The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Prison isn't meant to carry out justice.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/15/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 380 times Debate No: 75358
Debate Rounds (4)
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1st round: meet and greet/opening claims
2nd: Starting Arguments
3rd: Rebuttals
4th: Closing Statements

The con will argue that prison is meant to carry out justice.

I contend that prison is only meant to simply be a sub-community within a community for people who can't/haven't/choose not to follow normal laws of the given parent community.


Prison isn't just for retribution or deterrence, it's for rehabilitation so that ex-convicts walk out of prison ready to be law abiding citizens that function in a society.

Prison is also meant to be a very structured form of punishment for people prone to chaos and the very opposite to structure and order. If justice and rules are not strictly kept, these individuals will fall back onto what they know best; crime and rule-breaking.
Debate Round No. 1


Please remember to separate your arguments based on the instigator's structure.

Starting Argument:

Your almost agreeing with me.

This is literally the only thing I'm disagreeing with.
A thief steals some bread to feed his family.
-he broke the law
-he had a noble cause though

According the, justice is defined as the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness

Look at the last two words, the problem with them is that morals have always been subjective. In this particular situation, there is no true right or wrong; therefore, "moral rightness" cannot be applied. Go look at the death penalty arguments, the anti-penalty people may say that it is wrong to kill someone, but the pro-penalty people may also say that the penalty will "bring about justice" (please note that this is a small of the death penalty debates).

Two different sets of morals on an issue.

Now obviously, stealing, murder, etc. is wrong in a contextless void, but the real world is very rarely without context. With that in mind, I contend that we as a society must reevaluate the purpose of prison. Prisons are not to punish individuals for their "lack of" morals but to simply remove them from the population and reintroduce them.

So let's return to the earlier example without looking through our subjective and inconsistent moral glasses. The thief shall be sent to prison but only because he/she cannot be trusted within the given community, NOT because he/she should be punished. Hopefully, with this new attitude, our society can worry about rehabilitating the thief rather than determining how many years are enough for payment if his/her crime.

Hence, "justice" and "moral rightness" are removed from the equation.


8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Pro's case is essentially that morality, hence justice, is subjective. The reason that this case is futile is that it has absolutely nothing to do with the resolution.

I agree to Pro that morality is subjective and that what most people perceive to be right or wrong is often unsubstantiated by objective morality. On the other hand, I don't see how this proves the resolution in any way whatsoever.

Prison delivers justice because that is its entire purpose. Whether the justice itself is 'true justice' is up to the individual to interpret. much like art, justice is in the eye of the beholder.

If someone has an issue with prisons and doesn't see them as sufficient for implementing justice, that is their opinion and they are entitled to it. Nonetheless, it is objectively true that the sole purpose for prisons, and the reason people are taxed to fund them, is they are there to carry out justice and protect society from criminals, as well as to deter would-be criminals from committing crimes.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent has misunderstood the purpose if this debate. This debate is a look into the purpose for prison, or at least the purpose out society should place on prison. My opponent is correct in stating that whether or not justice is objective or subjective is irrelevant; however, that side-argument hasn't been my main focus.

My main focus is to rethink prisons. A great deal of my argument has been spent proving that justice IS subjective because that is the linchpin of my entire argument. You see, since justice is subjective, our society must remove it "from the equation" due to how varied we are around the world. Just like measurement systems, out world must set an objective standard, but that objective standard cannot be met until the subjective ideas of justice are removed.

I seriously doubt many would actually disagree with that, so I'm arguing for a rethink on the purpose if prison.

Now that that is out if the way, on to my opponent's argument.
Focusing on the last paragraph, why is it "objectively true that the sole purpose [of] prisons" is to carry out justice? You yourself, in the first round, stated that prisons are "for rehabilitation so that ex-convicts walk out of prison ready to be law abiding citizens that function in a society." In your BBC article, it states that "UK prisons try to help prisoners get some skills that make it easier for them to fit back into society as law abiding citizens." And even in your blog evidence, it's last paragraphs speaks on how the "communication of moral attitudes" may not apply to those who cannot "read" that communication.

The simple fact, unfortunetaly, is that justice is simply a cuddly term for revenge. Justice never worries about rehabilitation. Justice never worries about the future of the criminal or the society he/she lives in. Justice is simply a cloak of righteousness the angry wear to justify their actions.

What happens to the thief when he/she gets released from prison with a record but no work related skills? He/she goes and steals some bread. The prisons did exactly as justice commands.

Hence my arguments, we as a society must rethink prison not only for crminals but also for the man or woman having their bread stolen. Justice is a child's term. If we want mature prisons, we need to look at them maturely.


My opponent literally thinks that because justice is subjective prison cannot carry out justice.

This is absolutely absurd and he supplied zero reasoning towards it (he literally said it 7 different ways thinking he was somehow proving it to be true).

The burden of proof this debate lied on Pro and all that Pro has tried to prove is that justice depends on people's opinions and feelings and sociologically differs depending on the nation you are observing. There was absolutely no proof given that prisons and justice are separated in the slightest but there is a lot of evidence supporting the idea that prisons are solely built for the rehabilitation of criminals as well as the punishment to them for the sake of the victims of their crimes.

Pro insists that "justice is simple a cuddly term for revenge", this is correct. Prison sentence length is solely base don the concept of revenge. Life sentences wouldn't exist if rehabilitation was prison's only aim and I never said this so Pro should read more carefully. Prison has four purposes, two of which I focused on this debate. The two I focused on were turning a 'bad guy' into a 'good guy' and punishing the bad guy for the sake of the victim's to feel compensated for by the state. The latter purpose is the primary one and thus prisons are indeed meant to carry out justice.

Thanks and bye.
Debate Round No. 4
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