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Should prisons be abolished? Show more Show less

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

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The prison system targets people of color

There is an enormous amount of racial disparity in the prison system, specifically the United State's in particular.
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The Argument

The American criminal justice system targets minority races in and outside of prison. African Americans after more likely to be pulled over, searched, and arrested than any other race. In some states, people of color represent most of the population within prisons but only count for a minority of the general public. The prison system needs to be reformed to treat every person equally, no matter their race.[1] Black children are five times more likely to be incarcerated in juvenile detention centers than white children. Having a criminal record before adulthood makes it more difficult to obtain higher education or find stable employment, and increases the likelihood of being incarcerated again. Children of minority races are targeted more by law enforcement despite no evidence of illegal activity.[2] People of color are more likely to be targeted for incarceration, proving the criminal justice system is not equal or fair. It is unfair to imprison people based on their race so the prison system needs to be reformed to show equality and fairness for all inmates.

Counter arguments

In recent years, the racial gap in prison populations has decreased to reflect a more realistic population. The number of black prisoners has drastically declined and only outnumber white inmates marginally. The recent decline in overall prison populations and minority prisoners has almost evened all races in incarceration.



[P1] The criminal justice system targets people of color. [P2] Black children are more likely to be incarcerated in juvenile detention facilities. [P3] Therefore, prisons should be reformed.

Rejecting the premises


Further Reading



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This page was last edited on Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 01:41 UTC