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What do you think about it?<br><br><br><br>
I'm for it but I'm not in the mood to go into detail why. The only real argument for the prison system, I think, is a utilitarian one that fails to take seriously the interests of the prisoners themselves and the humiliation and degradation they have to endure. Prison is modern day slavery and if we could do so without injuring anyone, we would be morally justified in bombing/blowing up every prison in the world. All the money spent on prisons and militaries could be spent on hospitals and schools instead.<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.prisonpolicy.org/scans/instead_of_prisons/" target="_blank">http://www.prisonpolicy.org/scans/instead_of_prisons/</a><br><br><br><br>
-Instead of Prisons : A Handbook for Abolitionists
 

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can you try and not post a new thread in the heap everyday?<br><br><br><br>
it's exhausting.
 

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Trust me, the people in prison are not all innocent victims who have been wronged by the system and would be glad to better themselves if only society didn't didn't insist on keeping them locked up in modern day concentration camps. There are reasons for locking these people up: as a punishment, as a method of correction and to protect ordinary people from them. No, it isn't ideal, but few things are and I've yet to see someone propose a decent alternative.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">I'm for it but I'm not in the mood to go into detail why.</div>
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If you're going to express support for an idea like this I think it would be nice if you could at least state your reasons.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Kenickie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
can you try and not post a new thread in the heap everyday?<br><br><br><br>
it's exhausting.</div>
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Ignore them then!!!<br><br><br><br>
Interesting thread (yet again <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)"> ) Im not so sure we can drop prisons straight away, society would need to drastically change first.<br><br>
I do however think that prisons dont work as there really is no rehabilitation. Prisoners are treated like crap and that really wont help any chance of "change".
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Lazarus</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Trust me, the people in prison are not all innocent victims who have been wronged by the system and would be glad to better themselves if only society didn't didn't insist on keeping them locked up in modern day concentration camps. There are reasons for locking these people up: as a punishment, as a method of correction and to protect ordinary people from them. No, it isn't ideal, but few things are and I've yet to see someone propose a decent alternative.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
If you're going to express support for an idea like this I think it would be nice if you could at least state your reasons.</div>
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I think he implied that he will, just not in that post <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
I eagerly await what african prince has to say.
 

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I think the prison system needs to be changed, but I don't think it is feasible to abolish it completely, unless people stop doing the things that get them put away. Something needs to be done with people who commit crimes, and prison is certainly better than execution and more cost-effective than something like house arrest, which wouldn't even be possible in a lot of situations.
 

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I think people need to not be put in prison for marijuana and petty crimes. More people need to be in prison for white collar crime.<br><br><br><br>
The fact is that poor people crimes are considered more dangerous and criminal than rich people crimes.<br><br><br><br>
I think that there are bad people out there that we need in prison. I'm mostly thinking of child molesters and rapists. They need to go there and just stay there for everyone's safety.<br><br><br><br>
Prison, as it is in the US, is a problem, but I'm not sure what the best method is to fix it besides basically ending the war on drugs, and thus not putting poor Black men in jail.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>African_Prince</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br><br><br>
I'm for it but I'm not in the mood to go into detail why.</div>
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So you're posting argumentative threads now before you even have a position or have even thought about the subject in any way, shape or form? Uh huh. Get back to when you've done some googling and have some cut and paste opinions, I guess.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>African_Prince</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Prison is modern day slavery...</div>
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Pretty darn inefficient form of slavery, then. We should be turning more of a profit.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Trust me, the people in prison are not all innocent victims who have been wronged by the system</div>
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They might not be 'innocent' but they are victims and they are being wronged.<br><br><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">and would be glad to better themselves</div>
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Compassion doesn't require that they be willing to better themselves or that they reciprocate the same respect we give them, it only requires that they can suffer.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">as a punishment</div>
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Punishment is based on the idea that a) we have legitimate authority in 'disciplining' our equals and b) it is more important to give people what they 'deserve' than it is to relieve their suffering.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">as a method of correction</div>
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You cannot correct (do you mean rehabilitate?) someone against their will. Prison does not moralize people, it demoralizes them. It makes little sense to inhibit aggression and anti-social feelings in others by behaving anti-socially and aggressively towards them yourself.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">and to protect ordinary people from them.</div>
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Prisoners are 'ordinary' people and their interests should be given equal consideration as are everyone else's.<br><br><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">No, it isn't ideal, but few things are and I've yet to see someone propose a decent alternative.</div>
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Irrespective of whether or not prison deters crime (it does not, if at all, deter crime to the extent that most people think it does), it is still morally inappropriate because it disregards the feelings and interests of the prisoner. Individuals should not be degraded and mistreated to the extent that prisoners are even if doing so has desirable, utilitarian consequences.<br><br><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">If you're going to express support for an idea like this I think it would be nice if you could at least state your reasons.</div>
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"Current scientific opinion on an international basis is that punishment through imprisonment does not reduce crime rates and, in some instances, even worsens crime rates."<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.cis.org.au/policy/winter03/polwin03-9.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.cis.org.au/policy/winter03/polwin03-9.pdf</a><br><br><br><br>
I admit, I haven't read the article but I think the prison system violates the non-aggression principle. It is not self-defense, it's preemptive slavery.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Im not so sure we can drop prisons straight away, society would need to drastically change first</div>
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Maybe we can start with a moratorium on any further building of prisons and the release of all non-violent offenders (I would hope, at least, that everyone can agree that drug users/dealers, prostitutes, tax mitigators etc. should not be in prison). We can also work on mending the socio-economic factors involved in a person's likeliness to commit crime.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">I think the prison system needs to be changed, but I don't think it is feasible to abolish it completely, unless people stop doing the things that get them put away. Something needs to be done with people who commit crimes, and prison is certainly better than execution and more cost-effective than something like house arrest, which wouldn't even be possible in a lot of situations.</div>
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One good, temporary alternative would be to put prisoners in general psychiatric hospitals not targeted towards 'criminals' alone.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Red</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Pretty darn inefficient form of slavery, then. We should be turning more of a profit.</div>
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There's a substantial profit already being earned by the private prison industry in the U.S.<br><br><br><br><a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122705334657739263.html" target="_blank">http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122705334657739263.html</a><br><br><br><br><i>Corrections Corp., the largest private-prison operator in the U.S., with 64 facilities, has built two prisons this year and expanded nine facilities, and it plans to finish two more in 2009. The Nashville, Tenn., company put 1,680 new prison beds into service in its third quarter, helping boost net income 14% to $37.9 million. "There is going to be a larger opportunity for us in the future," said Damon Hininger, Corrections Corp.'s president and chief operations officer, in a recent interview.</i>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>stanie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Im not so sure we can drop prisons straight away, society would need to drastically change first.</div>
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This is pretty much it. Reduce people's violent and antisocial tendencies, reduce's greed, competition, poverty, hatred, etc., and the talk about abolishing prisons will start to sound like a thought out political position instead of the results of a good acid trip.
 

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African_Prince, I'm curious, what do you think should happen to non-violent criminals whose crimes do have victims (e.g. thieves as opposed to marijuana users)? If someone breaks into my home while I'm out and steals all of my possessions, what should happen to that person? The crime is certainly non-violent if I wasn't home when it happened, but the person still stole from me. What if he or she is caught and my possessions nowhere to be found, and the criminal doesn't have the money to pay me back? What if a judge orders the criminal to perform work to pay off the debt, but the criminal refuses to do any work? Should I be sh*t out of luck?
 

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^ I think AF would not really consider that a crime, per se, maybe because it is based on property.<br><br><br><br>
Another example that I might want to hear an answer to is violent criminals -- how do you think we should treat them? I think that they have broken a social contract, and as such, do not have the same societal privileges as anyone else. They do not treat others as equals, so why should they be given the same freedoms?<br><br><br><br>
I do appreciate the argument for prison abolition, but it strikes me as remarkably naive. Even as a libertarian, you would say, as long as they aren't hurting me, they can do what they like. In the case of violent criminals and thievery of all sorts, but especially violence, they are wronging someone else, and that cannot be allowed. Perhaps prison does not alleviate crime, but it does punish. People should be punished when they wrong others.<br><br><br><br>
As a society, we have somewhat agreed on a moral code, as exemplified in law. And when someone breaks the law, they break the moral code of society. As such, we have the right to punish them.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ket</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Perhaps prison does not alleviate crime, but it does punish. People should be punished when they wrong others.<br><br><br><br>
As a society, we have somewhat agreed on a moral code, as exemplified in law. And when someone breaks the law, they break the moral code of society. As such, we have the right to punish them.</div>
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If we're going to argue for punishment irrespective of any consequentialist justification, then how do we determine the appropriate punishment*, and is anything else than death the appropriate punishment for someone causing multiple deaths?<br><br><br><br>
I personally give no value to "the moral code of society". That moral code protects extreme immorality, such as factory farming, and at any rate I don't think moral norms become justified by the number of their supporters. Nor do I believe in any social contract.<br><br><br><br>
*from a purely consequentialist standpoint, a non-arbitrary standard could be generated by balancing the interests of the prisoners (both the guilty and non-guilty) with the benefits of deterrence.
 

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^ fair enough. you have a point.<br><br><br><br>
I just don't think that people who commit crimes should not be punished because, as AF, asserts, people shouldn't have any rights over others. While I do believe that law is historically and socially located, or even relative, I do not think it is meaningless. I do believer that many laws are productive.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Eleven</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
There's a substantial profit already being earned by the private prison industry in the U.S.<br><br><br><br><a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122705334657739263.html" target="_blank">http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122705334657739263.html</a><br><br><br><br><i>Corrections Corp., the largest private-prison operator in the U.S., with 64 facilities, has built two prisons this year and expanded nine facilities, and it plans to finish two more in 2009. The Nashville, Tenn., company put 1,680 new prison beds into service in its third quarter, helping boost net income 14% to $37.9 million. "There is going to be a larger opportunity for us in the future," said Damon Hininger, Corrections Corp.'s president and chief operations officer, in a recent interview.</i></div>
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But <i>we're</i> not making profit off of the prisoners. That's what we need to turn around.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>ket</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
I just don't think that people who commit crimes should not be punished because, as AF, asserts, people shouldn't have any rights over others. While I do believe that law is historically and socially located, or even relative, I do not think it is meaningless. I do believer that many laws are productive.</div>
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I agree with you that people having no rights over others is not a great argument against punishment -- for one because the threat of punishment is sometimes, though most certainly not always, used precisely to prevent some people from using power over others.<br><br><br><br>
I think the law as such has no moral dimension, but the existence of laws has a consequentialist justification. I also believe there is no really important moral distinction between laws, on the one hand, and the kind of social rules and norms present even in anarchist groups, on the other. It's all control.
 

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It's late and I don't have the energy to go through the whole thing, but this really struck me:<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">We can also work on mending the socio-economic factors involved in a person's likeliness to commit crime.</div>
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Give me a single sensible idea on how to do this. There has been crime in all societies since the beginning of time (hunter gatherer bands have the highest murder rates in the world) and there have always been mechanisms for dealing with it. Yes it probably is possible to achieve a society where people don't commit crimes, and yes, we could theoretically change the socio-economic situation to create such a society, but <i>how</i>? Simply saying things need to change is not only naive and simplistic but also counter-productive. I'm no big sociologist but I reckon the answer is going to be a lot more complex than just "abolish prisons"
 

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I saw this episode of the Twilight Zone (not the original) where instead of going to prison, people had a brand on their forehead. If you saw someone with a brand on his forehead you were not allowed to talk to him. So basically the criminal is free in society but shunned. A little flying probe would appear out of nowhere and give a warning if anyone dared to talk to the shunned person. This one criminal went into a diner and he sat down by a raggedy old blind man because he was so desperate to talk to someone. Then someone came up to the blind man and whispered in his ear and he became livid and he got up and left. That is one of the episodes that kind of sticks in my mind. This method of punishment would not work on a lot of people because some people are introverts and not talking to anyone for years on end would be okay with that person.<br><br><br><br>
The episode was "To See the Invisible Man"<br><br><br><br>
Synopsis<br><br>
For the crime of emotional coldness, Mitchell Chaplin is sentenced to social invisibility for a year.<br><br>
Full Recap<br><br>
Mitchell Chaplin is strapped into a chair. His offense against society is read by an unseen judge: emotional coldness. For that, he is sentenced to a year of invisibility. He is unrepentant and even scornful of the sentence. They place a dab of gel in the center of his forehead then a mask like applicator. Seconds later, it's removed to reveal a scar-like mound on his forehead. Even as Mitchell scoffs, the guards no longer respond to his heckling.<br><br><br><br>
Outside, a man bumps into him. As he begins to apologize, he sees the mark on Mitchell's forehead as well as airborne surveillance drones. He quickly leaves. Mitchell goes to his workplace, but his co-workers ignore him completely. At the cafeteria, the server only serves others, so Mitchell goes behind the counter and serves himself. He sits across from a young boy, who quickly goes silent when his grandmother gestures at her forehead.<br><br><br><br>
On day 41, a drunken Mitchell exits a liquor store carrying bottles he brazenly stole. He bumps into another man with the same mark. Again, with drones watching, the man quickly leaves. Mitchell sees a women's spa, so he walks in. In the sauna and whirlpool, none of the women would meet his eyes. He backs out. In his apartment, Mitchell tries to cover the mark with a hat, but it quickly burns a hole through.<br><br><br><br>
On day 106, Mitchell is sitting in a cafeteria when a blind man sits down. The lonely Mitchell makes small talk, grateful for the attention. The man finds Mitchell very kind, especially when Mitchell gives him a bowl of soup, but a waitress sees the situation and whispers "Invisible" into the man's hear. He's outraged at Mitchell's deception and leaves in a huff.<br><br><br><br>
On day 182, a dressed-up Mitchell goes to a black tie club with a stand up comic. He sits at a table, but the comic sees his mark and moves to put the spotlight directly in Mitchell's eyes. Mitchell leaves, not wanting to be disruptive. Outside, he sees an "invisible" woman and begs her to talk. She's fearful despite all his pleas.<br><br><br><br>
On day 229, Mitchell walks down the street when he sees two punks breaking into a car. They hide until they see the mark. Once they break into the car, they drive down the street, then turn around and chase Mitchell. They hit him, leaving him writhing and screaming in pain. In his apartment, Mitchell calls for medical help, but the nurse insists that he has to show his face for faceprint identification. When he does, she instantly hangs up, leaving Mitchell sobbing. He spends the night in agony.<br><br><br><br>
A year after the sentence was passed, Mitchell sees two guards walk into his apartment. He's surprised and happy. The speechless guards reapply the "mask" and remove the mark. The moment they're finished, they begin a friendly chat with Mitchell, offering to take him out for a drink. He starts to decline then realizes his error.<br><br><br><br>
Four months later, Mitchell is a warm, friendly, caring person. Suddenly, the "invisible" woman confronts him and pleads him to at least acknowledge her existence. He tries to ignore her as she begs for pity and accuses him of coldness. He relents and embraces her, telling her she's not invisible as the drones descend and place him under arrest.
 
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