The Instigator
kukupser
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
rougeagent21
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points

Rehabilitation vs. Punishment

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
rougeagent21
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/4/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 26,338 times Debate No: 7237
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)

 

kukupser

Pro

In today's justice system, is rehabilitation or punishment more important?

Personally I think rehabilitation is more important. In prisons, convicts should be educated and although there may be some education systems is some institutions, how good these systems are and whether they are effective in any way is the main question. Giving a convict an education, or at least a portion of an education, so they can jumpstart a career seems reasonable. Punishments that involve doing extensive book reports and novel studies would be better than giving the prisoner opportunities to work out at the gym for for hours on end. There are organizations where criminals in jail can do work to get money, which may seem absurd but what would happen if they didn't have that money? The ex-convict would have to commit crimes and steal again to get money for the basic necessities of life, like food and shelter. With the money earned in jail, they could buy an apartment and get a head start on becoming introduced back into society. The work is also cheaper, let's say, $2.50/ hour for a prisoner instead of $8/ hour for a person not in a prison.

I look forward to hearing my opponent's debate and their point of view on this topic.
rougeagent21

Con

Alright, thank you for starting this debate. I will present several ideas why the resolution would not work. You, the voter, can either use them to build my case, attack his, or both. Good luck!

Point 1-The resolution

In this debate, my opponent says that we are debating either punishment, or, rehabilitation. This implies that we can only have one or the other. My opponent seems to combine the two. He is putting punishment (prison) together with rehabilitation. We must stick to the topic at hand, either or.

Point 2-We must have punishment.

Given the resolution, we would not have punishment if we had rehabilitation. This would be incredibly detrimental to society, as well as being unjust. Punishment deters crime. If we had no punishment, crime rates would take off. A potential criminal is much more likely to commit a crime if he knows he would not be punished for it. All of society would degrade into chaos in a faster amount of time than it would take China to lob a missile over here. No punishment=no society.

Point 3-Rehabilitation is part of the punishing process

As I am sure you know, most prisons have built-in rehab programs. Unlike my opponent would have you believe, the only thing for prisoners to do is not just work out. There are already many programs built into the system. These include Bible studies, working opportunities, recreation sports, and others.

So, here is my logic. Opponent, please tell me if you find any flaws in here.

-Rehab is beneficial
-Punishment is necessary
-Of the two, punishment is more important to society
-We cannot sacrifice punishment for more rehab programs

That concludes round one. For the reasons listed above, I can only negate the resolution, and urge you to do the same. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
kukupser

Pro

Alright, thank you to the opponent for pointing out the flaws in my resolution, I was a little hasty in writing my opinion. I meant to say that while basic punishment is necessary, serving six lifetimes in prison is not any more of a deterrent than one life time, and is overly extreme. What I was trying to say was that extreme penalties are pointless, and that they can, in some cases, be sacrificed for rehabilitation instead. The exception would be if someone of a sane mind committed a serious offence and knew exactly what they were doing.

And I would not have you believe that all prisoners do is work out, as I stated earlier, "...and although there may be some education systems is some institutions, how good these systems are and whether they are effective in any way is the main question." I had also said earlier that the prisoners get working opportunities, which is beneficial. For a crime to occur, there must be two things, the actus reus - meaning the act - and the mens rea - "the guilty mind". So in some cases where a crime is committed, the person doesn't know what's going on at the time because of their mental condition. And although punishment is necessary, it can also be unfair, people not of right mental states shouldn't just be convicted of life in prison, it is not their fault they are mentally unstable.

In Canada, there is a case of a man who had gotten drunk and lost his two daughters in a blizzard (http://news.therecord.com...), but in this case, he admitted what he did was wrong and that had a problem and pleaded guilty. The man had the option of a sentencing circle (http://www.sasked.gov.sk.ca...), where the community, the man, a judge and a policeman have the chance to suggest what to be done with the accused. In this case, the citizens of the circle wanted the man to stay in the community and do community service and be rehabilitated in the community, take alcoholics anonymous, etc. The judge ignored the opinions of the sentencing circle and gave him three years in prison. I think that the man, since admitting his mistakes and wanting to improve himself as a person, should have stayed in the community. That way he could make noticeable progress and have to face the people in the community with shame and work to make those relationships better. In prison, the rehabilitation programs probably are not as extensive as the ones set up in the community, nor as personal.

Another case is of a man who was on a greyhound bus and stabbed another man while the passengers and drivers were escaping the bus. The man was locked on the bus and he decapitated the other young man that was stabbed earlier, killing him. While what he did was clearly wrong, he was a schizophrenic and thought that the voice of god was talking to him, telling him the young man was a demon going to kill him. Last I heard, the case is yet to be resolved but I think that the man shouldn't be sent to life in prison, he should be put into a mental institution, and go through intense therapy. The chances of the man ever being stabilized is slim, but at least if there is a medical advancement and he is mentally stable, he can be introduced back into society instead of being forgotten about and wasting away in prison.

So in conclusion, after fixing a flawed resolution, rehabilitation should be given to people in place of severe punishments. We should work to help and fix people who are unstable or going through a hard time in their life and made a mistake. Why can't we "sacrifice punishment for more rehab programs"?

Thank you to my opponent, who will hopefully shift his argument to accommodate my new resolution and for the audience reading this debate.
rougeagent21

Con

rougeagent21 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
kukupser

Pro

kukupser forfeited this round.
rougeagent21

Con

Well, this is a change. My opponent now wants to change the resolution? I cannot comply with this. I stand by my unrefuted arguments for the original resolution. In addition, I cannot shift to the new resolution due to the fact that my opponent would have no opportunity to respond. It would also be unfair to me in that I was tricked into a different resolution. I stand by my arguments. Voters, please judge accordingly. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by reggaeyogi 1 year ago
reggaeyogi
rougeagent21
you're talking about get tough on crime

while kukupser
you're talking about people getting a second chance

here's a case for both of you!!!
many people can manipulate the system by faking being mentally ill, to get rehab, they show good conduct "good time" and they are off the charges. How do we know if the person is not lying? are we doing the correct thing with our corrections ( criminal system) or we are just playing stupid games???
do we have to go back into the Muharrabi Code time period
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
Pro conceded, so Con wins. Con's arguments were better in any case.

The US has gone through several theories of crime and punishment. Punishment deters some crimes, but not others. Rehabilitation rarely succeeds. Imprisonment does keep criminals from committing crimes against the public while they are in jail. This latter theory is the now prevalent. Crime in New York city was significantly reduced when police started arresting people for relatively minor crimes. Taking criminals off the street lowered serious crime rates. It is the theory behind "three strikes and you are out." It takes criminals off the streets.
Posted by rougeagent21 5 years ago
rougeagent21
good question...
Posted by RacH3ll3 5 years ago
RacH3ll3
resolutionsmasher:
why dont you debate him then?
Posted by resolutionsmasher 5 years ago
resolutionsmasher
Punishment keeps many criminals from committing the crime in the first place, so punishment is more important because it eliminates the need to rehabilitate a criminal. I prevents crime, whereas rehab can only hope to keep it from reaccuring.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
kukupserrougeagent21Tied
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Vote Placed by philosphical 5 years ago
philosphical
kukupserrougeagent21Tied
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Vote Placed by rougeagent21 5 years ago
rougeagent21
kukupserrougeagent21Tied
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Total points awarded:07