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Thread: Punishment, prison and rehabilitation

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    Decadent Charlatan Aquagraph's Avatar
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    Default Punishment, prison and rehabilitation

    How should criminals be punished? Based on how bad they hurt the society? Should their sentences be less severe if it would make them a lot likelier rehabilitate because they are young or so on?

    What is the purpose of long jail sentences that institutionalize criminals? Just to keep them out of the way?

    Are icky crimes more punishable? Should rapist serve more penalty than a white collar criminal who did the same amount of damage to the society?

    Do we need to please the potentially angry mobs with an eye for an eye mentality? Are prisons just deterrents and a way to keep the bad eggs from running loose? Should the system have a rehabilitation center for those unfortunate souls who chose the wrong path?

    Discuss.
    “I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life. - Osama bin Laden

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    Ti centric krieger's Avatar
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    flogging. it's cheaper, more humane and a more effective public deterrent than imprisonment.

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    Take them out back and shoot them. Problem solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    Take them out back and shoot them. Problem solved.
    If the punishment for pickpocketing is death, why wouldn't you just rob a bank and kill the witnesses?
    “I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life. - Osama bin Laden

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    If the punishment for pickpocketing is death, why wouldn't you just rob a bank and kill the witnesses?
    Take the pickpockets out back and give them a doing. Problem solved.

    Take the murderers out back and shoot them. Problem solved.

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    Rehabilitation is key along with long term planning of how to cut down societal causes for criminality (although this is a pipe dream. I just don't see the incentive for short term governments).

    Privatised systems which turn prisoners into a workforce seem like a great excuse to profit from minor drug offences. But these are still better in comparison with places like Thailand where you don't get fed without external aid (at least when a friend was last in one). I have a feeling custodial sentences are necessary in a relatively small proportion of cases. Sociopaths gonna sociopath...

    Isn't there a sucessful prison in Norway where inmates are free to come and go? Apparently they grow very fond of the structure offered. Here in the UK they introduced an interesting scheme where criminals meet with the victims who explain how they have been affected. Restorative justice seems like a win-win (if actually effective?).

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    Quote Originally Posted by labster View Post
    flogging. it's cheaper, more humane and a more effective public deterrent than imprisonment.
    That was very well written and addressed a lot of issues. Good article.
    “I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life. - Osama bin Laden

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    Quote Originally Posted by squirreltual View Post
    Isn't there a sucessful prison in Norway where inmates are free to come and go? Apparently they grow very fond of the structure offered.
    We have "open prisons" in Finland, too. With sauna evenings twice a week. That Norwegian prison was just more luxurious than ours. In the UK you have open prisons too, although they are mostly used after most of the time has been served.

    In open prisons the offenders are allowed more personal freedom. They can study and seek employment with minimal supervision. They are usually expected to return there at evenings. They can wear their own clothes and are not locked up behind bars.

    Quote Originally Posted by squirreltual View Post
    Here in the UK they introduced an interesting scheme where criminals meet with the victims who explain how they have been affected. Restorative justice seems like a win-win (if actually effective?).
    I hope that kind of treatment really works.
    “I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life. - Osama bin Laden

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    How should criminals be punished? Based on how bad they hurt the society? Should their sentences be less severe if it would make them a lot likelier rehabilitate because they are young or so on?

    What is the purpose of long jail sentences that institutionalize criminals? Just to keep them out of the way?

    Are icky crimes more punishable? Should rapist serve more penalty than a white collar criminal who did the same amount of damage to the society?

    Do we need to please the potentially angry mobs with an eye for an eye mentality? Are prisons just deterrents and a way to keep the bad eggs from running loose? Should the system have a rehabilitation center for those unfortunate souls who chose the wrong path?

    Discuss.
    Human rights are the basis of any modern system. Such rights are intrinsic and non negotiable, this is, they are not subject of democratic processes. Under such notion, no society can confer any authority the power to break them under any circumstances. Thus the concept of punishment has no meaning in a modern justice system.

    Prisons are not incompatible with this model, however. Freedom is a right with boundaries defined by the liberty of others. Thus a society has the right to limit the freedom of an individual that poses a threat to their own. Obviously, this can't be done preemptively; there has to be an act that demonstrates an individual is dangerous for the society as a whole. But inside prison the inmate should not be considered "a criminal" like it's considered today. Crimes should be seen from the perspective of mental health. A crime is committed by either a lack of conscience and foresight or by a lack of self control. This may be acute or chronic, in medical terms. The length of a sentence lacks meaning when you make such distinctions.
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    Humiliate them and torture them by bending their will to suit that of the government. Or make them productive by asking them to work in conditions worse than slaves.
    You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star. - Friedrich Nietzsche.

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    Imo, criminals facing lengthy prison sentences for serious crimes should be resocialized and put into the military as an elite combat divison. I also think too many people are imprisoned for lengthy periods for victim less crimes.
    "Nothing happens until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raver View Post
    Imo, criminals facing lengthy prison sentences for serious crimes should be resocialized and put into the military as an elite combat divison. I also think too many people are imprisoned for lengthy periods for victim less crimes.
    Some flee/dodge imprisonment already and join French Foreign Legion.

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    It depends on the society and their rules. Sometimes the society is what needs punishing. Marijuana laws are a great example. Other times the criminal needs punishing... murder for instance. And murderers should usually be put away, depending on the motivation. Sometimes the punishment should be light, like with flogging I can see applying it for unarmed robbery. As we have it now, too much jail time is given for retarded offenses.

    The emotional guidelines for how severe a crime is reflects the general bias of society, and how society is currently operating... If the social guidelines are too rigid, the society will become unadaptable. If they're nonexistant than the society will be too chaotic. So emotional considerations are a factor but they also have to be balanced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raver View Post
    Imo, criminals facing lengthy prison sentences for serious crimes should be resocialized and put into the military as an elite combat divison.
    Well, this was actually done in the Wehrmacht during WWII. For example in the 999th Division. However, those divisions were hardly "elite", meaning all they usually got were shovels or other tools while they were doing the most dangerous work possible. The losses were extreme. The commanders didn't really care about that, they had larger resources the longer the war lasted.
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