Novel approach: reading courses as an alternative to prison
In Texas, offenders are being sent on reading courses instead of prison. Could it work in the UK?
With one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, and the death penalty, the US state of Texas seems the last place to embrace a liberal-minded alternative to prison. But when Mitchell Rouse was convicted of two drug offences in Houston, the former x-ray technician who faced a 60-year prison sentence – reduced to 30 years if he pleaded guilty – was instead put on probation and sentenced to read…(Full text in the Guardian).
What is more amazing, the fact that people in power have realized that reading can turn people into human beings, or the fact that this reading program was introduced in Texas?
While I love the idea of the program, I have doubts about its application. It would probably work for offenders who have hit rock-bottom and have no options, who have some self-awareness and admit that they have done wrong.
Reading courses as an alternative to prison would definitely not work for corrupt government officials who loot the public treasury. Those subhumans not only lord it over their countrymen but they have too many options, thanks to the funds they have stolen and stashed. They will not admit to their crimes because they do not believe they have committed crimes—they feel entitled to that money.
Not even Crime and Punishment and all the novels of Dostoevsky will do in such cases. First they would have to be taken down from the heights and stripped of their dignity, then maybe the reading cure would take.