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Does Society Need Prisons?

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ThamiorTheThinker
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by ThamiorTheThinker » January 8th, 2016, 11:33 pm

Hey Scott, did you intentionally give a very stern, aggressive message that doesn't give the other side of the debate a chance, or is this simply how you argue your points?

Regardless, my response is this: I think prisons are not entirely necessary for some crimes, but necessary for keeping ruthless killers out. Nothing against them, but I prefer to not have a person that can kill me in 50 different ways running around stabbing people because their unfortunate brain was plagued with mental illness, depression, abuse, alcohol/drugs, or a combination of those four.

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Basketcase
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by Basketcase » January 9th, 2016, 3:47 am

This question is rather acedemic if we believe that all antisocial behavior of a destructive nature is learned behavior..... No one is born a violent offender.... We learn violence as the prefered method of settling problems in a society gone mad, i.e. The war on everything!

And remember there are many victums of emotional and psychological stressors ingrained in the very fabric of a materialisticlly indulgent collective subconscious, for which no current laws exist..... Not to mention an undetermined number of purely unjust laws in need of reform.....

From the pages of the New Testament to the investigations of early existental thinkers like Becker and Brown an amazingly little known fact is all to often not taken into consideration. That fact being that at the bottom of all human behavior are only two motivating factors.... Fear and love..... Perfect love casts out all fear, says Paul in one of his letters to the churches.......

Violence begets violence how can this be a solution........ There is only one necessary war and it is the war on fear and there's only one effective weapon......unconditional love.... we don't need more prisons we need more love....... Are we not instructed to return Good for evil....?

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Ormond
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Re:

Post by Ormond » January 9th, 2016, 10:50 am

Scott wrote: Basically, I am mostly just suggesting that we restrain dangerous people in medical institutions rather than prisons.
It seems the same level of security would be required, right? Thus, aren't you really arguing prisons should have more doctors?

Would medical institutions be cheaper, or more expensive than prisons? If more expensive, then we're taking even more money away from serving the needs of victims and spending it on the needs of the dangerous people. This might be justified if the effort can be proven effective at making them less dangerous, and we have no choice but to release them at some point.

Here's another option for consideration.

No more prison for victimless crimes such as drugs and prostitution. All violent crimes get speedy fair trial, and if convicted the death penalty is applied, thus no prison here either. Zero tolerance for violence.

Far fewer people in prison should equal far more money spent on serving victims. The entire system is reoriented away from serving law breakers to serving law abiders. As it stands, crime victims are basically given a pat on the head and told to go home and get over it, we worry FAR MORE about those who violated them.
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Basketcase
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by Basketcase » January 9th, 2016, 1:28 pm

And what if the infallible court in its infinite wisdom somehow made a gross mistake and convicted an innocent person and what if that person was your spouse or child or grandchild. Would you continue with this line of reasoning?

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LuckyR
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by LuckyR » January 10th, 2016, 3:20 am

A couple of things:

The death penalty as applied in the US, for example, cannot be justified from logical grounds, let alone moral reasoning, which would make it even less defendable.

The proper penalty is going to differ between legally insane criminals, sociopathic criminals, professional criminals and "one off" criminals (like spousal murderers). Lumping them all together into the "criminal" label and coming up with one size fits all theories is a recipe for error.
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Jaa_intelligent
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by Jaa_intelligent » January 13th, 2016, 3:16 am

Yes, society does need prisons. We need them as a consequence to harm done to anybody that can be measured. There is no victimlous crimes. When a man goes to a prostitute and had sex with the person. He harms himself morally, he harms his wife, his family, which harms marriage, which harms society.

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ThamiorTheThinker
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by ThamiorTheThinker » January 13th, 2016, 8:38 pm

Jaa_intelligent wrote:Yes, society does need prisons. We need them as a consequence to harm done to anybody that can be measured. There is no victimlous crimes. When a man goes to a prostitute and had sex with the person. He harms himself morally, he harms his wife, his family, which harms marriage, which harms society.
Explain how hiring a prostitute is considered moral harm, and why that should necessitate a lack of personal freedom. Based on your lack of inclusive language, (using male pronouns), you are (possibly by accident) assuming that sexual intercourse with a prostitute occurs only with men that have families. You are ALSO assuming that harm is an objective term, not a subjective one, along with the idea that any hypothetical customer would view their own actions as wrong. ANOTHER assumption would be to claim that anybody would figure out the person's actions, as well as taking offense to them.

With all that in mind, please explain your thought process. If you take this as an assault on your character, know that I do not write these things with any intention of offense. I am merely curious as to what causes you to think these things. This is a philosophy forum, after-all. The forum was created with the intent of being host to productive conversations which do not involve massive assumptions and, if they do, to eliminate (or at least get to the root of) those assumptions.

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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by Jaa_intelligent » January 14th, 2016, 1:21 am

Right. This harms all people in the way that it is stone thrown against the wall of social humanity as it is in this planet. Maybe in another planet where society was set up differently it would not harm anyone but on this planet it does. If we believe that their are victimlous crimes we are going down the pathway to the destruction of life as we know it. I say a stone because little by little thinking in the manner that was stated is trying to crumble the wall of morality that is good for humanity.

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ThamiorTheThinker
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by ThamiorTheThinker » January 14th, 2016, 4:39 pm

Jaa_intelligent wrote:Right. This harms all people in the way that it is stone thrown against the wall of social humanity as it is in this planet. Maybe in another planet where society was set up differently it would not harm anyone but on this planet it does. If we believe that their are victimlous crimes we are going down the pathway to the destruction of life as we know it. I say a stone because little by little thinking in the manner that was stated is trying to crumble the wall of morality that is good for humanity.
Not to imply that this is your actual belief, but can we necessarily say that something is objectively wrong because it causes perceived harm? A firefighter risks harm to himself and others while trying to save the lives of a fire victim. A homosexual or bisexual would risk the offense perceived by their fellow humans in order to find love, appreciation and acceptance from their partner. I would say that harm is completely subjective. If our "purpose" is to survive and reproduce, then homosexuality is not necessarily an obstruction to that. It does not do anything to obstruct the first, although it does prevent the second. Still, there are many other things which also do this, and homosexuality, as well as other sexualities (bi, trans, pan), do not prevent survival and the ability to live in wealth and prosperity as perceived by most. In fact, where in one may not want a child that they have born into the world, a homosexual couple may adopt that child and raise it as their own - thus, in a sense, fulfilling the second drive of humanity (reproduction and protection of offspring).

Thank you again for your sharing of thoughts, and have a great day - whatever that may entail for you.

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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by SonateOf360o » January 27th, 2016, 5:54 am

The problem here is more about human nature. Should the individual be responsible for their actions? Or should actions be the responsibility of the collective? Of society as a whole?
When the latter, if we would apply a deterministic approach towards the individual, meaning that all of their choices are determined by outside influences, then we cannot possibly blame a person for their actions. I don't think anybody here wants another Free Will vs Determinism discussion.
Not only now we would focus to rectify the outside influences that caused this person to act the way they acted, but now punishment would be transformed into rehabilitation. A scary term, I know. And unfortunately I have not dwelled enough in the subject of criminal rehabilitation in order to give a clear answer as to how it would work. I'm not a psychologist after all.
In my opinion, if man would let go any illusions of free will and individuality, the world would be a better, more peaceful place.

Surreptitious57
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by Surreptitious57 » February 2nd, 2016, 3:26 am

Society does unfortunately need prisons.

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Rayliikanen
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by Rayliikanen » February 9th, 2016, 4:24 am

The only kind of society that needs prisons are those that are without pity and who do not believe that everyone deserves the same opportunities. Does a prison ever succeed in reforming anyone? Do they make us more safe? Prisoners who get out are cycled through the system after being hardened into a life of crime--by the prison system. Ask yourself this: If I spent a year behind bars for something would I come out a better person? Or worse? Not that I'm talking from experience--but prisoners usually have the same experience behind bars, and it's a very humiliating, degrading experience--it does nothing to life the human spirit, or a desire to do something positive for society. Is America a better nation for all its prisons?

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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by Belinda » February 9th, 2016, 6:20 am

Rayliikanen, above, writes of how prisons fail to equip offenders for a largely law-abiding society.

Scott wrote:
Basically, I am mostly just suggesting that we restrain dangerous people in medical institutions rather than prisons.
While Scott's suggestion addresses the problem of mental, physical and social illness among offenders , and I agree with Scott, the punishment would feel worse to the offender if there were no fixed term for the incarceration whatever its location. For any detention to be fair there has to be a fixed term for it, even if that is 'life'. Therefore perhaps a hospital is not the appropriate institution to lock up offenders in, as hospitals typically admit patients on a voluntary basis.

I think that a hospital for the criminally insane is appropriate for all manner of offenders, and calling the institution a 'hospital' and regarding it as such might boost rehabilitation of offenders as decent citizens. I'd rather call the institution a 'school', as in special school for unruly children.

Of course any special school costs a lot of money to run, not least as it would have to be inspected for its rehabilitative success or failure, and for health and safety concerns. It would also have to be as secure as a conventional prison .especially in the cases of violent offenders.

There needs to be a thorough study done to ascertain whether or not a top-quality educational facility for offenders would benefit society so much that society should pay the costs of such an institution.

I am pretty sure that prevention is better than cure as regards criminality. To largely prevent crime: get rid of poverty, provide social mobility through liberal and equal opportunities in whole-life education, and provide infrastructures such as housing , health, utilities, and transport such that the poorest people have access to all of those.
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Jaa_intelligent
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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by Jaa_intelligent » February 9th, 2016, 2:34 pm

Prisons are a deterrent to individuals from committing crimes. They are meant as a form of social control. An alternative deterrent is to just dismember the offender publically. Which one is more humane?
You have to have some kind of deterrent against humans hurting each other. Man will always have evil in his heart.

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Re: Does Society Need Prisons?

Post by ThamiorTheThinker » February 9th, 2016, 7:14 pm

Jaa_intelligent wrote:Prisons are a deterrent to individuals from committing crimes. They are meant as a form of social control. An alternative deterrent is to just dismember the offender publically. Which one is more humane?
You have to have some kind of deterrent against humans hurting each other. Man will always have evil in his heart.
I would argue that "evil" is a subjective term, not an objective one. On top of that, I would argue that an alternative to imprisonment is investing in the future of each child we come across such that they are raised with a mindset opposed to criminal behavior and/or tendencies. If we wish to keep a human on a specific path, why not teach them that that path is the best choice, rather than force them onto it after they've gone astray?

In the words of a wise person, better it is to raise a child than to fix an adult.

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