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Author Topic: Orthodox Prison  (Read 1995 times) Average Rating: 0
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Fabio Leite
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« on: July 09, 2010, 06:22:58 PM »

Something occurred to me... we talk about hospitals, charities, but is there any record of a Christian or even Orthodox prison? If not, what would it be like? How different would it be from a common prison? I'm saying that regarding places where prisons can be run by non-State entities, of course.
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2010, 06:27:47 PM »

I thought the Church set people free?  Wink
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2010, 06:36:29 PM »

Good reply, Alveus!

However, what about prison ministries? Are there any Orthodox involved in reaching out to prisoners?
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2010, 06:43:30 PM »

Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM)
http://www.ocpm-scoba.org/
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Fabio Leite
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2010, 09:17:30 PM »

Some people must be imprisoned to be set free. Smiley

Plus, an institution like this could be of benefit to society and, as far as possible, a place of healing.

Not that I believe that every person can be rehabilitated. I do believe some people consistently choose evil. And even for these a Christian prison could be better than a secular one.
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2010, 11:49:08 PM »

How about something like Step Five of the Ladder?
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« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2010, 02:46:23 AM »

I'm glad someone posted this. I have been ministering to Rastafarian prisoners for a few years now. But I sadly confess that it has been quite some time since I have visited them. I could make many excuses, but none would be valid. These humble, repentant, and positive brethren really look forward to my visits, and I have failed them lately. Please pray for me to be a better servant and a more unselfish Christian. For all the moralizing and self-righteous opining I do on this forum, my actions toward these prisoners has only demonstrated apathy and indifference to their suffering.  And the thing is, I always enjoy visiting them! It's more of a blessing to me than it is to them; I'm sure of that.

Anyway, please pray for me and for all those who are incarcerated.


"Lord have mercy."


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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2010, 02:49:47 AM »

How about something like Step Five of the Ladder?

That would be pretty harsh.   Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2010, 06:45:57 AM »

What is step 5? I've never read the Ladder... Sad
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2010, 11:03:54 AM »

I happened to notice this amazing and inspiring ministry to prisoners: http://theorthodoxchurch.info/blog/articles/2010/06/teaching-icon-painting-to-prisoners/
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2010, 11:13:05 AM »

Good reply, Alveus!

However, what about prison ministries? Are there any Orthodox involved in reaching out to prisoners?

Yes, the brotherhood of Saint Moses the black does it:
http://mosestheblack.org/outreach.html (outreach)

Fr. Cosmas Shartz of St. John's Monastery in California does it.
http://www.monasteryofstjohn.org/

And then you have the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry:
http://www.ocpm-scoba.org/ (OCPM)

There is also a group in the midwest doing prison ministry for women......I think.


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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2010, 05:07:15 PM »

I have to say that I do not believe in putting human beings in cages.
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2010, 05:52:09 PM »

I have to say that I do not believe in putting human beings in cages.


Amen!



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« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2010, 06:57:45 PM »

I have to say that I do not believe in putting human beings in cages.

Well a cell is not a cage. Smiley

Prisons, in theory, should be for people who have proven to be temporarily or definetely, a menace to society. They have their right of walking freely restricted, in order to preserve the rest of the people.

What we do with them once there is the question.

I believe the following now:

They are there firstly as a kind of punishment and safety measure. Rehab must exist, but not at the cost of risk to the innocent who have done nothing.

Said that, I imagine that an Orthodox prison would have people in the prison treated in a human way,although certainly with no luxuries. We know the benefit ascetism bring and they would be intensive on that. Second, they would be separated according to the kind of crimes they have committed. No chicken thieves together with the mafia where they could be coopted for worse things. This would allow for less interference and a more objective social, psychological and spiritual work of rehab.
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2010, 02:20:08 PM »

Check that: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8565544.stm
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« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2010, 10:52:55 PM »

I have to say that I do not believe in putting human beings in cages.

Would exile to a Siberian monastery, perhaps, be a better alternative? Or a desert island? In Norway, apparently, the state cannot keep prisoners for longer than a certain number of years. After that, they give them some supplies and drop them off in the far north and say, "Good luck," whatever that is in Norwegian.
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« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2010, 10:58:37 PM »

I think a legitimately Christian prison would be much more concerned with rehabilitation, and much less with punishment.
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« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2010, 11:15:44 PM »

I think a legitimately Christian prison would be much more concerned with rehabilitation, and much less with punishment.

Many cannot be rehabilitated and must be quarantined from society so that they do not hurt others. The punishment of evil is one of the prerogatives of government.
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« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2010, 11:23:54 PM »

Many cannot be rehabilitated and must be quarantined from society so that they do not hurt others.

I don't really buy the idea that there is a large percentage of all criminals that could not be rehabilitated given our best efforts. You're probably just judging this based off of the current criminal justice system, but doing so could not inform you of what is possible because the current criminal justice system really does not put a huge amount of effort into rehabilitation.

The punishment of evil is one of the prerogatives of government.

Evil does not even need necessarily to be punished. The only form of punishment that really has a significant Christian point to it is punishment that is rehabilitative.
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« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2010, 12:55:39 AM »

I have to say that I do not believe in putting human beings in cages.
After that, they give them some supplies and drop them off in the far north and say, "Good luck," whatever that is in Norwegian.

From what I recall, those islands north of Norway (the name eludes me temporarily) are home to the lowest crime rate in the world- essentially 0 crimes per 1000. So, either you are wrong my friend, or the Norwegians have in fact developed the perfect criminal rehabilitation system ever Grin Grin
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« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2010, 01:06:07 AM »

Many cannot be rehabilitated and must be quarantined from society so that they do not hurt others.

I don't really buy the idea that there is a large percentage of all criminals that could not be rehabilitated given our best efforts. You're probably just judging this based off of the current criminal justice system, but doing so could not inform you of what is possible because the current criminal justice system really does not put a huge amount of effort into rehabilitation.

Your first point is definitely wrong my friend. Your second point is definitely correct. You win some, you lose them  Wink

Quote
The punishment of evil is one of the prerogatives of government.


Evil does not even need necessarily to be punished. The only form of punishment that really has a significant Christian point to it is punishment that is rehabilitative.

Notice how Shanghaiski says government and not Church? I'm going out on a limb here and gonna say no one here lives in a [Orthodox] Christian theocracy. Therefor, as correct as your statement is about Christianity, it does not really correlate with what he said. That said, from a governmental point of view, crime needs to be punished. However, crime is not always evil and evil is not always a crime!

Regards from Sloga, Criminology Major at UofT Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2010, 06:38:17 AM »

Sorry to hijack this thread, but I have a question of my own which I think is relevant to this topic. In Tsarist Russia, did the Orthodox Church provide support - direct, indirect, tacit or otherwise - to the prison system? I'm aware that the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the prison chapel for inmates at most major prisons in Russia during that time. Did any Orthodox Christians ever speak out and oppose the prison/punishment system in Tsarist Russia on any occasion?
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« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2010, 10:06:14 AM »

Sorry to hijack this thread, but I have a question of my own which I think is relevant to this topic. In Tsarist Russia, did the Orthodox Church provide support - direct, indirect, tacit or otherwise - to the prison system? I'm aware that the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the prison chapel for inmates at most major prisons in Russia during that time. Did any Orthodox Christians ever speak out and oppose the prison/punishment system in Tsarist Russia on any occasion?

Why single out Tsarist Russia?
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« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2010, 10:43:14 AM »

It happens to be the case I'mmost curious about after recently reading about the prison system in Russia during Tsarist times. I want to know if the Orthodox Church approved of what was going on, or if they ever opposed it. I'm sure there must have been some priests or monks who spoke out.
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« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2010, 11:18:37 AM »

It happens to be the case I'mmost curious about after recently reading about the prison system in Russia during Tsarist times. I want to know if the Orthodox Church approved of what was going on, or if they ever opposed it. I'm sure there must have been some priests or monks who spoke out.

The Church itself was not, from the time of Tsar Peter I on, independent from the state, so it's prophetic authority to speak out against injustice was a bit hampered, moreso in the 19th century as a reaction to revolutionaries and terrorists whose intellectual descendants would create a prison system much worse than the one under the Tsar. People were often visited in prison by clergy and others. Spiritual care was provided. Petitions for clemency were made.

What book were you reading? Who wrote it and what were the conclusions of the book?
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« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2010, 07:53:34 PM »

I don't really buy the idea that there is a large percentage of all criminals that could not be rehabilitated given our best efforts. You're probably just judging this based off of the current criminal justice system, but doing so could not inform you of what is possible because the current criminal justice system really does not put a huge amount of effort into rehabilitation.

Your first point is definitely wrong my friend. Your second point is definitely correct. You win some, you lose them  Wink

That makes no sense. If you recognize that the criminal justice system is not making its best effort to rehabilitate criminals, then there is no way that you could know for sure whether or not they could be rehabilitated given our best efforts.

Notice how Shanghaiski says government and not Church? I'm going out on a limb here and gonna say no one here lives in a [Orthodox] Christian theocracy. Therefor, as correct as your statement is about Christianity, it does not really correlate with what he said.

The government is bound to the same basic moral principles as are taught in the Gospel, even if it is not Christian. If it were to be Christian, it would certainly be outrageous if it were not following those principles, as it would be failing in discipleship. If it's not Christian, however, it is still committing sin if it does not follow those same principles. Therefore, a government should still be expected to do what is right.

That said, from a governmental point of view, crime needs to be punished.

I don't agree that governance has to be that legalistic.

However, crime is not always evil and evil is not always a crime!

I certainly think that they should become one and the same: that the law should be conformed establishing what is evil as criminal and what is not as legal.
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« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2010, 02:06:49 AM »

That makes no sense. If you recognize that the criminal justice system is not making its best effort to rehabilitate criminals, then there is no way that you could know for sure whether or not they could be rehabilitated given our best efforts.

Actually, just because something doesn't make sense to you, doesn't mean it doesn't make sense period. What I said can easily be backed up by decades of scholarly work and research, by psychologists, criminologists, basic sociologists et cetera. In fact, I don't see at all what is difficult to comprehend about what I said.

1-The criminal justice system focuses an incorrect amount of its capability on punishing criminals, and not focusing enough on true rehabilitation such as re-socialization and therapy for criminals that would benefit greatly from it. Instead, they merely lock many of them up and help contribute to further development of psychological issues. Many criminals come out of jail worse than they were going in.

2-There are criminals who because of genetics, upbringing or both, cannot be rehabilitated. These individuals obviously fall under a special category of criminals. My first point is with regards to those that do not fall into this category. However, it is not so easy to determine whether one falls into the former or latter category, but that is another discussion on its own.

So there you have it. Feel free to say you don't understand, but it makes sense.

Quote
The government is bound to the same basic moral principles as are taught in the Gospel, even if it is not Christian. If it were to be Christian, it would certainly be outrageous if it were not following those principles, as it would be failing in discipleship. If it's not Christian, however, it is still committing sin if it does not follow those same principles. Therefore, a government should still be expected to do what is right.

the government is not bound to anything, technically speaking. Yes, the basic fundamentals of most western liberal democracies lies within Judeo-Christian roots, but it ends there. The difference between a secular state and a theocracy is that the secular state has strayed from the original rule book, with accordance to the times and society it harbors, whereas a theocracy attempts to control society with those original laws. Essentially, a democracy has laws to represent the people and a theocracy uses laws to repress the people.

As Christians you must obey your laws so long as they do not infringe on your ability to be Christian. Likewise, it is un-Christian to force people to believe in Christ, better yet have them follow Christian law while simultaneously they do not believe. Democracy is Christian because Liberty is Christian. Within those two factors everyone has the option of not being or acting Christian.

Quote
I don't agree that governance has to be that legalistic.
I have no idea what you are saying here. You don't think the government should deal with serial killers and rapists?

Quote
I certainly think that they should become one and the same: that the law should be conformed establishing what is evil as criminal and what is not as legal.

 Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

do you want to legalize incest? I think many people will argue it is not evil.
do you want to imprison my neighbor's ten year old son? He's always torturing bugs every day, clearly the kid's evil.

Is you name Mike Huckabee by any chance? I'm thankful the country I live in is not run by religious fundamentalists such as yourself, Christianity would suffer immensely.
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« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2010, 09:42:33 AM »

That makes no sense. If you recognize that the criminal justice system is not making its best effort to rehabilitate criminals, then there is no way that you could know for sure whether or not they could be rehabilitated given our best efforts.

Actually, just because something doesn't make sense to you, doesn't mean it doesn't make sense period. What I said can easily be backed up by decades of scholarly work and research, by psychologists, criminologists, basic sociologists et cetera. In fact, I don't see at all what is difficult to comprehend about what I said.

1-The criminal justice system focuses an incorrect amount of its capability on punishing criminals, and not focusing enough on true rehabilitation such as re-socialization and therapy for criminals that would benefit greatly from it. Instead, they merely lock many of them up and help contribute to further development of psychological issues. Many criminals come out of jail worse than they were going in.

2-There are criminals who because of genetics, upbringing or both, cannot be rehabilitated. These individuals obviously fall under a special category of criminals. My first point is with regards to those that do not fall into this category. However, it is not so easy to determine whether one falls into the former or latter category, but that is another discussion on its own.

So there you have it. Feel free to say you don't understand, but it makes sense.

Quote
The government is bound to the same basic moral principles as are taught in the Gospel, even if it is not Christian. If it were to be Christian, it would certainly be outrageous if it were not following those principles, as it would be failing in discipleship. If it's not Christian, however, it is still committing sin if it does not follow those same principles. Therefore, a government should still be expected to do what is right.

the government is not bound to anything, technically speaking. Yes, the basic fundamentals of most western liberal democracies lies within Judeo-Christian roots, but it ends there. The difference between a secular state and a theocracy is that the secular state has strayed from the original rule book, with accordance to the times and society it harbors, whereas a theocracy attempts to control society with those original laws. Essentially, a democracy has laws to represent the people and a theocracy uses laws to repress the people.

As Christians you must obey your laws so long as they do not infringe on your ability to be Christian. Likewise, it is un-Christian to force people to believe in Christ, better yet have them follow Christian law while simultaneously they do not believe. Democracy is Christian because Liberty is Christian. Within those two factors everyone has the option of not being or acting Christian.

Quote
I don't agree that governance has to be that legalistic.
I have no idea what you are saying here. You don't think the government should deal with serial killers and rapists?

Quote
I certainly think that they should become one and the same: that the law should be conformed establishing what is evil as criminal and what is not as legal.

 Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

do you want to legalize incest? I think many people will argue it is not evil.
do you want to imprison my neighbor's ten year old son? He's always torturing bugs every day, clearly the kid's evil.

Is you name Mike Huckabee by any chance? I'm thankful the country I live in is not run by religious fundamentalists such as yourself, Christianity would suffer immensely.


I like Mike Huckabee and there is nothing wrong with religious fundamentalists of the same type as him running countries and governments.

Out of all people I have no idea why you picked Mike Huckabee. He is a good man with great people skills and cultural sensibilities. He is also a man of mercy! Which is something alot of countries need now days! All people can be rehabilitated. .......if given the chance. The fact is, most criminals are not given a chance. They are not given opportunities to change because they are expected not to change. They are expected to stay corrupt. 


I agree with deusveritasest for alot of white people feel that black criminals can't change. Well, they think we are born criminals in the first place and so they expect us to act like criminals. The truth is, when you pre-judge a person or a people group to be a certain way, then you will never ever be able to give them a chance to prove you wrong.

For those that pre-judge a person or a people group to be good people or able to change, then there will be alot of opportunities and help for that person to change.

I seen alot of people change for the better because they had people that actually believed in them. In middleschool and highschool I changed for the better because there were people that believed in me.

People can change and often do when you stop treating them like wild beasts!







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« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2010, 09:44:16 AM »

Sloga,

you said you have (or are taking) a Criminology major. I would like to read your opinion on what a prison run by an Orthodox Christian government or an Orthodox Christian institution under a secular government should be like.
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« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2010, 09:13:42 PM »

I like Mike Huckabee and there is nothing wrong with religious fundamentalists of the same type as him running countries and governments.

Out of all people I have no idea why you picked Mike Huckabee. He is a good man with great people skills and cultural sensibilities. He is also a man of mercy! Which is something a lot of countries need now days!


He is a great man! He does have people skills and cultural sensibilities! But guess what? My vote goes to political policies, not to personalities and that is the way politics is supposed to be, minus the extremes like voting for a child molester because the policies are very appealing, regardless of his personality.

Mike Huckabee said he thinks changing the constitution to make it more Christian (and he's not Orthodox btw) would be ok  laugh laugh laugh laugh laugh   

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All people can be rehabilitated. ......

Wrong! please refer to my earlier post regarding that.

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They are not given opportunities to change because they are expected not to change. They are expected to stay corrupt

I do not know what country you live in and likewise judicial system, but here in Canada, as flawed as the justice system is, we definitely do not expect our criminals to stay corrupt upon releasing them to society. No offense, but isn't that a really empty statement that cant be taken seriously? Why and who, would want a criminal to not change?

Quote
I agree with deusveritasest for alot of white people feel that black criminals can't change.

If a white person thinks a black criminal cant change, I highly doubt that same white folk will think white criminals cant change. Race is irrelevant I do not know why you brought it up.

 
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Well, they think we are born criminals in the first place and so they expect us to act like criminals. The truth is, when you pre-judge a person or a people group to be a certain way, then you will never ever be able to give them a chance to prove you wrong.

For those that pre-judge a person or a people group to be good people or able to change, then there will be alot of opportunities and help for that person to change.

I seen alot of people change for the better because they had people that actually believed in them. In middleschool and highschool I changed for the better because there were people that believed in me.

People can change and often do when you stop treating them like wild beasts!

ICXC NIKA

I admire your turnaround, it is not easy. That doesn't change there are people out there, there have mental and genetic problems that means they will never be rehabilitated. I dont know why anyone would actually intend on arguing that point. there are dangerous, psychotic individuals you cannot rehabilitate, and those individuals need to be quarantined from society forever . That is not a hypothesis, that is a well known fact nowadays. Yes I am of the belief more needs to be focused on rehabilitation, but to claim EVERYONE can be rehabilitated is completely and utterly absurd.

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« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2010, 09:39:04 PM »

I agree with deusveritasest for alot of white people feel that black criminals can't change. Well, they think we are born criminals in the first place and so they expect us to act like criminals.

 The truth is, when you pre-judge a person or a people group to be a certain way, then you will never ever be able to give them a chance to prove you wrong.

And this bad logic is exactly why I don't think I'll make it to the conference next year.

The black people in this story are the only ones who are being prejudged, if I read correctly?

We don't use bad language here - mike
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« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2010, 11:59:13 PM »

I agree with deusveritasest for alot of white people feel that black criminals can't change. Well, they think we are born criminals in the first place and so they expect us to act like criminals.

 The truth is, when you pre-judge a person or a people group to be a certain way, then you will never ever be able to give them a chance to prove you wrong.

And this bad  logic is exactly why I don't think I'll make it to the conference next year.

The black people in this story are the only ones who are being prejudged, if I read correctly?

LOL. Now lets be reasonable. Jnorm's point does present a valid issue, in some locations of North America. Although areas where this is no longer the case, the prejudice he speaks of (and I will call it outright racism tbh), works in the opposite way through affirmative action. Legal cases are alleviated or outright thrown out due to the dear of prosecuting a visible minority (it's not just individuals of African descent obviously) in the agressive manner the case deserves. Yes, racists still exists today, but positive racism, is just. I understand neither quite frankly. I do not care for ones skin colour. I act accordingly to the choices people make in their lives, not with what they are born with.

Sloga,

you said you have (or are taking) a Criminology major. I would like to read your opinion on what a prison run by an Orthodox Christian government or an Orthodox Christian institution under a secular government should be like.

Fabio,

as far as I am concerned, governments should be separate from religion. Separation of church and state is first of all in accordance to our faith. We cannot and should not force individuals to be christian. Yes we should evangelize and preach the Word, but to run a state where laws force non-christian individuals to live christian lives is unattainable, dysfunctional and most importantly; detrimental to the faith.

With that in mind, I believe prisons should be run in a secular style, even in Orthodox countries. I do not see in anyway how an Orthodox Christian based jail could accomplish the goal of dealing with crime. I do however, think it would be wise to have church services and multiple priests within a jail. For those sinners can understand their crime not merely from a legal perspective, but from the Christian based moral side also. This is helpful since obviously they can repent, but religion can also act as a method of rehabilitation for many criminals.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 06:15:40 PM by mike » Logged

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« Reply #32 on: July 30, 2010, 12:17:47 PM »

I have to say that I do not believe in putting human beings in cages.

Would exile to a Siberian monastery, perhaps, be a better alternative? Or a desert island? In Norway, apparently, the state cannot keep prisoners for longer than a certain number of years. After that, they give them some supplies and drop them off in the far north and say, "Good luck," whatever that is in Norwegian.

If corporal punishment cannot be used, or if a person is too dangerous to be released back into society, they should be executed.  I realize that this is not a popular opinion on this board, but I have seen none of you produce a better alternative.  An executed criminal is 100% reformed and is guaranteed never to commit another crime.  As soon as ANY other organization can profess a success rate even remotely approaching this, I will gladly change my mind and recommend that all criminals be turned over to their care.
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« Reply #33 on: July 30, 2010, 02:10:26 PM »

If you recognize that the criminal justice system is not making its best effort to rehabilitate criminals...

Upon what are you basing your opinion that the criminal justice system is not making its best effort?

That a lot of criminals are not rehabilitated?
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« Reply #34 on: July 30, 2010, 04:08:55 PM »

It depends on how one defined rehabilitation. Not all crimes are alike; not all crimes have the same effect on the soul of the criminal or come from the same kind of spiritual circumstances. For fear of an abuse of the law (this certainly happens, we're human after all) certain crimes are not dealt with as severely at first, even though, statistically, there is a trajectory of increased magnitude. For example, a person who behaves in a "creepy" manner criminally (stalking, inappropriateness, etc.) can proceed easily to violent crimes of the same nature as the first, but he is not imprisoned or quarantined from society as long for committing what could well be the first in a series of crimes. Yet, after a heinous crime has been committed, he is locked up for a long time or life, or executed. Could he be rehabilitated? Most likely not for two reasons. One, rehabilitation or, better, repentance cannot be imposed, it has to come from the sinner. It is a choice. Even if a person is given every help to make this choice, he can still say no, and often does. Why? For the second reason. It is possible to severely wound or even kill the conscience by not listening to it and by fighting it. It is functionally dead while the person lives, although after his physical death, it will torment him.

Unfortunately, the problem with today's prisons is that, more often than not, they make people worse, rather than better. People get new ideas, make connections with evil characters, and as a result, the rate of return to prison is very high.

If there were a way to more thoroughly evaluate criminals, I think better sentences could be given them. Our legal system, however, hampers this. And our legal system is itself hampered by our political system.
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« Reply #35 on: July 30, 2010, 04:56:21 PM »

rehabilitation or, better, repentance cannot be imposed, it has to come from the sinner. It is a choice. Even if a person is given every help to make this choice, he can still say no, and often does. Why? For the second reason. It is possible to severely wound or even kill the conscience by not listening to it and by fighting it. It is functionally dead while the person lives, although after his physical death, it will torment him.

An excellent point, and one that is often ignored. Correctional facilities (isn't that an interesting term, btw?) are understaffed and underfunded. That rehabilitation happens at all is a minor miracle. I know a great many people connected with criminal justice (my husband is involved in prison ministry) and most of them are dedicated to giving offenders all the help that they can to turn their lives around.

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« Reply #36 on: July 30, 2010, 05:31:32 PM »

More funding and staffing would help, but  also a better vision of dealing with the many social problems in our society in which prison is simply the end result. I speak here mostly of petty crimes and drug use (and all the crimes associated therewith). However, even psychotics and child predators often were abused as children, and even if the abuse was somewhat addressed by the state, the state itself is little concerned with individuals. To my mind, it is the job of the Church to deal with the individuals in a pastoral manner. The state expects moral development will occur on its own. (Not that I am suggesting state involvement in this by any means, it's just the nature of the beast.) It's like the state effort to combat alcohol and drug use amongst youth and, to a much, much lesser extent, the equally illegal promiscuity. The materials I have from being on a community committee to deal with the situation mention bad things that could happen, but they do not provide anything like a moral framework--they expect parents to do that. But parents, in this case, must have some sort of resource, like the Church, to do this.

Even in an Orthodox country, one will by no means reach anything resembling perfection in punishment/rehabilitation/and even justice. While we need to do what we can for the system, it should not be the end of our efforts--the system will always be what it is. The key, I think, in helping prisoners, the poor, pregnant women in crisis, etc., is to see to individual needs, based on what the person being helped can do for himself or herself. Without that, locking up someone with no education and providing none will do no good. Giving handouts indiscriminately will likely produce dependence. And telling pregnant women in crisis that they should not have an abortion, but provide no support for the time of pregnancy and birth, will not help accomplish the good work we want to do.
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« Reply #37 on: August 02, 2010, 10:37:04 AM »

More funding and staffing would help, but  also a better vision of dealing with the many social problems in our society in which prison is simply the end result. I speak here mostly of petty crimes and drug use (and all the crimes associated therewith). However, even psychotics and child predators often were abused as children, and even if the abuse was somewhat addressed by the state, the state itself is little concerned with individuals. To my mind, it is the job of the Church to deal with the individuals in a pastoral manner. The state expects moral development will occur on its own. (Not that I am suggesting state involvement in this by any means, it's just the nature of the beast.) It's like the state effort to combat alcohol and drug use amongst youth and, to a much, much lesser extent, the equally illegal promiscuity. The materials I have from being on a community committee to deal with the situation mention bad things that could happen, but they do not provide anything like a moral framework--they expect parents to do that. But parents, in this case, must have some sort of resource, like the Church, to do this.

Even in an Orthodox country, one will by no means reach anything resembling perfection in punishment/rehabilitation/and even justice. While we need to do what we can for the system, it should not be the end of our efforts--the system will always be what it is. The key, I think, in helping prisoners, the poor, pregnant women in crisis, etc., is to see to individual needs, based on what the person being helped can do for himself or herself. Without that, locking up someone with no education and providing none will do no good. Giving handouts indiscriminately will likely produce dependence. And telling pregnant women in crisis that they should not have an abortion, but provide no support for the time of pregnancy and birth, will not help accomplish the good work we want to do.

A group that is attempting to do just that: http://ocpm-scoba.org/
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« Reply #38 on: August 02, 2010, 11:07:04 PM »

I have to say that I do not believe in putting human beings in cages.

Would exile to a Siberian monastery, perhaps, be a better alternative? Or a desert island? In Norway, apparently, the state cannot keep prisoners for longer than a certain number of years. After that, they give them some supplies and drop them off in the far north and say, "Good luck," whatever that is in Norwegian.

"Lykke til!" I was thinking of moving to Norway for a long time, I do not think that is true about them dropping them off in the far north... plus, that would almost certainly kill them by the end of September probably since the far north (Svalbard and Jan Mayan) is full of polar bears... and unless you can eat a polar bear, you're gonna starve.
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« Reply #39 on: August 03, 2010, 10:16:13 AM »

Well, I was told this by a friend who has lived in Norway.
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