A New World Order with a kinder, gentler people. Civilization should be evolving into a kinder, gentler new world order. We have had thousands of years of religion and philosophy to create a moral foundation for human beings; much of the tenets from the worlds religions are sound practices and have become the foundation of all the world’s laws.
However nice the sound of a new world order is, there will always be a percentage of the population who will choose to live outside the law and commit horrendous crimes that must not be ignored and can not be condone or ameliorated with a finite prison sentence and rehabilitation. For these crimes against society harsher means must be used. However, many civilized countries have abolished the death penalty as being barbaric, and it is, to commit a cold blooded murder as revenge is also a barbaric act. But how to deal with those who outrage society?
Life in prison is one way to remove those who do not wish to live in a civilized world. The old banishment from the tribe is the best way to remove those who commit outrage. We imprison those we banish to make sure they will not inflict themselves on others somewhere else.
What does life in prison mean now when people live longer? It means elderly prisoners with all the infirmities that comes with aging. These men and women can not be let out of their banishment just because they lived long- where would the justice be to those victims and their families who had no life- prison or not?
In addition, the growing scarcity of resources to be used to create a better environment for a criminal rather for the law abiding citizen would add additional insult to the social and personal injury.
One solution for the geriatric prisoner population is in the prison population itself. For those who wish to reform their ways while serving their time, training them to be medical care givers for the elderly prisoner is a way to not use valuable civilian caregivers (nurses, nurse practitioners, orderlies, and the like), and to give valuable training to short term prisoners for when their sentence is served and they re-enter society as a useful, rehabilitated citizen. The trained and experienced ex-offender care giver will be required to work as a care giver for a number of years in areas that need them as their payback for the training they received..
Warehousing convicted men and woman for a period of time has not helped them nor society. It cost more to keep them in a prison cell than to attend an ivy league university. And we still have criminals let loose after their time is served. Society needs to allow time served to be accepted and not let the stigma brand these people but allow the newly released human being to work, join, and be productive to society
In addition to this, the young offenders given life sentences can redeem themselves by giving back to the society they have wronged, by caring for the elderly prisoners after they have been properly trained. The new lifers will have meaningful work during their banishment and serve the greater good by reducing the need for the civilian population to go without care givers that would need to be shifted to the elderly prison population.
Life in prison is a better choice than adding to the brutality of the human spirit with the executions of those people convicted of horrendous acts; however, if we are to become a kinder, gentler world we need not torture and mistreat those in banishment. To be without family and friend, to not be able to choose from life’s bountiful offerings again is a severe punishment.
Life in prison with no parole is reasonable punishment from society. The needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few -especially when those few commit unspeakable crimes against society.
There is no perfect utopian dream that will come true in a world fast approaching eight billion people. Finite resources and a fickle climate will turn our normal living standards of today into dreamy past stories told to our grandchildren. We do need to create a new world order; however it must meet the needs of the real human beings that will populate it- criminal or not.
Preparing for the criminal element now will release us from that burden later. Creating a training program for those who can be reformed allows the debt to society to be paid, and allows society to benefit from its choice to reform and rehabilitate not just punish.