prisons punishment or better alternatives

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drake
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Joined: 7-11-13
Jun 9 2017 22:12
prisons punishment or better alternatives

Pertaining to anyone in society who breaks the law or commits a crime or any offence that would be considered a crime usually gets charged, tried, convicted and sentenced to prisons for periods of time. Fundamentally we must ask ourselves who benefits from a tough on crime approach. In the U.S., $70 billion per year are spent just to maintain the costs of prisons. It costs over a $100,000 per inmate to house a person there.
Prisons date as far back as 1750 B.C., when in ancient Babylon, the law of retaliation was applied, where people were punished as a form of vengeance. It appears to be obvious that our contemporary governments’ sole purpose is to inflict punishment in order to satisfy their thirst for revenge, not to correct, or reform the inmate. In the U.S., their justice system can impose consecutive life sentences, that may equate to three or even five hundred years. It happens to be the equivalent to life in prison with no chance of parole. However, these harsh consecutive sentences predominantly pertain to minorities, poor people, or anyone that lies at the bottom end of the social, and economic spectrum. These kinds of draconian laws rarely affect rich, wealthy and powerful people. There may be a few exceptions to the rule, but these are rare.
Modern prisons are therefore an example of a failed system conducted by the state. The enormous amount of overspending could potentially lead to economic collapse in the not so distant future. Could alternatives to the current system fare better? Definitely. Restorative justice makes offenders pay for lost damages. How about bringing back ostracism as was practised in ancient Greece? For brutal crimes, why not allow the victims’ families, friends or spouse to have a say as to whether the death penalty should be sought? Once again, the state ignores the real causes that lead to crime, such as poverty, childhood abuse, economic neglect, and social exclusion. If they were wise they would be tough on the causes, not on crime itself. Community activists along with abolitionists seek to eliminate or reduce prisons. These are brilliant ideas, but in order for them to happen the state must be challenged.

adri
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Joined: 25-11-16
Jun 10 2017 01:22
Quote:
For brutal crimes, why not allow the victims’ families, friends or spouse to have a say as to whether the death penalty should be sought?

I don't think you'll find anyone here in favor of the death penalty, whether it involves the victims' families having a say or not... The legally protected criminals are far worse than the petty ones, who as you mention are victims of their conditions, not having access to the means of production/subsistence and thus resorting to stealing and so on instead. I'm fully in support of rehabilitation as opposed to any form of punishment if possible.

ajjohnstone
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Joined: 20-04-08
Jun 10 2017 06:30

Whatever term we use for it, some form of law will exist in post-capitalist society. How it will be exercised though is up for debate. Most societies refrained from imprisonment, the logistics in itself meant it wasn't always a practical punishment. A reason why retribution is in the form of reparations and "blood money".

Ostracisation was more frequenty used and i am thinking of here in Scotland in the past where there was the Presbyterian naming and shaming at the kirk, but those were reserved more for moral/behavior transgressions in the community.