Jeremy Gregg delivers a thought-provoking speech about the American prison system at the latest Ignite DFW talks. He calls into question human morals, and how it relates to incarceration. He focused on four reasons the prison system exist:
- Punishment – they did bad things, we punish them for doing bad things.
- Prevention – experience with jail should prevent inmates from returning to jail.
- Protection – to keep the American people safe.
- Rehabilitation – reforming the criminals to return to the world as productive members of society.
“We don’t focus on that and because of that 2.2 million people that are incarcerated have 76% chance of returning,” Gregg says, on the fourth reason, rehabilitation.
Gregg argues that 76% failure rate could go down if states invested in rehabilitation. He cites Sweden’s prison system where rehabilitation has led to a decreasing number in return offenders by 40%. He asks the audience what matters more, punishment for a criminal or rehabilitation? One meaning that men die in concrete boxes that reach up to 130 degrees, or the latter that helps people return to the world as productive members of society.