Trusting people

A lot of people have laughed at me for getting so enthusiastic about this idea. I think it’s brilliant. For the first time, I have seen, people have the right attitude towards ‘rehabilitation’.

The idea of trusting high security prisoners with puppies that they will train into drug/weapons detectors or companions for disabled people, may, on the surface see a ridiculous hippy, bleeding heart concept. However, when you look at it, sometimes these ‘radical’ ideas are exactly what’s needed to change the world for the better.

The people who need them win

These dogs cost a FORTUNE to train. A large part of this cost is the training they go through when housed with a family. There are a bunch of people sitting in prison with nothing better to do. They have 24 hours a day of dedicated time and as the results have shown, produce the most well trained dogs in the programme.

The prisoners win

Our prison system is MEANT to be based on rehabilitation. Often I think it seems to be more about punishment – which may help us all feel better, but doesn’t achieve anything. In this example, many of the prisoners had never succeeded at ANYTHING in their lives, this is their first win. I firmly believe that no babies are born bad and I think that trusting someone who has NEVER been trusted before with something that is really important and that has a visible social benefit has the power to change some hardened criminals. Not all of them, but there is no perfect solution.

Society wins

Yes we do. Because often these people get released. And if there is any chance that partaking in a programme that makes them feel like worthwhile people rather than the scum of the earth will actually WORK, then when they leave, they will leave as better people.

Why is this important?

Because on a smaller scale, this philosophy affects us all. It can certainly be applied throughout business. Show someone you trust them and they are much more likely to strive to live up to that trust, rather than having to work hard to just earn it.

It may seem simple, but I think business owners struggle a lot with that attitude and we could get a lot more done if we embraced it a little more.

3 thoughts on “Trusting people”

  1. That’s an awesome idea. Prisons shouldn’t exist (except for pathological cases) – but until we get to a more enlightened age – rehabilitation programs like that are awesome.

    You’re right about the ‘never have succeeded at anything’ point – I’d never thought of that – but of course, so many people will have never felt the joy at learning or succeeding at something.

    A way I like to put it is – “imagine how awful you would have to feel to want to kill someone”. Sure it’s awful to the victims and family of crimes – and I don’t want to come across too bleeding heart – but society needs to make an effort to cheer up, educate and turn around people who are on their way to the bottom of the criminal pile.

    Or we could just wash our hands of them and go for a 3 strikes rule. ;)

  2. Great post!

    What’s really important I think is your point that too often prison is designed as a punishment – a deterrent to scare people into not committing a crime – thinking about prison as a rehabilitation is such an important fundamental change in perspective!

    Puppies behind bars isn’t going to be a complete solution, simply because sadly there are more criminals than puppies to train, but I think that it’s an important step in the right direction.

    It makes me angry when I hear comments from people about how “cruisey” life in prison must be (TV, three meals a day etc) because they are not emphasising with the life and context that lead that person to be in prison in the first place.

    Finally, it has to be pointed out also, that in some cases prisons are also there to protect society, as some prisoners truly are a danger to society.

  3. p.s. I can’t remember where I’ve seen or heard this, but I remember something about the psychology of actually demonstrating, or telling someone that you trust them.

    By saying “I trust you” really has an impact on how people perform a task, I’ll have a look around and see if I can find a relevant link :)

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