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Should prisons be abolished? Show more Show less
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Prison abolitionism is an ongoing debate globally, but in American society in particular. Prisons were first created to punish the guilty for their crimes and protect the innocent from harm. Now, some are creating rehabilitation programs to help the incarcerated have a better life after being released. Are prison systems effective, and would abolishing them be beneficial for society?

Prisons should be reformed Show more Show less

Prisons and criminal justice systems worldwide, but especially in the United States, have numerous flaws and injustices. These flaws need correction for positive change to manifest within prisons and see a decrease in repeat offenders.
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Offenders need support to keep from recidivism

In order to lower crime rates, inmates need help and guidance in order to prevent recidivism and break the cycle of crime.

The Argument

Prisons do not provide offenders with the resources they need to be successfully reintegrated into society. Many of the reasons people commit crimes are motivated by poverty, abuse, and mental illness. Rather than simply locking people up and then releasing them to re-offend, we should target the issues that cause them to offend in the first place, thus abolishing the need for prisons and providing more support for our society's citizens. Norway has the most successful prison system in the world, with only twenty percent of inmates reoffending. Their prisons are intended to only remove an inmate's freedom, not to treat people inhumanely. Norweigan prisons offer inmates rehabilitation programs to prepare them for life after released to retain a sense of normality while in incarceration. By offering prisoners so many opportunities and still treating them with dignity, Norway has a tiny incarcerated population and low crime rates.[1] Only punishing inmates will not improve their behavior or quality of life, and will make it more difficult to have a normal life once released. Breaking the cycle of incarceration and recidivism will decrease crime rates and prison populations. [2]

Counter arguments

Murderers and rapists have more complicated reasons behind offending. In order to maintain a safe community, the only solution for these people is to lock them up to prevent them from reoffending and hurting others. No matter how much help and guidance they receive, some criminals will never be able to follow the law.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Prisons do not prepare inmates to live in the free world. [P2] Prisons should provide rehabilitation to inmates to prevent recidivism. [P3] Norway has a successful prison system due to its rehabilitation programs. [P4] Punishment is not effective in changing behavior, but rehabilitation is. [P5] Therefore, prisons should be reformed.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P4] Some violent criminals will never change their behavior.

References

  1. https://www.businessinsider.com/why-norways-prison-system-is-so-successful-2014-12
  2. https://inpublicsafety.com/2018/04/ending-the-cycle-of-recidivism-rehabilitating-non-violent-drug-offenders/
This page was last edited on Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 02:17 UTC

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