What about people changing…can violent offenders, killers, rapists, etc. actually “change” while they are in prison, or do they just get a PhD in dysfunctional and impulsive behavior?
My son, Patrick, can “talk a good game of remorse and redemption” to the parole board, and yet, when his lawyer got him a “psychological exam” he told the examiner that killing Jessica was because she shot at his brother so he had to kill her.
All I can say is “What?” “WHAT??!!”
He told my mom when she was too senile to realize he was lying that he didn’t really mean to shoot her that it was an accident and the bullet nit something else and bounced off and hit her. WHAT????
Sure, it is true that many violent offenders, addicts etc that wind up in prison come from poverty, lack of proper role models, etc. but is that lack going to be made up by prison so that when they come out they are going to be model citizens? Do the survival techniques they have learned in prison going to play well on the outside? I don’t think so.
While it is nice to think that prison is meant for rehabilitation as well as punishment, the truth is, in my opinion, only a breeding ground for more rage and violence. Fully 25% of inmates in a prison who have committed felonies are full-on psychopaths,. and the AVERAGE score on the Psychopath-check-list-revised is 22, with free world folks averaging 0 to 5. This essentially says that no felony inmate is something you would want to take home and keep as a “pet.”
In studies of inmates who had done felonies (of any kind) who were followed for 20 years after release had 80% of them commit another felony for which they were arrested. Short term recidivism rates are about 30% to 60% of rearrests in a three year period. So the statistics back up my opinion.
I got an e mail from one of the people Patrick met on the internet when he had a smuggled cell phone. This woman wrote me a letter telling me that I didn’t know Patrick at all, that he had changed. I almost laughed! This woman, this “prison groupie,” who thinks she knows Patrick so well because he has written to her and talked to her on the phone. She has NO idea what Patrick really is. She wants to believe he has changed, that he is now some kind of philosopher and guru. Sure he can spout platitudes and to someone who is not savy about psychopaths his platitudes might sound wise and insightful. To those of us who know the signs of psychopathy, we are much more likely to see them for what they are…manipulations for a purpose.
Some psychologists and people who study criminal behavior have this “pie in the sky” idea that a violent offender can be rehabilitated in prison, and I don’t believe it is even possible for the majority of offenders. So if the majority of violent offenders do not truly rehabilitate, how do we know the ones who are almost certain to kill again from the one or two in a hundred that might not kill again? I don’t think there is a way to distinguish between them.
I am certain that Patrick has not rehabilitated or “found Jezus” in prison, but he can talk a great game if you don’t have the evidence to prove he is lying, like I do.