The Instigator
acidman
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Malacoda
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Prison is not as beneficial as other legal action

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Malacoda
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/18/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,376 times Debate No: 56816
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (3)

 

acidman

Pro

I disagee with the prison system altogether. Now many of may be asking, "why is that?" "Why should we care what criminals have to go through?" however, one, and society, must care what criminals go through as it determines whether or not they will committ these crimes again. Prison, in the long run, is harmful to society the way it is currently being used, for the following reason.
First off, prisons put criminals in with other criminals, who are often a bad influence on each other, and often lead to the radicalization and hardening of criminals. if you had robbed a bank, and your best buddy in prison also robbed a bank, and he didn't feel guilty one bit, what do you think would happen. Now imagine if thousands of inmates are like that, and some have committed FAR WORSE crimes than some of these other people. An example of this is the conversion of black men in prison to islam, as the extremists who go to prison end up converting the prisoners to something more extreme, giving them great purpose. What criminal doesn't feel happy that an entire religion (it doesn't really) hates the civilization that put him there?
Furthermore, prisoners are subject to abuse, not by the guards, but by their fellow inmates, making life in prison a living hell. They must constantly deal with beatings, blackmail, and rape on a daily basis, and now on to my next point.
The criminal justice system in the United States is so cruel, it puts mentally ill people in prison, which can not be tolerated by a country that stands for human rights, as mentally ill people are obviously not fit to be in prison, when even ordinary people are not fit to go to prison (by that I mean no one WANTS to go to prison).
To continue, the prison system drives inmates insane, what with the solitude, being locked up in a small space with people that constantly rape you, having nothing to do or no one to talk to, being subject to intense discipline by the guards, etc. it has been proven to drive people insane, leading many to hunger strikes.
Also, there are punishments to replace these punishments, such as flogging, death, house arrest, fines, and forcing a thief to work for the person he stole from, and mental rehab, the most underutilized of all.
Lastly, there are tow types of criminals in prison: one, the hardcore criminal with nor regrets, such as by murdering a gang rival, or the misguided one, who made a stupid mistake one day and is an otherwise normal person (such as the tax evader ) but is thrust into the worst hell on earth (worse than the religious hell, if you ask me). Do you really wanna mix these two groups? Are they really the same?
Malacoda

Con

Thanks to Pro for posting this debate. I'm excited to get into some debating. (I'm going to assume you are talking about the U.S. prison system.)

First, lets take a look at how the U.S. prison system really works. Being sent to prison is a very common punishment for serious crimes (a.k.a. felonies.) The role of a prison is essentially a three-pronged attack against crime. It is a deterrent to crime (because criminals don't want their freedoms taken away), a safety measure to prevent criminals from preventing more crimes, and a way to rehabilitate and fix the problems which lead to prison in the first place, namely education.

The prison system has three levels of security. Maximum (which all my opponents arguments are based on), medium, and minimum. Minimum security prisons are quite lax and are arranged like college campuses. These prisons contain non-violent felony offenders with good records (first-timers) or those who showed good behavior while in a higher security prison. Medium security prisoners are more secure, and are like dormitories surrounded by a security fence. These prisons contain prisoners higher up on the criminal food chain, but still not the likes of hardcore murderers or violent gang members. These types of criminals end up in maximum security prisons. My opponent literally bases all of his arguments off of this type of prison. The funny thing is, only about one fourth of U.S. prisoners are in maximum security prisons. Maximum security prisons are where you have violent prison riots, snipers in guard towers, small prison cells, and the whole "bar of soap" ordeals. These prisoners are still allowed to roam around the prison and prison yard for the majority of the day though. They also are given prison jobs, can take courses to obtain a GED or take vocational training, and purchase items from the prison commissary.

I will concede that there are problems with the prison system, but it is clearly not as terrible as my opponent makes it out to be. Prison reform is a hot topic as well. Prisoner abuse is being cracked down on and prison conditions are constantly being improved. Now I will move on to rebuttal.

REBUTTALS

"First off, prisons put criminals in with other criminals, who are often a bad influence on each other, and often lead to the radicalization and hardening of criminals."

I understand this concern, however, my opponent is making a reach when he says that the radicalization of criminals is common. I would like some proof of this claim. As of now, it is an ill-supported assertion.

"Furthermore, prisoners are subject to abuse, not by the guards, but by their fellow inmates, making life in prison a living hell."

While this may have some truth in it, prison abuse is not allowed in prisons and is corrected by harsh punishments. The prison system can hardly be blamed for the actions of hardcore criminals.

"The criminal justice system in the United States is so cruel, it puts mentally ill people in prison, which can not be tolerated by a country that stands for human rights, as mentally ill people are obviously not fit to be in prison,"

I agree that this is a problem. However, the solution isn't the abandonment of prisons altogether, that's ridiculous. The solution is fixing the current system and identifying the severely mentally ill before they are sent to prisons.

"To continue, the prison system drives inmates insane, what with the solitude, being locked up in a small space with people that constantly rape you, having nothing to do or no one to talk to, being subject to intense discipline by the guards, etc. it has been proven to drive people insane, leading many to hunger strikes."

This whole statement is quite faulty. I think "people constantly raping you" is a bit of an exaggeration. Also, prisoners have plenty to do and plenty of people to talk to. As I have previously shown, they are assigned prison jobs, they can work toward obtaining a general (GED) or vocational education, and can recreate in the prison yard. I severely hope my opponent isn't getting this idea from SuperMax prisons, which make up an extremely small portion of U.S. prisons. My opponent also says that "it" has been proven to drive people insane. I won't accept this statement without some sort of proof. And seriously, what is the correlation between prisoner insanity and hunger strikes?

"Also, there are punishments to replace these punishments, such as flogging, death, house arrest, fines, and forcing a thief to work for the person he stole from, and mental rehab, the most underutilized of all."

This statement made me chuckle. Flogging and death? Are you serious? Let me explain the logic behind that. Some prisoners have bad living conditions, so lets beat them with hickory rods like Clint Eastwood in Pale Rider (no thanks) or kill them. As far as house arrest, fines, and forced labor, are almost as ridiculous as flogging. The government can't be expected to monitor millions of dangerous criminals, talk about excessive spending. Fines wouldn't work for poor criminals, which represent a good amount of criminals. Fines would just lead them and their families to more poverty, which is not the goal of the prison system. Also, forcing thieves to work for those they stole from? Maybe that would be fine for ornery junior high petty thieves but I don't think anyone wants hardcore criminals working at banks. I think it is funny that you listed mental rehab in a list of "punishments," but I'll let that go. Mental rehab is a good alternative for the mentally ill, but what about everyone else? The U.S. needs a prison system. Its unfortunate and seemingly cruel, but an imperfect world demands an imperfect system.

"Lastly, there are tow types of criminals in prison: one, the hardcore criminal with nor regrets, such as by murdering a gang rival, or the misguided one, who made a stupid mistake one day and is an otherwise normal person (such as the tax evader ) but is thrust into the worst hell on earth (worse than the religious hell, if you ask me). Do you really wanna mix these two groups? Are they really the same?"

Of course they aren't the same. That's why the U.S. system is divided into three security levels. Despite my opponents movie-influenced view of prison, hardcore criminals aren't in the same prisons as people who made "stupid mistakes" and aren't a major threat to society. These groups aren't mixed! It's as simple as that.

My opponent has an oversimplified view on the prison system. He doesn't understand how it works or why it exists. He isn't even debating against the idea of prison. He is simply saying that because the U.S. prison systems has problems, it must be abolished. That's not sound logic. The punishments he lists as alternatives are ridiculous. That's because there is no strong alternative to prison. Back to Pro.
Debate Round No. 1
acidman

Pro

I must move on to a different scenario, two in fact: One; Even the hardcore criminals do not deserve to go to maximum security prison, they deserve death. why spend money on their lives when we just get rid of them from this earth? it sure would put them out of their misery, too, unless you're religious and believe that they have ANOTHER prison to go to (hell) but that's a different subject. Two: Rapes do happen in minimum security prisons. Now, there are punishments, but does that unrape the victim? And be honest, would you rather be whipped, or sent to prison? For the criminal, they would prefer prison, as prison is like a home to them, however, an ordinary citizen would obviously prefer the whipping, as it only lasts 10 minutes.
Malacoda

Con

Thanks to Pro for the arguments.

I would first like to point out that pro didn't rebut against any of my arguments for prison. He only tried to defend his arguments. My argument for prison stands strong. Because of this, I won't rehash or add to that argument.

REBUTTALS

"Even the hardcore criminals do not deserve to go to maximum security prison, they deserve death. why spend money on their lives when we just get rid of them from this earth?"

So what you are basically saying is that any prisoner that would go to a maximum security prison should be sentenced to death instead. I completely disagree. This is forsaking a very large amount of the population (about 1/2 million). These prisoners have a chance at rehabilitation and reintegration into society. For a person that speaks so much against cruelty against prisoners, this is a very unusual and contradictory thing to say.

"it sure would put them out of their misery, too"

As I have previously shown, maximum security prisons aren't nearly as bad as my opponent makes them out to be. I would hardly call executing criminals "putting them out of their misery."

"Two: Rapes do happen in minimum security prisons"

I'm sure they do, but rapes also happen outside of any kind of prison. In round 1 you said the following, "with people that constantly rape you." Are you really proposing that inmates in minimum security prisons are "constantly" raped? If so, this is new to me, so I'm going to require some evidence for this wild claim.

"Now, there are punishments, but does that unrape the victim?"

What a naive thing to say. Of course punishments for this sort of crime don't literally "undo" the crime, but they can prevent it from happening again and deter others from doing the same. Funny, that's how the prison system itself works. Maybe that's why my opponent is so against this system. He doesn't seem to understand that punishments do more than deal justice, they deter future criminals.

"And be honest, would you rather be whipped, or sent to prison?"

It doesn't matter what the prisoner would rather have as his punishment. The prisoner would rather be taken out for and ice cream sundae for his crime, but he doesn't get his way. Simply flogging a prisoner does only 1/3 of what a prison system provides. It only deters future crimes. It doesn't provide immediate protection to society or help rehabilitate the prisoner, which prison provides.

"For the criminal, they would prefer prison, as prison is like a home to them"

Really now? I'm glad Pro is speaking for all the U.S. criminals. I'm sure they would appreciate you as their spokesman. "Nah, don't bother releasing them, prison is their home now, they feel very comfortable there. Being raped constantly and all, its their thing." (I don't think this ludicrous statement deserves a serious response)

"an ordinary citizen would obviously prefer the whipping, as it only lasts 10 minutes."

There is way too much speculation in that statement. We don't even know what kind of prison sentence Pro is talking about. I can't rebut against this statement because it holds no real substance. (Pro is eerily specific about the whipping though.)

Pro did very little to rebut my arguments for prison and his defenses were relatively weak. He has not yet come close to proving his topic.

Back to Pro.
Debate Round No. 2
acidman

Pro

acidman forfeited this round.
Malacoda

Con

Ergo, extend.
Debate Round No. 3
acidman

Pro

acidman forfeited this round.
Malacoda

Con

Ergo, extend.

My opponent has negated the BOP, all points should go to me.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Malacoda 2 years ago
Malacoda
Yikes.
Posted by PlumberGirl123 2 years ago
PlumberGirl123
As much as I agree we shouldn't be wasting money on their worthless lives, having them die quickly is too nice. Maybe just lock them up in a cell and just leave them there. Maybe smack em around a couple times
Posted by Malacoda 2 years ago
Malacoda
For future reference, those are round one sources.
Posted by Malacoda 2 years ago
Malacoda
Forgot to post my sources. My apologies.

http://people.howstuffworks.com...

http://www.ehow.com...
Posted by acidman 2 years ago
acidman
Yes.
Posted by Malacoda 2 years ago
Malacoda
Are you referring to the U.S. prison system?
Posted by Malacoda 2 years ago
Malacoda
Cool. I'll probably get around to posting sometime tomorrow morning.
Posted by acidman 2 years ago
acidman
Yes.
Posted by Malacoda 2 years ago
Malacoda
Alright, so I could argue from both the prisoner standpoint and society standpoint?
Posted by acidman 2 years ago
acidman
Not beneficial to the prisoner and society. and yeah, I guess you're right.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
acidmanMalacodaTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
acidmanMalacodaTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
acidmanMalacodaTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture.