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Do you think prisons should be punishment or rehabilitation? watch

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    If you compare the prisons in America to those in Norway or Denmark you see a very different type of setting. Prisons in America are hellish and some people believe this actually causes more violence and mental health problems because in maximum security the inmates have nothing to do and it's very cramped.

    Whereas in Denmark or Norway for example the prisons are like holiday camps and while this may be criticised by a lot of people statistics show that the majority of inmates in Americas prisons will re-offend but those in Norway or Denmark are much less likely to re-offend so it would seem the more laid back approach actually helps prevent re-offending once they get released.

    What do you think?
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    A holiday camp doesn't stop you from seeing your family or taking part in your community, so I think it's a slightly misleading analogy.

    I also think prisons should be based on rehabilitation for the good of society. Angry prisoners with exacerbated mental health problems won't make for good neighbours when they get out.
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    There needs to be an element of both punishment and rehabilitation.

    Often I feel that both are sorely lacking in the UK (sentences being too paltry, rehabilitation and security at prisons left very wanting etc) because the services are under such enormous financial pressure of budget cuts etc. We need more of pretty much everything (more prisons, more guards, better cells, better security, better facilities, better healthcare, longer sentences, etc!), and because almost everything is lacking, people are being failed on pretty much every level of society too (the general public being put at risk, victims families failing to see true justice handed out, criminals often coming out of prison with more problems than what they went in with and being so poorly prepared/equipped for life outside of prison, that many are practiced forced to return to re-offending just to survive...Etc!).

    But with such a myriad of problems, I feel that the rising angst among everyone in society often ends up being directed at all the wrong people (the general public and victims hating judges for handing out poor sentences and the police for failing to crack down on numerous crimes adequately, the prisoners hating the guards for acting like tyrants etc) when in reality what the angst really needs to be directed at, are the politicians!!

    We vote these politicians in to solve our countries problems and manage its affairs in democratically agreeable and practical ways etc, but where is our country at now?
    All our services are under severe financial strain and yet we're caught up in a battle of finger pointing (with very few politicians being held accountable for almost anything). How did we get into this mess?

    Its too simple-minded to simply blame the criminals. Often, many of these criminal people are themselves the result of numerous (and repeated!) failings in a whole host of public services in the countries systems.
    Lessons are recorded & cataloged (but rarely ever proactively learned from).
    And it's too simple-minded to argue that a simple movement in government (Left or Right) will solve the issues (for these societal issues have festered and worsened under successive different political party governments from all sorts of backgrounds for generations now).

    The problems are complex, and really (ultimately), we need to cut the bureaucracy and we need a great deal more funding to our justice system.
    But where is the money to come from?
    Is the general public really that committed to sorting out crime- to what financial cost? And do any of us really have any real trust and belief in our political parties anymore to solve these problems- are we not just handing over more & more money towards an increasingly incompetent & corrupt system?
    All this political bickering between parties, where are even any viable solutions being offered amid all the character bashing back-and-forth fights between the people's supposed to be leading this country?
    Etc.

    [End Justice system/political rant]
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    Both, but more towards rehabilitation. Those that break the law are still people, and since the majority won’t be in prison for life it’s in everyone’s best interest to help them become better people and better members of society. If we just punish people they aren’t going to leave prison and respect the law, they’ll be more angry about it than ever.
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    (Original post by cat_mac)
    Both, but more towards rehabilitation. Those that break the law are still people, and since the majority won’t be in prison for life it’s in everyone’s best interest to help them become better people and better members of society. If we just punish people they aren’t going to leave prison and respect the law, they’ll be more angry about it than ever.
    I think they should categorise prisons by both security status and length of imprisonment. I watched a prison documentary where a guy got 8 years for burglary with a weapon and got put in maximum security along with murderers, gang members and rapists serving life sentences, I don't think it's fair to put criminals like that in with people who literally have nothing to lose.

    Those prisoners end up leaving prison even more violent and desperate than when they first went in.

    Americas prison system and justice system in general is pretty messed up all round.
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    (Original post by Ninja Squirrel)
    I watched a prison documentary where a guy got 8 years for burglary with a weapon and got put in maximum security along with murderers, gang members and rapists serving life sentences, I don't think it's fair to put criminals like that in with people who literally have nothing to lose..
    Burglary with a weapon is a very serious crime. My own father was almost killed on one occasion (he was stabbed) when in the night he stumbled across an armed burglar in the family home.

    Rape is a terrible crime however many rapists serve sentences even shorter than the burglars do. For example, in the USA, in the notorious Brock Turn rape case (Brock Turner was a student who raped an unconscious girl he found on a university campus), he managed to get out of prison after only serving half of a 6 month sentence: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...sault-stanford

    With how leniently a lot of rapists get let off, they arguably have a lot more to lose than that burglar did.

    There is very little consistency to either the US or the UK justice sentencing systems. For example, while in America you had that burglar locked up for 8 years and a rapist being let out only months, this man was sentenced to over 13 years in prison for being in possession of 2 cannabis joints: http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/2014/...ana-cigarettes

    Its a bit mad when someone is punished so severely for being in possession of a minor quantity of a low level recreational drug, and yet a violent rapist gets out of prison after just a handful of months.

    In the UK, probably one of the latest in a long string of controversially short sentences cases, is the prospect of the notorious serial taxi cab driver rapist John Worboys (a man suspected of raping over 100 women!) being released after spending not even a decade in prison: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-42571219

    And a prime example of our failure to adequately rehabilitate a serious criminal would be that of notorious James Bulgar killer, John Veneables (who has cost the taxpayer an exorbitant amount of money and who keeps on getting sent back to prison etc): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-42972085

    Time and time again, cases abound which show that we just aren't rehabilitating prisoners properly (though some can probably never be rehabilitated and should just be locked up until the day they die under Full Life Tariffs!).

    Despite the shocking severity of many criminals crimes in the UK, there are only 70 people currently serving time behind bars who are guaranteed to die behind bars: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...-sentences-uk/

    I really feel that the number should be a lot greater than 70 people serving such sentences.

    The politicians increasingly complain about vigilante action being taken by the general public against criminals (such as Southampton based vigilante group called TRAP, which tries to catch pedophiles http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...vigilante.html ) but IMHO really, regardless of whether such vigilante action is right or wrong, I see as being mostly a side effect/symptom of broader failures in the justice system (which the politicians are to blame for). It's not that I agree with vigilante action (ultimately I don't), but I can see that if people saw that justice was being handed out and served better, then they wouldn't feel such a need to take the law into their own hands.
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    Both. Teach criminals skills that will put them in good stead when they get out, but whilst locked away make them put those skills to use for the benefit of the state.
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    (Original post by Dheorl)
    Both. Teach criminals skills that will put them in good stead when they get out, but whilst locked away make them put those skills to use for the benefit of the state.
    Turning prisons into forced labour camps, as the US has, won't help.
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    I won't comment too much on rehabilitation vs punishment since I'm not too educated on the issue, nor am I a physiologist.

    But the comparison between the UK and Norway (as well as Denmark) is a disingenuous one.

    Norway's prison population amounts to just 2914-3300 prisoners, whereas the UK's is just under 80,000 prisoners.

    Now, you don't have to be an expert to realise that Norway, an incredibly rich country due to American help and discovery of nearby oil reserves, can easily provide excellent care for just under 3500 prisoners. It's not hard. Like...at all.

    But the UK is in a completely different spot to both Norway and Denmark (which is similar to Norway). It has huge prisoner population to account for and providing excellent care while being a welfare state just isn't feasible for the government.

    So yeh, not asserting my opinion or anything, just claiming that you need to come up with a fairer comparison as the one you gave isn't genuine or meaningful.

    Sources:

    http://www.nationmaster.com/country-...-Kingdom/Crime

    http://www.prisonstudies.org/country/norway

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    Just as a side note, I think the best thing the UK could do rather than switching up its prison system is finding ways to reduce crime or not arresting for petty crimes. This means legalization or decriminalisation of weed, maybe even following a full-blown Portugal model, but that would never happen. This would also mean greater investment in mental health, making education better and more accessible as well as efficient among other things, but this is a topic for another thread.
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    The only punishment is the death penalty. Anything less is rehabilitation
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    We pretty much need more rehabilitation for prisioners but also lengthier scentences as prisions are not only there for punishing and rehabing people, but they also keep the public safe. Therefore giving a criminals (especially those who commited henious crimes) the appropiate scentence is paramount.
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    (Original post by mojojojo101)
    Turning prisons into forced labour camps, as the US has, won't help.
    There is a vast chasm of difference between the menial tasks American prisoners are forced to do, and the idea of teaching prisoners professions they can actually use outside, i.e. coding, design, marketing; all things that can be done from inside a prison very easily. Sure, give them some incentive instead of forcing them into it, extra privileges, reduced sentence, apprentice/internship level salary, whatever, but I equally think the government should be able to extract profit from these jobs. These people are after all living at the governments expense.
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    (Original post by HighOnGoofballs)
    Just as a side note, I think the best thing the UK could do rather than switching up its prison system is finding ways to reduce crime
    Considering the number of criminals that are reoffenders, I would have said one of the most effective ways of reducing crime is to switch up the prison system...
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    (Original post by Dheorl)
    Considering the number of criminals that are reoffenders, I would have said one of the most effective ways of reducing crime is to switch up the prison system...
    I agree, they've been using the current system for too long and it clearly doesn't work. Perhaps if prisoners were given a little more comfort (yes they are criminals but they're still human beings) I think it would go along way to reduce tension inside the prison.

    Then give them real world skills and job training / education courses etc so at least they have a fighting chance when they get released. I've watched some of those prison documentaries and some of those guys spend 5 years behind bars and get released with $20 and absolutely nowhere to go and no skills. Of course they're just going to go back to their old ways.

    The thing is a lot of these inmates actually want to be modest citizens but they're stuck in the cycle of crime because that's all they really know unfortunately.
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    Turn the prisons into Work camps, nothing too brutal or backbreaking but enough that prison is a place they will never want to go again, the whole flaw of American prisons is lawlessness, the prisoners form gangs, eat 'nice' food and often have a bit of a laugh, this needs to be stopped.
    We could make them sweep the streets, make them do menial tasks for the profit of the government and the people.

    For serious offenders I would not mind throwing them into a pit or hanging them, but it always brings the problem of false accusations and the inability to go back on your executions.
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    We are all prisoners of our own mind; punished by our thoughts and rehabilitated by hope.


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    Am I being edgy enough? Because I did try.
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    (Original post by Dheorl)
    There is a vast chasm of difference between the menial tasks American prisoners are forced to do, and the idea of teaching prisoners professions they can actually use outside, i.e. coding, design, marketing; all things that can be done from inside a prison very easily. Sure, give them some incentive instead of forcing them into it, extra privileges, reduced sentence, apprentice/internship level salary, whatever, but I equally think the government should be able to extract profit from these jobs. These people are after all living at the governments expense.
    American prisoners do more than menial jobs, they produce thousands of tonnes of military equipment, parts for the automobile, food and textile industries.

    You can't see how it may be a conflict of interest for a government (or even worse a private corporation) to be financially benefiting from prisoners?
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    (Original post by The Night King)
    We are all prisoners of our own mind; punished by our thoughts and rehabilitated by hope.


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    Am I being edgy enough? Because I did try.

    Damn, thats good.
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    Rehabilitation. Although this is sometimes abused, like Ranford case in America- commit crime @ 15, now 40 something. Can apply for parole when he is 100. Really? The guy is fully rehabilitated- in fact he could influence teenage childrens lives.
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    Both. Some criminals make a living out of it and intend to do so rather than out of desperation, so rehabilitation won't exactly be effective, punishment on the other hand will be more effective. Those who join gangs or perform crime due to poverty etc. will need rehabilitation, as well for people like this there should be schemes in place to help them get back into careers as a criminal record on one thing from many is enough to **** over someone's life that they'll need to perform crimes again to live as they cannot find jobs. Also those who join gangs whilst the rehabilitation will help them in getting out of the lifestyle, the punishment side will also drive them away from that lifestyle as they will not want to return back to prison, if its all rehabilitation then people will just keep going back through said scheme without anything making them not want to return.
 
 
 
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