What is your attitude towards prisoners/ex-convicts?

After conversing with a friend on here about the issue, I was curious to know what the GAG community's view was on prisoners/ex-convicts.

Do you think people who were incarcerated 'deserve what they get'? Do you think everything depends case by case? Do you think that they are the scum of the Earth? Everyone seems to have variant attitudes towards people who have committed crimes. I wanna know what YOU think.

I'll simplify it in a poll, and I know that it isn't so black and white.

  • Largely negative attitude towards prisoners/ex-convicts
    27% (3)69% (9)50% (12)Vote
  • Largely positive attitude towards prisoners/ex-convicts
    9% (1)15% (2)12% (3)Vote
  • Other/combination
    64% (7)16% (2)38% (9)Vote
And you are? I'm a GirlI'm a Guy
Personally, I think most people have potential for rehabilitation and change. Prisoners/ex-cons are largely discriminated against and treated as second class citizens with little to no consideration as to their environment/circumstances. Regardless of their crime, upon release they should once again be treated as individuals who have served their time. People shouldn't continue to be punished upon release, I find that illogical.

Thanks for everyone's opinions, keep them coming :)


Most Helpful Girl

  • I don't feel neither positive nor negative about them.

    People are not born evil, in my opinion. It's the society, upbringing, culture, bad and good experiences, one's threshold to pain as well as many other things.

    Let's admit that we all have different threshold. Some of us become very aggressive and others refuse to harm themselves and others.

    I think they should get punished by sending them to jail but that's it. They should learn to do something useful inside prison which helps to better themselves. They should even continue their education while they're inside prison. The objective is to make better people out of them.

    When they get out, they should be owning the tools, education and discipline that prevents them from getting back into that sick life they had before.

    They were punished already, so we should give them another chance when they get out. Instead of mocking and fearing them, let's give them a chance to become good people.

    • And that's why I'm marrying you :)

    • Show All
    • People aren't born with psychopathy? Or isn't that evil?

    • Thanks for the best answer! *Kisses*

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What Guys Said 14

  • Although I don't have any criminal record and am not involved in any criminal enterprise, some of my closest friends, even people I call Brothers, have criminal records. That doesn't bother me one bit. None of them are for sexual assaults or anything involving minors, so they're good with me on that front.

    As far as I'm concerned, they're no different from anyone else. We've all made mistakes over the years, some which we probably should have done time for. Some of us got caught, some didn't. Just because some cop saw Jimmy beating up that guy in the bar fight, but didn't see me do the same thing to another guy three weeks ago, doesn't make him any less human than me. I prefer to judge a man on who he is now. A man may have been a con-man in a past life, but as long as he doesn't screw me over now, it doesn't affect me any.

    The exceptions are rapists, short eyes and people who push to kids. There are no valid excuses for doing those and I have no respect for those who do them.

    • I'm with you 1000% on everything you said, including knowing good people who have been incarcerated. And I mean f.uck, if I'd been caught for every illegal thing I'd ever done, I'd have been in and out of jail and prison several times over and have multiple felonies on my record.

  • It will pique my interest and I will, of course, want to know what they did. Just because they committed a felony doesn't mean they did something I'd consider wrong, or that they were truly guilty of that crime. Sometimes people are convicted for stupid reasons.

    If they roughed up an innocent person or committed pederasty, then yes, I will think less of them. However, if they were overzealous in self-defense, then no, I won't think less of them. They may have been a little dumb or just in a bad situation, or afraid to do any less than what they did.

    In summation, I think laws are meant to uphold order, not ethics or morality.

  • well I think anyone can change. and everyone should get a second chance. there's a lot of people that were never shown the right way and it took a trip to prison to set them straight. its like a kid that did something bad and is punished to stand in the corner for a while. it doesn't make him a bad kid, and he/she can change and learn what's right. I've met a couple while at work (yea working retail is great -_-).. in my experience they're very polite and you couldn't tell that they were people that used to serve time (but when this guy told me I could see where his scars came from lol.. plus he was huuuuuuuuge). I think the most important thing though was, seeing a young person (me) they wanted to encourage me to do the right things and stay out of trouble. like they really learned their lesson and they want to keep other people growing up from making the same mistakes they did. I don't look down upon them in anyway.

    • That's lovely to hear :) I really like that

  • It completely depends on a case to case basis.

    Those who commit murder, rape and other violent crimes, I feel should be given a heavier penalty.

    Those who are career criminals should also be given harsher punishments.

    Now as per the lesser crimes, I find that I view it as a mistake that was committed and they should be given a chance to show that they have been rehabilitated.

    I would also factor in the scenario for why the crime was committed, for example if you stole food from a grocery store or someplace because that was the only way you could feed yourself or your family in a situation where say a disaster hit, then I see no reason for you to be given any real sentence, it was a matter of life or death and you did what you had to in order to survive.

    I also feel that far too many people are given the label of prisoner, ex-con etc when they were wrongly imprisoned to begin with, I mean lets face it you can say you wiped a wrongful conviction off the record but when they get out in the community you can't wipe it out of the opinions, especially those that are deeply set in. You can't give the person the time and opportunities back either and due to that time in prison there are some opportunities that will never be offered them.

    Even in regards to a person where you feel that the conviction was proper, I think that if the person shows that he/she has truly rehabbed then the case should be re-evaluated even when the time has not been fully served especially when there is no early release date set for good behavior, and the person given the opportunity to make a contribution to society.

    As per the justification of punishment after release, people have their own opinions on whether the punishment fit the crime or not, in some cases there is also corruption where you'll see the politician or some other power broker want it to disappear so the person may be put in prison for a short time and the moment the public's focus is turned elsewhere even for a moment the person released for "good behavior". In that case I can completely justify punishment upon release even though it will almost never happen due to the influence of that power broker.

    Also, while we're on this topic I would like to say Free Mumia!

  • I'm an ex con, so what? I'm guessing I'm not gonna get my name written in the snow after that little piece of info anymore eh? jk

    I'm a pretty good judge of character, so if I heard someone was in prison but they swore they were wrongfully incarcerated I would be inclined to believe them. If this was not the case, then depending upon the crime, I wouldn't be as trusting of them and would think they got what they deserved, hopefully anyways.

    If the crime was not like sexual assault on a minor or something along the lines of a rapist and that person was reformed, I would give them the benefit of the doubt.

    • LOL, yep it's a deal breaker! Jk. No, I'm quite sympathetic in this respect. I don't even limit my understanding to those who believe they were "wrongfully incarcerated" - I think that most people have potential for rehabilitation and just need the assistance to make it happen.

    • Sweet, man was I worried there for a second! Sometimes I can be trusting, other times I'm a little skeptical. I wise man once told me trust no man, if someone had been to prison for grand theft auto, and I didn't know them to well, I'm obviously gonna be a little judgmental and not just hand over the keys to my lambo, duh. But yeah, I believe SOME people can be rehabilitated as well...others might be beyond hope unfortunately...

    • Oh, I trust no one. But this isn't really about trust so much as being reasonable. But yeah, I getcha and agree.

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What Girls Said 10

  • Although I agree that looking at crimes case by case is important, I think there is a great importance of looking at crime divided into the type of crime. Crime speaks for society's largest issues, and it speaks loudly. And I don't think we're listening.

    I do think crimes are a personal "choice" to commit, but I think that certain aspects of a persons life will almost always decide that choice for them, especially in crimes involving theft, larceny, and such things.

    So these people are sent to prison for their crimes, which is generally "fair." Every crime is punishable by law, fair enough. But then they're released only to face more punishment. And they don't live as other people live. They are forever labeled "ex convicts."

    I'm extremely sympathetic towards most ex-convicts. They are almost forced to fall back into the same spiral of crime because of this strong label of being an "ex-convict." Instead of having the tools they need to return to society and do better for themselves, they come out with nothing. Nothing at all.

    • Exactly... that's one of the reasons we have so many criminals per capita in this country... We act like all criminals are savage beasts who can't be rehabilited... it's a sad mentality! Great answer.

    • I completely agree. They are punished through serving time, but this stigma is attached them thereafter, yet they are expected to somehow involve themselves in society? The policies and social attitude contradicts the very point of incarceration. Eurgh. Love your answer, burger :)

    • :D!

  • It depends on the crime. I don't have any sympathy for child molesters and rapists. There have been studies that show these criminals can't be rehabilitated. They repeat their crimes over and over again cause they have a sickness just like any other addiction. Any kind of addiction can cause relapses and is it worth it to put kids and women in danger just to give them a chance. Child molesters belong in jail for life and what they do with it is their business. The problem is that there is no room in jail for the real criminals cause they are putting drug addicts there when they need to be in rehab. There are innocent people in jail right now who smoked weed for example while a sex offender is walking the streets and repeating their crimes. They need to put criminals in jail and drug addicts in rehab. Other crimes like theft where nobody is getting hurt are different cause these people can change. If they did their time then they should be able to come back to society and be treated just like anybody else.

  • This is very difficult to answer because it really depends on the individual. I have dealt with some ex-cons in my line of work. Some of them committed crimes as juveniles but had adult records. They learned their lesson and were trying to turn their lives around. Sometimes, it's really hard when you have a felony conviction and no one wants to give a person a break.

    On the other hand, you can also discern those who are career criminals, go in and out of jail, it's a vicious cycle. They never seem to learn their lesson. Some even go as far as to proclaim having found God so people will 'believe' they have changed. It's all an act and a bunch of bullsh*t. They're so transparent that it's sickening.

  • I think they should be given a chance! I said this for another jail question but with community service and education, odds are they'll have more success with their rehabilitation...Maybe the person was wrongfully incarcerated...there's always that chance. Or maybe they were given a crappy hand in life...we shouldn't always assume the worst in people and underestimate the ability to change!

  • It depends what the crime is. I think rapiests and pedo's are the scum of the earth and deserve to be tourchered in prsoners, I don't think they should ever be let free.

    Tbh I really don't care about the rest of the prisoners or ex convits they deserve what happened to thm. Most them are sick in the head espceially pedos and rapiests I strongly agree that they should never see day light again. Scumbags.

    • I don't think I agree with that sentiment, but thanks for your input.

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