Inmates earning time off their sentences by participating in rehabilitation programs? Good idea.
Individuals signing up as organ donors to potentially save a life? Good idea.
Inmates getting time off their sentences by signing up to be organ donors? Bad idea.
Reading the news coverage this week around the world of the proposal to give inmates early release in exchange for them signing up to be organ donors set off a lot of alarms in my head. Let me explain why.
First, early release, or “good time” as it’s known around the Bristol County correctional facilities, is earned by inmates for participation in education, rehabilitation, substance-abuse and other programs that all share one common and extremely important goal: To give the inmates tools and knowledge to steer them away from crime upon release.
It’s a good idea that’s shared in correctional operations across the globe.
They are getting out early because the programs are decreasing the likelihood of them offending.
So my question is: What part of being an organ donor reduces the risk of recidivism?
Nothing. There is no nexus, no common ground, between being an organ donor and being less likely to commit a crime.
By awarding good time or early release without the rehabilitative component, it’s nothing more than a bribe, and corrections is not in the business of bribes. We’re in the business of inmate care, custody, control and rehabilitation.
Early release? Good idea. Organ donation? Good idea. Getting good time for donating organs? Bad idea.