On the Upbeat, Positively Carolan

About Crime and Punishment

Years ago I edited “Preventing Crime in Japan and America” by Oregon’s Attorney General in the Kennedy era. Many good points: Community policing — but that pretty much died. However, there’s Socialization and also Re-socialization in Japan’s society — concepts hardly any ordinary American has even heard!

They start early with learning responsibility to yourself, your family, your neighborhood, city, country, world. And then one example was a 10-year-old stealing a bike — now re-socialization lessons are called for. But 3 illegal acts over time sends him to a stark prison.

One big thing I brought up to the author was the difference between thousands of years of Buddhism as support — today is what matters, don’t fret about yesterday or yearn for tomorrow — while here Christianity & the legal system insists on guilt and penance, even though those things do not generally turn people around. Ambition, drive, belief in oneself, learning, socialization and living today do it a lot better.

So nothing is likely to change in my lifetime but I hope maybe in the long run they will. And getting rid of solitary confinement and executions would for sure be good steps. To learn more, get the book!

Preventing Crime in America and Japan

Robert Y. Thornton, Katsuya Endō
M. E. Sharpe Incorporated, 1992 – Social Science – 227 pages
Available used from Amazon @ $10.00

This in-depth comparative study is the product of a four-year cross-cultural examination of crime and delinquency prevention methods and strategies in America and Japan. The sister cities of Salem, Oregon, and Kawagoe, Saitama, are used as case studies. Among the topics studied are policing, citizen involvement, elementary and secondary education, the treatment of juvenile delinquency, controlling illicit drugs, and the penal and correctional systems. The significance of historical, ethnological, and cultural factors are considered in the comparison of the two societies.


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