In the April 21 issue of The Express, our district attorney takes umbrage at being labeled as "simple minded." Fortunately, his response shows him to actually be in the avant garde of current criminal justice thinking.
The very fact of his pinning global (dismissive) labels on offenders - "rapist," "robber," "murderer" - indicates a certain depth of insight, although he does neglect the most important and inclusive label, that of "victim." And victimization at the local level is evidenced in the use of "rehabilitated criminal" with quotes to indicate that the term has, perhaps, the same acceptability as a package of rotting hamburger.
And alluding to the "rehabilitation business" is a very well-conceived distraction from the more pertinent concept, the "prison-industrial complex," i.e., the real business, through which thousands of people in Pennsylvania (including Mr. Salisbury) make their living. It is simply not in the best interests of those who rely on this business to have "low life scum" rehabilitated, and, in fact, this notion has even been dropped from the (federal) Bureau of Prisons mission statement.
Mr. Salisbury does, though, provide some relief for criminals in general in that he does not want them living in his proximity, which given his attitude, seems like a very good idea - for the criminals.
The author of "The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People," Stephen Covey, offers some advice which seems applicable to the subject of assisting people who are struggling to reintegrate back into society. He says, "Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be." Thus it seems we will keep getting just what we expect, all of which aligns nicely with the fact that we no longer seem to have the moral fortitude (or desire) as a society to pull off anything even remotely resembling redemption.
Similar to the Las Vegas slogan: What dies on Good Friday stays dead on Good Friday.