There are so many points Kim made regarding the causes of criminal mischief in our state that put to light the core issue of the problem. Yes, we have overcrowded jails. Yes, the quality and conditions within these correctional facilities has in the past and continues to lack. And yes, as the case is with many other institutions in our great state, there is little hope of money in the future to solve the issues of criminal punishment. But, perhaps if we spend this money in creating well rounded, concerned citizens, the overcrowding and subsequently ill state of our jail systems would fix itself.
Kim also shed light on the fact that increasing the amount of money spent on education and the development of Texans beginning when they are young is difficult. The state and its citizens cringe at the idea of raising taxes, adding an income tax or tapping into even more sources to provide vital, youth education. It is a long time saying “do it right the first time” that is the key here. If we train our youth to be good citizens, neighbors and workers, they will have no need to commit crime.
But, this is where I begin to second guess myself. Sorry to mention a television show here, but I once saw an episode of Law and Order where a young man ‘accidentally’ killed one of his close friends when they were both at a young age of 12. The father of the slain child, a psychiatrist immediately recognized signs of criminal mentality in the killer. He was able to say what he needed to in order to get out of the punishment, but clearly held no actual remorse for his wrong doings.
The post in “Deep in the Heart” speaks of the inability of state mental correctional facilities to cure those with mental dementedness and the fact that they would likely only make the problem worse. If such is the case, it is likely that the mentally deranged individual is better off in a full security jail, with no hope of being cured. This is clearly not the best alternative for the criminal, but our society cannot grow away from this sort of issues unless we remove the criminals from freedom. Perhaps removing mental institutions altogether is the best decision. That is money that can be put towards education to increase the productivity and life of the individual but not waste time and money on the incurable.