Shut down Arkham Asylum

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From the second issue of The Gotham Times:

After the latest Arkham Asylum mishap - when 9 inmates simply walked out of the compound in guard uniforms and killed 4 citizens in their first 24 hours free - it's time to rethink Gotham's strategy for housing the criminally insane.

And the first step in that rethink must be to close the notoriously incompetent, brutal, and corrupt Arkam Asylum. Indeed, with the kind of history Arkham has, one would have to be criminally insane to believe that this infamous Gotham institution will ever reform itself.

Arkham Asylum was founded in a different time in Gotham, when people believed that even the worst criminal could be rehabilitated. Today, it is obvious that all the care, education, and attention in the world cannot make all hard-core convicts into law-abiding citizens.

The progressive idea of rehabilitating all convicts was an attractive idea, and a welcome response to the abysmal treatment of criminals in bygone eras. Every compassionate person wanted to believe that no human being was beyond redemption, and it was in this heady, idealistic atmosphere that Arkham Asylum was created.

But several things went awry, fairly quickly. First of all, the idea that all criminals could be rehabilitated has simply (been) proven false. In state after state, the results of this progressive and merciful view of criminal justice simply failed to take into account the inexorable impulse to commit crime innate in many hard-core felons.

Criminals who were declared completely "cured" and sent back into the streets wreaked devastating havoc upon citizens. Indeed, who can forget the very first Arkam "success story" who was offered to us at a self-congratulatory press conference at the first "completely cured" Arkham inmate? Seven people lost their lives at teh hands of the "rehabilitated" Street Watkins and his sewing needles.

Now, with over a hundred inmates of Arkham missing and "presumed dead" after the Narrows disaster, Gotham is once again at the mercy of Arkham Asylum's incompetence. And this comes after the revelations that Arkham's own director, Dr. Jonathan Crane, was the mastermind of the Fear Toxin plot.

So Gotham now must fear both Arkham's inmates and its staff, apparently. The inmates may be criminally insane, but the staff is certainly criminally incompetent, or worse. Arkham must be shut down, and Gotham must start a new page in its handling of the criminally insane.

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