POL/PHIL Crime and Punishment

From: Brian D Williams (talon57@well.com)
Date: Mon Jan 29 2001 - 14:09:26 MST

From: "Corwyn J. Alambar" <nettiger@best.com>

>From Brian Williams:
> What's wrong with people who commit crimes serving their full
> sentence?

>Actually, the question here is this: What is the purpose of
>prison, anyway? Most everyone who's been through a civis or
>government class encouners this question at least at some level.
>While I think we can all agree that prison is a deterrent to some
>level, the question comes to be what is the main purpose of prison
>in any modern society, not just that of the US: Is prison
>supposed to be punitive, or is it supposed to be rehabilitative?
>And can it possibly be both at the same time?

I think it can be both, maybe the idea of the harder you work at
your own rehabilitation, the shorter the sentence is worth a try.

>I personally would argue that prison should be more a
>rehabilitative forum than a forum for punishment. Rehabilitation,
>while initially costlier, can often be much less expensive in the
>long run because of decreased recidivism and increased
>productivity to society. A form of "enforced welfare" perhaps.

We should allow for the chance to rehabilitate to those who can be
rehabilitated. The rest probably need to remain where they are.

>Granted - the question of if prison should really exist at all or
>not is never seriously addressed. What is the nature of crime and
>punishment in a situation where the locus of power is geared more
>towards the individual than any social structure? On what
>foundation does the concept of "criminal justice" lay? Does any
>governmental instrument have either the right or the
>responsibility to attempt to rehabilitate or punish individuals,
>and how would this idea scale into a more
>libertarian/econo-anarchic model?

To general for me, how's this, I believe there are people who can
be rehabilitated and those who cannot. Those who cannot (usually
really will not) should remain behind bars.


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