Does Society Need Prisons?

Have philosophical discussions about politics, law, and government.
Featured Article: Definition of Freedom - What Freedom Means to Me

Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post Number:#241  Postby -1- » March 11th, 2017, 7:58 am

My stance may be a bit off-the-wall, but it makes sense. Immediate sense.

Society does not need prisons. Or not the entire society as such. It is prisoners who need prisons.

The reasonis simple. A judge orders some people to spend some time in prison. Where do these convicts go? To prison. Should there be no prisons, they would have nowhere to go.

-- Updated 2017 March 11th, 8:07 am to add the following --

REBUTTAL to opening post:

1. There are no crimes that are victimless crimes. Prostitution helps spread drug abuse, STD, and inhumane exploitation. Pot smoking and drug abuse help people lose their viability as productive members of society. ETC.

2. Incidental crimes: they must be punished still, to keep their deterrent element. If incidental crimes were not punished, 1. there would be no end to a string of incidental crimes and 2. every criminal could claim that their crime was incidental.

3. Putting imbeciles and mentally ill into prisons is morally horrible. But they must be put somewhere, because they can't take care of themselves. Will you take three bullies, a cleptomaniac, several hundred necrophiliacs, and a few arsonists into your house because they have nowhere else to go? No, you wouldn't. So the next cheapest thing to take care of them is in the confines of prisons.
Sweat the small stuff... because then the big stuff will take care of itself.
User avatar
Posts: 116 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: December 1st, 2016, 2:23 am

Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Become a member for less ads

Already a member? Login

Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post Number:#242  Postby GE Morton » March 11th, 2017, 12:39 pm

-1- wrote:1. There are no crimes that are victimless crimes. Prostitution helps spread drug abuse, STD, and inhumane exploitation. Pot smoking and drug abuse help people lose their viability as productive members of society. ETC.

Any alleged "crime" in which no one's rights are violated is victimless.

All the problems you cite with prostitution are due to the fact that it is illegal. If it were legal prostitutes would make sure the service they offered was safe, in order to avoid civil liability, just like every other merchant.

No one has any duty to be a "productive member of society." As long as he is not preying on others how he lives his life is no one else's business.
GE Morton
Posts: 24 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: February 1st, 2017, 1:06 am

Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post Number:#243  Postby Ranvier » March 12th, 2017, 3:06 am

Most of what we do is driven by what we know, which is predominantly determined by family upbringing, genetics, and social reality (laws). If we begin to objectively dissect the logic of what we do, one can notice that most of our actions are directed by what is expected of us in a social context that often has nothing to do with logic. Human laws and crime are very interesting, especially in the claim of justice. For instance, an individual or a group of people can rob others on regular bases (IRS) or exploit people (banks or corporations) and it's perfectly legal, yet in some states it's perfectly legal to shoot someone on site for stealing food. Therefore, the majority of "crimes" are deemed such by some group of people that have the legal authority to enact such laws, regardless of the general population sentiment. For instance: repeated alcohol possession or use is punishable by death in some countries, where here in US alcohol use is legal but for instance one can't drink on the street or sell alcohol without a license. We can often observe such discrepancies in application of the law between countries but also within a country in an uneven law dispensation between individuals (wealthy vs low income individuals). This should give a conclusion that "law" is essentially flawed and anyone should be reluctant in dispensing the punishment in form of an arbitrary time length spent in prison.

Counter thoughts:

1. "There are no victimless crimes", that is a nice cliche. It was dispelled in my mind when my car was vandalized, when the detectives informed me that "this is a vivtomless crime" after they found out that my car had a full insurance coverage. Of course my insurance went up so the joke on me.
Human sexuality is another very interesting topic in itself but to stay on your point about the prostitution, such claims are unsubstantiated by objective data. If you look up the STD prevalence world wide, it turns out that Amsterdam with legalized prostitution has a relatively low incidence of STD.
"Pot smoking and drug abuse help people lose their viability as productive members of society". There are several problems with that statement:
- there are number of well functioning people that use drugs that will make more in one year than I will make in my entire life time (actors or musicians)
- It's not in the scope of my rights to tell someone else what to do or not to do. If someone wants to use drugs it's their individual choice, I could prevent them from such activity as much as I can prevent someone from committing a suicide. It's their choice.
- "... productive members of society", if we go that route then perhaps we should place elderly or invalids in prison as well?
2. "Punish still..." Punishment is an instinctive impulse found only in humans, interesting given the human ability for logic. Especially if I try to punish someone for starving.
3. All the psychiatric conditions you have described can be successfully treated by a Psychiatrist, none of such people belong in prison unless they killed someone.

Another problem with the legal system is that it doesn't do what it's set out to accomplish, namely prevent the crime from taking place. The law enforcement shows up after the crime was already committed and at best it can only offer a limited recourse of vengeance through legal punishment. Prison sentences haven't proven to be of any significant method as a crime deterrent that would prevent crime but only become a never ending "risk vs benefit" game between the budget spending on law enforcement vs prison criminal education in prison and hub for the professional crime enterprise. The majority of "crimes" are caused by the systemic inadequacy to address the root cause of the crime (often poverty). Here is a novel idea: People that haven't committed a crime should receive a tax break (increased tax return) as an incentive to prevent crime. Those in the lowest financial bracket would receive a "bonus" at the end of the year for refraining from committing a crime. Not only such measure would actively attempt to actually prevent the crime from occurring in the first place but also combat the notorious problem of income inequality. I already suggested the "mandatory relocation" and "banishment" system for the repeated offenders and violent crimes, for those individuals that can't function in a given society.

-- Updated March 12th, 2017, 3:21 am to add the following --

LuckyR wrote: Oh BTW, what happens to the children born in the penal colony? In the colony (with their family) or are they innocent enough to rejoin society?

That is a very good question. Unfortunately children don't have a choice to whom they're born to or what country. Effectively, children conceived and born on the territory of the penal colony are the citizens of that land. Australia used to be a British penal colony, now they are amazing people...I love Aussies.

-- Updated March 12th, 2017, 3:55 am to add the following --

In essence, prisons provide no benefit to the victims of the crime and are virtually a useless method of preventing the crime. As someone had suggested, non violent "criminals" should repay directly through labor or financially to the victim affected by the crime.
Posts: 116 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: February 12th, 2017, 1:47 pm

Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post Number:#244  Postby -1- » March 12th, 2017, 2:53 pm

Vanier: prostitution: it does promote STD... please quote some stats and their sources that say they don't. I only ask you this because you have done already this work (quote you: "If you look at STD prevalence worldwide"... so you have, please quote your source.)
Most prostitutes abhor their work... male or female. they do it because it's very profitable. It is inherently anti-human for men and women to indiscriminately have sex. Even with those, and exactly because of those, whom they have sex with but really don't want to. Imagine a really unwanted person for your own tastes, and see if you could have sex with that person. Well, the prostitutes do. It's inhumane.

Robbing by the IRA (Or CRA in Canada): pure libertarian drivel. Sorry, but I won't even touch it. I personally detest the view that rejects the usefulness of redistributing funds in society, and the shortsightedness of its proponent's greed.

Contributing member in society: I mean at best people who contribute (by paying taxes, by working, by building the society) and at least who don't destroy society's achievements. There are not too many people who rob banks to pay their back taxes, opposed to those who rob to support their drug habits. I meant this sort of thing.

I don't buy your argument that "many upright and contriubting members who are supportning pillars of society are drug users." If you refer to artists and musicians and actors, well, their art requires altered states. But those days are over; no mega-mammouth paydays for musicians any more, or for artists. They can go the drug-habit way, and they will end up in skid row. This is of course an opinion argument, not a substantiated one; it will be substantiated by evidence, which I don't have.

I quote you: "The majority of "crimes" are caused by the systemic inadequacy to address the root cause of the crime (often poverty)." I have been there, in those ranks, and I tell you: the poverty that compels people to commit crimes in our societies is fuelled by drug abuse. The social safety net (in Canada) is sufficient to support life and even families, for the extremely poor. Your idea of giving poor people "tax breaks" is laughable. They don't pay taxes. They don't have enough positive income for the minimum tax bracket.

I did not describe any psychiatric conditions. You are reading between the lines, or above them, or through them, or something.


I am actually angry, and it has no repercussion other than my emotions, and it presents no danger implied, and it is not going to make me harm anyone, in any way, at armchair philosophers who decry the damaging effect of prostitution, of drug abuse, and I am especially angry at those who subscribe to libertarian ideals, while they drive on public roads, use the Internet and telephone service, eat food bought at supermarkets, use drugs to treat a headache, vote, and pretty well enjoy any and all available and needed benefits of society. They are hypocritical morons, (present company excepted) who can't see beyond their noses when it comes to the benefit to them and to others in trade and exchange within society when trade and exchange is necessarily enforced upon them by external forces.
Sweat the small stuff... because then the big stuff will take care of itself.
User avatar
Posts: 116 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: December 1st, 2016, 2:23 am

Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post Number:#245  Postby Ranvier » March 12th, 2017, 5:57 pm

Here is the STD link ... ace-325574

Prostitution..."it's inhumane". Perhaps illegal prostitution is inhumane, where an organized group forces women for that end. However, legalized prostitution is an individual choice and as such it's not under my purview to judge. I'm not a liberal or any type of classifiable political "type". I'm a free thinker that chooses to look at the data objectively without emotion, in subjective belief that others have no right to tell me how to think or what to do in their own ideology. Therefore, neither do I have such right to impose my will onto others. That includes the use of drugs, it's not my place to tell people they can't do use drugs (outlaw drug use) unless it directly affects me (driving under influence)

As for the IRS, I have so much debt in school loans that I don't think I will ever be able to repay them. Yet I still pay a third in taxes for someone else kids to go to school and I get audited by the IRS to repay double the amount in interest for the tax returns they think I received in error. So please don't tell me what you think is your justification for taxes because as far as I'm concerned I was "rapped" twice.

-- Updated March 12th, 2017, 6:17 pm to add the following --

As for the "tax break" and "bonus" to the poorest in the population, think about it a little more... If anything you can laugh some more.

Pyromania or necrophilia are psychiatric problems that can be treated...
Posts: 116 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: February 12th, 2017, 1:47 pm


Return to Philosophy of Politics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Philosophy Trophies

Most Active Members
by posts made in lasts 30 days

Avatar Member Name Recent Posts
Greta 162
Fooloso4 116
Renee 107
Ormond 97
Felix 90

Last updated January 6, 2017, 6:28 pm EST

Most Active Book of the Month Participants
by book of the month posts

Avatar Member Name BOTM Posts
Scott 147
Spectrum 23
Belinda 23
whitetrshsoldier 20
Josefina1110 19
Last updated January 6, 2017, 6:28 pm EST