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Release sick, dying inmates

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Incarceration in this country has three main purposes: punishment of the criminal, deterrence of others, and protection of society. But at some point the last two purposes get stripped away and it really becomes about punishment for the convict, or retribution for the rest of us. That best explains why the federal Bureau of Prisons is so reluctant to consider "compassionate release" for incapacitated or terminally ill prisoners, even though Congress in its 1984 Sentencing ...


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comments

biwemple
December 6, 2012
12:05 p.m.

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No, I do not agree. It may cost 41K a year to keep them locked up and cared for, but I think this cost will be astronomically higher if health care costs are shifted to public hospitals to provide care for these parolees that are terminal, or have other serious health issues that could linger for decades. We should definitely not shift this higher health cost burden from the Bureau of Prisons to the public even if it makes us feel better as a society. In my opinion that is just adding insult to injury since we as society have already agreed to pay ALL the costs of incarceration when we sentenced these individuals in the first place. Now some group(s) are advocating this early release out of compassion, so the general public would end up paying more through higher taxes, health insurance premiums, and public debt instead of the Bureau of Prisons continuing to treat them? I'll bet many of the victims involved receive less health care than these inmates receive too. Enough is enough. I do feel compassion for those inmates who are terminally ill and they should receive adequate medical treatment while in prison, but they were sent there for a reason and we as society agreed to pay that cost already to keep them there.

newyorker65
December 6, 2012
12:14 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Well said, biwemple... I agree totally!

wmarincic
December 6, 2012
8:55 p.m.

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The Federal Penetentiary for Medical Prisoners in Springfield Mo. has the same services as a top rate hospital.

myshortpencil
December 6, 2012
8:55 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I find very little compassion in releasing terminally ill prisoners without the means to pay for the medical care, food and housing they need. That sounds more like cruel and unusual punishment than compassion. I'm in favor of their release but only if they are provided with the same level of support that the prison system is required to provide them while in custody. In other words, they must be given the funds to purchase all their medical care, to rent a tiny apartment and to pay for their food and transportation. If the former inmate has the means to pay for some of all of these, then, of course, s/he must use the funds first until they are exhausted.

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