They obviously have severe mental and emotional problems.
A mentally and emotionally healthy human being just doesn’t do this kind of shit.
Imagine yourself at your best. Your healthiest. You’re getting up and taking the world head-on, you’re accomplishing, you have a healthy social life, self-confidence…
In this mental and emotional state does the thought of kidnapping little girls even cross your mind? Of course not!
Is it possible that people who wind up committing horrendous crimes don’t have the skills to maintain their own mental and emotional health?
Seeing as people who usually end up committing abusive crimes towards other people were abused by their parents, it seems bloody well likely to me that their parents didn’t have the skill-set to teach them in the first place. Family pattern of shitty self-control, self-awareness, self-help skills…
It seems a lot more plausible to me than the idea that “some people are just born bad” (although in cases of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome where people are incapable of reasoning consequences for their actions, or Antisocial Disorder where people don’t care about the consequences of their actions, some sort of “weeding out” process for the gene pool, I think, needs to take place).
As for prison, if you follow Robert Anton Wilson’s psychological theories, a lot of prisons seem set up to just create more career criminals. If we looked at prisons as psycho-social indoctrination and brainwashing centers instead of “punishment”, we’d better accomplish our goal of “fixing” problem individuals.
For example, there’s a cultural cliche that in prison, the guards are sadistically abusive toward the prisoners. True or not, this might have roots in reality where the guards are seen as a constant threat and aggressor.
Following R.A.Wilson’s theories on brainwashing, what this does is force prisoners to revert to an infantile mental state where they crave maternal protection. If maternal protection isn’t available, paternal protection may be substituted.
In a prison environment, the closest thing to paternal protection you can get is other male prisoners associating in groups or “gangs”.
If guards were trained to act in a moral and just manner at all times. Exhibiting mature traits of restraint, fairness, and self-control, along with other prison factors it might help influence the prisoners to see the other prisoners as the threat and bond with the guards and social workers (“the system”) as their paternal protection, leaving them more open to programs for rehabilitation, group therapy, education, and the like.
(A good therapist may even be emotionally interpreted as maternal protection, which according to R.A.Wilson’s ideas automatically trumps paternal protection, gangs in this case, meaning the prisoner’s mind is left as a mound of clay, ours for the moulding).
In Alberta here we even had a highly successful program where after the judgment and sentence were handed down, the option was open for the victim, aggressor, and their immediate families and loved ones to participate in group therapy – together!
Both aggressor and victim usually leave the program with a good understanding of the other’s thoughts and feelings. Aggressors felt more guilt and were far more motivated and receptive to rehabilitation. Victims better understood the psychology of their aggressor, were far less likely to blame themselves, and were more likely to forgive and recover.
Sadly, the program was cut because some bureaucrat looked at the description of the program without checking the numbers on its success rate, said “that’s ridiculous”, and cut the funding.
Aaaaand, I’m spent.