Prison - Rehabilitation or Punishment? Watch

moment of truth
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Hey, so I was just wondering what people think the purpose of prison is. Should it be to punish inmates or to rehabilitate them.

I personally believe that it depends on the inmate and the severity of their crime. For criminals who have done the worst crimes then the purpose should be for punishment but then for some other crimes it should be to try and improve their mindset and to help them become better people.

So the question is that is the main purpose for prisons to punish or rehabilitate prisoners?

Thank you
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hslt
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Can't it be for both? and for incapacitation.

If it had to be for one then I would say rehabilitation, although for more severe crimes incapacitation becomes more important. Both of these things protect other people, while punishment doesn't protect anyone so for me is a less important consideration.

Although I suppose you could say that currently the main 'purposes' are incapacitation and punishment. People also claim that the existence of prisons acts as a deterrent, but I'm not convinced, and I'm also not convinced how well people are rehabilitated. I just think that rehab is more important.
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moment of truth
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(Original post by hslt)
Can't it be for both? and for incapacitation.

If it had to be for one then I would say rehabilitation, although for more severe crimes incapacitation becomes more important. Both of these things protect other people, while punishment doesn't protect anyone so for me is a less important consideration.

Although I suppose you could say that currently the main 'purposes' are incapacitation and punishment. People also claim that the existence of prisons acts as a deterrent, but I'm not convinced, and I'm also not convinced how well people are rehabilitated. I just think that rehab is more important.
I guess overall it definitely can be for both as all prisoners are different and their crimes are different. I was just asking which one is more important but yeah there is definitely an overlap.
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Implication
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I see little justification for "punishment" aside from vengeance... rehabilitation and the protection of the public, I should think.
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Mourinho<3
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(Original post by Implication)
I see little justification for "punishment" aside from vengeance... rehabilitation and the protection of the public, I should think.
Punishment can act as a deterent perhaps? Murder is known to be wrong as it gets life in prison-if it had only a few years perhaps people would not view it as such a serious offence?

Same with drug trafficking-for those countries with a death penalty for all the money they may make and risk a few years in jail it can seem like a fair risk; if you die as a result of your crime it must deter some.

Also it is a sign that society will not stand for lawlessness and harshly condems those who wish to prey on society. I personally feel that this soft touch and lenient stance some want for prisoners, all paid for by the society they wished to rob etc, just makes the state and society look weak and look like mugs.

Rehabilitation is important-but for that someone must understand the severity of their crimes and a severe punishment but also support to not re-offend is the best way for me.
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fred292
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(Original post by moment of truth)
Hey, so I was just wondering what people think the purpose of prison is. Should it be to punish inmates or to rehabilitate them.

I personally believe that it depends on the inmate and the severity of their crime. For criminals who have done the worst crimes then the purpose should be for punishment but then for some other crimes it should be to try and improve their mindset and to help them become better people.

So the question is that is the main purpose for prisons to punish or rehabilitate prisoners?

Thank you
Rehab doesn't work if they are Psychos.
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MangoFreak
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(Original post by Mourinho<3)
Punishment can act as a deterent perhaps? Murder is known to be wrong as it gets life in prison-if it had only a few years perhaps people would not view it as such a serious offence?

Same with drug trafficking-for those countries with a death penalty for all the money they may make and risk a few years in jail it can seem like a fair risk; if you die as a result of your crime it must deter some.

Also it is a sign that society will not stand for lawlessness and harshly condems those who wish to prey on society. I personally feel that this soft touch and lenient stance some want for prisoners, all paid for by the society they wished to rob etc, just makes the state and society look weak and look like mugs.

Rehabilitation is important-but for that someone must understand the severity of their crimes and a severe punishment but also support to not re-offend is the best way for me.
There's no evidence to suggest that punishments act as deterrents. The prospect of prison sentences is not the only thing stopping people from slaughtering their friends at the slightest betrayal.

Maybe in some cases, but I think certainly not in most, would punishment serve to show a criminal that their actions were wrong (that almost sounds like brainwashing). That's what rehabilitation is for.

The only reason people think punishment is a good thing is to satisfy some ridiculous bloodlust.
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MangoFreak
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(Original post by fred292)
Rehab doesn't work if they are Psychos.
Sure it does. It's a different form of rehab for those with actual mental disorders, involving medicines and the like, but that's why we have hospitals for those people.
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moment of truth
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(Original post by fred292)
Rehab doesn't work if they are Psychos.
Do you mean proper psychos or people that act as psychos?

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Kiss
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Both.

If they don't understand that actions have consequences they won't learn discipline. However, if they just get punished all the time they'll become angry and bitter. There has to be a balance of both.
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Implication
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(Original post by Mourinho<3)
Punishment can act as a deterent perhaps? Murder is known to be wrong as it gets life in prison-if it had only a few years perhaps people would not view it as such a serious offence?

Same with drug trafficking-for those countries with a death penalty for all the money they may make and risk a few years in jail it can seem like a fair risk; if you die as a result of your crime it must deter some.

Also it is a sign that society will not stand for lawlessness and harshly condems those who wish to prey on society. I personally feel that this soft touch and lenient stance some want for prisoners, all paid for by the society they wished to rob etc, just makes the state and society look weak and look like mugs.

Rehabilitation is important-but for that someone must understand the severity of their crimes and a severe punishment but also support to not re-offend is the best way for me.
I think this is a more or less accurate summary (though I'm not sure about the softness and lenience); I would just class deterrence under "protection of the public". It's not punishment for its own sake; it's punishment for the purpose of making society better for everyone else. So with rehabilitation; it's not rehabilitation because we like the criminal and want to make them better; it's rehabilitation to make society overall better. The focus should be on making society and our country in general a better place rather than applying an arbitrary moral compass to say "that person deserves this while this person deserves that" etc.. I don't really consider this lenient; if anything it's a pretty ruthless way of looking at it
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fred292
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(Original post by moment of truth)
Do you mean proper psychos or people that act as psychos?

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No empathy and a low IQ are a toxic combination; this is the said profile of prison inhabitants.
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james22
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I really don't like the idea of punishment for the sake of punishment, it just seems so pointless and only satisfies some peoples desire to see others suffer.

Punishment for the sake of deterrent has merit, but we need to be sure that we are punishing in the right way then. I think that prison should be a lot about rehabilitation so we can get people out of prisons safely. This could even save money long term.
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fred292
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(Original post by MangoFreak)
Sure it does. It's a different form of rehab for those with actual mental disorders, involving medicines and the like, but that's why we have hospitals for those people.
Proof? There may be categories of prison inhabitants that would be suited to rehab, id est, victims of misspent youth and ferals.
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SHallowvale
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(Original post by moment of truth)
Hey, so I was just wondering what people think the purpose of prison is. Should it be to punish inmates or to rehabilitate them.

I personally believe that it depends on the inmate and the severity of their crime. For criminals who have done the worst crimes then the purpose should be for punishment but then for some other crimes it should be to try and improve their mindset and to help them become better people.

So the question is that is the main purpose for prisons to punish or rehabilitate prisoners?

Thank you
Who decides what crimes are the worst?
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moment of truth
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(Original post by SHallowvale)
Who decides what crimes are the worst?
It is relative, I am not sure if there is a crime which is objectively the worst but to me the worst crimes are murder and rape.

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limetang
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Both to an extent. But it IS there as a punishment as well. It is right that those who do wrong (in this case break the law) receive punishment for it. It's not so much vengeance as much as it is a deserved result of their actions.
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Implication
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(Original post by limetang)
It is right that those who do wrong (in this case break the law) receive punishment for it. It's not so much vengeance as much as it is a deserved result of their actions.
Can this statement be justified?
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limetang
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(Original post by Implication)
Can this statement be justified?
So far as a moral statement can be justified.

Consider the alternative. Are you suggesting its right for those who do do wrong to receive no punishment?
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Implication
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(Original post by limetang)
So far as a moral statement can be justified.

Consider the alternative. Are you suggesting its right for those who do do wrong to receive no punishment?
I don't really know what I'm suggesting yet; I'm simply questioning your assertion. How far can it be justified then? I contend that other moral statements can in fact be justified further, at least under a consequentialist (I don't use this term rigorously since I don't know what it means) understanding. In the case of punishment for its own sake there is in fact a deliberate increase in suffering at a financial cost to everybody else (one would assume).
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