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A matter of national shame

05:01 AM April 18, 2018

This refers to the editorial, “Caged life” (4/15/18).

I can just imagine the miserable and congested condition in some of our prison facilities. Evidently there is overpopulation and these cells are unlivable.

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The conditions in these penal quarters apparently undermine the purpose of rehabilitating prisoners and reintegrating them back

into society.

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Prison cells, I gathered, have four major purposes: retribution, incapacitation, deterrence and rehabilitation.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau argued that man by nature is good. In simple terms, a good man was jailed because he turned into a bad guy and, as a consequence, became an outcast in society. He then needs to be rehabilitated and made to realize his indiscretion, and turn over a new leaf  once he returns to the fold of society.

A prison cell should then be designed for prisoner rehabilitation. It should function as a correctional facility to straighten crooked behavior. But it appears that our prison cells are not designed for such.

The overcrowded prisons are unsuitable, in my view, for any rehabilitative program for inmates.  Worse, inmates may think not in terms of rehabilitating themselves but on how to survive in such squalid living conditions. With this, our prison cells

have become a matter of national shame.

REGINALD B. TAMAYO, Marikina City

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TAGS: Inquirer letters, jail congestion, overcrowded prisons, Reginald B. Tamayo
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