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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?

Yes, prisons should be abolished Show more Show less

We would be building a more ethical system and releasing offenders as citizens able to be positively reintegrated into society.
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Prisons are immoral

If life was valued within prisons, then criminals would be less likely to hurt or take it away from others.
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Context

The Argument

Prisoners are treated inhumanely during their time spent in incarceration. Many people have spoken out about the beatings, sexual assaults, and verbal attacks that happen behind prison walls, with the correctional officers often being the bully. This behavior shows people their life is no longer valued after committing a crime.[1] In the United States, the East Mississippi Correctional Facility has been notorious for its ongoing abuse and mistreatment of prisoners and has been described as barbaric. The facility lacks basic needs for prisoners such as proper lighting and running toilets. A large percentage of its inmates suffer from mental illness, yet do not receive the proper care they need.[2] Inmates do not deserve endless abuse and cruelty while in incarceration. Instead, they should be treated with morality and as human beings. The continuing mistreatment only repeats the cycle of violence and incarceration.[3]

Counter arguments

Some people have committed crimes so violent and inhumane that they deserve to be incarcerated. Murders, rapists, and other violent people can never function normally in a free world and should be in prison to protect the rest of the population. Completely abolishing prisons may stop the immoral treatment of inmates, but it creates a more dangerous society for innocent people.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Inmates are treated inhumanely while incarcerated. [P2] A person's life is valued less after being imprisoned. [P3] Abusing prisoners encourages violence. [P4] Therefore, prisons are immoral and should be abolished.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P4] Violent criminals cannot integrate into mainstream society without causing harm to others.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1920/04/prison-cruelty/305502/
  2. https://www.aclu.org/blog/prisoners-rights/medical-and-mental-health-care/east-mississippi-correctional-facility-hell
  3. https://sites.psu.edu/aspsy/2019/03/04/americas-prison-system-is-flawed/

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 19 May 2020 at 22:50 UTC