The Instigator
Logical-Master
Pro (for)
Winning
40 Points
The Contender
zakkuchan
Con (against)
Losing
19 Points

Resolved: In the United States, Minor Jail Time Ought to be Replaced with Significant Rehabilitation

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/21/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,293 times Debate No: 4136
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (25)
Votes (13)

 

Logical-Master

Pro

Good afternoon ladies and gentleman. In today's case, I shall prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that Minor US Jail time ought to be replaced with significant rehabilitation. Although I'm well aware that this is an LD resolution, I simply don't care for the practices involved in value debate as much as I used to. Thus, I hope you managed to bare with me in my attempts to keep this as a general debate. So without further ado, let us proceed:

I'm going to run this case in stylized form of Problem/Solution. Thus, I will first tell you why the status quo is a problem, and then I will inform you as to how significant rehabilitation is the solution.

Observation: In terms of minor jail time, we shall consider 30 days to 10 years as being "minor time" in this debate. This is because this duration is a relatively small portion of one's average life span ( http://en.wikipedia.org... ) .

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CONTENTION 1 PROBLEM: US Prisons hardly possess the incentive necessary for released criminals to abide by the law.
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This is quite apparent. Observe the following evidence that concerns recidivism rates in the United States: http://ojp.usdoj.gov... (in case there is doubt, here is a more recent study: http://www.infoplease.com... ).

And here are some interesting factoids to note from the study:

- Released prisoners with the highest rearrest rates were robbers (70.2%), burglars (74.0%), larcenists (74.6%), motor vehicle thieves (78.8%), those in prison for possessing or selling stolen property (77.4%), and those in prison for possessing, using, or selling illegal weapons (70.2%).
-Within 3 years, 2.5% of released rapists were arrested for another rape, and 1.2% of those who had served time for homicide were arrested for homicide.
- The 272,111 offenders discharged in 1994 had accumulated 4.1 million arrest charges before their most recent imprisonment and another 744,000 charges within 3 years of release.

As you can observe from this empirical study, roughly 2/3 of prisoners got rearrested within 3 years of their previous convictions. Yes, merely 3 fragging years. It is no doubt that our US prisons don't provide the proper incentive for it's prisoners not to respect and uphold the law. At any rate, we can conclude that prisons simply aren't doing their job, and that a resolution is necessary.

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CONTENTION 2: SOLUTION: Significant REHAB is the effective solution which ought to replace minor jail time
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Since it is apparent that prison is not a sufficient means of lowering the recidivism rate, it is rather apparent that signficant REHAB must be the method which is employed at least when we take minor jail time into consideration. Just imagine: If criminals are significantly rehabilitated, the purpose which prison attempts will be carried out. Criminals will become uncriminalized (sic), will be functioning members of society, and if they reproduce, their children will likely be placed in a non-criminalized atmosphere and will grow up to be as uncriminal as their parents. Thus, with significant rehabilitation, the benefits work both short and long term.

Now being aware of the general tactics employed, my opponent will probably say something along the lines of "Well hey, significant rehabilitation sounds nice and all, but wouldn't it cost too much for the United States to handle?" Ladies and gentleman, the idea that significant rehabiltation replacing minor jail time will somehow being difficult maintain financially is simply propoganda and nothing more.

I don't mean to be "argument-stealing", but I cannot help but reveal to you the TRUTH (which is most important) proposed in "JustCallMeTarzan's plan ( http://www.debate.org... ). As he points out, significant REHAB would save tax dollars. Furthermore, "criminals" could be mandated the burden of paying for their rehabilitation. And when criminals are unable to afford payment, they could be sponsored by the state in the same way the state provides the right for legal counsel.

Plus, when we take into account just how "rough" jail is (PRISON rapes, pimping, and daily beat downs), significant rehabilition is simply far better from a humanitarian approach.

Thus, I believe I've uphold my side of the resolution so far. I now await my opponent's first rebuttal.
zakkuchan

Con

I'd like to welcome everyone to Round 4 of the debate tournament. Congratulations to my opponent for staying in the winner's bracket thus far. This ought to be a very fun debate.

I personally very much enjoy LD debates, but I don't think they really have a place in online debating. I agree that this ought to be kept as a general debate. However, the format of this speech will be different than my opponent's problem-solution style, and I will respond to both parts of his case through my first two points (I and II).

I agree with my opponent's interpretation of the meaning of "minor jail time"; so, for the purposes of this round, we shall assume it means 30 days to 10 years of jail time.

Formalities aside, let's move onto my points.

I. Recidivism.

The only concern my opponent raised about the minor jail time system in the "Problem" portion of his case, and one of the three reasons he gives for changing to a rehabilitation system in the "Solution" section of his case, deals with recidivism rates. There's no question that recidivism rates are high, as the statistics he provided show. However, the assumption that recidivism rates are high because minor jail time is imposed upon criminals rather than rehabilitation does not naturally follow from the data. There's really no way to know for certain whether or not recidivism rates would decrease if minor jail time were replaced with rehabilitation, because there has never been such a system in place in the United States, so there are no statistics to look to for this. In other words, there's no reason to assume, as my opponent did, that rehabilitation would "uncriminalize" criminals.

But based solely on logic, I would say the current system is superior to a system based upon rehabilitation, in terms of recidivism. After all, which is a better deterrent to repeated offenses – a system where the state gives the criminal a slap on the wrist and says, "Now don't do that again, please"; or a system where the criminal is subjected to a harsh, restrictive prison environment for a few years? I would think the incentive of staying out of prison would be a stronger deterrent for most criminals than a rehabilitation program.

Even if you think a rehabilitation program is superior in this regard, though, that's not enough reason to move to such a system. After all, if reducing recidivism rates is the only concern, then why don't we just execute everyone who commits a felony, and reduce recidivism rates to zero? Obviously we won't do that; so clearly, recidivism rates are not all we ought to look for.

II. Cost

My opponent makes the claim that, "significant REHAB would save tax dollars." But really, it's quite impossible to tell for certain whether or not this is true, as my opponent provided no description of what exactly a rehabilitation program would entail. It is important that he do so, because no such system has ever been in place in the United States, so we have no past experience to assume would be replicated.

But assuming a rehabilitation program would involve at least education, monitoring, and psychiatric analysis and assistance, it's easy to see how the costs could become quite large – too large for most people to handle on their own. What we would end up with is a bulky, expensive system, which requires a much larger bureaucracy to handle (since we're foregoing a one-size-fits-all approach in favor of an individualized approach, which would be necessary if we wanted rehabilitation to have even the slightest possibility of success); and we would pretend to be pushing the costs off of taxpayers and onto the criminals, when in reality the government would be forced to provide massive financial assistance to such a high percentage of the criminals being processed that the government would essentially be paying for the whole thing.

III. Humanitarian concerns.

My opponent briefly stated that rehabilitation is superior to minor jail time in terms of humanitarianism. However, it's important to remember that we're talking about convicted criminals, not some friendly, innocent people who the evil government is tossing into a rough prison environment. As I said before, that roughness is a useful deterrent to repeat offenses.

IV. Efficiency.

As I mentioned in (II), a rehabilitation system would require a large management bureaucracy, in order for it to employ the necessary individualized approach. On the other hand, the current prison system is one-size-fits-all, and thus needs just a bare minimum of management and oversight. Not only does this make the current system cheaper; it also makes it more efficient. Just imagine how much time it would take for a government bureaucracy to decide what sort of individualized rehabilitation treatment every single criminal who would otherwise be given minor jail time needs, and then track each of those criminals through their individualized rehabilitation, ensuring that they get all of the treatment they have been slated for, and make the necessary improvements to meet a complex set of bureaucratically-determined standards of fitness to return to society. It would be absolutely ridiculous. The current system, on the other hand, uses simple standards to determine what sentence is proper, under the oversight of just one person (the judge); and once the sentence is determined, no further decision-making is necessary. This is obviously the superior approach, in terms of efficiency.

V. Punishment.

The current prison system provides punishment for crimes as one of its primary functions, and the appropriate punishment for a given crime is a primary factor in determining what sort of sentence a convicted criminal gets. This punishment also provides peace of mind to the victim and their family; and, as I have already stated twice, works as a deterrent to future crime. A rehabilitation system would completely ignore the punishment aspect of the system, an aspect that has been central to criminal justice for millennia; and instead of punishing criminals, it would hold their hand and ask them how they feel. And once the powers that be decided that a criminal was mentally and emotionally fit to return to society, the criminal would immediately be released, regardless of how little time it may have taken. The rehabilitation system, in short, would fly in the face of thousands of years of development in criminal justice, and replace it with a system that treats convicted criminals like innocent newborn babies.

Conclusion.

No one can deny that the American criminal justice system has some unresolved issues. But that does not mean we ought to completely scrap the current way of doing things in favor of an even more flawed approach. With this in mind, it's clear that the current system of minor jail time ought to be kept in place, and most certainly NOT replaced with rehabilitation. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
Logical-Master

Pro

RE: Observation: Note that CON accepts my definition of minor jail time.

Re: I. Recidivism.

1) It's not necessarily recidivism that is the concern, but rather the conclusion it leads us to. And as I highlighted as being the point of my argument, the incentive to abide by the law which is supposed to be provided by prisons/jails is vastly infinitesimal.

2) My opponent says that I'm assuming that recidivism rates are high because minor jail time is imposed upon criminals rather than rehabilitation. Stop right there. The point of the recidivism argument is to show that (contrary to what my opponent is now advocating), the status quo (the prison system) is flaccid and ineffective for the most part (hence a problem). This, herr judges, is the first astronomical problem with my opponent's case. He goes about insisting that rehabilitation is unnecessary as the status quo is working, yet here, he quite clearly concedes that status quo isn't doing its job. So tell me, what sense does it make to advocate that the system is serving as a deterrent for repeat offenses? No sense at all.

3) On the matter of recidivism rates decreasing through SIGNIFICANT rehabilitation, the resolution insures that the rehabilitation would be significant. According to the Merriam Webster's dictionary, significant is defined as the following:http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Given that the meaning of significant is "effective", we are obligated to assume that this rehabilitation would be effective. Thus, this debate doesn't concern whether or not the rehabilitation would work in lowering recidivism rates (as that is guaranteed by the resolution). Rather, we're debating over whether or not it's really outweighs the benefits of the status quo (not to suggest that there isn't another way of being CON). And when you examine CON's argument, it is rather apparent that maintaining the status quo at least for minor jail time simply isn't worth the cost (ineffective system, thus not only is the purpose not really carried out, but it is a waste of money for the government).

4) As for his third paragraph, recidivism rates being the only concern is clearly a straw man concocted by CON as I merely point out recidivism as being evidence of there being a need for concern which is "US prisons don't provide the proper incentive for it's prisoners not to respect and uphold the law." Furthermore, it is rather apparent that I use human rights as part of my reason for why this system is necessary.

Re: II. Cost.

1) How much would it entail? Well lets look at it this way with some rebuttal evidence: http://www.cbsnews.com... . It cost $23,000 dollars PER YEAR to keep one criminal in jail on average. This would suggest that somewhere around $48,000,000,000 dollars of the tax payers money goes into jailing every year.
My plan is by far superior. First, the criminals will have part of the burden of paying off the price of the rehabilitation. Thus, taxes will be lowered (and who doesn't like lower taxes???). Second, even if food/shelter rates are the same as prison rates, we must keep in mind that contrary to minor jail time (which my opponent concedes to being considered as 10 years), rehabilitation would take a significantly less amount of time. Even if we are to say that the significant rehabilitation would average out to six months per criminal (which I won't, since it is unlikely that criminals with 30 day crimes would need this much time to rehabilitate), this would still significantly decrease the cost of keeping someone in prison for 2-10 years ($48,000 - $240,000 per criminal), and it would be the criminals who would legally be obligated to pay at least most of the fee it takes to rehabilitate them. Third, cost will be lowered further when we take into account how the recidivism rate would lower drastically.

2) Even if we are to suggest that the cost of education, psychiatric help and assistance would significantly increase the price for each criminal, we cannot ignore the fact that the time difference for said rehab would make the key difference in terms of cost. As suggested above, the time for REHAB doesn't even come close to the max amount of time for minor jail retribution.

RE: III. Humanitarian Concerns:

1) CON states that the rough environment is a deterrent for crime, but you can simply cross apply my argument concerning how the high recidivism rate is to be interpreted. Thus, this simply leaves us with people getting the crap beaten out of them or raped on a regular basis for a reason which is entirely false, given the statistical information. Furthermore, I have more rebuttal evidence to provide.

Observe: http://www.law.cornell.edu... . Pay special attention to these points (especially point 13) as it is well noted that next to nothing i being done to combat the current disease transferring problem as well as the issue of rape and prison homicides. Furthermore, we must note that brutalized inmates are noted as being more likely to commit crime, thus fully annihilating CON's incentive argument.

RE: IV. Efficiency:

The so-called benefits are exactly the source of the problem. The reason our prison system seems so efficient is because our society (or government rather) simply doesn't care for convicted felons (for the most part). This falls back to the evidence I had submitted in the humanitarian point above. So many problems like rape, homicide, disease transferal,and brutalization occur in prisons quite frequently, yet hardly anything is done to prevent it. Furthermore, these criminal most often don't change their ways, commit more crimes, and get re-convicted. In short, the efficiency CON talks about is the same kind of efficiency there is in simply dumping your trash into a nearby lake or someone else's yard. Sure, there comes big consequences to your actions, but at least shows efficiency in you having to put as little effort into the task as possible.

It's pretty apparent that our current system is in a mess, so there's nothing to brag about when it comes to efficiency. Sure, the matter of efficiency and criminal priority is going to raise a few levels when it concerns my plan, but this shall serve as an incentive for the US to improve when it comes to priorities such as these. As for determining what kind of rehab criminals would get, that can be determined during court proceedings. Furthermore, keeping track of the criminals is not really a concern for current rehab programs, so there shouldn't be any doubt that it would be problematic for a significant one.

RE. V. Punishment:

I've already shut down CON's arguments on the matter of deterrents, so now I'll just refute what little else there is of this contention. Even if the punishment serves as a peace of mind for victims, it doesn't change the fact that once these criminals get back out of jail, statistically speaking, they are likely going to commit another crime. Who is to say these criminals won't decide to go after the families which CON brings up? Wouldn't these families have a greater peace of mind if they were to know that their assailants would return to the community as a reformed citizen? As for the punishment aspect which has been around for a millennium, this is obviously an appeal to tradition. Furthermore, simply holding on to the past is no way to PROGRESS forwards.

Conclusion: Herr Judges, it is apparent that the US is simply shelling out billions of dollars a year as well as sacrificing the lives of many for a system that is outdated, isn't working, and is detrimental to society. I believe I've shown that my solution is the logical upgrade and now await CON's second rebuttal.
zakkuchan

Con

I. Recidivism.

1. Sure, the high recidivism rates indicate that something is wrong with the system. And I certainly never denied that. Recall the last paragraph of my round 1 - I said the system is broken, but that doesn't mean it should be replaced with something even worse. The fact that there are problems with the system does not immediately lead to the conclusion that rehabilitation is the answer. If your computer doesn't turn on, do you immediately call customer support? No! You check if it's plugged in. The presence of a problem does not go anywhere near proving the correctness of any given solution.

2. I never said "the status quo is working". What I argued is that the status quo is a superior system to what the PRO is proposing. In other words, my point is not necessarily that the system as it is provides an entirely sufficient deterrent to repeat offenses, but rather that it provides a better deterrent than rehabilitation would. My opponent's assumption that I'm saying the status quo is just fine clearly highlights the fact that he has severely misinterpreted my case.

3. As to the definition of 'significant': the actual definition says "having or likely to have influence or effect". My opponent has grossly misinterpreted this definition. The fact that something has or is likely to have effect does not mean it is "effective" in the way my opponent implies. The effect that it has could very well be negative – an increase in recidivism rates, for example, or an increase in cost – and that is entirely within the definition. Thus, the effectiveness of rehabilitation in terms of lowering recidivism rates is most definitely NOT assured by the wording of the resolution. My opponent has, thus far, offered NO reason to believe that rehabilitation would be a more effective deterrent to repeat offenses than minor jail time. I, on the other hand, have given reason to believe the reverse.

4. My point here was that the majority of PRO's round 1 was dedicated to debating only a fraction of all of the things we need to take into consideration for this debate. It was also a lead-in to the new points I provided later on in my case (IV and V).

II. Cost

1. My opponent gives three reasons why he thinks his plan is superior in this regard:

i. The criminals will pay for it – I've already addressed this (see II of my round 1). The cost would be far too high for most individuals to deal with, and my opponent has left the door open for the government to provide the money if that's the case; so we end up with a system that puts the cost on the shoulders of the criminals only symbolically, and not in practice. This, by the way, could just as easily be implemented under the current system, if it's such a great idea – which it isn't anyway.

ii. It will take less time – There is absolutely no reason to believe rehabilitation would take less time than minor jail time. To educate a criminal, and put them through all of the psychiatric monitoring and assistance necessary to reach arbitrary government standards of fitness to return to society would take a very long time, indeed. Unless my opponent provides some reason to believe his claim here, it does not stand.

iii. Costs will go down due to a decrease in recidivism – Again, my opponent has provided no reason (beyond faulty analysis of the definition of 'significant') why rehabilitation would lower recidivism rates.

2. Again, there's no reason to believe rehabilitation would take less time than minor jail time, so we cannot assume that that is true. Even if it were true, though, it's probable that the increased cost due to the education and psychiatric help involved would counteract the decrease in time, and cause rehabilitation to be as expensive or more expensive than the current system.

III. Humanitarian concerns.

OK, so prison brutality is a problem. But once again, the presence of a problem does not prove the rightness of any given solution. We ought to try to solve the problem WITHIN the current system, rather than just assuming the entire system needs to be scrapped and replaced with something else. There's NO connection between the facts about prison brutality and the claim that rehabilitation should replace the status quo, because altering the status quo just slightly could very well reduce prison brutality just as well as moving to rehabilitation could.

IV. Efficiency.

Note that my opponent has conceded that a rehabilitation system would not be as efficient as the current system.

The humanitarian concerns have nothing to do with the efficiency of the system. The issue of prison brutality could very well be addressed without undermining the efficiency of the system, if the government saw fit.

My opponent says, "As for determining what kind of rehab criminals would get, that can be determined during court proceedings." But this simply wouldn't work. If you want rehabilitation to have even the slightest, tiniest chance of success in ANY case, then it must be dealt with on a very individualized basis. There is NO way to make standards by which to judge every case, because EVERY individual's mental makeup and health is different from everyone else's. To make sound decisions in this regard would force the government to employ enough psychiatric professionals to diagnose every single criminal who otherwise would be given minor jail time. This, for the sake of a program that wouldn't be effective anyway.

My opponent also claims that "keeping track of the criminals is not really a concern for current rehab programs". First, I'm not sure what "current rehab programs" he's talking about. Second, I think it's fairly obvious that a rehabilitation system involving education and psychiatric monitoring and assistance for every single criminal who would otherwise be given minor jail time would be an administrative nightmare, due to the high level of individualization necessary.

V. Punishment.

My opponent's points here assume that rehabilitation would lower recidivism rates, and yield criminals who can "return to the community as a reformed citizen". He has in no way, at no point, proven this or given any reason to believe it, so we most certainly cannot assume it is true. Therefore, my point about the current system providing peace of mind to the victims and their families stands.

My opponent shrugs aside my point that thousands of years of development in criminal justice has provided us with the punishment standards we have today as simply "an appeal to tradition". Well, appeals to tradition are not always faulty – this is one of those potential fallacies that has a lot of wiggle room. Since we're talking about the criminal justice system, the development of said system over thousands of years is certainly a relevant concern. And it's important to note, regarding the last sentence in PRO's point here, that progress is not always a good thing. At one point in time, totalitarian communist regimes were on the cutting edge.

Conclusion.

The status quo has flaws, but PRO's proposed system has bigger flaws, and more of them. Furthermore, what problems the status quo does have can easily be reformed without resorting to totally scrapping the system and replacing it with a system based on rehabilitation. Now, onto round 3!
Debate Round No. 2
Logical-Master

Pro

Logical-Master forfeited this round.
zakkuchan

Con

NOTE: Pro's Round 3 argument is posted in the comments section. He says the time glitch got him; and while I have no way to verify that, it's a small enough time difference that I don't really care; so I am accepting his Round 3 as posted in the comments, and ask that the judges do the same.

I. Recidivism

1. Actually, my Round 1, as well as my Round 2 and now my Round 3, do not say anywhere that we shouldn't alter the status quo at all; and it is not within my burden to make such a claim. All I have to show is that we shouldn't replace minor jail time with rehabilitation. Thus, the central claim of my side throughout this debate has been (see the last paragraph of my Round 1), "the current system of minor jail time ought to be kept in place, and most certainly NOT replaced with rehabilitation." Such a claim does not rule out the possibility that the problems with the status quo may be solved in ways other than completely scrapping the system. So, regardless of the seriousness of the problems that exist in the status quo, they alone cannot count as reasoning for moving to a system based on rehabilitation, or any other system that completely gets rid of the current one. This has been a central argument of my case from the very beginning, so it makes no sense for my opponent to claim that I have shifted my advocacy in any way.

2. The closest I ever came to suggesting that the status quo was working was claiming that it works better than rehabilitation would. Indeed, I think it's a useful deterrent, as I have repeatedly said; all I was clarifying in Round 2 is that it's not a PERFECT deterrent – which doesn't really matter anyway, because all I have to prove is that it's a better deterrent than rehabilitation would be. And while I have at least given some reason to believe it is so, my opponent has at no point given ANY reason to believe rehabilitation would be a superior deterrent to repeated offenses.

3. It's funny that PRO accuses me of "throwing a semantical argument at you" when it was he who looked up the definition of "significant" and attempted to twist it in a way that proved his point.

What my opponent claimed in his Round 3 – that because we're talking about rehabilitation, we know the 'effect' we're talking about in the definition of 'significant' – is ridiculous. That's like saying running a 'significant' campaign for the presidency ensures that you will win. This would disregard the fact that the 'effect' we're talking about could very well be a number of other things, such as helping someone else win, such as Ralph Nader's candidacy in 2000 helped Bush win, making it a 'significant' candidacy. In the case of the resolution, the effect of the rehabilitation program could EASILY be increasing recidivism rates (and indeed would be, considering I have given reason to believe so, and my opponent has given no reason not to believe so), or increasing costs, or decreasing efficiency. The fact that something has or is likely to have effect does not mean that it will fulfill its intent; it just means that it will PROBABLY change SOMETHING.

4. Again, the fact that a problem has been demonstrated does nothing to uphold my opponent's burden of proving that we ought to scrap the system in favor of rehabilitation. Such problems, where they do exist, can be solved in a much less drastic manner.

II. Cost.

1a. Observe the following quote from my opponent's Round 1: "when criminals are unable to afford payment, they could be sponsored by the state in the same way the state provides the right for legal counsel." My opponent has not responded to the fact that a rehabilitation program would be too expensive for most people to pay for, and he has left the door open for the government to pay for the rehab if the criminal can't; therefore, the government would end up paying for most of the program, and taxes would most certainly not go down.

1b. The rehab program my opponent provided as "evidence" of the short time span possible in rehab programs was a program for alcohol and drug abuse. That's not at all what we're talking about here.

1c. Cross-apply (I:3).

III. Humanitarian concerns.

To reduce my claim to saying we should "abide by the current system" is absurd. Yes, I want to keep minor jail time in place; no, I don't think it's a perfect system. That's why I have left the door open to fixing the system in ways other than completely scrapping it. And I have not changed my advocacy on this point. I still maintain that the roughness, as well as restrictiveness, of prison can act as a deterrent to recidivism. All I have acknowledged beyond that on this point is that it can sometimes get out of hand. When it does get out of hand, it is a problem that ought to be fixed. But that can easily be done without completely getting rid of the system.

IV. Efficiency.

The concerns regarding efficiency my opponent has brought up really have nothing to do with efficiency, as I said in Round 2. That's why I didn't address his analogy. The fact of the matter is that my opponent has conceded the efficiency point; the other concerns have been debated in other areas, and I have made a good faith attempt to keep them from clouding this area of the debate.

Determining sentences in the current system is handled based on guidelines set by state and federal laws. There would be no way to impose such guidelines on a system that must take into account the mental, psychological, and emotional fitness of each and every criminal, as every one would be different.

My opponent has not responded to my questioning of what "current rehab programs" he's talking about. If he means programs for drug and alcohol abuse like the one he presented earlier, then again, that has no bearing on this resolution. Education of criminals most definitely would require individual attention; you'd have to find out what each person knows, how best they learn, and what they need to learn to succeed in the way they want to succeed. And I think it's rather obvious that individualized treatment is essential to ANY effective psychiatric assistance.

V. Punishment.

Again, cross apply (I:3).

Once again, appeals to tradition are not always faulty. It's faulty mostly when it is the only argument, or one of very few arguments, in support of something. Conversely, when there are a large set of other arguments in favor of something (see above), adding in the fact that it's the way things have been done for thousands of years – without any major social problems as a result – indeed strengthens the overall argument. In other words, I'm not saying (as my opponent suggested), "we should keep this crappy system just because we've been doing it for thousands of years"; rather, I'm saying, "we should keep this good system, with perhaps a few minor alterations, for all of these reasons; and the fact that we've had it in place for thousands of years with minimal problems further illustrates this point."

Why you should vote CON (Conclusion):

1. My opponent has given no logical reason to believe that moving to rehabilitation would lower recidivism rates. On the contrary, I have provided reason to believe that it would in fact RAISE recidivism rates.

2. A rehabilitation system would be more expensive than the current system; and while my opponent has suggested we let the criminals pay for it, it would be too expensive for individuals to pay for, and my opponent has left the door open for the government to assist.

3. The humanitarian concerns of the current system can be addressed without scrapping the entire system.

4. The current system is far more efficient, for a number of reasons, than a rehabilitation system would be.

5. The current system provides punishment for crimes (which gives peace of mind to the victims and their families, and lives up to thousands of years of conceptual development in criminal justice), while rehabilitation would not.

Vote CON!
Debate Round No. 3
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
No problem. Like I said, this was difficult to judge. Sorry for downing you :/.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
Forgot to say "thanks for judging." :D
Posted by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
Great job guys, the both of you did excellent! This was an extremely difficult debate, you guys hit each others points with precision and it could've easily went either way.

The only way I could judge this was by breaking down each contention to determine whom won the most contentions and which contentions are the most important and made the biggest impact.

Therefore, I offer you the following RFD:

RECIDIVISM: CON basically concedes the fact that with the status quo, recidivism rates are high. He continues to claim that even though it is bad, it is still better than rehab, but unfortunately, I couldn't find a legitimate reason for as to why this is true. I couldn't accept PRO's definition of significantly, because I thought it was a little abusive, BUT, I understood what he meant later in round three. Ultimately, this point goes to PRO.

COST: PRO gives the figures, he states it costs 18 billion dollars annually through the status quo. CON never denies this. PRO also gives a method of payment, that the prisoners would pay their way, CON points out that, though the plan may sound valid, in the end, the government and tax payers will foot the bill. I agreed with CON on this point, which means ultimately, this point goes to CON.

HUMANITARIAN: PRO initiates the humanitarian debate as a side argument saying that PRO benefits through a humanitarianistic approach. CON responds in a somewhat unpleasing manner, basically that we are talking about evil people so it doesn't matter. PRO states this would justify beating the crap out of them. CON basically concedes this argument and agrees the status quo should be altered. Thus, this point goes to PRO.

EFECIENCY: CON states one size doesn't fit all, but prison does. PRO says that prison solves the problem in the wrong way and that the courts can decide where a person is fit. CON says it would be an administrative nightmare and courts do not have the capacity to understand mentality. Thus, CON wins this point.
Posted by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
PUNISHMENT: CON starts out by stating the criminal justice system serves justice through penalty and therefore serves as a detterent. PRO responds by stating the status quo punishes in an illegitimate and harsh manner. This point wasn't really clearly won by either side. I think both of you guys kind of went off subject and didn't argue this point efficiently.

WE HAVE A TIE:

PRO wins RECIDIVISM and HUMANITARIAN

CON wins COST and PUNISHMENT

Ultimately, considering the fact that the resolution inherently places the debate around the criminal justice system, we must determine which of these four points are the most important.

Essentially, the purpose of the criminal justice system is to punish and deter recidivism. Leaving us with humanitarian and cost. This was a difficult decision, and after reading the debate twice, I decided that, according to the debate and my own personal opinion, COST is more important than humanitarian concern, mainly because there was more arguments around cost efficiency and the humanitarian argument slowly faded. Therefore, I vote CON.

P.S.
Great job to both of you guys, you were both undefeated for a reason.

P.P.S
If you have ANY questions or concerns, please comment here or message me on facebook.

Regards,

-Alexander
Posted by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
I posted who I voted for on Facebook.

My RFD will be given here.

Give me 30min.
Posted by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
I will give me RFD tommorow morning...

This is a very tough round. Good job guys.

:D!
Posted by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
I have been chosen as a judge for this debate.

Good luck guys.
Posted by zakkuchan 8 years ago
zakkuchan
But anyway...thanks for the debate, LM!
Posted by zakkuchan 8 years ago
zakkuchan
I kind of feel sorry for the judges, for having to read through all of this and examine it all critically. This debate is monstrous in size.
Posted by Jamcke 8 years ago
Jamcke
Great debate about an issue that desperately needs addressed. I voted pro.
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Vote Placed by Logical-Master 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by BeatTheDevil89 8 years ago
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