Walter Unbehaun, 74, from Chicago, has lived most of his life in prison, with small intervals of freedom. He was first convicted in 1970 of kidnapping, and sentenced to 25 years. Than he robbed a bank and served another 10 years. When he was released in 2011, Walter didn't know what to do... he was perplexed!
Yes, he was "free", but in many ways he felt trapped, even comparing his life to a prison isolation hole. He wanted back in! In jail, that is. But how to accomplish that would only mean committing another crime. So last year he took a loaded gun inside a bank with no intention of hurting anyone. He went to a nearby motel and just waited for the police. He got his wish... prison. Now he could be with his friends and receive the benefits of being in jail.
I searched the web for other like stories and was amazed at how many stories there were. James Verone robbed a bank for $1 so he could get free healthcare. He was suffering so bad; he did not know what else to do. Frank Morrocco intentionally shoplifted so he could go to jail for - again - free healthcare. People are now committing crimes like breaking windows (especially in government-owned buildings), robbing banks and stores, making death threats, etc., for the sole reason of doing jail time. Many are first time law breakers because they ran out of options. Purposely committing crimes to land in jail sounded the best. And it is not just about free healthcare, although that is the main reason. Wanting to quit smoking, stop doing drugs, wanting to be with friends, and my favorite reason... because it's better in prison than out. Being homeless, especially when it is cold, is another good reason. And why not! Prisoners receive 3 meals a day, quality healthcare, free education, access to a gym, etc., etc. And who is paying for it? Taxpayers!
So, I have to pay for this new healthcare or be fined, while prisoners receive healthcare plus food, shelter and other perks free of charge... and I, as a working taxpayer, have to pay for it! What's wrong with this picture?! Why can't prisoners work to offset some of the cost of their imprisonment?! Oh, I know... that would be unfair to prisoners. Come on! The only thing unfair is that we have to pay for other people's crimes!