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August 26, 2008


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John C

I am reminded of the European concept (in Germany at least, and I think elsewhere) of incarceration by "approximation" - the idea that the physical conditions of confinement should approximate as closely as possible those of normal society so as to re-educate, essentially, inmates as to how to function in society. So - no bars on the cells, no prison uniforms, respectful guards (to the extent possible), etc.

Certainly, if one wishes to neutralize the possibility of sex offenders re-offending, ostracizing them from civil society is not likely to teach them how to behave according to that society's laws and mores. Mr. Armstrong seems like he is onto something.


I am reminded of a moving story I read some years ago in Reader's Digest about a town, somewhere in the American West, where, in reaction to an event in which someone had thrown a brick through the only picture window in the town displaying a menorah instead of a Christmas tree, the neighbors all reacted by putting menoras in their windows too.

Maybe it's time we all put up signs in our yards declaring, "Sex offender lives here."

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