Prison rehabilitation: Turning zeroes into heroes?

Female instructor and Afro-Italian inmate in orange apron standing at work table.

Prison rehabilitation? Italian inmate and instructor.


A recent article about carcerite, “prison syndrome,” is especially interesting in that it gives insight into the prison system in Italy. While bedeviled with overcrowding, just like the US, Italy has some “inspired” prison rehabilitation programs that’re worth knowing about.

However, the main reason I’m posting today’s blog is to make us aware of the gamut of thinking about “prison rehab.” What do you think of the comments below in response to the “prison syndrome” article?

Afro-Italian inmate in orange apron working at table.

Inmate in prison rehabilitation program.

Mary Phillips ·
3rd Horn at Civic Orchestra of Tucson
There are so many incarcerated that just made bad choices as a kid. I love the idea of this program and would love to see people implementing it especially here in the US. And of course, you wouldn’t enroll a serial killer in this type of program. But there are so many that don’t even belong in jail, their crimes are often just due to the color of their skin ultimately. They would be perfect candidates for something of this sort. And it seems to me they would have an easier time finding work once they were released, having referrals in hand and years of experience.
Like · Reply · 13 · Feb 6, 2017 12:43pm

Dominic Pasquarosa ·

Ms. Luisolo thinks, ” I think that nobody is lost, not even the worst criminals,” I suppose in some cirucumstances. i think kind of naive. if they are killers at heart, genetically, psychologically i would think that one would never know what could happen,,,,like a tiger that’s been captured and raised by humans and all of a sudden the tiger is in touch with its wild instincts and kills…
Ristaak Laurien

Not sure I agree. We aren’t really born killers or born saints, some people may have a better moral disposition then others, but generally most studies have found that environment and social conditions correlate heavily with whether someone will become a criminal or not (and lead content in children’s blood can be a huge indicator, lead is a terrible neurotoxin that causes people to become more violent.)
That said, their are some criminals that probably can’t be rehabilitated, or the cost of rehabilitation for society is greater then the worth.
Dominic Pasquarosa ·
To Ristaak Laurien

 that’s possible,,,but my statement refers more to your last sentence,,,,,there was a mafia killer who had no quams about killing anyone then sawing them up,,,,,the psychologist stated that since his father incessantly abused and beat him at ever turn,,,,that there probably was both genetic from the father and the incessant abuse he
Considering the fringe “benefits” of incarceration- ie forcible mass sodomy for male inmates,this seems like a worthwhile endeavour. If each successive visit to a hospital made a given patient sicker then said hospital would be closed down YEARS ago!
Linda Friel Bylow ·

Wish we had more programs like these in the U. S. Would drastically cut recidivism.
Susan Myoyu Andersen ·

Resident Teacher at Great Plains Zen Center
Beautiful work! Come teach us how to do this in the US!
So, what are your thoughts about turning villains into heroes? Please let me know.


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