Crime and Pointless Punishment

Every parent knows that when two young brothers are fighting, you don’t send them both to their shared bedroom in punishment. That would only result in them continuing to bicker at each other over who’s fault it was that they’re in there, or worse, lead them to conspire against the parental system that doled out the punishment. No, you stick one kid in the kitchen and one in the basement, leave them stew in their own thoughts for awhile, and when it’s over they’re usually pretty happy to just have that be over, which keeps them from fighting again for awhile, at least.

So why does our judicial system keep sticking the same types of criminals in the same prisons together? Once they’re in there, they have very little to do other than to sit and discuss what they’ve done and how they might do it better next time. Sure, not many people want to return to prison, but the very institution itself encourages a return visit.

How are we, as a society, so stupid?

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