Does Society Need Prisons?

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GE Morton
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by GE Morton » February 23rd, 2021, 10:47 am

Pattern-chaser wrote:
February 23rd, 2021, 6:23 am
GE Morton wrote:
February 22nd, 2021, 11:04 am
LuckyR wrote:
February 21st, 2021, 2:50 pm

Cost:benefit ratios are at the heart of sound decision making for those (such as myself) who care more about outcomes than process.
I agree, in substance.

Per the restitution model there are no fixed prison terms. The inmate is kept confined until his restitution obligation is paid in full. That obligation consists of the damages/losses inflicted upon his victims, as determined in a hearing following conviction, plus the costs to the State to investigate, apprehend, and prosecute the offender, plus his ongoing costs of confinement. Those costs must be factored into any cost-benefit calculation.
A question: how does this cost-based approach benefit society, offenders or victims?
I would think that obvious. The victims benefit by receiving some compensation for the losses/injuries inflicted upon them. The public benefits by recovering some of the costs incurred in responding to the crime, and from the reduced risk of being victimized, because that predator is off the streets. To what benefits do you imagine the offender is entitled?
What are re-offending rates? Are offenders rehabilitated?
Offenders could enroll in any "rehabilitation" program they wish. That cost would be added to their restitution obligation. The public has no no duty to foot that bill.

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Pattern-chaser
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by Pattern-chaser » February 23rd, 2021, 12:25 pm

GE Morton wrote:
February 23rd, 2021, 10:47 am
Pattern-chaser wrote:
February 23rd, 2021, 6:23 am
GE Morton wrote:
February 22nd, 2021, 11:04 am
LuckyR wrote:
February 21st, 2021, 2:50 pm

Cost:benefit ratios are at the heart of sound decision making for those (such as myself) who care more about outcomes than process.
I agree, in substance.

Per the restitution model there are no fixed prison terms. The inmate is kept confined until his restitution obligation is paid in full. That obligation consists of the damages/losses inflicted upon his victims, as determined in a hearing following conviction, plus the costs to the State to investigate, apprehend, and prosecute the offender, plus his ongoing costs of confinement. Those costs must be factored into any cost-benefit calculation.
A question: how does this cost-based approach benefit society, offenders or victims?
I would think that obvious. The victims benefit by receiving some compensation for the losses/injuries inflicted upon them. The public benefits by recovering some of the costs incurred in responding to the crime, and from the reduced risk of being victimized, because that predator is off the streets. To what benefits do you imagine the offender is entitled?
What are re-offending rates? Are offenders rehabilitated?
Offenders could enroll in any "rehabilitation" program they wish. That cost would be added to their restitution obligation. The public has no no duty to foot that bill.

Sorry, I think we're talking at cross purposes. I don't think this issue can be reduced to a financial package. There is more to life than dollars, IMO.
Pattern-chaser

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LuckyR
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by LuckyR » February 23rd, 2021, 2:08 pm

GE Morton wrote:
February 23rd, 2021, 10:47 am
Pattern-chaser wrote:
February 23rd, 2021, 6:23 am
GE Morton wrote:
February 22nd, 2021, 11:04 am
LuckyR wrote:
February 21st, 2021, 2:50 pm

Cost:benefit ratios are at the heart of sound decision making for those (such as myself) who care more about outcomes than process.
I agree, in substance.

Per the restitution model there are no fixed prison terms. The inmate is kept confined until his restitution obligation is paid in full. That obligation consists of the damages/losses inflicted upon his victims, as determined in a hearing following conviction, plus the costs to the State to investigate, apprehend, and prosecute the offender, plus his ongoing costs of confinement. Those costs must be factored into any cost-benefit calculation.
A question: how does this cost-based approach benefit society, offenders or victims?
I would think that obvious. The victims benefit by receiving some compensation for the losses/injuries inflicted upon them. The public benefits by recovering some of the costs incurred in responding to the crime, and from the reduced risk of being victimized, because that predator is off the streets. To what benefits do you imagine the offender is entitled?
What are re-offending rates? Are offenders rehabilitated?
Offenders could enroll in any "rehabilitation" program they wish. That cost would be added to their restitution obligation. The public has no no duty to foot that bill.
A couple of things.

First, society prosecutes criminals, not victims. Financial restitution as the primary form of penalty for anything other than purely financial crimes (a small minority of crime) results in a get out jail free card for the rich. Such a system would encourage crime among those who can afford it, not a worthy outcome. If the financial penalty was on a sliding scale based on net worth instead of the damage caused would be better, but still subject to shenanigans among the rich.
"As usual... it depends."

GE Morton
Posts: 2056
Joined: February 1st, 2017, 1:06 am

Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by GE Morton » February 23rd, 2021, 11:52 pm

Scott wrote:
February 22nd, 2021, 4:57 pm

In the way I use the words, a marijuana smoker who gets put in prison for possessing small amounts of marijuana, and who is not innocent of the charged crime (i.e. illegal act), is thus a "real criminal".

As another example in the way I use the words "real" and "criminal", Martin Luther King Jr. was a real criminal.

Accordingly. if you mean to talk only about the fraction of criminals that also happen to be victimizers, I request that for my sake--at least in communications with me--you specifically use a phrase like "criminal victimizers".
"Crime," in common usage, has a broader application than mere legal infractions.

Crime:
1: an illegal act for which someone can be punished by the government
especially : a gross violation of law
2: a grave offense especially against morality


https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crime

But, ok, "victimizers" it is.
Even most "criminal victimizers" are presumably not technically violent, so if you want to talk specifically about the fraction of criminals who happen to also be violent victimizers, please do further specify that by saying something like "criminal violent victimizers" or such, simply so I know you are talking about that fraction of criminals and not talking about the majority of criminals since you consider the majority of incarcerated criminals to be unreal criminals even though the reality of their imprisonment is real.
That is not true. While a substantial fraction of prison inmates --- mainly drug offenders --- are not victimizers, they are not the majority. Although they make up about 47% of federal prison inmates, they are only about 15% of state prison inmates --- and that's where most inmates are incarcerated. There are other categories of non-victimizers in prison, of course, but they make up a very small fraction of the inmate population.

BTW, I draw no moral distinction between violent and non-violent criminals. Any intentional and unjustified act which inflicts a loss or injury on another moral agent is a crime, whether committed by force, fraud, or stealth.
I could be mistaken, but unfortunately it seems the stats to which you linked involve what you might call "fake criminals". To be applicable, I think you would need to provide statistics regarding only the much smaller subset of violent victimizers that you mean to talk about.
Those are available. Indeed, some are given in the link I gave you:

"Within 5 years of release, 82.1% of property offenders were arrested for a new crime, compared to 76.9% of drug offenders, 73.6% of public order offenders, and 71.3% of violent offenders."
The rehabilitation or mental health treatment provided to a violent schizophrenic would of course be very different than the so-called "mental health treatment" or "rehabilitation" provided to (or forced upon) a peaceful pot smoker or on some peaceful gay kid being forced into conversion therapy.
I agree. About the only thing they have in common is that they don't work for most patients/inmates.
Indeed, if the person is a pacifist and is being violently forced into a cage and given so-called "rehabilitation" or "mental health treatment", then I assume we can agree the titles "rehabilitation" or "mental health treatment" would be misnomers--even though I do not doubt a violent government would label its caging of peaceful people as "rehabilitation" or such and its non-consensual brainwashing of peaceful people as "mental health treatment". I think we can agree that the statistics regarding the success of such non-defensively violent programs are not relevant to this discussion.
Agree. But the success rate for "legitimate" rehabilitation and treatment schemes is not much better:

"Traditionally, criminologists such as Martinson would read over a group of studies evaluating treatment programs. They would then either describe what the studies found—a narrative review—or try to count how many studies showed that offender treatment worked or did not work—the "ballot box" method. A meta-analysis, however, essentially computes a batting average across all studies, calculating the average impact of treatment on recidivism. Using this method, the existing research, which now involves hundreds of evaluation studies, shows that rehabilitation programs reduce recidivism about 10 percentage points. Thus, if a control group had a recidivism rate of 55 percent, the treatment group's rate of re-offending would be 45 percent . . .

"A group of Canadian psychologists interested in crime—Don Andrews, James Bonta, and Paul Gendreau being its most prominent members—have taken the analysis of effective rehabilitation one step farther . . . Based on meta-analyses of treatment studies, they found that in rehabilitation programs that conformed to the principles of effective intervention, recidivism was about 25 percentage points lower in the treatment as opposed to the control group . . ."

https://law.jrank.org/pages/1936/Rehabi ... -work.html

The majority of released inmates re-offend, even those who participated in rehabilitation programs considered the best-designed. Most programs do not conform to those principles.
The question of why we have one is very different than why we might want one. The former question addresses primarily the motivation of the violent person(s) (i.e. the imprisoners) as well as the reason for that violent person's success (i.e. the fact that prisons do currently exist) in implementing their goals (e.g. to make profit) which in modern politics is arguably perhaps best summed by the words violent plutocracy. The second question is more pipe-dream-oriented, and thus more philosophical, which in turn runs the risk of becoming prescriptive where the first question is inherently a matter of the descriptive.
You seem to be buying into the leftist myth that persons are incarcerated so that (private) prison operators can make a profit. Is that your contention? That is nonsense.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/ ... story.html
For example, as Frederick Douglass escaped slavery, it would be a very different question for him to wonder why slavery did exist at that time, than if and why he might want (or not want) slavery to exist at all in some hypothetical future or hypothetical alternative reality that is presumably a more utopian version of the society that actually existed at the time.

The two different questions may seem to converge together to the degree one assumes the violent rulers of society are benevolent (e.g. that one is living under a benevolent dictator) and/or that society is already as utopian as practically possible, but I believe we can all easily agree such assumptions are very mistaken.
I fail to see how that answers the question, "Why do we have a criminal justice system? What is its purpose?"

GE Morton
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by GE Morton » February 24th, 2021, 12:05 am

LuckyR wrote:
February 23rd, 2021, 2:08 pm

Financial restitution as the primary form of penalty for anything other than purely financial crimes (a small minority of crime) results in a get out jail free card for the rich. Such a system would encourage crime among those who can afford it, not a worthy outcome. If the financial penalty was on a sliding scale based on net worth instead of the damage caused would be better, but still subject to shenanigans among the rich.
Well, first, "the rich" commit very few crimes, and most of those are financial crimes. They don't tend to burglarize homes, steal cars, mug joggers or stick up 7-11s.

And I'm not sure how you conclude that financial penalties would encourage those "rich" to commit more crimes. The offender's restitution obligation would be determined according to existing rules of civil procedure, which permit punitive damages in some cases.

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LuckyR
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by LuckyR » February 24th, 2021, 3:02 am

GE Morton wrote:
February 24th, 2021, 12:05 am
LuckyR wrote:
February 23rd, 2021, 2:08 pm

Financial restitution as the primary form of penalty for anything other than purely financial crimes (a small minority of crime) results in a get out jail free card for the rich. Such a system would encourage crime among those who can afford it, not a worthy outcome. If the financial penalty was on a sliding scale based on net worth instead of the damage caused would be better, but still subject to shenanigans among the rich.
Well, first, "the rich" commit very few crimes, and most of those are financial crimes. They don't tend to burglarize homes, steal cars, mug joggers or stick up 7-11s.

And I'm not sure how you conclude that financial penalties would encourage those "rich" to commit more crimes. The offender's restitution obligation would be determined according to existing rules of civil procedure, which permit punitive damages in some cases.
Oh sorry, I forgot that the descriptor "the rich" is a charged one and adds unnecessary distraction.

Allow me to rephrase to minimize that sort of thing: successful professional criminals will be encouraged to commit more crimes since their "income" is off the books and they will view restitution as the cost of doing business and these folks commit murder routinely. Meanwhile the destitute who can't afford bread before stealing some, will find it extremely difficult to repay for something they couldn't afford in the first place. As to "the rich" it might be cheaper to kill your wife rather than divorce her depending on your prenup.
"As usual... it depends."

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

Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by GE Morton » February 25th, 2021, 12:39 am

LuckyR wrote:
February 24th, 2021, 3:02 am

Allow me to rephrase to minimize that sort of thing: successful professional criminals will be encouraged to commit more crimes since their "income" is off the books and they will view restitution as the cost of doing business and these folks commit murder routinely. Meanwhile the destitute who can't afford bread before stealing some, will find it extremely difficult to repay for something they couldn't afford in the first place.
Who are these people who "commit murder routinely"?

Thieves will be able afford restitution, because they will be forced to work in prison industries.
As to "the rich" it might be cheaper to kill your wife rather than divorce her depending on your prenup.
I suspect juries would be inclined to award substantial punitive damages in those cases.

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LuckyR
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by LuckyR » February 25th, 2021, 3:13 am

GE Morton wrote:
February 25th, 2021, 12:39 am
LuckyR wrote:
February 24th, 2021, 3:02 am

Allow me to rephrase to minimize that sort of thing: successful professional criminals will be encouraged to commit more crimes since their "income" is off the books and they will view restitution as the cost of doing business and these folks commit murder routinely. Meanwhile the destitute who can't afford bread before stealing some, will find it extremely difficult to repay for something they couldn't afford in the first place.
Who are these people who "commit murder routinely"?

Thieves will be able afford restitution, because they will be forced to work in prison industries.
As to "the rich" it might be cheaper to kill your wife rather than divorce her depending on your prenup.
I suspect juries would be inclined to award substantial punitive damages in those cases.
Uummm... drug cartels for one.

So your experience is that the wealthy with their legal teams tend to get more draconian sentancing than the rabble?
"As usual... it depends."

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Inquinsitive_mind
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by Inquinsitive_mind » February 27th, 2021, 5:28 am

Both psychiatric hospitals and prisons are necessary for a society to function. There are those who commit crimes due to mental illness and there are those who commit crimes because they believe that other’s lives and property are meaningless or less meaningful than their own (e.g. those who rob and murder). There are people who commit crime simply because they do not wish to have a typical job (e.g people who sell drugs because they can make more money in a shorter period of time). Mental health institutions would not necessarily benefit these people. Prisons are intended to be a facility in which criminals can be rehabilitated back into society. Although it is an extremely flawed system in need of reform, to abolish prisons completely would not create a better society. Prisons act as a consequence to those who commit crimes or engage in illegal activity. To take away that consequence would potentially increase crime. Are gangbangers, human traffickers, and robbers, etc in need of psychiatric services? Perhaps, but perhaps not. Some individuals who engage in illegal activities may need mental health treatment and support, but others may need prison. There should be more employment support services (prepare inmates for interviews, line up jobs, etc.) for those who commit crimes because they feel as though it is their only opportunity to make a living. Both institutions, although they require reform, are necessary for a society to function.

To briefly answer the question “Does society need prisons”, the answer is yes. However, that doesn’t mean that society needs the current prison system nor that there are individuals who are in prison, but would benefit more from another institution (i.e. psychiatric facilities).

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Nitai
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by Nitai » February 27th, 2021, 4:28 pm

I can ear the sentence "One school open one prison close"
But there is no utopie even if school will give everyone their perfect matching skills and activities, Prison will be needed


Healthy Society need prison but a sick society too.
An healthy society want all their membres to be happy
A Sick society want just to control and have their way
so in both way prison will be needed.
The real question is what is the reformatory process and what kind of people we want as they come out

And we have seen the reformatory process of prison have failed, it even became a school for learning criminality.
And it is only a reflection of the society in large, where nothing means nothing anymore, how can we teach values and morality when the goal is to have a lot of money to gratify your senses ? when life is just an accidental combination of matters ? where do you want to put beauty, compassion and Love ?
Actually in such an materialistic society prison is an nonsense because the cartel of what they call nowaday "scientist" say everything that have real value is subjective, so why do you put people in prison ? Because your subjectivity is better then someone else ? If nothing make senses then why is there one subjectivity better ?
Actually the knowledge of these people is good only to make machines to destroy the world 😄
And you know what is even more funny ? People accept this cartel because they like too much the confort of the technology.
But the most crazy thing is when they start to speak about what is reality people listen to them 😳


So it is a very deep subject indeed...

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