Do not pass Go, go directly to jail


I repent daily, even without a street messenger to remind me.

The title of this post is from one of the drawing cards in a silly and culturally destructive game called Monopoly. I spent hours playing it as a child. In part, that explains some of the less interesting aspects of my personal weirdness. I have weirdness I am proud of, but it does not involve prisoners or judges. I learned that from out-of-touch adults.

Consider, if you will, this recent news item.

The report, published Wednesday by the National Research Council, describes the rise of incarceration in America as “historically unprecedented and internationally unique.” It found that from 1973 to 2009, the prison population grew from about 200,000 to approximately 2.2 million. With this spike, the U.S. now holds close to a quarter of the world’s prisoners, even though it accounts for just 5 percent of the global population.

I personally wonder how judges can set the duration of prison sentences in advance devoid of knowledge about the rehabilitation progress of the offender. Well, I guess that is why they call them judges. They have the black robes, and a gavel. Maybe I need a gavel.

In our culture we like to judge, and we are wary of listening. Those might be the defining characteristics of our nation at the present time. At least that is my view of things.

Any thoughts you would care to share?



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