Crime, from Ken Smith

June 3, 2007 |

 Younger people lack impulse control. Some grow into adults without gaining control of their imagination and impulses. Many young are unable to foresee consequences, visualize the future, understand the possible results, see alternatives.

Too bad, this. Prisons are full of such individuals. We call them criminals because they have been convicted of breaking laws. But the label does not describe their character adequately.

I characterize a great number of this population as irrational. Meaning, they are not bad, bad youngsters but are humans with undeveloped minds, undeveloped emotions, undeveloped control systems. Many are just plain ignorant.

Stefan Jovanovich remarks:

 As a junior officer who was never the Captain's favorite, I drew the short straw for deck watches whenever we were in port in the Philippines, Hong Kong, or Japan. I was also the designated Shore Patrol officer. Later, the Navy decided that twenty months supervising the lawn crew at the base in Key West was the appropriate punishment for someone with my charm, wit and sterling character.

My lawn crews were the kids who had washed out of their training at the Fleet Sonar School. I had them until BuPers decided where to send them next. Once some of the kids learned that they could turn tricks in town for money, drugs, alcohol, and sleepovers, they passed the word on; and they became less than law-abiding citizens.

As the officer in charge of the Lawn Boys, I ended up spending a lot of time at the Monroe County Sheriff's Department and the brig. It was a terrible sad/funny experience. I have thought about those times, but before reading Ken's post had never been able to put what I thought about them into words. 





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