The Instigator
rougeagent21
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
Jaypeterson
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points

In the United States, rehabilitation ought to be used instead of punishment.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/5/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,079 times Debate No: 7693
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (4)

 

rougeagent21

Con

I stand in firm negation of the resolution. As my opponent is AFF, I will allow him/her to open. Good luck.
Jaypeterson

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for such an interesting debate.

First, I want to start off by saying that United States has the highest incarceration rate in the entire world. At the end of 2007, it has 2.3 million people incarcerated. Sickeningly, more than 1 American adult were kept in jail during the start of 2008. China has for times the population as America, and it only has 1.5 million people incarcerated. (18% of the US incarceration rate) (http://en.wikipedia.org...) The United States' justice system clearly isn't functioning properly.

Studies show "More than 60-75% of all prisoners now released from state prisons are REARERESTED within two years."

There are a number of explanations for this to happen.
-When they leave prison, they have no more life skills than they had before being incarcerated.

-the experience in prison reinforces criminal behavior.

-There are just too many obstacles and hindrances stopping people from returning to society. (It is hard to live a crime-free life after being influenced by people in prison)

-"Once a criminal, always a criminal."

We should put more emphasize on rehabilitation to give offenders a chance to redeem themselves. By offering them another chance, it is unlikely that they are going to commit another crime. (Therefore, reducing recidivism.) I am not saying that there no longer be any kind of punishments. I am simply suggesting that incarcerating those, who have the potential to rehabilitate, shouldn't belong in prison. However, serious crimes like; murder and aggravated assault cannot be held leniently. Those who commit these crimes will be incarcerated.

I am looking forward to response. Thanks.
Debate Round No. 1
rougeagent21

Con

Alright, thank you for accepting this debate, and good luck to you.

I am going to start by addressing his observation about US incarceration rates.
First of all, PLEASE provide sources for your statistics. Until you do, those numbers are meaningless husks of cyber-garbage. Even so, I will assume that you take these numbers from reliable sources.
"Sickeningly, more than 1 American adult were kept in jail during the start of 2008."
Um, yes, I agree. There was more than one American adult in jail during the start of 2008.
OK, so you point out that the US has a higher incarceration rate. Why? Because we have a higher crime rate. Why? Because typically, Americans commit more crimes than your average Chinese man. Its just a fact. It is, quite unfortunately, becoming part of our culture. Now, given this high number of criminals, you are suggesting that we let them roam free unpunished? That would actually INCREASE crime rates. Would you be more likely to commit a crime if you thought that the government would try to "rehabilitate" you afterwards, or if you knew that you would be punished for your unjust actions? Which seems a better deterrent?

"Studies show 'More than 60-75% of all prisoners now released from state prisons are REARERESTED within two years.'"

Really, and which studies would those be?

"There are a number of explanations for this to happen.
-When they leave prison, they have no more life skills than they had before being incarcerated.

-the experience in prison reinforces criminal behavior.

-There are just too many obstacles and hindrances stopping people from returning to society. (It is hard to live a crime-free life after being influenced by people in prison)

-"Once a criminal, always a criminal."

Hmm, lets think about life skills for a second. Is not stealing a life skill? Is not organizing dog fights a life skill? Now let me ask you this: Are you more likely to commit these crimes again if you know what happens if you do? Absolutely, punishment teaches great life skills.

"experience reinforces criminal behavior"

Again, are you more likely to commit another crime of you know what happens if you do? Not serving more time seems a very good incentive to me.

"There are just too many obstacles and hindrances stopping people from returning to society. (It is hard to live a crime-free life after being influenced by people in prison)"

Like? Examples please.

"Once a criminal, always a criminal."

OK, so I just stole an ipod. I get busted. I get sent to jail for a year. Now when I look into the Mac store, and I look onlgfully at the ipods, am I more or less likely to take it after my experience in prison. If anything, my experiences in it should reinforce the longing to not go back in there.

In my opponent's closing statement, he says that we need to offer criminals another chance. How are we not doing this? If I steal, I do my time, and I get released. Do I not have another chance?
He also says that there ought to be SOME punishment, such as for people who commit murder. Oh, so SOME crimes deserve punishment? You are contradicting everything that you have built your case up to be. By admitting that we need punishment, my opponent has just conceded the debate. Look to the resolution. Under the affirmative, there can be no punishment. By admitting that we need it, my opponent effectively concedes his position. Due to both mine and my opponent's consent that punishment is necessary, please look to a negative ballot. Thank you.
Jaypeterson

Pro

Under Affirmative, I always thought I was arguing how rehabilitation is more important than punishment. I misread the statement. So, I see that my opponent started an unbeatable and a rigged debate. He wants me to argue that there should be NO PUNISHMENT whatsoever, which voters will clearly not be in favor of. This is the cheapest debate I've ever involved myself in, but It's my fault for accepting this debate. I'll try my best to continue on with this debate.

I take all of this back.
"I am not saying that there no longer be any kind of punishments. I am simply suggesting that incarcerating those, who have the potential to rehabilitate, shouldn't belong in prison. However, serious crimes like; murder and aggravated assault cannot be held leniently. Those who commit these crimes will be incarcerated."

I'll take another approach. Punishments can be replaced with rehabilitative measures. We should entirely reform ALL prisons into rehabilitation facilities;
-Those who committed a crime will be sent into one of these facilities and will stay there until they are ready to be back in society. They will have to go through counseling until they are not dangerous to society. If there is any slight risk, we will keep them in these facilities and keep on counseling them. (We will explain to these offenders; why it is wrong to commit this crime, who does it affect, etc) Until they fully understand these things, they will just be another criminal when they come out of prison.
-these offenders can be educated in these facilities
my opponent said, "Is not stealing a life skill? Is not organizing dog fights a life skill?"
-We can offer these offenders real life skills, which will be useful in life. For example, if they want to go into business, these facilities can teach them how to dress nicely, how to seal a deal, etc.

"Once a criminal, always a criminal."

"OK, so I just stole an ipod. I get busted. I get sent to jail for a year. Now when I look into the Mac store, and I look onlgfully at the ipods, am I more or less likely to take it after my experience in prison. If anything, my experiences in it should reinforce the longing to not go back in there."
Only a smart portion of people think like you. Most people feel angry and they want revenge. They will likely to go back to the Mac store, and commit another crime. (Steal another ipod, injure the guy who called the police on him, etc.) He hasn't been talked to with, instead he was placed in prisons with dangerous people. They didn't receive any kind of counseling. This can be proven by the statistic that 2 out of 3 people will be re-arrested for committing another crime. http://www.innovationincompassion.hhs.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
rougeagent21

Con

Unbeatable and rigged? You chose to accept! I am just trying to find other people's views. Please do not blame me for having this debate, since you are the one who accepted it. Moving on...

PUNISHMENT-
A penalty inflicted by a court of justice on a convicted offender as a just retribution, and incidentally for the purposes of reformation and prevention.

REHABILITATE-
To attempt to restore formally to former capacity, standing, rank, rights, or privileges.

So my opponent suggests correction facilities ought to be used instead of inflicting punishment. I see two problems with this:
One, punishment already achieves everything that rehabilitation does. It reforms, and prevents. Rehabilitation reforms. When dealing with crime, which seems to be the better option?

Two, punishment PREVENTS crime. It deters would-be-criminals from committing crimes in the first place. Are you more likely to kill someone if you think you might be"corrected" at a facility, or if you know that you will be brought to justice by means of punishment? John Locke states in his social contract that one forfeits his own rights when he violates another's. Under rehabilitation, justice cannot be achieved since there is no reconciliation. No price is paid, no crimes are deterred, and justice fails.

My opponent fails to see a major flaw within his case. This facility that he suggests IS A FORM OF PUNISHMENT. It is removing people from society, detaining them against their will, and limiting their rights. Either way you look at it, this point flows to the negative. If you just see this as rehabilitation, then by definition, no justice is done for no price is paid. If you see this as punishment, then you are negating the resolution already.

"Only a smart portion of people think like you."
Why thank you.

"They will likely to go back to the Mac store, and commit another crime. (Steal another ipod, injure the guy who called the police on him, etc.) He hasn't been talked to with, instead he was placed in prisons with dangerous people. They didn't receive any kind of counseling. This can be proven by the statistic that 2 out of 3 people will be re-arrested for committing another crime."
Really? So say you steal an ipod, and are locked up for a while. When you come out, you just want to do it again? Right, because that worked out SO well last time.
Deterring future crime is one goal of criminal sentencing. The idea is that pain inflicted by punishment is justifiable if, but only if, it is expected to result in a reduction in the pain of crime that would otherwise occur.
This is based on the assumption that human beings are rational actors who balance the expected benefits of the proposed conduct against its risks, considering such factors as the likelihood of successful commission of the crime, the risk of detection and conviction, and the severity of the likely punishment. It is thought that the rational actor will avoid criminal activity if the perceived pain (i.e., the punishment) outweighs the expected pleasure (i.e., the criminal rewards).

Protective retribution views punishment as a means of securing a moral balance in the society. The theory is that society is made of rules and equilibrium exists as long as everyone follows the rules. Everyone is similarly benefited and burdened by the rules.

If a person fails to exercise self-restraint, he destroys the balance and becomes a free-rider. He benefits from the system of rule without accepting the same burdens as everyone else. By punishing the wrongdoer, society demonstrates its respect for him - society treats him as a responsible moral agent. Also, punishment allows the offender to pay his debt to society and to return to it free of moral guilt and stigma.

Retribution can also be viewed as victim vindication. According to victim vindication, by committing an offense, a criminal implicitly sends a message to the victim and society that his rights and desires are more valuable than those of the victim. Punishment corrects this false claim. It reaffirms the victim's worth as a human being in the face of the criminal's challenge.

As you can see, the only way to achieve justice is to obtain the social equilibrium by punishing crimes. If we fail to do so, we fail to achieve justice. For these reasons, I can only negate the resolution. Thank you.

http://dictionary.reference.com...
http://dictionary.reference.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.lawfiles.net...
Jaypeterson

Pro

Jaypeterson forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
alto, What is missing is data that rehabilitation efforts have any significant impact.
Posted by alto2osu 8 years ago
alto2osu
I do, however, think that the pro should have read the resolution more closely. Though it is based on a flawed assumption, it does still say "instead of." There is not language suggesting punishment be preferred or prioritized, just supplanted/used in place of.
Posted by alto2osu 8 years ago
alto2osu
Not only that, but according to criminological/penological discourse, punishment, as a deterrent, is a form of rehabilitation. I think that the definitions are poor all around. Not only that, but punishment very rarely comes uncoupled with rehab. Our current system of justice pairs the two on purpose, because one without the other is essentially meaningless. If we rehabilitate with punishment, recidivation becomes an issue, but the impacts of not fulfilling the social contract and people's need for retribution will become a problem. However, if we punish without rehabilitation, then we have embittered repeat offenders who feel completely alienated from a society that refuses to give them their second chance (after all, how hard is it to begin a new, clean, healthy life once you are a convicted felon?). My stance would have been something along the lines of: there's no way to make a sound, responsible penological choice between the two. Both are necessary to fairly administer justice.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
The resolution poses a false dichotomy. There are three approaches: punishment, rehabilitation, and keeping criminals out of circulation so they cannot commit more crimes. Punishment was the dominant thinking until some time around the 60's, when rehab became popular. Rehabilitation was tried and it doesn't work. The present trend is towards keeping criminals off the streets, not to punish them but to protect society. Giuliani cleaned up crime in New York City with a policy of enforcing relatively minor crimes. Those who commit minor crimes are the same people who commit major crimes, so when they are locked up crime drops. It worked. Other manifestations of the "keep them from commiting crimes" approach are tracking with ankle bracelets and "three strikes" laws. Prisoners need not be punished, so long as they cannot commit crimes.
Posted by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
Still there Jay? Answer?
Posted by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
That is what the resolution already says.
"instead of" and "or" mean the same thing.
Posted by NItEMArE129 8 years ago
NItEMArE129
yea, the wording of this resolution is a little questionable. you should've made it a debate over which form of response to crime is better. Rehabilitation or punishment.
Posted by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
Kadie- Thank you. It means a lot when someone that you do not know says things like that, since it is sincere. Thanks!

Jay- You posted the same thing to that other debate. So what are you saying? If it is impossible to win, then you were stupid to accept it? How are you disappointed? You accepted it. :)

I am on a quest for knowledge, and the only way to do so is by heeding other's opinions. Are you against that?
Posted by KadieBobx 8 years ago
KadieBobx
cons arguements were clever i have to admit :]
well played rougeagent21
Posted by Jaypeterson 8 years ago
Jaypeterson
My opponent creates debates that are almost impossible to win, and I am disappointed.
http://www.debate.org...
This is another debate he rigged.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Riley09 8 years ago
Riley09
rougeagent21JaypetersonTied
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Vote Placed by TFranklin62 8 years ago
TFranklin62
rougeagent21JaypetersonTied
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Vote Placed by alto2osu 8 years ago
alto2osu
rougeagent21JaypetersonTied
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Vote Placed by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
rougeagent21JaypetersonTied
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