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Crime & Punishment

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by lust4life, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. lust4life

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    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/in-...st-makes-brutal-case-to-solve-prison-problem/

    A former Baltimore cop who is now a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice has just released a book, "In Defense of Flogging" in which he makes an argument for giving criminals a choice of either prison or a set number of lashes. I haven't read it (yet), but I heard part of his interview on NPR earlier this week, and while he doesn't support the choice for violent offenders, he sees it as at least a partial solution to the prison problem in the US (though, I think his real motive was to call greater attention to the failings of the current system, e.g., the US spends more to put and keep a person in prison than we do to keep him out). Still, it's an intriguing notion.

    Focus: If you were convicted of a crime and given a choice of either 10 years in prison or 10 lashes (flesh-stripping lashes, with a cane) which would you choose?

    Alt. Focus: Do you think the idea has merit? Barbaric?
     
  2. DrFrylock

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    Hannibal Lecter probably said it best:

    One percent of the U.S. adult population is in jail right now. That's a lot of resources that are doing a lot of nothing. Then there are all the people we have to pay to keep them in there, put them in there, etc. It doesn't seem ideal, but then again what's the alternative that works better for everyone?
     
  3. sartirious

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    I don't understand why we don't use all that manpower to shovel the fucking dirt. There are a ton of domestic projects that need being done - building bridges, repairing roads, rebuilding after natural disasters and whatnot. Yes, a bunch of criminals with hand tools are grossly inefficient compared to the most recent developments from Caterpillar and John Deere - but have you checked the financing on a earth mover of that size? If we (or a contractor - don't want to ignore the free market now do we?) organized these criminals do the same work that we normally pay gigantic machines to do - we could accomplish something of value for the community, provide (marginally valuable) skills to some otherwise unproductive people, and add an additional layer of deterrence to the legal justice system.

    I would like to think that the possibility of spending their sentence sweating their asses off breaking rocks with their teeth, instead of lounging around the exercise yard would keep at least a few people from thinking that the payoff is worth it.
     
  4. Seeker

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    Would you really want to drive over a bridge a bunch of criminals with no engineering or construction experience built? Think any politician could sell that idea to the American public?
     
  5. Volo

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    They aren't actually building the damn thing. They're doing a portion of the grunt work involved in it.
     
  6. Politik

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    There are many public policy changes that can be made that would positively effect America's prison system. One of the glaringly obvious ones is reforming drug policy, and putting a far greater emphasis on outreach and treatment for addicts. Sadly, most long-term changes require examining the causal links between poverty/inequality and our wildly ineffective prison system which politicians are unwilling to do. In the status quo jails are more likely to institutionalize convicts than to reform them. Any significant progress will require A) providing a better alternative to low-income young adults than flipping patties for minimum wage, and B) legitimate psychiatric treatment, especially for first offense and nonviolent offenders.



     
    #6 Politik, Jul 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  7. Roxanne

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    Is that even a question? The lashes. Hell, I'd take them just for fun.

    I only ask that you put my flesh back when you're finished.
     
  8. dubyu tee eff

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    It is absolutely a great idea. I'd be willing to bet just about everyone alive would take 10 lashes over 10 years of prison time. It can't be that barbaric if that many would choose it over the presented alternative. Prisoners cost something like 20,000 - $30,000 a year to keep. That's A LOT of fucking money when so many people are imprisoned. (Statistic pertains to America)
     
  9. Kubla Kahn

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    Uh we reserve that for citizens who aren't criminals or criminals that have done there time and can't get better jobs. Honestly, it would undercut private sector jobs with slave labor prices (you know just like in Shawshank). Though giving them something to do so they dont focus on ass rape and shanking each other.
     
  10. scootah

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    I think a few people should see the judicial canings done in SE Asia before making this call. In singapore, where the average is 3 or 4 strokes, and up to 24, and every cane stroke breaks skin and damages tissue in a serious way. And canings are delivered in addition to prison time. Half a dozen strokes for drugs in the urine or homosexuality have been reported as standard from rehab facilities. The last time Singapore reported on Totals that I can find was '93, because the climbing figures were disturbing their foreign revenue streams I imagine.

    * 1987: 602 caned (including 115 foreigners)
    * 1988: 616 caned (119 foreigners)
    * 1992: 1,422 caned
    * 1993 (latest figures available): 3,244 caned, or over 60 per week.

    Singapore's population is about the same as the greater Boston region. I'm not really sure that I see it as either demonstrably deterring crime or rehabilitating criminals. Especially not at a one stroke a year exchange rate. 10 Years is according to Google, the mandatory maximum sentence for Contaminating public water or food for terrorism in Connecticut - with that severity guide line, I think a lot of drug traffickers and bank robbers would consider it a fair cost of doing business when they get caught. You'd need to ramp the stroke count way up to make it even approximately as severe as the punishments used in Singapore, and they don't really seem to visibly deter crime or rehabilitate criminals. You could ramp it way up I guess, but there's a bunch of research showing that the Death Penalty doesn't diminish actual crime figures nearly as much as a well publicized 5% increase in the likelihood of getting caught.

    Much as I enjoy the idea of working for the prison system when Roxanne goes on a crime spree... I don't think it would actually have any broad benefit to the American public compared to say decriminalizing marijuana and ceasing prosecution against drug users who complete a rehab program and using the cost savings from that to fund police and forensic units.
     
  11. AlmostGaunt

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    Spoilered for length.
    This is a topic I find absolutely fascinating. I really, really recommend reading Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison by Michel Foucault. Foucault gets a bad rap because a large group of people educated beyond their intelligence use him as a talking point, but it's astonishing how many of his observations ring true. I don't have my copy in front of me and I'm not smart enough to summarize it if I did, so I'm going to let Wikipedia summarize:

    So, you start with the punishment model gives. However, as kings lost their divine mandate and the population became so large so to make physical examples logistically challenging, the discipline model came into being.

    I genuinely believe Foucault is correct, or at least on to something. Think about how many 'experts' lay down expectations and benchmarks for just about every facet of your mental and physical wellbeing. I've been thinking about this a lot lately as my brother just had a kid - the sheer number of 'expert opinions' on child rearing is mindnumbing, and each of them basically scream that if you don't follow the approved guidelines your kid will die / be a delinquent / X. If we think someone is criminally insane, we have 'experts' testify as to whether they should be incarcerated. (On a related note, I tend to think that psychology has been co-opted from something very useful to something that has become fairly harmful, in that it attempts to pathologize 'deviance' from the norm.)

    TL;DR: we can't go back to a corporal punishment system; it wouldn't work with the cultural information we have been raised to internalize.
     
  12. Stealth

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    Fuck that. It's a no brainer and far too lenient.

    Give them the Cat o' Nine Tails, a good proper Cat O' Nine Tails; one you can really put some weight behind and make it whistle through the air AND Prison with the option of the victims and/or their family members being given the option of inflicting the punishment.

    I'm guessing with a Cat O' Nine Tails you would need probably more strokes to inflict as much damage as a good cane. More strokes = more ouch.

    Also, being that we all need to be more environmentally friendly, get all these funseeking criminals, chain them to a Conan the Barbarian style "Wheel of Pain" that is hooked up to a power turbine and get the fuckers to generate some electricity.
     
  13. Lasersailor

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    With the current recidivism rate, coupled with prison doing nothing more than hardening experienced criminals, the only thing that is absolutely certain is that the Prison Rehabilitation system does not work at all.

    I've long held that a public corporal punishment system needs to be instituted so not only are criminals punished severely and quickly for their crimes, but others can see it as well. Of course this would shut down the entire prison system, which a lot of employees would cry foul.
     
  14. The Village Idiot

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    By all means, let's do it quickly. It's not like anyone gets wrongfully convicted or anything. Oh, and we've had capital punishment for years. And of course this has directly led to there being no murders in this country since it was reinstated. Oh, wait...

    Secondly, corporal punishment is barbaric. It's makes us as a society no better than those we seek to punish. But wait, you'll say 'an eye for an eye?' Yeah, that doesn't work either. As a poster above noted, you want to solve the prison problem? The solution is quite simple and obvious to anyone who has worked in the criminal justice system. You get rid of the drug war and drug crimes. They're stupid and a tremendous waste of resources.
     
  15. Lasersailor

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    The need to properly punish criminals and bad people far, far, far outweigh the consequences of the extremely rare chance of accidentally convicting an innocent person.

    This isn't a fault of the punishment system, but the conviction system, which is another focus entirely.
     
  16. The Village Idiot

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    Is this a serious response? The 'you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette?'

    Or does your belief only extend up to the point where you are the one that's 'accidentally convicted?'

    Honestly, this has to be the most retarded post I've ever seen, unless you're not an American, in which case you get a bye because those societies were not founded on the belief in individual liberties.

    But since you volunteered, how far are you personally willing to go to uphold your stated position? Would you be willing to spend 20 years in prison for something you didn't do in order to ensure that a rapist did his time as well?
     
  17. Frank

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    I like this idea and would go as far to say that they should get paid for their labor. They could get paid something like $5/hour with half going to the prison and half being put in escrow for when they are released. One of the major issues people like to gloss over is the fact that when someone is released from prison after a few years they have absolutely no assets, no money and no job. So pretty much their only option if they want to eat is to steal. If you give them money for work they will be able to get their life somewhat back on track.

    But as someone else correctly noted they may just be undercutting private enterprise which would cause more unemployment so I have no idea how this could be properly implemented.
     
  18. Lasersailor

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    You missed the last sentence, in which I explained what the real problem was.

    The current justice system revolves around conviction rates. District Attorneys love to yell about their Conviction Rate. The problem is that they care little for truth, and only if they can get a conviction. You can take the worst murderer in history and charge him, but if there isn't a high chance of conviction the DA won't try him.

    What we really need is a not system in which a conviction or no conviction is sought, but the truth is sought.


    But even then innocent people would still be punished. It sucks, but you can't allow your cowardice to not punish the scores and scores and scores of bad people that actually need to be punished.
     
  19. Politik

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    This reads like a super creepy Freudian slip.


    You get wrongfully accused of child raping by a plea bargaining snitch. Cops plant false evidence and a forensics expert convinces a jury that the soft evidence is strong enough to indict you. Thanks to America's new corporal punishment laws you are tied up in public while the victim's mother rips out your testicles with a rusty hacksaw. Justice has been served.

    However this hypothetical totally doesn't apply (because you're white).
     
  20. bathrobe

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    The problem with using inmates for work on public works projects is that it can potentially take jobs away from regular, non-incarcerated people(Think the warden in Shawshank Redemption). It's not that far of a stretch to see how contractors could start using prisoners for more sophisticated aspects of a project and essentially have a slave labor force to do all their work.

    What I would like to see though is prisoners out in the city picking up trash. I hate litter with a passion; its ugly, damages the environment and can destroy the aesthetics of a city, but the only time it ever really gets cleaned up is earth day. Cons with low flight risk could go out for a few hours a day under strict supervision and actually make a huge difference for the community without have the potential of taking away jobs or posing any risk.