Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Signals! Whiskey! Alfa! Hotel!

Family members are sharing their side of the story after their loved one was shot and killed by a homeowner Wednesday night.

43 year-old Oliver Perez was shot by a homeowner during an attempted burglary. Perez was taken to University Medical Center with a gunshot wound, and later died.

The Perez family says Oliver Perez struggled with drug addiction and had a criminal record, but they hoped he would be able to turn his life around.
If one breaks into enough places in most parts of the country, one runs the risk of suddenly coming down with a severe case of bullet wounds. It's an occupational hazard of living the critter life.

Funny how the ones that get shot dead are always a month or so away from turning their lives around.



Old NFO said...

Yep, they're ALWAYS choirboys... NOT!!!

CenterPuke88 said...

It’s human nature. Families see the good in their relatives, and tend to believe they were closer to turning around than they were. It’s a shame that we have to belittle their grief, because even if they were a criminal, they were also someone’s baby boy. This seems another aspect of the polarization of society, we are dehumanizing those struggling and behaving in these ways. I’d rather understand why he was acting like this, to see if anything in the past might have diverted him from this life. I’m concerned that we don’t seem to care anymore, that it is the start of a multilevel society that will bite us in the ass.

Now, before the “liberal apologist” label gets thrown out, I’m not advocating that he should not have had what happened happen to him, he took his chance and got shot. That’s on him, but did we do anything when he was in the system before to aide “reform”, or did we just warehouse him with other criminals where they learnt each other’s trades? It’s hard to ignore the fact we are creating criminals out of some who act up with the penal system stupidity in the U.S.

Comrade Misfit said...

CP88, I spent a portion of the last several years dealing with people who had every excuse under the sun for why they were in the trouble that they were in. Funny thing how damned few of them ever took responsibility for getting themselves into the spots they were in. "My wife, she.." "my boyfriend, he.." "my job, it.." "the cops, they.." "my school, it..." "my parole officer, he.." "the judge, she.."

On and fucking on. People who couldn't break the code that holding down a job largely took four things: Showing up for work on-time every day, doing what the boss said, not giving the boss sass and not stealing from the job. I was thankful that I only had to look at photos of some of the conditions of people's homes. I didn't have to go there in person.

So, I'm tired of it. The families have a right to grieve, sure. But spare me the litany of how "he was a really good boy" and "he wanted to turn his life around."

Oh, and yes, I dealt with some people for whom a taste of prison was a wake-up call. They did turn their lives around. But a lot didn't.

CenterPuke88 said...

Comrade, my point isn’t that we should be accepting it isn’t their fault, because, ultimately, it is. Your last paragraph is the point, we are warehousing a huge number of youths and young women/men without doing much to try to offer them anything but a cot and three hot behind bars.

I know a couple who were in the stir and tried to get into an apprenticeship program, but there were too few slots, so they simply rotted their time away. When they came out, they slipped right back into the ways they were used too, despite efforts from the family to help them straighten out. It’s easy to put people away, it’s difficult to keep them out when all they learn while behind bars is new scams and grifts. Here in Texas, assistance/reintegration programs for those released are almost nonexistent, and the recidivism rate shows it. We could do so much better than jailing the highest percentage of population in the world.

B said...

CP: Why is it that you feel it is the State's responsibility to help these folks "Turn Their Life Around?...teach 'em anything while they are in prison....Help them in any way?

Prison is supposed to be punishment for wrongdoing, not a jobs program for later. If they can't learn from their mistakes then it is on them, not on Society. If they choose to return to their old ways, perhaps with new methods taught to them by other criminals, that's on them, not on society.

Likely, it's the mentality of short term thinking that got 'em into the life of crime in the first place. Teaching them to be a barber, or an electrician of a carpenter won't help if they can't hold a job because they can't do those 4 things that our Hostess discussed....

Comrade Misfit said...

B, there is no reason why prison can't be both: Punishment and aid in helping convicts turn their lives around.

What benefit is it to lock people up for several years and then have them come out with no coping skills, no job skills, no skills other than those they had when they were locked up? Wouldn't it be better to help them become productive, taxpaying members of society instead of becoming stronger, tougher critters?

B said...

Oh, I agree. But it isn't the RESPONSIBILITY of society to do anything for these folks.
If they can get help, all for it. They can also get a lot of book learning too, if they choose. (they have time) Most don't bother.

But if they choose to fall into their old life once released, that is on them. Having mentored at my local minimum security prison for about 6 months though (I gave up cause it was discouraging enough to affect me), I can tell you that *most* take the classes so they look good for the parole board. Some actually want to learn (like 5%, maybe). Hiring people that are fresh out of prison showed me that they have cultural/behavioral issues as their main flaw in working/living within society. I don't know how to fix that. I don't think anyone does. Criminality is a disease of the mind. And, short of changing their personality, I don't know how to solve that issue. Education won't fix that.

CenterPuke88 said...

Er, B., allow me to present the “Mission Statement” for the IDOC (Illinois Department of Coorections):

“To serve justice in Illinois and increase public safety by promoting positive change in offender behavior, operating successful reentry programs, and reducing victimization.”

It’s really simply, reductions in recidivism increase public safety, reduce public costs and help communities. Tossing people onto the scrap heap of a warehousing focused prison system has both monetary and safety implications for the rest of us. It’s easy for those of us not on the edges to joke about prison rape and ask why we should pay to train offenders, but we pay the price regardless. Not to mention that the edges continue to expand.

As for “criminality is a disease of the mind”, that just shows that you have absolutely given up on those you deem criminals, and are unwilling to help. You yourself suggest that 5% are interested in help and improvement, but you ask why we should even pay to help them! I suggest that you are ascribing motivations to people you barely knew to assuage your guilt.

dinthebeast said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dinthebeast said...

Members of my family and extended family have done time in prison for marijuana.
Here in California, we are beginning to erase the criminal records of those kind of people, but it is far too late for thousands upon thousands who ended up with felony convictions on their records over a weed that grows in the ground, and never could vote, had no chance of a decent career, and were changed by the experience of incarceration.
And now what they did is not even a crime.
At Tumbleweed, the warehouse I managed for a few years in the 2000s, we hired drivers from a transitional housing facility, and out of maybe nine we hired while I worked there, one became a problem when he fell back into his heroin addiction.
He was far from the only drug user we had working there, but he was the only ex-convict we had a problem with, and really, he was a decent worker in the year or so before he got strung out on the heroin.
Perhaps I have a different perspective on the subject from having been around a lot of outlaws in my life, and seeing them when they weren't fucking up or in trouble, as contrasted with the clients of the criminal defense attorneys my mother worked for for twenty years or so.
One thing about the outlaws I have known, though: most of them had little or no patience for "critters" and Comrade Misfit calls them, because they were far too risky to wager your freedom on associating with.

-Doug in Oakland

B said...

"“To serve justice in Illinois and increase public safety by promoting positive change in offender behavior, operating successful reentry programs, and reducing victimization.”

Doesn't say That the State has to teach 'em skills, just teach 'em to behave.

IF they'd learn to hold a job and hold their temper and look beyond the immediate gratification and into the future, then they would be most of the way there.

Few are evil, most are just mopes.

CenterPuke88 said...

As contrair, IDOC:

We will operate safe, secure, and humane correctional facilities.
We will provide quality services to those who require medical and mental health treatment.
We will evaluate offenders individually and develop an appropriate course of action based on individual needs.
We will reduce recidivism by offering seamless, efficient services that are geared toward offender rehabilitation.
Staff is our greatest asset and we will ensure that all staff is trained to the highest professional level.
This is a team-based environment where open communication and sharing new ideas are encouraged.
We value the well-being of IDOC staff and offenders and will serve the people of Illinois with compassion and fairness.”

Your closing statement is the most enlightening of your previously heartless statements. You admit that a little training and spending can have outsized impacts, yet you begrudge that funding. The operative phrase is “cutting off your nose to spite your face”.

Mike R said...

B, the only problem with just warehousing felons is that they will return to society and there are two options. One try to use the time they serve to rehabilitate, or two just let them run loose and continue to be a problem. Having worked in prisons and helping these men and women try to integrate back into the society I know it is not going to work for all but seems like mindless cruelty to abandon everyone of them.

BadTux said...

B, the only thing punishment teaches is sneakiness. People don't learn how to behave from punishment, they just learn how to avoid being punished by being sneaky about the things they do. We have over 50 years of research on this now showing that punishment is ineffective at producing positive behaviors. The only thing that produces positive behaviors is if the organism encounters rewards for engaging in positive behaviors.

In short, the only way to get positive outcomes for prisoners is to teach them behaviors that get positive outcomes, then take some steps towards making sure that if they engage in those behaviors, they will get positive outcomes. They won't magically learn those behaviors by themselves. Your parents may have taught you those behaviors, but their parents obviously didn't. And they won't magically get positive outcomes just by doing the right thing. We have to set up a society and an economic system that rewards people for doing the right thing, rather than our current one that too often punishes people for doing the right thing.

Again, this isn't my opinion. This is science. This is over half a century of experimental data. I know your side doesn't believe in science, but frankly, science has produced far more improvements to our world than your side's pseudo-religious mumbo jumbo based on Biblical passages about sparing rods blah blah bullshit, so I'm going to choose science over the punitive Bible-based bullshit that you've spouted so far.