I think they should be sent to war. If they commit murder, they are taking peoples life. When in prison, they may kill more people or, they get released and then sent back to the 'outside world' where they could commit more crimes and just continue over populating the prisons around the world.
I know that some countries offer this option of enlisting instead of prison time under the guise that enlistment will improve character, morality, and give a sense of purpose, duty, and essentially rehabilitate the criminal as well. I do not know why that program stopped but I think it was a good idea.
1)Cruel and unusual punishment. This punishment essentially plays lottery with a criminals life. Criminals in the justice system have rights.
2) ex military personnel have increased rates of violence, contrary to the belief that the military"straightens people out". These men are trained to kill and obey.
3) the cost to train soldiers is very high, wasting the money on essentially non volunteers is just absurd.
Assuming you live in the united states, you have rights. No one can force you to go to war as a punishment. In addition to being cruel, its ineffective. Soldiers cost a fortune to train, and wasting the money on an individual who is not a volunteer is absurd. Being in the military does not increase your moral character. The military teaches you to kill on command and to obey authority. Ex military individuals are at an increased risk of committing violent acts anyway.
The last thing I want when I join up is to have my battle buddy being a convicted murderer! I want people I can trust my life on, not some scum that commits crimes! Even if you made the " 102nd Felons division", do you really believe they will fight with morals, ethics, and the American set of values? NO! That's NOT how America operates.
Forcing human's to fight would be taking one step back into slavery and dictatorship. Also such these so called "soldiers" will only lead to people leaving their country. Also I wouldn't trust a criminal to defend my beliefs here or over seas and I sure as hell wouldn't trust them to any form of power let alone military power.
We essentially sent people who weren't upper class, or who were about to be imprisoned, or who weren't going to college off to 'Nam. What happens is that you get a bunch of psychopaths armed with heavy machine guns romping through the jungles. It only takes one psycho to tip the scales and make it easy for the non-psycho's to act out in a psychotic way.
Unless a huge war breaks out tomorrow there is no demand for soldiers that can't be met by draft or volunteers. Two it takes jobs away from non criminals. Three some criminals would see it as their chance to bail and that never ends good. And four the constitutional rights that would have to be broken to keep issue three from happening. I don't see it turning out too well
You are giving a criminal the opportunity to kill? They are not being taught a lesson in the army other than listing to higher authority and killing on command.
On top of all this sending them out to the army, rather then facing their sentence would be an easy way out for a criminal that has done so much bad in the world.
They need to suffer every day they breath by facing their guilt. The prisons provide consequences for a criminals actions, instead sending them out to the army is where they will be praised for things such as killing!
Violent criminals would use it as an opportunity to act out. We may wind up with more My Lai Massacre scandals as they would try to get away with senseless acts of violence out of anger for being forced into the military or for some of them just for fun.
Besides the fact that this would be unethical, and in some countries, like the US, blatantly illegal and unconstitutional, and besides the fact that possibly getting killed as a solider would be a much harsher sentence than what many prisoners are serving, this would not be good for the army or the prisoners. Lets face it, the US army is plenty big and has enough issues without dealing with lots of unwilling, law breaking participants and giving them guns. That just doesn't seem like a good combination.