Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Prison abolition

  1. #1

    Default Prison abolition

    There was a really interesting piece in the NYT a few days ago:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/17/m...n-gilmore.html

    Essentially, it's a profile of the author of "Golden Gulag", making the case for prison abolition. Obviously a lot of the argumentation in this space borders on the naive, but I was impressed with the depth of her background in the subject. So what do you guys think? Is prison abolition actually an achievable goal?

    I think we can all agree that the prison system in much of the world - the US in particular - has serious flaws, and that large numbers of inmates (and society) could be better served by (a) preventing the conditions that encouraged their criminal behavior in the first place, (b) decriminalizing a lot of activity, or (c) diverting convicts into various forms of rehabilitation rather than leaving them to rot in jail for large portions of their lives.

    But I'm most interested in the argument for wholesale abolition. What would that look like? How would such a society function for the class of criminals that are seen as a danger to society and possibly irredeemable? Are we just going to continue to have custodial sentences but give them a name other than 'prison'? Or do we stick to our principles and figure out an alternative?
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    There was a really interesting piece in the NYT a few days ago:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/17/m...n-gilmore.html

    Essentially, it's a profile of the author of "Golden Gulag", making the case for prison abolition. Obviously a lot of the argumentation in this space borders on the naive, but I was impressed with the depth of her background in the subject. So what do you guys think? Is prison abolition actually an achievable goal?

    I think we can all agree that the prison system in much of the world - the US in particular - has serious flaws, and that large numbers of inmates (and society) could be better served by (a) preventing the conditions that encouraged their criminal behavior in the first place, (b) decriminalizing a lot of activity, or (c) diverting convicts into various forms of rehabilitation rather than leaving them to rot in jail for large portions of their lives.

    But I'm most interested in the argument for wholesale abolition. What would that look like? How would such a society function for the class of criminals that are seen as a danger to society and possibly irredeemable? Are we just going to continue to have custodial sentences but give them a name other than 'prison'? Or do we stick to our principles and figure out an alternative?
    The only two reasons why people do not commit a crime that will give them something they want (either goods via theft, sex via rape, assault because of power/revenge) is morality and fear.

    Every society has its monsters who do not care about morality, the only thing keeping those things from harming others is fear of the consequences from the state or from individuals via self-defense. No prisons will only work if we execute or fully exile these types of people. Outside of that we must always have prison.

  3. #3
    Maybe it's as simple as Lewkowski claim. *sigh* I don't know.

    Most people are willing to help but to allow the person you help to really climb up and stand next to you is something else.
    So a higher goal for sure! I wish it was possible since we are closer to terminating people at early age rather than talking prison aboliation. Early 20s is just a sorting system. Stay in your box.
    The way things look maybe it would be the most humane thing. I mean: "Disfunctional? BAM!" Than we assimilate the concept into our 'morality' and fear systems; such things slide over time anyhow.

    Monster factory. Why does U.S. seem to have more monsters than in Europe?
    Other than that, I know my morality is superior for sure. Really.

  4. #4
    I think incarceration in some form has it's place in the justice system, but it's pretty clear that the way we do it currently is counter-productive. We take someone who Did A Crime, and put them in an environment, often a pretty violent, Darwinian environment, where their primary peer group is other criminals, then wonder why they come out and do more crime?
    Sing in grief, a requiem, the curse of our millennium, these souls keep whispering from the river beds
    An end to all these violent means, alive in these red water dreams, their haunted burdens stirring in my head on streets still running red
    Most went in the flood, a few were martyred by the flames, yet those who unleashed the waters are still guilty all the same
    When the ignorance of puppets serves the masters larger game, they let it rain, they let it rain
    When I get the chance to rise I'll find the light in their cold eyes or lose myself and carry out revenge
    The righteous hunt has just begun, the dimming of the bleeding sun will let these waters run clear once again



  5. #5
    Stingy DM Veldan Rath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Maine! And yes, we have plumbing!
    Posts
    3,020
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    I think incarceration in some form has it's place in the justice system, but it's pretty clear that the way we do it currently is counter-productive. We take someone who Did A Crime, and put them in an environment, often a pretty violent, Darwinian environment, where their primary peer group is other criminals, then wonder why they come out and do more crime?
    This.
    Brevior saltare cum deformibus viris est vita

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    <snip>

    But I'm most interested in the argument for wholesale abolition. What would that look like? How would such a society function for the class of criminals that are seen as a danger to society and possibly irredeemable? Are we just going to continue to have custodial sentences but give them a name other than 'prison'? Or do we stick to our principles and figure out an alternative?
    I think there will always be a "place" where certain violent criminals are "housed" under lock-and-key, sometimes for the rest of their lives. (Like Dahmer.) I also think more states will either ban executions outright, or reduce those crimes punishable by death to a tiny fraction.

    Coupled with judicial reforms, new findings in behavioral sciences like psychiatry/sociology, and technological advances.....there will be fewer physical prison structures, and they'll look and function totally different than they do now. (That assumes we'll get rid of the private prison profit model. )

    House arrest, ankle monitors, GPS, cameras and computer databases seem to be the future of law enforcement. Less incarceration and more monitoring. "Lists" that can mark felons for life. Not sure how I feel about that, to be honest.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •