The Instigator
gordonjames
Pro (for)
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The Contender
DarthVitiosus
Con (against)
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Proposed changes to the prison system

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/11/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,751 times Debate No: 66693
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
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gordonjames

Pro

The prison system is in need of reform.
We should each suggest changes in the way we deal with crime that we think would improve life for society as a whole. This may also include ideas about voting rights, immigration and citizenship.

- include thoughts on Capital punishment, work gangs, sentencing recommendations, parole and support after release. If you don't want to take this debate, I'll open it to the public, but I really liked your debate question.

1. Round 1 is for presentation of major ideas.
2. Round 2 is for responding to each other's ideas.
3. Round 3 is to clarify your round 1 ideas and to present any new thoughts.
4. Round 4 is a brief "oops I forgot to mention it" round.
We will try not to introduce major new ideas as there is no opportunity to respond.

VOTERS - please vote for the system you think would do the most good.
Avoid picking one item (say capital punishment) and voting on that one issue

********************************************** Round 1 begins here

Our prison systems (Canada & USA) are not effective in reducing crime, as many re-offend after their release, and often for more serious offenses. Here are some suggestions to improve society as a whole through changes in the prison system.

1. Capital punishment.
Capital punishment should be a last resort option.
To reduce the possibility of a local prejudice giving a person a death sentence hastily, I suggest that local governments be required to petition federal government for all capital punishment, and that sentencing and the punishment be carried out by a federal Supreme Court.

2. Work as punishment.
Many offenders lack a work ethic, work skills and people skills. If low risk offenders were able to reduce their sentence by participating in work programs, it might give them work skills and improve their people skills. There are several risks with this. (they may see all work as punishment rather than reward and have a worse work ethic; or that they may be in closer contact with the public - more in round 2)

3. Mental illness
The first professional contact with people having a mental health break is often the police. Many in our prison systems have mental health problems. Substance abuse is closely linked with mental health. Most prisoners have substance abuse issues. An ideal system would have closer links and more options to place offenders in programs for improved mental health. Like successful work options to reduce jail time, signs of better mental health could be used for "outpatient" options where these prisoners are released to work programs that have mental health monitoring.

4. Release Location
Many offenders have more trouble with the complexity of city life, and with the option of a transient lifestyle that city life allows. Parole (early release with conditions) should allow very few to be released into cities. Work release to rural or semi-rural areas might give released offenders a better chance at avoiding the things that led to their crime.

5. Monitoring.
All early release offenders should be given a brightly colored cell phone that they are required to carry with them at all times.
This has several benefits:
a) They are identified as people on a release program.
b) The GPS can record and transmit where they are at all times.
c) Their parole officer can contact them at any time.
Failure to respond is an instant breach of parole.
The parole officer can demand immediate tests for substance abuse.
d) They have one less obstacle to work, as they have a phone.
e) They can add services (like data) if they earn enough to pay the difference,
this has the added benefit of being able to be monitored for sex offenders.
f) Protection - many on parole live in fear of a false accusation from ex girlfriends
of alleged contact. GPS enabled phones can give evidence to protect them.

Repeat offense
Repeat offenders show they they are not in control of their actions.
I suggest that options for early release be made more difficult for repeat offenders.

Sentencing lengths
I am in favor of much higher term lengths of sentencing.
The average sentence length is around 5 years,[1] but only a portion of that is currently served because of early release for decent behavior while in prison.
By having higher sentencing options with many opportunities for motivated and competent people to reduce their sentence we would see two patterns in first time offenders:
a) People could work hard to get out early. They would emerge with job skills, opportunities and people skills, and would be the people least likely to re-offend.
b) People would try for early release, but would not be able to keep their job or a record of good interactions with people. Their only options for earlier release would be courses on job skills and people skills inside the prison. They would not be released as quickly.
c) Mental illness and substance abuse issues (on the inside) would make a person do their entire sentence, with options of programs for mental illness or substance abuse.

Enforcement
Many issues we may want to discuss later

Prisons
Prisoners should be equipped with ankle bracelets that allow remote monitoring.
These are common in the dairy industry[2], and allow farmers to monitor things like weight, water intake, food intake and activity level. In the prison system a similar system would not only keep track of prisoner location, but could be used for drug testing direct from the toilets, and linked to the prisoner.
By having a focus on work programs, many prisoners would be out of the prison on an individual work placement or work group, so there would be less people to deal with during the day and evening work shifts.

I hope we come up with some great suggestions for improved prisons.

[1] edr.state.fl.us/Content/resource-demand/criminal-justice/.../cj25.pdf
[2] http://www.destronfearing.com...
DarthVitiosus

Con

INTRODUCTION & PREMISES:
Overall, I would allude to my prison reforms would leave a cheaper system. I want to an end to the prison-industrial complex[1]. My reforms would leave a significantly less people in prison. My reforms are based on speed, efficiency, and a devout belief in absolute justice.

[1]http://www.vice.com...

ARGUMENTS:
1. Capital Punishment
Matthew 7 :12 "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you[2]"

Allegedly, Jesus of Nazerth stated the quote of above. It is noble but stupid. You may wish to be peaceful and even become a pacifist. That doesn't mean other people will be peaceful with you.

When someone has committed murder once, don't they gain experience at killing someone? If they murdered once what should make us believe they would not murder again? It would require faith in order for us to not believe they would do it again. I understand some people on death row may be innocent. However, there are many cases where there are cameras involved and we know who killed whom. I would argue that capital punishment should be considered as a necessary resort in cases where the evidence is clear and concise and not circumstantial. It should be thought that the life of a person is the most valuable thing they have. When they take someone else's life with the intent to murder, society should not tolerate it. Self defense cases and cicumstantial cases should be treated differently. Cases like James Eagan Holmes or the DC Snipers should result in an immediate execution rather than allowing them to delay and live off the taxpayers money. Cases with multiple deaths should have a speedy trial with a speedy execution. Capital punishment should be reserved for cases with the clear intent to murder and cases with multiple deaths and all of these cases have substantial evidence.


"Death is the solution to all problems. No man - no problem[3]" -Joseph Stalin

[2]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[3]http://www.goodreads.com...--

2. Violent offenders
"With a moment of hesitation, how can you protect the future, from a criminal who is trying to escape?[4]"-Onigumo

Going back to what I stated earlier, "When someone has committed murder once, don't they gain experience at killing someone?" In similiar circumstances, violent crimes should be dealt with differently for repeat offenders. First time offenders, should suffer corporal punishment and then be released. The second time and the following, they should be maimed or have an eye gouged out. Why? The point is to render they incapable of doing more violent crimes. My opponent nor I can promise that people will stop attempting crimes. Therefore, I see the need to just render people incapable of harming anyone else in society.

[4]http://onepiece.wikia.com...

3. Drug related offenders
"Men exist for the sake of one another.[5]”-Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius

I think drug related offender should not be sent to prison but they should be sent to rehab in order to deal with their drug problems.

[5]http://www.goodreads.com...

4. Non-violent offenders
"The ideas of individual supremacy and the right of free expression, when carried to excess, have not worked........In America itself, there is widespread crime and violence, old people feel forgotten, families are falling apart.[6]"- Former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew

Non-violent offenders should be given corporal punishment and released. Repeat non-violent offenders should be given corporal punishment and humiliated with a scold's bridle or put in pillories to be laughed at. Prison populations would damatically decrease from these reforms.

[6]http://amotimes.com...
Debate Round No. 1
gordonjames

Pro

Round 2 is for response to ideas presented in round 1

I like Darth"s focus on a less expensive prison system.
I also appreciate his "follow the money" approach to see who is getting rich off the current prison system.

I will need a more complete explanation of what he means by "absolute justice" in his opening.

1. Capital Punishment
We are agreed on the need for capital punishment. I would push for more checks and balances to try and reduce the number of wrong convictions.
I agree that multiple murderers should face the death penalty. I would add killing a peace officer, and treason to the list of offenses where capital punishment becomes the first choice.

2. Violent offenders
I agree that corporal punishment is often effective for offenders who are not in the habit of violent crime. I disagree with maiming, as it may take the offender out of the work force, or into a desperate financial situation where they become a further burden on society. There also needs to be a recognition that we live in different worlds. Violence against an elderly person as part of committing a crime needs to be dealt with more harshly than a brawl breaking out in a bar or university drinking event. Violence or weapons use during a home invasion should automatically increase the punishments handed down by the judge.

3. Drug related offenses
The term drug related offenses is too broad to be useful in a discussion of law. I assume Darth agrees that there should be no jail time for possession of personal use amounts of drugs that could be referred to as recreational. The complex issues around how to deal with repeat offenders who traffic dangerous substances and are involved in organized crime requires detailed legislation. As a general rule I would want "victimless crime" like drug use and prostitution to be met with rehabilitation and social programs. Those who use drugs or violence to influence people into prostitution are not committing victimless crimes. If death results from drug use, I believe the seller should be responsible for a capital offense.

4. Non violent offenders
Corporal punishment and release seems like a simplistic view of a correctional system. Goals of a correction system should include social control, punishment and rehabilitation of offenders, restitution for those affected and helping strengthen society as a whole. This is why we use fines (punishment and restitution), jail time (rehabilitation and keeping dangerous people out of the public) and "volunteer service" as some of our tools in the tool box. I agree that corporal and capital punishment should be added to the tool box. I disagree with any system that limits the tools we can use. Jail time, work release and other creative tools need to be part of our tool box.

5. Adding Value
For a correctional system to add value to society it should force inmates to work so they can pay restitution to those damaged by their crime. There are many ways a criminal could add value to society. Even those on death row could (voluntarily) sign up for organ donation or medical research. Shelters for the homeless could be built and maintained by inmates as part of their work experience. Forest management and farm labor are good opportunities for offenders to work towards early release.

Other thoughts.

The Bible says "When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people's hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong." [Ecclesiastes 8:11]

Not only do we need changes to the prison system, but there needs to be swift justice. The court system for criminal events needs to be changes so the cost of delaying justice falls on the lawyers, and increases the punishments.
DarthVitiosus

Con

I think my opponent and I tend to agree on many things related to prison reform.


"I will need a more complete explanation of what he means by "absolute justice" in his opening."

Absolute Justice:"And whereas justice implies a relation to persons as well as to things, and a just distribution, as I have already said in the Ethics, implies the same ratio between the persons and between the things, they agree about the equality of the things, but dispute about the equality of the persons, chiefly for the reason which I have just given- because they are bad judges in their own affairs; and secondly, because both the parties to the argument are speaking of a limited and partial justice, but imagine themselves to be speaking of absolute justice[1]."

[1]http://classics.mit.edu...


1.Capital Punishment
Query:"I would add killing a peace officer, and treason to the list of offenses where capital punishment becomes the first choice."

What is a peace officer? A citizen on patrol or a UN officer? Could you please explain.

2. Violent offenders

"I disagree with maiming, as it may take the offender out of the work force, or into a desperate financial situation where they become a further burden on society."
I should of been more specific about the maiming process. If someone steals, I would reccommend removing their thumbs. Thumbs are required for the most insignificant of tasks from opening doors to writing. A person would not become a burden on society by removing their thumbs. Tasks done by that person would become more difficult.

"Violence against an elderly person as part of committing a crime needs to be dealt with more harshly than a brawl breaking out in a bar or university drinking event. Violence or weapons use during a home invasion should automatically increase the punishments handed down by the judge."
I can't say I disagree with the sentiment. Are you saying that violence against an elderly person should be dealt with more harshly because of their frailty?

3. Drug related offenses

"As a general rule I would want "victimless crime" like drug use and prostitution to be met with rehabilitation and social programs. Those who use drugs or violence to influence people into prostitution are not committing victimless crimes. If death results from drug use, I believe the seller should be responsible for a capital offense."
I was referring to drug users when I was talking about drug related offenses. I wasn't referring to the traffickers of drugs. Drug traffickers should be dealt with as non-violent offenders unless they commit an act of violence.
In terms of rehabilitation and prostitution, who is being rehabilitated, the "John" soliciting the service or the prostitute?

4. Non violent offenders

"Goals of a correction system should include social control, punishment and rehabilitation of offenders, restitution for those affected and helping strengthen society as a whole. This is why we use fines (punishment and restitution), jail time (rehabilitation and keeping dangerous people out of the public) and "volunteer service" as some of our tools in the tool box."
I disagree, to allow the correction system to continue as is allows criminals to strengthen their criminal skills. The correction system has been proven to be the criminals version of college. You go there to get more experienced then you previously were[2]. The current correction system has failed in terms of the "correcting" aspects. The correction system does not "correct" and has failed in many places in the modern world[3][4]. For this debate, we should avoid discussing the Scandanavian prison system since those societies lack violent criminals.
[3]www.gale.cengage.com/pdf/samples/SP_9780737744606.pdf
[4]http://usatoday30.usatoday.com...

5. Work as punishment.

"Many offenders lack a work ethic, work skills and people skills. If low risk offenders were able to reduce their sentence by participating in work programs, it might give them work skills and improve their people skills."
I disagree strongly, offenders should be put into work programs to improve their skills? Yet we would not offer such programs to people who have never committed a crime.Criminals should not receive such offers because they have broken the laws which govern us all. They should not recieve benefits for it. It is one thing where we give them free housing, free clothing, and free food. While at the same time we would not offer such benefits to the homeless, many of whom have never committed a crime.

6.Mental illness

"The first professional contact with people having a mental health break is often the police. Many in our prison systems have mental health problems. Substance abuse is closely linked with mental health. Most prisoners have substance abuse issues. "
Are you referring to someone who suffers from a disorder as described by the DSM IV? Or do you mean people who use drugs?

7.Release Location
"Many offenders have more trouble with the complexity of city life, and with the option of a transient lifestyle that city life allows. Parole (early release with conditions) should allow very few to be released into cities. Work release to rural or semi-rural areas might give released offenders a better chance at avoiding the things that led to their crime."
This is a restriction that is probably untenable for economic and social reasons. People released from prison need jobs. It is cities which offer the most jobs. To limit the people on parole and people who have served their time to rural areas would limit their capacity to find a job. I would also be concerned about seperating people from their loved ones. To isolate them from their family and friends may cause some of them to engage in a life of crime again.

8.Monitoring.
"All early release offenders should be given a brightly colored cell phone that they are required to carry with them at all times."
I agree.

9. Repeat offense
"I suggest that options for early release be made more difficult for repeat offenders."
I disagree because taxpayers would have to subsidize them for the rest of their life. The crime they committed will be worth far less compared to the amount of money we will use to subsidize them for the rest of their lives. There needs to be a serious reduction in prison spending. Most prisoners are not worth the amount of money we spend on them.

10.Sentencing lengths
"I am in favor of much higher term lengths of sentencing.
The average sentence length is around 5 years,[1] but only a portion of that is currently served because of early release for decent behavior while in prison."
See 9.

11.Prisons
"Prisoners should be equipped with ankle bracelets that allow remote monitoring."
This is already done for many non-violent criminals in the United States and United Kingdom.




Debate Round No. 2
gordonjames

Pro

In response to questions from round 2

>> What is a peace officer?

Peace Officer : “A peace officer is any public-sector employee or agent whose duties primarily involve the enforcement of laws.” [1]

[1] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_officer

>>Are you saying that violence against an elderly person should be dealt with more harshly because of their frailty?

My thinking is that unprotected and vulnerable people need special legal protection.

>> In terms of rehabilitation and prostitution, who is being rehabilitated, the "John" soliciting the service or the prostitute?

My quick thought is to make the one with money and power (the Johns) pay heavy fines and endure public shaming (make arrest records public). Judges should have resources to offer the prostitutes courses or job training.

>> Are you referring to someone who suffers from a disorder as described by the DSM IV? Or do you mean people who use drugs?

Both! Long term mental health issues (listed in the DSM) and the chronic poverty and dysfunction of those who have moved from recreation use to debilitating substance abuse problems often end up in jail. This is worth considering.

“Estimates vary on the prevalence of mental health issues within prison, however the general view is that it is high and has increased in recent years ( [APA], 2004; [CSC], 2009). For example, within the Canadian context, Brink, Doherty & Boer (2001) report that 31.7% of 267 new intakes in federal penitentiaries in British Columbia had a current diagnosis of a mental disorder, with 12% meeting the criteria for a serious mood or psychotic disorder.” [6]

[6] www.csc-scc.gc.ca/health/092/MH-strategy-eng.pdf Page 4

If the 31% statistic (above) holds for the wider population, then many need a mental health intervention as their preliminary treatment before we can assess their danger to re-offend.

**

I want our correction system to do 3 things.
1. Protect people from criminals.
2. Serve the best interests of society.
This includes all citizens and visitors. (Offenders and non offenders alike)
This needs to be cost effective.
This should make our world a better place.
3. Give justice.
This includes restitution to those wronged.
This includes punishment to the offender.

New Ideas.

Loss of citizenship.
Repeat offenders who cannot live in our society should lose their citizenship.
There are countries that would be willing to receive “immigrants” from Canada or the US is the price was right. This protects our people from criminal acts. It removes the problem people from our society. It serves the punishment side of justice because the life they will lead there will be much more harsh than life here with the welfare and service to which they are accustomed.
I believe there are many countries that would be willing to receive our problem people, for a price.

For example, if we pay $2000 per offender to the country that receives them, this is a far more cost effective situation than spending $100,000 per year on their imprisonment.

Military Service
Offenders who wish to serve in the military could have a portion of their pay go for restitution, and have a highly supervised work release situation. These military workers would likely be lower quality than those who chose military employment from a non offender situation, and the pay rate and rank could be adjusted accordingly. As always, good workers could earn their promotions and early release from the parole/probation system.

The military in Canada and the USA also has a different correction system. The UCMJ in the USA [7] and the Military Justice System in Canada [8] have the goal of strong discipline and unit morale which may be new to the offender. I have seen many excell in the highly structured system of the military who did not do as well in wider society.

[7] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_Code_of_Military_Justice
[8] www.forces.gc.ca/en/news/article.page?doc=canada-s-military-justice-system/hnea75sh


Regarding Prisons
Currently, the time spent in prison is considered the punishment for the crime. I suggest this is not at all effective. It trains prisoners to be idle and lazy. I suggest that all comforts and entertainments be earned by work in the prison, and by accomplishing items on the work release plan tailored to that offender.


I see the following benefits and cost saving effects of the changes proposed here.

1. Capital punishment.
Small cost savings as only a small percentage of inmates are serving life [9][10]
These are the high visibility cases, and I suggest firing squad as the most effective method.

[9] www.projectcensored.org/number-us-prison-inmates-serving-life-sentences-hits-new-record/

[10] www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/2012-ccrs/index-eng.aspx

2. Work as punishment.
By taking some of the money earned by the offenders, this system could offset some of the costs in making it happen.

3. Mental illness
Cost to the prison system could be greatly reduced by removing people who need medical treatment from those who need the prison system. NOTE - This would increase the cost of the medical system if done in Canada where medical treatment is coved by tax dollars. It would be very difficult for uninsured American offenders.

4. Release Location
Urban areas are growing, and rural areas are having trouble keeping a young population. Work release to rural areas for the jobs that people don’t want to do benefits the rural area. Because offenders are only released if they have an employer willing to take them, it makes offenders more complaint with their employer.

5. Monitoring.
Electronic monitoring in prisons, for people on work programs, and for people on parole or probation can be made cost effective. Our current system of parole officers having limited information about the location of their clients is difficult. Under our current system there are difficulties keeping in touch with clients. An obvious advantage of monitoring programs would be to allow the police to be at any location where an offender they wish to contact is present. It would also allow us to keep statistics on locations that seem to favor repeat offenders (crack houses and pawn shops that deal in stolen goods) and the locations that seem to be part of the lives of offenders who are keeping out of trouble.

6. Repeat offense
A wider range of punishments should be available to be used with repeat offenders. These should range from capital punishment (multiple homicide) to loss of citizenship and exile. Between these extreme measures we should have corporal punishment for routine misdemeanor infractions. Because repeat offenders show they cannot live by the laws of the land, and they have already made and broken promises about good behavior, harsher punishments that aim to repay damages or let these people serve their time far from society are ideal. If jail time was the punishment for a prior offense, it is unlikely to have value in correcting ongoing crime. Jail time should not be the first choice for a repeat offense.

7. Sentencing lengths & early release
I am in favor of long sentence lengths with hard labor and unpleasant conditions. This is not because I want to see longer prison terms. Amenities like TV, Internet, Luxury foods or products, Tobacco and even Alcohol should be earned by inmates who are working well towards their release. There are many dangers to the “Arbeit_macht_frei” (work makes you free) philosophy[11], but a major problem with repeat offenders is they do not know how to survive without breaking society’s rules.

[11] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbeit_macht_frei

8. Prisons
I am not a fan of prisons. Prison time is expensive for society, and does not help the criminal become a better member of society. If offenders are going to learn how to live in a free society, they need to learn and practice those skills. One approach to this might be work camps for seasonal jobs. Tree planting is hard work with little training required. [12] Highway flagging is a job that work well for many ex-offenders[13]. Construction labor and many others have a low training requirement, but allow workers to earn a living.

[12] www.plantingtheplanet.com/tree-planting-jobs/
[13] www.jobmonkey.com/uniquejobs/highway-flagger.html


I suggest a large number of smaller prison facilities in rural areas where the prison contributes to the local economy. If the maximum prison size was 100 inmates, and the maximum prison staff was 5 paid workers there would be a decent ratio of workers to residents.
Those who have not yet earned extra privileges would eat basic nutritious food, no TV, no phone, and no entertainments. Those who work towards earning early release and spending money would quickly have far more choice. Because the majority of inmates would be off site at jobs for much of the day, there would be little need for daytime supervision.
Some areas would be good candidates for farm or garden labor by the inmates after hours. Recreation facilities could be rented (also giving back to the community) from schools and churches as they earned money and privileges.
Because prisoners are earning their privileges through hard work, the loss of those because of some infraction would be a much harsher treatment than a brief removal (2 day solitary confinement) like we do now.

My biggest disagreement with prisons is they way they take away freedom of choice from an offender. How will they learn to live in a free society if they have no chance to practice.

My biggest disagreement with our correction systems is that we take responsibility for the criminal’s life and upkeep. By having the deportment of repeat offenders as an option, I believe we will pay a small price (morally and economically) to fix a huge collection of issues. If the family, friends or business of a deported person with to petition for citizenship that gives us the option of them posting $100,000 bond as a promise of good behavior. It lets us decide if we want the individual back as a temporary resident or citizen.
DarthVitiosus

Con

"My thinking is that unprotected and vulnerable people need special legal protection."
I can't disagree with the sentiments.

"Judges should have resources to offer the prostitutes courses or job training."
I disagree profusely, I feel the same way about this as training of other inmates. We are giving these guys training which we would not give law abiding citizens. I don't like the message that we will train you if you disrupt society but if you follow the rules we will give you nothing.

"Both! Long term mental health issues (listed in the DSM) and the chronic poverty and dysfunction of those who have moved from recreation use to debilitating substance abuse problems often end up in jail. This is worth considering."

I find this sentiment to be disagreable as well as dangerous. I find it dangerous because of the lack of scientific research involved in the DSM. Should we based the mental health of one individual base on the assessment of one psychiatrist? A psychiatrist who bases his opinions on the DSM in which disorders are voted upon. The DSM is not very credible especially when we are determing how we should deal with disturbed individuals.

"If the 31% statistic (above) holds for the wider population, then many need a mental health intervention as their preliminary treatment before we can assess their danger to re-offend."

The idea of who need mental health intervention is subjective. I admit there are deeply disturbed individuals. But I think we should tread lightly when throwing these types of statistics around. It reminds me of the craziness exhibited by the last DSM which claimed 51% of peope will suffer a mental disorder in their lifetime. These statistics based on opinions of the mental health of others is not objective to say the least.

"Loss of citizenship."

I like the general sentiment but I don't think too many countries would want to accept our prisoners. What countries are you thinking of? I don't think there is a modern Australia, if you understand what I am getting at there. Australia was a former prison colony. On top of that, I don't think exiling our prisoners would solve the problem. I think we would just be forcing our problem onto other countries when we send them our prisoners. It reminds me of how Fidel Castro sent unwanted Cuban prisoners to the United States when he allowed dissidents to leave Cuba on the Mariel.

"Military Service"

I like this idea.

"Regarding Prisons"

I like the idea of "that all comforts and entertainments be earned by work in the prison, and by accomplishing items on the work release plan tailored to that offender."

"Capital Punishment"

I find your reasoning behind this to be a bit extreme. We should use the firing squad on all long term offenders just to reduce cost? I would assume you are including people who engaged in multiple charges and have long sentences.

"Work as punishment."
"Mental illness"
"Release Location"
"Monitoring"
"Repeat offense"
"Sentencing lengths & early release"

I think we have exhausted these in previous rounds. I didn't see much change in your reasoning. I think you should of discussed this in your conclusion but ok.

Debate Round No. 3
gordonjames

Pro

Many thanks to Darth for the debate / discussion.

We seem to agree on many areas regadring making the justice system more cost effective. We also seem to agree on making inmates work towards their early release. We have a few areas where we seem to strongly hold opposing opinions.

I am strongly in favor of work related training for offenders.
This idea seems offenseve to CON because of his desire for Justice/Retribution.
My reasoning for training offenders in work related skills is that it is in society's best interest for these people to have jobs, pay taxes, and otherwise contribute something useful to society.
In response to CONs argument that it is not fair to give benefits to inmates that are not available to the general public, I AGREE. It is not fair. Live is not fair. It is not fair that I grew up un a good home while my friends in prison grew up in something much less. It is not fair that I learned work skills from mom and dad, while they learned welfare.
Training for inmates is about giving them the skills to contribute to society. Punishment for offenders is about giving them motivation to never commit a crime again.

I am strongly in favor of training for people at risk of being a burden on society for the same reasons. I want them to pay taxes, not be a drain on my tax dollars.

From a practical standpoint, in some issues we need to choose between punishment (justice) and effectiveness (changing criminal behavior). When there is a choice, I suggest effectiveness. This is why I am in favor of mental health intervention in the justice system.
I agree with CON that there are many limitations to the DSM and the way we use it to categorize mental illness. It is the tool we currently have. My experience with the Canadian correctional system is that over half the population are deeply disturbed emotionally, or have very clear mental health issues.
By making a clear separation between situations where we think the issues are behavioral and those where the person is limited by mental health issues, we can work towards more effective systems for society as a whole.

A person with mental health issues may be fine when they are on their meds. A person who proves their issues are not helped by medication or therapy (second offense) can be treated accordingly.

There are many moral issues in the citizenship debate.
CON asked "what country would take our offenders?" The sad truth is that many countries would recieve our people for a price. Think 1 way tourist holiday to the Central African Republic. We would have to give up caring about what happenes to them as they live in their new country. Assume wee move 1000 people a year from our prison system to another country. Assume we pay $10,000 per person. Compare this to a conservative estimate of 150,000 per year to house inmates. The amout saved here is staggering.

The moral issues mostly come from what happens to these offenders in their new country. Many would die , or be targets of kidnapping (because of the nature of countries that would take our criminals). Exile would be the top punishment for people not guilty of capitol offenses.

Again, Many thanks to Darth for the fun debate / discussion.



DarthVitiosus

Con

I was going to say "Thanks pro...." but pro stole my line. I will put one better, Merry Christmas Gordonjames. Better yet, Merry Christmas to all! This round I will simply highlight our agreements and disagreements and conclude.

AGREEMENTS with PRO:
1.Capital Punishment
2.Drug related offenses
3.Monitoring
4.Prisons
5.Military Service

DISAGREEMENTS with PRO:
1.Violent offenders
Round 2:"I should of been more specific about the maiming process. If someone steals, I would reccommend removing their thumbs. Thumbs are required for the most insignificant of tasks from opening doors to writing. A person would not become a burden on society by removing their thumbs. Tasks done by that person would become more difficult."

2.Non violent offenders
Round 2:"I disagree, to allow the correction system to continue as is allows criminals to strengthen their criminal skills. The correction system has been proven to be the criminals version of college. You go there to get more experienced then you previously were[2]. The current correction system has failed in terms of the "correcting" aspects. The correction system does not "correct" and has failed in many places in the modern world[3][4]. For this debate, we should avoid discussing the Scandanavian prison system since those societies lack violent criminals."

3.Mental illness
Round 3:"I find this sentiment to be disagreable as well as dangerous. I find it dangerous because of the lack of scientific research involved in the DSM. Should we based the mental health of one individual base on the assessment of one psychiatrist? A psychiatrist who bases his opinions on the DSM in which disorders are voted upon. The DSM is not very credible especially when we are determing how we should deal with disturbed individuals."

4.Release Location
Round 2:"This is a restriction that is probably untenable for economic and social reasons. People released from prison need jobs. It is cities which offer the most jobs. To limit the people on parole and people who have served their time to rural areas would limit their capacity to find a job. I would also be concerned about seperating people from their loved ones. To isolate them from their family and friends may cause some of them to engage in a life of crime again."

5.Repeat offense
Round 2:"I disagree because taxpayers would have to subsidize them for the rest of their life. The crime they committed will be worth far less compared to the amount of money we will use to subsidize them for the rest of their lives. There needs to be a serious reduction in prison spending. Most prisoners are not worth the amount of money we spend on them."

6.Sentencing lengths
Round 2: See 5.

7.Loss of citizenship
Round 3:"I like the general sentiment but I don't think too many countries would want to accept our prisoners. What countries are you thinking of? I don't think there is a modern Australia, if you understand what I am getting at there. Australia was a former prison colony. On top of that, I don't think exiling our prisoners would solve the problem. I think we would just be forcing our problem onto other countries when we send them our prisoners. It reminds me of how Fidel Castro sent unwanted Cuban prisoners to the United States when he allowed dissidents to leave Cuba on the Mariel."

8.Capital Punishment with Firing Squads to reduce Prison Costs
Round 3:"I find your reasoning behind this to be a bit extreme. We should use the firing squad on all long term offenders just to reduce cost? I would assume you are including people who engaged in multiple charges and have long sentences."

Conclusion:
I stated previously my reforms are based on speed, efficiency, and a devout belief in absolute justice. Pro's reforms would be far more taxing to finance the malevolent amongst us. Pro's reforms are also far more ruthless than mine simply to reduce costs. I found some of Pro's reforms to be impractical, like the loss of citizenship for example Where would these people go? Pro never explained any countries. I did not have a large program as Pro because I was strictly concerned about the practicality of the reforms. I thought, could these reforms actually take place. Where as I think numerous of Pro's reforms are not possible for fiscal reasons as well as contractual reasons. I think my plan is superior because it reduces costs, punishes the violent criminals, and relieves the citizenry of the burden of subsidizing the malevolent in society. After all, why should we subsidize the existence of people who have served to break societies' laws which we all generally follow?

Again, thanks Pro for hosting this debate. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DarthVitiosus 2 years ago
DarthVitiosus
That is a bit harsh. You don't think it is?

I will post my arguments tomorrow morning.
Posted by gordonjames 2 years ago
gordonjames
@Darth -
are you in favor of greatly increasing the number of people who get the death penalty?

I have wondered weather we should give people "X years to get it together" or the death penalty
As I thought about this approach it seemed a little harsh even for me.

I think people should be given a reasonable time (say 7 years) to work towards proving their innocence if they are on death row.

I think that the death penalty should be reserved for
1. repeat offenders
2. Those using weapons in the commission of a crime
3. Killing a peace officer (corrections or police or military) or politician in office
Posted by DarthVitiosus 2 years ago
DarthVitiosus
@gordonjames

You should go back and look a the issues I answered.
Posted by gordonjames 2 years ago
gordonjames
@Darth
I just noticed that we agree 100% on "the big issues"
I hope our debate and ideas are lively.
Posted by DarthVitiosus 2 years ago
DarthVitiosus
I already took the debate. He will have to start another one.
Posted by gordonjames 2 years ago
gordonjames
@Kyle
>I'm just wondering where all the money would come from to implement these ideas.

the ideas about phones for those on parole could be funded by the need for less hours from parole officers (who spend way too much time tracking down their clients)

say it is $50 / month for the phone, we waste at least $50 per hour we waste tracking down people on parole.

Regarding other costs, the average stay in Canadian prisons is (11 years federal and 30 days provincial) works out to be just less than a year. We have a large number of people who are in for their 4th or 5th time. I suspect a system that got inmates working (for pay, part to the system and part as reward for the inmate) would reduce the overall cost of the prison system because of fewer repeat offenders.
By getting inmates job experience and a sense that work is its own reward there is a better chance they could find employment and stay out of trouble.

These proposals would also place more inmates in medical (mental health) care, which would reduce the cost to the prison system (and may increase health care costs).

For those who are unlikely or unwilling to be released to a work placement the conditions would be very spartan. Programs and incentives ONLY for those willing to work at them without causing trouble for the staff.

The idea of ankle tags while in prison is cost effective for farmers with cows, It is not that expensive, and is less prone to abuse (simpler to automate) than other forms of tracking.

@Mikal - I would love your input in working out a system without capital punishment.
Take the "debate" and put forward some ideas.
Posted by DarthVitiosus 2 years ago
DarthVitiosus
There will always be a death penalty. Just because you wish not to kill someone else doesn't mean others will yield.
Posted by Mikal 2 years ago
Mikal
There should be no death penalty by any means
Posted by Kyle_the_Heretic 2 years ago
Kyle_the_Heretic
Having worked in a federal penitentiary for ten years, I have to say that I'm impressed with your ideas. Some are more practical than others, but the potential is there. I'm just wondering where all the money would come from to implement these ideas. To implement them all would cost millions, maybe billions.
Posted by Tommy.leadbetter 2 years ago
Tommy.leadbetter
Sorry I would accept but I have far too many debates on at the moment lol. Though I think our idea's are quite similar, perhaps you would be better debating with somebody who disagreed more with your system. Thank you for your interest
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