Counsel of Chalcedon
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Americas Human Zoos: A Plea for Biblical Penology

Did you know that the U.S. operates one of the largest human zoo facilities in the world? I am referring to the prison system in this country. Why is the prison system a human zoo? The analogy is obvious. We keep men and women penned in iron and cement "cages" just like animals at our local zoo. One major difference between our human zoos and our animal zoos is that at least the animals are on display. People go to see them and give them some loving attention. The purpose of the prison system is to isolate criminals from society, to put 'n insulating barrier around them so that they might be reformed to be let loose on society when their "rehabilitation" has been completed. Does this ingenious human system work? Let us examine our analogy again. Living in a zoo may make an animal docile after awhile, but it does not "tame" it. That is obvious by the very fact that we do not release lions and bears to roam freely in the park after they have been "rehabilitated" by their cages for a few years. Little more should be expected from the prison system. Putting men in iron cages does nothing to "tame" them. In many cases it only intensifies their evil.