender a conocer nuestro temperamento y el de los demás aprovechariamos tal conocimiento para beneficio y modular nuestra conducta (caracter), tener un enfoque de nuestro ser influye a nuestro pensar. Conocer nuestro temperamento y moldear nuestro carácter para ser mejores! ... perdón por la traducción pero no me va bien en inglés