Flutterby™! : Prison

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2004-08-13 19:32:45.731787+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

Mike forwarded I, Cringely: Why We Send So Many Americans to Prison and Probably Shouldn't. More on why prisons are really about some sick societal needs for punishment and not about lowering crime rates.

[ related topics: Sociology Law Enforcement ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-08-16 16:20:24.243218+00 by: other_todd

While I don't disagree (and in general I sit up and take notice of anything Cringely has to say), I notice that at no time does he mention or suggest an alternative, either one of his own or one proposed by Block and Nold at the time. I work on the theory that there will always be a certain percentage of the population that commits crimes, and while I've seen any number of factors which can drive that percentage up (grinding poverty, for one), I've never really seen anyone put forth any solid ideas for bringing it down. I don't like prisons either, but if you work on the idea that some crimes HAVE to be punished, then what is the alternative form of punishment?

#Comment Re: made: 2004-08-16 17:05:17.491952+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think that pointing out that a change in a system causes problems is sufficient, no? The alternative, not extending prison terms, results in lower crime, so we should pursue that.

Yes, there are then other issues to pursue, but if change A increases undesirable resultX, then complaining that those who reveal this fact haven't also come up with change B that decreases X is a red herring.