The Instigator
melissa224
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Roger1
Con (against)
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Whether the federal government should adopt a nationwide policy to decrease overcrowding in prisons

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/8/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,005 times Debate No: 54303
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (0)

 

melissa224

Pro

P1- Adopting a nationwide policy to decrease the overcrowding prisons and jails lowers the financial demands that is placed on the government to maintain these correctional facilities. Currently, the government spends $28,284 to keep "one person" in prison for a full year. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (2009), noted that the total number of inmates in 2008 was 2,424,279. Therefore, one can say that it cost the government approximately $70.7 Billion Annually on incarceration in the U.S. http://www.solitudecanyon.com...-

P2- Overcrowding prisons affects the security and safety of both inmates and prison staffs. An increasing prison population negatively affects inmates' conduct. Some inmates might be incarcerated for minor crimes and might be influenced by the more violent inmates. Moreover, the staffs might be outnumber by inmates or the inmate population, and this can contribute to a high level of violence within the prison cells. http://www.gao.gov...

C- Therefore, the federal government should adopt a nationwide policy to decrease overcrowding in prisons and jails in the United States.
Roger1

Con

P1- Who cares if the government is spending money on keeping criminals isolated from mainstream society? The government is doing it's job by protecting it's citizens. If the nation adopts a policy to decrease overcrowding, this will allow criminals to be released and will impact communities in a negative way. What about the justice for the families and the victims in cases. Adopting a nationwide policy will cause affect this sense of justice and allow criminals to return to their lives. https://www.ncjrs.gov...

P2- Prison staffs are highly trained to handle situations in the prisons. This includes protecting themselves and other inmates. It's up to the correctional officers to maintain order and prevent inmates from harming each other or the staff. In addition, correctional officers are fully aware of their responsibilities and risks within the prisons. (http://work.chron.com...). Also, thanks to advancements in technology, correctional officers are able to keep eyes on all corners of the prisons they're in.

P3- If the government adopts a nationwide policy to decrease prison populations, they would have to be increase the amount of parole and probation officers hired to handle all these released criminals. As a result, the government would have to increase it's funding to hire workers which would negate the purpose of decreasing the prison population to save money.

C-The government should not adopt a nationwide policy to decrease overcrowding in prisons.
Debate Round No. 1
melissa224

Pro

P1- Tax payers are the ones whose money actually fund the correction system. People should care about this because the amount of money that the government spend on incarceration is beginning to surpass the amount of money spent on education. The government is not doing its job by overcrowding the prisons, since overcrowding the prisons does not punish anyone, but the corrections system. Overcrowding can limit the opportunities for effective programming that can reduce the recidivism rate. Your first premises commits the strawman fallacy. You did not fully address the issue. The government would only allow these people back into society, unless they know that it is safe to do so. The programs that the government implement helps inmates to effectively renter into society. However, overcrowding hinders the effectiveness of these programs. http://harvardmagazine.com...

P2- Hiring more prisons staff to combat the rising number of prisoners also placed a financial burden on the government. They will have to train and pay more prison staffs. The prison staffs might be well trained, but the rising number of incarceration rate might be challenge their ability to do their jobs since their is a lot of fights breaking out due to overcrowding. Moreover, this will also place another financial burden on the government because they will have to update their safety system. Additionally, the last part of my second premises was ignored. You did not address the issue that the correction system is a "melting pot." A large percentage of the inmates are incarcerated for non-violent crimes such as drug possession. Therefore, overcrowding can cause less violent inmates to become more violent. http://felonvoting.procon.org...

P3- Increasing the amount of parole and probation officers will contribute to the effectiveness of combating the overcrowding in prisons and jails. Inmates will be with their families, and the consistent physical support from their families will cause them to successfully renter into society. Moreover, hiring officers will help more people to be employed. Thus, they will be funding programs that will benefit both inmates and families.

C- Therefore, the federal government should adopt a nationwide policy to decrease overcrowding in prisons and jails in the United States.
Roger1

Con

P1- If the government adopts a policy to decrease the prison population then people who would've been in prison would be left to roam the streets. What does education have to do with overcrowding prisons? That's a red herring fallacy. If the government needs money to support the prison staff or education then they should just increase taxes. Anyone that's sent to prison is there for a reason, a growing prison population makes sense because America's population is increasing as well. http://www.census.gov.... So it's not shocking that the prison population is growing along with the total population of the U.S.

P2- If the government has to hire more people to regulate prisons then they should do it because they're protecting the good civilians of society from harm. If there are more corrections officers regulating prisons there will be a lot less fights and it'll help create a safe environment. If the government needs money to create a larger prison staff, then I'm all for it, they can increase taxes. Furthermore, adopting a policy to decrease the prison population will allow minor offenders to become serious offenders because they'll think they can get away with it. In fact, the government isn't even prosecuting minor offenders for drug charges. http://www.bjs.gov.... So how is the corrections system locking up too many minor offenders?

P3- Why should civilians be concerned about reuniting inmates or offenders with their family? Hiring parole and probation officers to help reward criminals with family time shouldn't be a governmental priority. That's giving them a slap on the wrist and allowing them to get away with their crimes. Additionally, funding programs to help inmates to be with their families is a waste of tax payers money. This money should be spent on making them serve their prison sentence to the furthest extent. Hiring more prison staff workers will create the same amount of jobs rather than hiring parole and probation officers to help criminals.

C-The government should not adopt a nationwide policy to decrease overcrowding in prisons
Debate Round No. 2
melissa224

Pro

P1-This argument is a strawman, and the source sited does not support your argument. People who were in prison would not be left to roam the streets if they are released. Majority of the prison population are people who had families before they were incarcerated. Therefore, these people would return to there families. A lot of misdemeanor offenders are incarcerated and this contribute to overcrowding. Keeping these people in jail or prison do not fulfill the purpose of the criminal justice system. Education was only mentioned to say that a lot of money invested in the correction facilities are being wasted to incarcerate misdemeanor offenders; the government can take the money and invest in funding the education of Americans. http://www.truth-out.org....

P2- Being incarcerated for drugs does not protect the community because people who are incarcerated for drugs only harm themselves. They are not inflicting any harm on society. Returning to my first argument, majority of the prisoners that are incarcerated are not violent offenders. Most of them are there for drug related issues. If these people are release, they would not be a threat to society because the only person that they are only inflicting harm on themselves. Increasing taxes is another issue that should not be mentioned. Why should tax payers fund non-violent criminals, who can be treated outside of prisons , and live with their families while completing the program. Additionally, minor offenders will only become serious offenders if they continue to be dwell with violent offenders. http://www.drugwarfacts.org...

P3- Some civilians are the families of inmates, and they do care about the welfare of inmates. People even care about the health risk and substantial risk of violence due to overcrowding. Your argument is a strawman fallacy. The second line in your third premise has nothing to do with the argument. Parole officers are there to monitor release offenders. Moreover, many people are given harsh sentences that does not require a long amount of years. The government is wasting money by keeping these people in prisons and jails, when they could instead create programs that would effectively assist offenders with behavioral change.

http://gov.ca.gov...
http://www.vera.org...

C- Therefore, the federal government should adopt a nationwide policy to decrease overcrowding in prisons and jails in the United States.
Roger1

Con

P1- Reuniting misdemeanor offenders with their families shouldn't be a main priority for America. Studies show that as incarceration rates increase so do crimes rates.
(http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu...)
For every prisoner released into society, 15 more crimes were committed. Which would mean that trying to reunite "minor" offenders with their families is just a false hope. By doing this, we're actually just endangering the civilians of society.

P2- Drugs are a major threat to society whether you're selling or doing them. In fact, the U.S. spent 180.9 billion on battling drugs in 2002. (http://www.justice.gov...) Drugs affect people's health, livelihood and friend/family relationships. Anyone involved with illegal drugs should be incarcerated so they can't influence those around them. In addition, they're not just harming themselves, they're exposing everyone around them to these illegal substances. Children mimic everything they see, imagine having children living in a drug filled house hold? This never ending cycle of drugs wont stop until the source (the criminal) is isolated from society.

P3- Well if you want to release offenders you would need someone to monitor them which is where the probation and parole officers come in. They monitor everyone that are still serving sentences or were recently released from prison. If you want to decrease prison populations and have them serve less severe sentences then they would be given probation or parole. How can you prove that people generally care about the welfare of inmates? I'm sure the victims of these criminals don't care about their well being. Too much attention is being focused on helping criminals instead of the victims who are seeking justice. How many programs are we going to fund to benefit criminals? The issue here is whether or not to adopt a policy to decrease prison populations not to create programs to help make them behave better.

C-The government should not adopt a nationwide policy to decrease overcrowding in prisons.
Debate Round No. 3
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