(Note: I originally posted this entry on October 8, 2007 to my Yahoo! GeoCities blog.)
I was just reading a story about a man facing up to 30 years in prison for stealing a 52-cent doughnut.
And I thought, what a frigging harsh sentence; other people have stolen more and received much more lenient sentences.
And it got me thinking about while sending people to prison is meant to reform them (if possible), as well as keep our streets safe, that kind of sentence is more likely to hurt this man than help him. For one thing, living among crimimals for an extended period of time is just as likely to turn a first-time offender into a repeat offender. For another, it's hard for an ex-con to get a job, much less adjust to once again living in free society.
And then it hit me: If it's so gosh darn hard for ex-cons to adjust to society, why not send them to some ghost town (like they're doing with that CBS show, Kid Nation), where they can prove they can be decent, productive citizens, without the stigma of being rejected, while living with people in similar situations to their own? After living a number of years in a situation like that, they would be more likely to be accepted by society.