From “The Human Condition: A User’s Manual,” by Arnold Kunst
LIFE IN PRISON, PART TWO
Let’s look at the position of the inmates in my prison classroom a little closer.
Almost by definition he’s young which means he has virtually no perspective. So after his first conviction when he eventually hits the streets after his first conviction he’ll end up getting locked up again - and think it's no big deal. After all, as they say, "everybody's doing it." (He DOESN'T think "only losers are doing it" because his friends are included, and they're no more losers than are your friends and mine, right?) Anyway, he’s back inside, back where he’s come to feel comfortable - life on the streets, frankly, is actually scary since it forces him to provide just about everything for himself (food, shelter, a future, everything) whereas back inside prison he can rely on three hots and a cot.
So the process is launched (without him realizing it); he gets, say, a two-year sentence, then gets paroled, then inside the space of a baseball season [maybe by 7:30 that night!] either gets a new beef or violates his parole and he’s back for 18 months. Next thing he knows he’s 56 and, looking back, he counts up a total of 9 months he’s spent on the streets since he was 15.
In short, he’s going to do a life sentence, drip-drip-drip, on the installment plan.
Talk about delusional!