Education prevents detention


The members of the Romanian Parliament do not enjoy a good image in the public opinion because they are 100 pc responsible for this deficit of image. Also because those we elect to the fundamental institution for the rule of law do not respect their specific statute. Independence, objectiveness and professionalism often leaves much to be desired. The most surprising proof with this regard is the recent intention to vote in Parliament, without the necessary preliminary debates, over a draft law that would pardon all the inmates with prison terms under 7 years.

The number of these convicts has incessantly increased for the last decade, many of them being under 20 years old. Poverty and unemployment, the emigration of parents and the worsening of the family climate, increasing violence and school abandonment are just few of the reasons why many youths under 20 – also minors – lose their freedom. But their new status of inmates does not offer them chances of moral rebalancing. On the contrary, the ostracising atmosphere that exists in prisons cultivates even more of their violent, antisocial tendencies. And this paralysing atmosphere is generated by the crowding of inmates, the hotbed of “violent fights for power” in which young and less experienced convicts are most disfavoured.

The long economic and social crisis prevented Romania from building more prisons to keep pace with the increasing population of inmates. The only way to ease the numeric pressure is to set free on parole the detainees with a somehow decent behaviour. However, with the number of such cases permanently diminishing, the formula of setting them free is of little consequence for the overcrowding of penitentiaries. Especially as, even those released before time, do not behave decently in society and promptly return behind bars.

Seen from this perspective, could the recent intention of the Parliament to “dissimulate” the law of pardon enjoy a possible positive status? One different from the present, when the whole public opinion, starting with the civil society, condemned and condemns this intention? Categorically not! And this negation is due to the immoral and antisocial motivations of the respective intention to pass the law “with much discretion.” This discretion is equivalent to corruption, perfidy, masked thievery, thus being an anti-constitutional method that dishonours the lawmakers involved in this case.

The first element which demonstrates the anti-constitutional nature is the intention to “insinuate” this draft law by avoiding debates in Parliament. The second element refers to the fact that the respective draft law has been primarily conceived in favour of certain groups of interlopers and of a few “aristocrats” who are the subjects of high-profile court trials. The third anti-constitutional procedure is attributed to the fact that the respective draft law obeys a certain external command. Because an increasing number of inmates accuse at the ECHR the “uncomfortable conditions” from our prisons, Romania is frequently condemned to pay compensations to these inmates and is imperatively demanded to improve the living conditions in penitentiaries.

The responsibility for these erroneous appreciations of the ECHR falls on the same politicians of Romania. And for good cause, because they do not prove the fact that the “real-estate deficit” present in prisons is incomparably smaller than what affects, much more seriously, the sectors of education, health, culture, transportation and even national defence. It is not democratic, it is not rational to judge the reality of a country exclusively based on the accommodation conditions of prisons, ignoring the much worse conditions present across the entire state system, and especially on the labour market. Where unemployment continues to cause dramas in Romania. Where several economic sectors, starting with the industry, were pushed to bankruptcy precisely because of “recommendations” made by the EU and the subsequent fraudulent privatisations. And the massive layoffs have a negative impact on those released from prison. Their social rehabilitation is not possible without a professional legal activity, whose precise absence is the main reason why many of parolees resort to new crimes and are detained again and again.

The only optimal solution to overcome this multiple crisis consists in the correlative improvement of the whole economic, social, administrative and education system. Combating these illegal actions cannot have the expected positive results if it is not accompanied by the prevention of these illegalities. And the first factor of prevention is education. Only multilateral education, systematically conducted since tender age to maturity, can avoid the prison. This is why the education system needs a higher social and economic statute. The access to multilateral education must be granted to all youths, until they come of age. The attributes of “general” and “tax-free” granted to the Romanian education system need a third characteristic: the quality of the education provided to all children, without discrimination. It is not enough to speak about preschool, primary, secondary and high-school education with a general and mandatory character, if these attributes become – as they are now – contradictory and uneven from one region to another.

This is why it is abnormal what some local barons pretend, that educating and instructing the young generations are removed from under the central authority of the state and transferred to regional and group interests. The major risk is that this will lead to abandoning the unity of ideal of the young generations. And the abandonment of the unity of ideal and behaviour by the young generations is equivalent to what we see happening today: ever more youths, also minors, falling prey to antisocial behaviour and going to prisons or correctional facilities. The decentralisation, increasingly obsessive for our politicians, must be excluded from the education sector, which is fundamental precisely through its unity and organic character.

The education of young generations must exclusively serve the strategic national interest, not the personal interests of local political leaders.

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