Thinking Outside the Cell Defined Terms Baker's Dozen Problems Articles & Reports - Bibliography
First World Countries sole reliance on Prison Incarceration to Punish and Deter in the pursuit of Law and Order has been the greatest Societal Blunder of the 20th Century - both in Dollars Wasted and Results Unachieved
On a scale of between 1 and 10 for Cost-Effective Expenditure of the Public Purse, Prison Incarceration scores a 2 at most, because only some shorter Sentence inmates have benefited from Rehabilitation Programmes, particularly those with drug related issues
1. For 97% of the history of Homo sapiens, prisons were merely holding tanks until Capital Punishment or Corporal Punishment was inflicted
Ashley Rubin's paper (University of Hawaii) "Prisons and jails are coronavirus epicenters – they were once designed to prevent disease outbreaks" (April 2020) explains that confining convicted criminals to tiny steel cages as a Punishment and Deterrent is a very recent Sentence during the history of Homo sapiens. Ms. Rubin is a Professor of Sociology and an Interdisciplinary Scholar specializing in Penal History. Below are pertinent extracts from her very recent paper:
2. Many politicians in the USA and Canada have recently concluded that warehousing people in prison is costly and unsustainableA Professor in Clinical and Forensic Psychology in Vancouver, Canada and an Associate Professor in University of Massachusetts Medical School jointly wrote "Prisons are not the answer to preventing crime in the U.S." that was published in The Conversation on 27 Oct 2019. Below are extracts:
3. In earlier times Homo sapiens Governing Forefathers focused on Deterring serious criminal behaviour by 'public executions' that instilled a frightening warning
Jesus of Nazareth was executed by inflicting vicious, protracted torture to send out a patent message to the locals not to similarly challenge the Roman imposed Jewish government in Jerusalem. Joan of Arc was burnt at a stake. Former King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were executed with the guillotine in 1793 at the outset of the French Revolution. Swift, frightening and cruel punishment in the public forum conveyed a cogent Deterrent to others not to similar transgress.
Early Capital Punishment practices - globally chronicles how Rulers maintained law and order when squillions of tiny steel cages were not a cost-effective Deterrent. Now in 2020, tiny steel cages are no longer an option to maintain law and order by warehousing the problem onto others down the line:
* over 97% of the 108b Homo sapiens have lived under both during the 125,000 years circa of occupancy of 'terra firma';
* even in the last 2,000 years chieftains, rulers, sovereigns, monarchs, warlords et al practiced the most barbaric executions to send out the message "don't challenge our authority"; and
* the majority of the current 7.6b circa human population today live under both forms of frightening Punishment (China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, parts of the United States, Pakistan, Somalia, Belarus, Yemen, Afghanistan, Botswana, Libya, Guyana, Uganda, Bangladesh, Sudan, Nigeria, Taiwan, India, Russia, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, the Arab States, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei 'et al').
4. Recidivism rates on its Pat Malone evidences the folly of Punishing and Deterring by confining squillions of convicted felons to tiny steel cages, because Jail is the University of Crime
Recidivism among prisoners is the rate that released prisoners return to prison. Across Australia, 46.4% of prisoners released during 2016-17 returned to prison within two years (to 2018-19). Patently for many a Sentence of imprisonment is not a Deterrent. Rather for a not insignificant cohort of the prison population that become institutionalised, an attraction to criminal behaviour is a return to a warm bed, three meals a day and some living structure.
5. Prison costs
Below are extracts from Material Public Purse Prison Costs:
Below is an extract from Annual Administrative Cost of Australian Maximum Security Prisons - $150,000 p.a. in 2019
Below is an extract from Capital Expenditure Cost Of Building New or Modify/Extending Existing Prisons:
6. What the experts think
Recognised Punishment Historians at the coal face, and down in the bear pit understand what 'works' and what 'does not work' in the Australian prison system. Pity is that none of the Recognised Punishment Historians have recommended a return to the Punishments Sentenced in the final 30 years of Judicial Corporal Punishment for Adults in Australia until the mid-1940s - still Sentenced in three adjacent Commonwealth of Nations Countries in South East Asia - Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei - Singapore: Judicial and prison caning that each have significantly lower crime rates than Australia.