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Is the Military a viable alternative to Containment?

  1. Dec 24, 2004 #1
    It's not unheard of (paticularly for youths) for a convicted person to be given the alternative to join the military as opposed to prison. Do you believe everyone (most) should be given this opportunity? what would be the advantages/disadvantages of it being sentenced? (as in; forced upon, not an option).
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 24, 2004 #2
    I've never heard of that, can you show that this is actually true?
  4. Dec 24, 2004 #3
    would that be an extreme version of community service or something?
  5. Dec 24, 2004 #4
    I think I have heard of this before, but I would like an example or two to be clear :smile:
  6. Dec 24, 2004 #5


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    This has certainly been done. The British Navy, at least during the Napoleonic wars, got drafts of prisoners (then again this was also the era of press gangs)—but whether the practice described above has been used in recent years, I'm not sure.
  7. Dec 25, 2004 #6
    I don't like this as a viable alternative. I would personally have NO problem going to the military instead of prison. It would be welcomed, and thus not a punishment at all.
  8. Dec 26, 2004 #7


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    The navigator on my ship was one such person (though I'm not so sure it was jail that he was facing - maybe just expulsion from school).

    He's short and black (and when he was a kid, skinny) and grew up in East L.A. Being short and skinny, he got picked on a lot at school and he would defend himself by setting people on fire. He got in trouble for something about a gang fight and a gun in his car, but I can't remember the specifics. Recognizing that he was highly intelligent, his school guidance counselor pushed him to go into the Navy. He got into OCS, the Navy put him through college, he became an officer, and married a hot, rich lawyer.

    He was one of the better officers on my ship. Most of his high school friends are drug dealers. Yes, I'm in favor of such programs given the right candidate.
  9. Dec 26, 2004 #8
    When I was in the Army, used to sing a cadence that went 'Go to war or go to jail.' I think they were referring to was the choice between reporting for the draft or being put into prison for failing to appear.

    Still, I did meet some senior noncomms while I was in that had been presented with that choice. The story generally went something along the lines of this: They had already received a draft notice (for Vietnam) when they got picked up for a crime (stealing a crime, for example.) The DoD, through the recruiter, would present the young man with a couple of options, those being: 1) Go to prison and serve the time, after which you'll probably still be drafted. :devil: -or- 2) Agree to report for the draft, serve honorably for x years, and all will be forgiven.

    I believe most judges would be inclined to go along with such an arrangement, so long as the crime wasn't too serious.
  10. Dec 30, 2004 #9
    yes the service options was more common in the past
    for minor crimes ONLY
    but after the end of the draft and higher standerds now
    I donot think it is as common as in the 60's
  11. Dec 30, 2004 #10


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    So what do you people think about military <-> rehabilitation ? Does the military promote convicts to become "better persons" or is it just a way of serving time. I lack adequate experience to answer this properly ... it can of course go both ways, overall I'd see that at least during peacetime the effects might in general be positive. But again, I'm not quite sure about the atmosphere of military nowadays.
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