Rehabilitation vs punishment

What do folks here think about the whole rehabilitation vs punishment thing?

Just wanted to lead with that since I have no intention of defending this guy; he got off way easier than he should have and should still be in prison. The people who defended what he did as trivial should also face repercussions, as well. None of them got what they deserved.

The thing I want to ask about, though, is if any of you believe it’s possible for someone like him (not necessarily specifically him) to atone and reform? If so, how? If not, what is the criteria for crimes someone can or can’t “come back” from?

Warning people in the area about him makes sense to me, but stalking him and egging his car feels more like encouraging otherwise good people to express cruelty under the guise of public justice. Like how venting by hitting inanimate objects feels cathartic/calming in the moment but reinforces violent behavior in the long run, it’s not healthy.


You are just as free to not join in catcalling the convicted rapist as he was free to choose not to commit sexual assault.

Personally, I wouldn’t waste my time on that worthless little fuckhead.


I think that there’s no such thing as ‘rehabilitation’ that exists currently within the US for-profit prison system.

Like all other systems in the US, it is broken, and it only exits to facilitate the perpetual flow of money into already rich pockets.

And as far as Rapist Brock Turner is concerned, I have nothing to say about that sexual predator which would not get my comment moderated.


Agreed, but I’m curious if you think it’s generally possible as a concept, and if so, how and for whom.

It’s possible.The problem is that men who assault women who are similar to convicted rapist Brock Turner --white, male, cis-het, affluent, etc. – are usually given no incentive or disincentive by the American justice system (or by establishment culture in general) to atone or reform.

There’s also something fundamentally bent about rapists and domestic abusers that reduces the possibility of atonement and reform compared to other criminals. The incident that lands one of them in court is almost guaranteed not to be the first one he perpetrated, and there’s a good chance it won’t be the last. Which is why sex offender registries exist and why warnings need to be shared.


I don’t even know what a world with real justice and equality/equity for everyone actually looks like, yo; so under the current reality as the situation stands, I have to say ‘no.’

Especially not for anyone who isn’t White, straight, cisgender and male.

All my life, and long before that, this country has inundated the masses with sugar-coated, white-washed ideals which it has never even come close to attaining…

To paraphrase Carlin, they call it ‘the American Dream’ because yo’ ass has to be asleep to believe it.


That makes a lot of sense. A lack of empathy is what allows people to do those sorts of things with no tangible goal but to control/harm, while there are other crimes (some thefts, for example) that are done out of desperation, where the person committing the crime can still feel bad for the victim, but feels they have no other choice. Makes me wonder if “rehabilitation” even makes sense as a concept in those cases.


Convicted Rapist Brock Turner missed his opportunity for that, thanks to the judge who let him off with a slap on the wrist.

If the US had a Scandinavian style justice system, maybe he would be in a different situation. But by skipping our punitive prison system with only a short stay, I think this is the appropriate resposne for the forseeable future.


He hasn’t sought out rehabilitation beyond buying a judge, so a moot point. He hasn’t even been “canceled”, does he need devils advocates?

I don’t get why he needs to be granted special considerations in anyones head with intentionally not seeking out help and forgiveness.

I’ll save my thought experiments for those who operate in good faith.

Yes there are paths to existing in society but he rejected them and has seen no need to change the vector of his life.


Probably would have required a guilty plea as bare minimum to begin with.


IMO, rehabilitation is not something that can be imposed, it is a journey that only the individual can take. There is no win condition, only trying to do better each day. I don’t think any human is irredeemable, but I acknowledge that most won’t make the effort in any meaningful way. I also don’t think that our society is particularly tuned to support individuals who do make the effort, outside of maybe 12 step programs, and some religious and charitable work.


Oh, I do.

Many of them just happen to be running for elected office, on the GQP platform.

Fuckin A, RIGHT?


I don’t see how any of those are a path to rehabilitation over literally any other.

Many just teach the perpetrator of abuse to couch their language in religious terms and wash their sins away in the blood of jesus.

You don’t do charity work to rehabilitate, you do charity to do good, it is generally independent.

Maybe a former racist can work with anti-racist groups, a misogynist with at-risk men to help them understand themselves and intersectional feminism.

A rapist that hasn’t acknowledged his actions isn’t going to pass the background checks nor would he belong helping women out.


I hope I haven’t come off as asking in bad faith. I just don’t think there’s much I can usefully say about this one specific asshole, just maybe use him as a springboard for a different, more interesting question.

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I am not saying you are acting in bad faith, i am saying that a bad faith man like Brock poisons the discussion and redemption in a thread about him and him alone just doesn’t fill me with creative energy and empathy i could be using for a different person.

I can’t muster the mindset when he’ll never need redemption in the circles he works, dates, and engages in Society at.

There is a place for hard talk, but that time is not when the living embodiment of rape culture fails upward.

Sometimes it’s fine to just say fuck that guy and cheer on the women being lumped into “aggressive” response to a free-living abuser in their midst.

Society places the abuser highest, what do we do about THAT?


The question itself is moot at this juncture; because nothing ever changes when nothing ever changes.


Yet there are systems that have a very high success rate for objective measurements of rehabilitation. Norway has a 20% recidivism rate. Contrast that with the US at 60% or higher.

Of course, Norway and the other scandinavian countries with similar justice systems also have strong social support systems and lower inequality, so lower recidivism may not just be due to their prison system and be an overall societal effect.


That’s pretty bleak, but honestly, I feel the same way. Things seem to only get worse these days.

I’m mostly trying to dig something useful out of all dismal horribleness since looking at it directly will do nothing but make me more depressed.


If you don’t get placed in those systems in the first place they absolutely would not be able to do any good.

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I find the local femme response to be much more positive, tbh.

When society fails you, you support each other through local/informal systems and mutual aid.