Crime and Punishment

The current state of the rehabilitation system as an industry that makes money by incarcerating people of all ages in this country is a serious problem and expense for our society. More people in our country are imprisoned than ever before.

First, people are given prison time for victimless crimes. Prison doesn’t rehabilitate these people. A better solution would be perhaps quick corporal punishment followed by counselling and probation without a felony conviction on the record that would prevent them from getting a good job or education.

Second, many incarcerated persons suffer from treatable mental illness that could be more inexpensively and expeditiously treated outside of the prison system.

For the violent criminal, corporal punishment followed by forced education and job placement should be considered. With strong supervision by a caring and diligent staff might be a better option.

For the truly violent, incarnation in the appropriate setting where they can get treatment and perhaps parole down the road.

For corporal punishment, punishment is rarely effective unless it is unusual. Robert Heinlein pointed out some examples eg. A drunk driver that causes an accident injuring people might be staked out on a road and then driven over. A person who kills a person for no lawful cause should be made by society to make amends, Eg to work to replace the probable future earnings of the individual. (Thank you Hammarabi and Robert A Heinlein)

A form of quick corporal punishment for major infractions is flogging. Please review Judicial Corporal punishment

True psychopaths should be appropriately diagnosed and hospitalized in a facility until they can be cured.

Our existing incarceration system is a waste of human and monetary capital. This is most true when dealing with criminal youth. It is well known that human brains aren’t fully developed until the mid 20’s. Education is the best way to deal with juvenile crime.

Our politicians either lack character or our ignorant of these facts.  The truth is that corporate interests with deep pockets are contributing to our political infrastructure. This influences our politicians to use the services of these corporations.  Just follow the money.

Our legislators have been creating more and more laws such that an person can innocently break a law with no criminal intent. Many laws have been created that don’t require criminal intent to be convicted of the crime.   It’s now recommended by many attorneys to never speak to the police without an attorney present as you may dig your own grave.

To the folks that say a poor upbringing leads to criminal activity by their children. I have two images from my experience to share with you.

1) Jerry G: The grandson of a Federal Judge who attended, parochial high school, worked in a ski area, then worked in a chop shop before joining the US Navy and serving in Gulf War 1, becoming later a pharmacist and husband.

2) Eddie O: The grandson of an Eastern City Police chief.  Violently and repeatedly stabs his best friends mother to death in her home.

Jerry G: exhibited some criminal behavior as a youth.  He grew up to become a great citizen and contributor to society.

Eddie O: became an incarcerated psychopath.

An informal survey of of 10 men at a recent YMCA Indian Guide campout showed to me that 9/10 men did things in their youth they are ashamed of and would be considered misdemeanors or even felonies.

I can say with authority that even a future US Senator can make a mistake.

Time to reform our laws and treatment of lawbreakers and the politicians who make these laws. While there are no quick answers, we could certainly do a better job.

Oct 22, 2014 —
National Academy on Implementing Juvenile Justice Reform (free pdf download)

3/5/2015 – The USA DOJ report on the Ferguson Police Department

4/8/2014 National Academy report on The Growth of Incarceration in the United states

Adam Selene October 2014
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Mental illness and shame

A serious issue in our nation is the stigma of mental illness.

Statistically,  mental illness will affect many of us sometime in our lives. There are now effective therapies for many of these illnesses. However, many who suffer from possible mental illness forgo getting treatment as they know that they will subsequently be discriminated against in work, or life by insurers or by political functionaries.

Our politicians make laws that take away the rights of anyone who has ever been treated for mental illness when most people suffering from mental illness are not a threat to anyone and are in fact more likely to be victimized by violent crime.

It is time to educate our lawmakers and fix the law and society. Our lawmakers should think of their grandchildren who may be subject to the laws they make and the society they create.

Adam Selene October 2014

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Why does the Muslim World hate the West

Why does the Muslim world hate the West?

I believe it’s starts with the intervention our nation did to overthrow the  democratically elected government of Iran in 1953.  That and the support of Israel who continues to oppress the Palestinians who also deserve a homeland.

A strong emphasis to address these wrongs diplomatically might help to calm things down. Unfortunately, there are many Muslim patriots who will still want to destroy us.

We all should think of the world we want our grandchildren to live in and make amends now.  God Bless the Peace Makers.

Adam Selene  Oct 2014
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4th Amendment- right of the people to be secure in their persons…

On October 2, 2014 I noted that some Sheriff deputies had a sign at the Simi Valley Metrolink station  requiring people to consent to bag searches or they wouldn’t be permitted on the platform.

Of course, no warrants.  Here’s the link to the Metrolink security policy.

I stepped on the platform at another staircase and didn’t encounter the deputies.

Our Constitution’s 4th Amendment states-

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
– See more at:  http://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment4.html

Our country seems to be going downhill big time.

I was living in Boston during the 2004 Democratic convention. The powers that be had demonstrators in cages in a construction area to exercise their 1st amendment rights.  On my way home, I was sitting in a Orange Line train, and a police officer asked if he could look in my bag.  I told him “No thank you.”  When I finally got across to him, I was asked to leave the train or be arrested.

The lack of character of our police and politicians is extraordinary.

As Doctor Franklin said:
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

Our forefathers should be ashamed of us.

Adam Selene   2014
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War vs Diplomacy

It seems that our country’s leadership is getting us into another war.

I learned, likely from reading  Robert Heinlein, that War is a last resort after diplomacy fails.  How many young people have we lost to war on either side ?

My baby brother came down with ALS a few years after returning from Gulf War 1 and died 9 months later.  There’s a correlation between War and increased incidence of ALS. That’s in addition to the homelessness, alcoholism, PTSD, and difficulty readjusting to life away from the war zone.  There’s a long history of PTSD, particularly since WW2.  My family has members who fought in wars for our country since the Revolutionary War. I’m not a pacifist, but I hate the waste of resources we have been engaged in.

What’s the fully loaded cost of war to our nation ? Of course, many of military industrial complex do make money but, what could we do with that money if we didn’t spend it on war ?

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Mathew 5:9)

I postulate that if we spent 1/25th of the fully loaded cost of war on diplomacy, we’d have much more peace and less war.  Of course, there’s also a correlation with war and technological advancement but does war increase technological advancement or does technological advancement change the methods of war? Alex Roland wrote some on War and Technology and it makes me think that technological change changes the methods of war rather than encouraging technological innovation.

As I write this, the cost of wars we have been engaged in since 2001 is over $1.5 Trillion US.  National Priorities is keeping a running tab.  I believe that some of the money would have been better spent on diplomacy and on getting our species to other planets like Mars. Possibly we could look into the colonization of Ganymede.  I really enjoyed Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars series.

With the increase in Carbon in our atmosphere and other greenhouse gases, the cost to maintain human life may become untenable.  It’s time we worked to spread out into the universe.

Adam Selene
September 2014

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Armed Sherrif’s Deputies Metro Stations

Why were there armed deputies with M4 files at the Union and 7th Street stations this morning, September 29, 2014? I hope they were not there to harass the homeless. I didn’t see any in the stations this morning. Are they there as a deterrent to an ISIS attack?

Image of Deputy with German Shepard

Adam Selene
September 2014

 

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OA W4N Conclave

I went to the Order of the Arrow Conclave on September 20,2014 for W4N  at Camp Pollock, Forest Lawn Scout Reservation, Lake Arrowhead. I went to help with the rifle range from 1400-1600.

Order of the Arrow Regalia

It was great to be there. I love being a scouter.I met the folks helping with the shooting sports.

Unfortunately: 1) there were multiple events scheduled from 1400-1600.

2)  we didn’t get any scouts that had parental permission slips so we had no scouts able to shoot.  Three adults did some shooting.

Hopefully we can do a better job planning next time.

Notes for Planning:

Before event: Make sure permission forms go home to the scout participants and are downloadable from the event website

At event: collect forms from scouts and issue wrist bands for those who provided a signed permission slip.

Adam Selene

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