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To: Kaslin
I think prison is basically a stupid concept.

I can see the benefit of fining someone.
I can see the benefit of making someone a temporary worker -- like a chain gang for mining, farming, or roadwork.
I can see the benefit of executing people who only hurt society. I'd like to see this increase greatly. Totally serious.

Giving people 3 hots and a cots for years? I wish we'd stop doing that.

2 posted on 05/04/2013 12:18:46 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The ballot box is a sham. Nothing will change until after the war.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
You raise an important question. The concept of imprisoning someone for years, or even indefinitely, as a response to his criminal activity is relatively knew. The assumption was that it was more humane for a criminal to be given the chance to examine his behavior, atone for his crime, and then be released when his debt was paid.

This really only works when the criminal eventually acknowledges his guilt and feels remorse for his actions - which fewer and fewer crimnals do. He does not have guilt or remorse because he does not share the value system of the larger society, and the larger society increasingly has less and less of a consensus on what its values actually are.

Before the 1700s, the purpose of imprisonment was: a brief period of custody before execution, punishment for failure to pay monetary debts, dereliction of professional duties, monitoring individuals who were considered politically or ideologically dangerous, etc.

Thieves, rapists and smugglers were usually publicly humiliated, whipped and often branded or hobbled or set to hard labor. Murderers,spies, traitors and persistent recidivists of lesser crimes were usually executed.

Typically anyone who remained imprisoned for a long time instead of executed was a member of the highest ranks of the social elite.

10 posted on 05/04/2013 12:38:37 PM PDT by wideawake
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