Michael Vick should not have been thrown in jail for his involvement in dog-fighting, though he should still be punished. How will imprisonment help Vick improve as a human being? Unless he decides to immerse himself in educational books for his 23 months of incarceration, it’s likely that he’s not going to come out of jail a better person. Rather, he’d simply regret having been caught.
Instead of incarcerating Vick, he should have been forced to do quite a bit of community service, make sizable donations to pro-animal organizations (like PETA), and to do some anti-animal cruelty advertisements. That would probably make Vick a better human being, wouldn’t it?
Let’s throw only the most heinous of criminals in jail — murderers and rapists, for instance — and rehabilitate the others. Peaceful drug offenders don’t belong in jail. Neither do alcohol abusers (don’t put them in AA!) and illegal immigrants.
You’ve heard it before: prisons are overcrowded. Let’s stop throwing people who pose no threat to society in jail, wasting now-precious taxpayer dollars. Instead of locking up people only to have them become increasingly more bitter and angry at the system, allow them their continued freedom as long as they’re making positive steps towards retribution to those they’ve wronged.
What Michael Vick and his cohorts did to those dogs was completely wrong and inhumane, but is it not inhumane to give up on someone for nearly two years, to throw them in an overcrowded prison with low-grade food, tainted water, unsanitary living conditions, and to put them in the presence and influence of many other criminals, some of which have diseases (like Hepatitis C, which 20-40% of the U.S. prison population is estimated to have)?