Thoughts on the Penal System

I remember when I was about 12 years old.  My brother had made me upset by eating one of my snacks.  I’m not proud of it, but I retaliated by hitting him and making him cry.  My parents sent me to my room to think about what I had done.  I begrudingly went, but when I was in there something happened!!!Laying in my bed, I realized that what I had done was wrong.  I felt a great desire to be nice to my brother, and I was grateful to my parents for having sent me to my room.  After that, I never hit my brother again, and I made an effort to help other people with aggression issues.

The previous story didn’t happen.  In fact, the opposite usually occurred.  I couldn’t wait to get out of the room so that I could hurt my brother for ”getting me in trouble,” and I resented my parents for confining me.  While I recognize that reflection and introspection can be the cause of great personal changes, I’m not personally aware of anyone who has rethought their actions when they have been forcefully confined and told to do so.  I’m sure that it has happened, but to my knowledge it is a fairly rare occurrence. Per the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 2/3 of criminals are rearrested within 3 years.  If you give all the credit for the other third to the penal system (which I wouldn’t), then the system is only successful at rehabilitating one in 3 criminals. Therefore, I think that I am on fairly safe ground when I say that the prison system is almost exclusively punitive, and very minimally corrective.

Here’s the problem I have with that.  According to the BJS , just shy of $30 billion was spent on prisoners in the US in the most recent study year.  That is actual money spent, already being offset for any revenue producing activities prisoners perform.

[It seems to me this article must have been cut off during migration to WordPress, and I can't find the original]



Why T-mobile May Become the Most Highly Regarded Service Company in America

T-mobile has made some surprising progress towards becoming the most highly regarded service company in America. In a previous article I discussed things that I thought would be important to change to achieve that goal, but that I thought T-mobile would be unwilling to address. But to a great degree I have been proven wrong.
I theorized that the biggest improvements T-mobile could make would be to: 1) eliminate overage, 2) eliminate contracts, and 3) ensure customers always have a working handset. It’s been only 8 months, and while T-mobile hasn’t done much with #3, they have made some awesome strides with steps 1 and 2.
T-mobile has done 2 major things to eliminate overage. First, they introduced the hotspot at home service. This service gives subscribers with broadband internet unlimited calls from home, from 7500 T-mobile hotspots, and basically anywhere else with wifi (except internet cafés and hotels that have a login page, since T-mobile’s phones can’t display the login page). Having unlimited calls from all these places does a lot to help people avoid going over their minutes. Second, T-mobile launched Flexpay. Flexpay allows you to enjoy all the benefits of having a plan, without the risk of overage. All you have to do is prepay the cost of your plan each month. And if you pay full price for your phone you don’t have to have a contract.

These improvements are certainly evidence that T-mobile does in fact have the willpower to change even the core practices of its business to be sure that customer satisfaction is their #1 priority.