My Curmudgeon Moment

This morning NPR was telling me about some program in prisons somewhere where the inmates are trained to run marathons as way of creating self-reliance, rehabilitation, connections with non-inmates and no doubt a host of other good things I was too sleepy to take in shortly after 7am on a Saturday.

Call me a curmudgeon if you must, but my first thought was to wonder whether teaching criminals to run faster really was an optimal use of tax dollars…

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5 Responses to My Curmudgeon Moment

  1. Steve says:

    Well, running a marathon requires a great deal of self discipline, which many criminals would seem to lack, and if they’re busy running laps they won’t be stealing or shooting people. It might even cut down on drug and/or alcohol abuse, since, other than perhaps performance-enhancing drugs, they might become more concerned about what they put into their bodies.

    You can never tell what will be a turning point in someone’s life.

    Unless one’s thinking is that prison is purely a punitive measure, anything that helps an inmate get their act together should be considered a good thing.

  2. Lindsay says:

    On top of the tax dollar question, is it really a good idea to teach criminals to run faster? Sounds like a great way to produce more effective purse-snatchers.

  3. Mojo says:

    Actually, this is a very clever ploy. We’re teaching criminals to run away v e r y… s l o w l y.

  4. Patrick (G) says:

    Why Professor, I didn’t think that you were lock-’em-up-and-throw-away-the-key type.

    If the goal of our ‘correctional’ system is social (re-?)integration after they’ve done their time, getting them involved in a relatively low-cost social activity like marathon-training seems inappropriate how exactly ?

  5. michael says:

    Um…faster crooks? Not, maybe, my number one social policy goal?

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