Does Society Need Prisons?

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Post Number:#61  Postby Juice » December 15th, 2009, 12:35 am

Realistically I believe that prisons should be so horrible and the punishments be so extreme that "before" someone decides to commit a crime, or break the law, they seek, and receive, the type of help some wish to provide after the crime is committed instead of prison. This approach would encourage personal responsibility and accountability. I would much rather my tax dollars and/or efforts go to rehabilitation of a well adjusted individual before they victimize innocent peaceful individuals. I believe this approach would decrease recidivism rates, especially if a person who commits a crime or breaks the law realizes that pre-crime rehabilitation is an available option better advantaged than spending more time in a horrible prison. For those who still don't get the message then underground Super Max prisons for lifers of the most violent individuals can be supported.

I would actually support such an approach over capital punishment, except for pedophile, rapist, murderers either singular or any combination there from.
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Post Number:#62  Postby Belinda » December 15th, 2009, 5:54 am

Yes, but does the threat of punishment always work? No doubt it does work in many cases, but consider the role that the deprivations of mental illness and poverty play as causes of criminality.These alone are sufficient causes for many not to seek help. Moreover the necessary help is not available while education and mental health are underfunded.
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Post Number:#63  Postby athena » December 15th, 2009, 10:52 am

Juice wrote:Realistically I believe that prisons should be so horrible and the punishments be so extreme that "before" someone decides to commit a crime, or break the law, they seek, and receive, the type of help some wish to provide after the crime is committed instead of prison. This approach would encourage personal responsibility and accountability. I would much rather my tax dollars and/or efforts go to rehabilitation of a well adjusted individual before they victimize innocent peaceful individuals. I believe this approach would decrease recidivism rates, especially if a person who commits a crime or breaks the law realizes that pre-crime rehabilitation is an available option better advantaged than spending more time in a horrible prison. For those who still don't get the message then underground Super Max prisons for lifers of the most violent individuals can be supported.

I would actually support such an approach over capital punishment, except for pedophile, rapist, murderers either singular or any combination there from.


What do you think causes crime?

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Wow, I am sorry I posted before reading Billy's post. I sure wish I could quote him and respond to him a separate post, so this post to for Juice would not be ruined by subjects that have nothing to do with Juice's line of reasoning.
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Post Number:#64  Postby Juice » December 15th, 2009, 12:36 pm

What causes crime?

I am not one prone to advocate for, let alone believe, any psycho-social inferences into human behavior or external predicates to explain individual corruption. While chemical stimuli may alter mindsets I would rather encourage clear accountability.

But if pressed I believe TRUST causes crime, or rather the complete paradigm of trust issues. The ability to trust a neighbor or fellow human being versus another person desire or ability to take advantage of that trust. Trust is a state arising from interdependence with others. In life trust is a perception built upon positive interactions with others. Negative interactions build mistrust. These interactions can come from numerous sources from interpersonal relationships, to media, to self image and identity.

We have to understand that there must exist a rational bond between entities, if that bond is inefficient then by whatever rational, family, economics or education, it becomes a detriment and the most egregious expression then manifests in victimization.

While we understand the various differentiation stratifies that will exist in civilization the first objective should be to promote and encourage rational tolerance and an intolerance for any ideology which foments mistrust. Of course this also depends on the individuals responsibility to build upon trust credits, meaning that each person must know what comports and maintains trust bonds.

What I see is the capitalizing of social stratifies for political gains. The constant pitting of one group against another and no desire to extort any base of commonality and rational unifiers based on the trust we should build for eachother.

I have my ideas of how best this can be achieved, and am evidence myself of its viability but I see the world going in the opposite direction of what is accessibly possible so in that light I only see the prison walls getting higher and more people becoming part of that population.
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Post Number:#65  Postby athena » December 15th, 2009, 1:11 pm

Juice, do I understand you correctly? The cause of crime is external to the person who commits crime, and then the just and righteous thing to do is severely punish the criminal who is the result of external forces?

I really think an alternative to higher prison walls, is being more scientific about the causes of crime and the solution to correcting the problem.
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Post Number:#66  Postby Billy » December 15th, 2009, 1:31 pm

athena wrote:Juice, do I understand you correctly? The cause of crime is external to the person who commits crime, and then the just and righteous thing to do is severely punish the criminal who is the result of external forces?

I really think an alternative to higher prison walls, is being more scientific about the causes of crime and the solution to correcting the problem.

Scientism is a fascism.

Free will is true. Determinism is also true.
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Post Number:#67  Postby Juice » December 15th, 2009, 1:37 pm

Athena please read my post carefully, you do not understand me correctly. Ultimately I don't care what "causes" crime in that when one person victimizes another then that person should be accountable and should accept responsibility for himself as to why he committed that crime and work for himself not to find himself in that situation without providing meaningless excuses. And this involves building trust mechanisms which includes trusting accountability for ones action, instead of some in society providing excuses for him not to own responsibility himself. I don't need to know a persons history in order for me to realize that the victim has a history too which provided him with the means not to become a victimizer himself. If that wasn't the case then either everyone would be in prison, or everyone would not be in prison.
Last edited by Juice on December 15th, 2009, 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Number:#68  Postby Belinda » December 15th, 2009, 1:55 pm

Juice. I do agree with you. Who could disagree? However you haven't addrssed the whole problem. It would be great if every citizen accepted responsibility for her /his own behaviour. The problem remains how to produce this desirable outcome.

Many adult people are morally like children who rationalise what they do. Many citizens are reared in subcultures of criminality. Others are tipped over the edge of morality by poverty.Or by mental illness.We need to address the causes of crime while trying to protect the ordinary decent person.
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Post Number:#69  Postby Juice » December 15th, 2009, 2:05 pm

Belinda-I could provide my solution to the problem but I doubt there would be one person visiting this site that would agree with me even though I know that I am right. Simply, my idea involves capitalism and God. I can already hear teeth grinding.
When everyone looks to better their own future then the future will be better for everyone.

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Post Number:#70  Postby athena » December 15th, 2009, 3:22 pm

Juice wrote:Athena please read my post carefully, you do not understand me correctly. Ultimately I don't care what "causes" crime in that when one person victimizes another then that person should be accountable and should accept responsibility for himself as to why he committed that crime and work for himself not to find himself in that situation without providing meaningless excuses. And this involves building trust mechanisms which includes trusting accountability for ones action, instead of some in society providing excuses for him not to own responsibility himself. I don't need to know a persons history in order for me to realize that the victim has a history too which provided him with the means not to become a victimizer himself. If that wasn't the case then either everyone would be in prison, or everyone would not be in prison.


People can not be as they are not just because that is the way they "should" be. It is this unrealistic expectation, and punitive way of dealing the failure of this attitude, that is seriously damaging children in our school system today, and leading to the crime problem.

We especially can not expect a 19 year old kid suffering from youthful folly, and a lack of socialization. and support structure to do better.

Right now I am aware of a young person who was released from prison and given a month to find a job, in the winter months when there are the fewest openings. He lacks the social skills to do what it really takes to get a job. Just putting in applications doesn't get the job when competition for jobs is high. That is what got him prison in the first place, poor socialization and youthful folly. His time in prison did nothing to correct the problem. That is just dumb. He has until Friday to get a job, or he returns to prison for another 3 years, at tax payers expense. We will spend more to keep him prison than if he went to a boarding school and was better prepared for life.

Your solution to this problem, just is not a good one. Every year he spends in prison, he will become less adjusted to life on the streets, at a terrible expense of the tax payers, and increase the stress on a criminal justice system that is already over loaded and not working. This way of managing a human problem is not a good reflection on our human intelligence.

Hum. Juice is that a punishing God or a God of love? I think you stated your answer was one of punishment, not a Jesus commandment to not throw stones unless we are without error. But go ahead, does your solution bring people closer to God? Which one, the punishing one or the loving one?

Darn, Billy, you gave me another opportunity and I missed it. Please go to politics and start a thread about science and fascism and then PM me. I will make it my priority when I return.
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Post Number:#71  Postby Scott » December 15th, 2009, 3:49 pm

Certainly, we would all encourage policies that would provide treatment to would-be criminal victimizers (e.g. muggers, rapists, etc.) before they criminally hurt someone.

Again, though, I don't think we can prevent all attempts at violent crime. Won't there still be some people who are dangerous who choose not to institutionalize themselves or otherwise get treatment. Just as psychological abnormalities--whether caused or exacerbated by socioeconomic conditions or not--make one significantly more prone to commit acts of victimization often self-destructively, won't these often self-destructive psychological abnormalities also often cause a person to not get treatment? So even with crime prevention policies in place, the question is what to do with those who are not deterred or treated prior to committing and being convicted of an act of criminal victimization.

If the goal is not revenge itself but to protect as many people as possible, then isn't it more effective to put these people into humane treatment centers run by doctors and professional educators than to let them rot in prison for a while--often to be re-released non-rehabilitated into the public?

If one would want to get revenge at the expense of public safety, even though civil courts provide restitution, then I would be happy to hear them explain what they see as the pros of revenge in the thread about the pros and cons of vengeance.

Juice wrote:Realistically I believe that prisons should be so horrible and the punishments be so extreme that "before" someone decides to commit a crime, or break the law, they seek, and receive, the type of help some wish to provide after the crime is committed instead of prison.

Juice, do you have any empirical evidence that severely stricter sentences deter crime, namely statistics? Remember, you need to show causation not just correlation so be careful not to make a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

Let's consider that civil courts already provide restitution through financial judgments in which a losing defendant not only has to pay back the damages they caused but also has to pay the court fees. Let's also consider that being institutionalized even in a humanely run mental ward against one's will is still something the convicted victimizing criminal presumably wants to avoid or else they would have institutionalized themselves. Let's also consider that fines, community service and a criminal record are also undesirable outcomes for the criminal victimizer. Let's consider the inherent self-destructiveness, unhealthiness and/or risk of most violent crime that would be there even if one did not get caught or if one was immune to the law in some way. Do you really think making the outcome even more unpleasant by throwing them in a inhumane punishment-focused prison as opposed to institutionalizing them in a humanely-run treatment facility would deter them from committing the act? It seems fairly obvious to me that the consequences of potentially getting convicted do not matter much to them. I assume either because (1) they don't think they will get caught and convicted or (2) their personality disorder or psychological abnormality is causing them to act self-destructively.

In analogy, you can convince a teen that driving drunk is even more dangerous than he already thought it was when he already thought it was fairly dangerous. But I'm not sure that will do much to deter it. The problem isn't a lack of consequences that would deter a reasonable, normal, competent adult.

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Post Number:#72  Postby Juice » December 15th, 2009, 5:31 pm

Athena-I do not recall applying any religious axioms to my contributions in this thread, only as to what may be an option towards eliminating the problems for penal necessity through God and capitalism which are options I have yet to elucidate. If you wish to offer any paroxysms of faith as to a reason or solution to the problem then by all means do so.

I would much rather see to it that innocent victims of crimes receive the benefits of any assistance for having the wherewithal and humanity to live in peaceful coexistence after having their natural human sensibilities destroyed by the unnatural criminal victimizer who should seek to benefit from pre-crime rehabilitation before irrationally disregarding humanism for selfish aims and gains. Seeking out assistance prior to victimizing would be more cost effective than prohibitive legal and penal action. I believe that pre-crime rehabilitation is the more human approach to encouraging individual responsibility and accountability towards preventing crime.

Since the majority of any funding should go to innocent victims of unnatural criminal victimizers and to those who rationally avail themselves of pre-crime rehabilitation than those who act towards fellow humans, inhumanly. And in so doing merit like considerations for themselves.

Charities could be set up to assist those victimizers who disregard human sensibility and merit prison for themselves.

Scott- It is not up to me to deter someone from victimizing another human being (unless it occurs in front of me(which I have done), but I am more than willing to assist, in any way I can, in pre-crime rehabilitation and anti-victimization efforts resulting from my tax dollars. Anyone who does not have the humanity to avail themselves of anti-victimization efforts makes his own bed.

I am not interested in the community of victimizers only the individual is accountable and responsible for thier actions. If the individual victimizer has been or is proven to be mentally impaired then naturally further consideration in the disposition of self merited level of confinement and rehabilitation prospects should be taken into account.

Let's give them what they need before they victimize.
Last edited by Juice on December 16th, 2009, 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
When everyone looks to better their own future then the future will be better for everyone.

An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason.
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Post Number:#73  Postby athena » December 15th, 2009, 11:27 pm

This is where you mention God, in your argument that you know you know you are right. Since you tangled God into your argument, your understanding of humans and God becomes an issue.

Juice wrote:Belinda-I could provide my solution to the problem but I doubt there would be one person visiting this site that would agree with me even though I know that I am right. Simply, my idea involves capitalism and God. I can already hear teeth grinding.


I believe that pre-crime rehabilitation is the more human approach to encouraging individual responsibility and accountability towards preventing crime.
You are in very dangerous waters here. Who is to judge who needs pre-crime rehabilitarion? How would this be legally enforced?

:D The Aztecs had what I think would be a very effective system for handling criminals. The first offense resulted in being made a slave. The second offense would result in being sold to a different slave owner. The third offense resulted in becoming a human sacrifice for the Gods and being cannibalized.
Last edited by athena on December 15th, 2009, 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Number:#74  Postby Juice » December 15th, 2009, 11:40 pm

Athena-Oh! Is that what you are referring to. Then, either way, as long as each person defines themself with peaceful intent towards their fellow man with the desire to direct their actions with good will and a determination not to do harm, respecting every persons right to be free from force.

The individual recognizes his own need for pre-crime-rehabilitation before he victimizes that's what responsibility and accountability is. That would be better than forcing post-crime rehabilitation on the individual after they harm and victimize any peaceful, innocent human being.

Tax dollars are better spent helping honest sincere individuals who may not have it as good as others from ever becoming victimizers and causing harm to any other human being than after they act in an inhuman manner to human beings through victimizing them by force.
When everyone looks to better their own future then the future will be better for everyone.

An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason.
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Post Number:#75  Postby Billy » December 15th, 2009, 11:50 pm

Scott wrote:Do you really think making the outcome even more unpleasant by throwing them in a inhumane punishment-focused prison as opposed to institutionalizing them in a humanely-run treatment facility would deter them from committing the act?

Have you seen this television and movie series Jackass? In many scenes the reality-actors will, for example, leap down several flights of stairs, jump into an alligator pit, box a World champion boxer, etc., the outcome is a foregone conclusion: injury if not death; yet Steve-O and Johnny Knoxville leap right into it.

There are some things worth doing no matter what the consequence.

Everything which is prohibited by law is illegal because it is destabilizing to the system, and especially to the elite. The system cannot be overthrown legally. If it could be overthrown legally, that thing would already have been outlawed. If it is impossible to advance the revolution and to live morally legally, then everyone should be interested in prison abolitionism; as Thoreau said, 'the true place for a just man is prison'.

For example, it is a crime to pay tax that pays soldier's to kill our Muslim brothers and sisters, yet it is illegal not to pay it.
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