An ex-prisoner was caught in Tyumen, who, as soon as he was released, almost strangled a child. The Perm maniac, released on parole, still found his next victim. Is it possible to correct a repeat offender behind bars – aif.ru asked experts.
Ramil Garifullin, Associate Professor, Institute of Psychology and Education, Kazan Federal University, Candidate of Psychological Sciences told aif.ru his point of view:
– This is a fundamental question – how changeable is the essence of a person’s personality, that part of it that is very difficult to correct. If there are developmental anomalies, and the person can somehow be “developed”, well, for example, in the case of mental retardation, then the problem will disappear. But if this is a diagnosis, for example, oligophrenia, then usually such people are unteachable and cannot be corrected. Repeat offenders, based on some psychological internal mechanisms, chronically and unconsciously commit crimes; they cannot get out of their trap, in which they remain due to some psychotrauma and mental characteristics. That is, they repeat crimes again not because someone stimulates, pays, etc., but because there is an internal need. When such a person is in prison, for some time, due to the new environment, he plays the role of a changed, repentant one. He likes this position and often dreams of living differently when he gets out of prison. But, as practice shows, all this is imagination. As soon as the prison is left behind, the imagined world collapses and a return to the old occurs. Therefore, it is necessary to recognize that everything is individual, and yet there are such entities that are corrected, but it takes time.
As for the choice of tools to influence a person, prison is the most primitive way to change it. This is a test, an overcoming, and we believe that supposedly due to the fear of prison, a person will draw conclusions for himself and give up bad intentions. But this scheme doesn’t work. Many prisoners adapt to the zone; often they no longer know how to live a normal life and commit crimes again in order to return to prison. Moreover, they even love this kind of “contrast shower” – they will live in a prison deficit and, upon leaving, admire freedom. But after some time, they adapt to the world around them and stop appreciating what they perceived so keenly at the beginning. And again they begin to think about returning to the zone.
What to do with them? The conclusion is simple. Amnesty must be very selective; the harm and benefits of releasing such people must be weighed; in the end, the latter must significantly prevail. It is necessary to seriously strengthen the level of prison psychology in order to calculate and predict human behavior and, on the basis of this, make a decision on amnesty.
In addition, it is possible to correct the psyche without changing its essence – we can change some components that allow a person to survive, not get sick, not harm himself, not become depressed, become healthier, happier as possible. You can also work with repeat offenders in this way, while understanding that he is a repeat offender for life. There is chronic alcoholism, in which a person may not drink for life. But if he drinks, he will go on a drinking binge. A repeat offender is also a chronic offender; this is a lifelong condition.
“They can’t go free”
Dmitry Plotkin, ex-investigator and criminologist of the Ryazan prosecutor’s office aif.ru added:
— How is it that repeat offenders are released on parole for particularly serious crimes? The problem is in our legislation. There is a lot of bad things in the USA, but several life sentences for those who have committed especially serious crimes – we should take this into account. This is a guarantee that such a criminal will not be released under any amnesties. Such people should not be released. And so what happens: the state makes him an indulgence, does not take his life, and then also releases him from prison. For the criminal it is, of course, good, but for those whose relatives were killed? Or for those who may become potential victims?
At the same time, I am against the death penalty. I understand the victims very well. In my practice, those people who should have been shot were left alive. Judges always want everything in a case to be as “clean and beautiful” as possible, so that there is no doubt about the death sentence imposed. And most often such sentences were handed down to those who confessed and repented. In my opinion, such a person might deserve a pardon. But those who stubbornly did not want to admit their guilt, despite the fact that it was proven, most often slipped past the “tower” – the judges believed that there might be a mistake, and somehow the guilt was not fully proven – after all, admitted it! And in my practice it was that the gravity of the crime of those who were shot was much less than the gravity of the crime of those who were not shot. And, frankly speaking, now we have very weak judicial and investigative personnel, I would not leave such a decision to them.
To avoid relapses, there must be a system of strict prevention and rehabilitation for such people after they are released from prison. They must be registered with administrative and supervisory authorities, be employed, and be under full control at the workplace. In addition, we need a system of scientific and medical monitoring of the physical and mental state of such people after serving their sentence – this will make it possible to somehow predict possible behavior and also protect its potential victims from danger.