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Old 15th August 2019, 11:17 AM   #81
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
So throwing them in prison has nothing to do with any sort of expectation that they won't?
Correct.

I mean, I wouldn't say it in quite such absolute terms. It's probably reasonable to expect that an effective system of crime and punishment will have a deterrent effect on a lot of people.

But it's not the main goal of a such a system that I would want to implement.

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Then what the hell is the point?
Fair consequences for anti-social acts.

This was the point when I started this conversation. It's been the point throughout. It's been the point every time you've asked.

Stop asking the same question over and over. Say something new. Say what you think the point should be, and why.

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It's not an analogy. It's an example of what I'm talking about. There are ways to measure whether your actions have the desired effect. So what if we feel like X is working but it's not?
Asked and answered in my previous post.

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Stop stalling.
I don't know what this means. You keep pressing me to repeat the same points over and over. I keep obliging you. What progress are you hoping to make, here?

Is there some conclusion you're trying to lead me to? Then state it, and explain why you think it's reasonable. Is there some error you're trying to force me to admit? Point it out, and explain why it's an error.

Say what you think, and why. I'm done answering your questions for a while.
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Old 15th August 2019, 11:20 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Fair consequences for anti-social acts.
What consequences? When you slap someone's hand for picking from the cookie jar, you do that just to hurt them and not to modify their behaviour? That makes no sense at all. Of course the whole point of punishment is to alter behaviour!

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Stop asking the same question over and over.
Give an answer that's not nonsensical.

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Asked and answered in my previous post.
You answered a question I didn't ask. I didn't mention fairness, I mentioned results. Could you answer the damned question, please?
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Old 15th August 2019, 11:28 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Archie Gemmill Goal View Post
That seems to assume that some people are born criminals and some are born non-criminals.
I'm just saying on a base level if we take a criminal "out of the equation" (be it prison, exile, execution, or lobotomy) but the crime rate doesn't go down, that assumes some sort of fixed "amount of crime" that is just going to happen in the society, with non-criminals just... morphing into criminals to fill the void.

To return to our hypothetical society of 1,000 people. On the most basic level if you're crime rate is holding steady something has to be causing that.

In Year 1 this society has 10 crimes occur. So they take those 10 people "out of the equation" via some means. They are executed, in prison, exiled to another country, the details don't matter for this point, they are just no longer in the society and therefore can't commit crimes within it.

Now in Year 2 if 10 crimes occur again (and even more so if this rate holds for Years 3, 4, 5, and so forth) that raises questions. That means there were 10 people in the society who committed crimes they wouldn't have committed had those original 10 criminals not been removed from the society.

And I'm just saying this is... weird.
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Old 15th August 2019, 11:31 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I'm just saying on a base level if we take a criminal "out of the equation" (be it prison, exile, execution, or lobotomy) but the crime rate doesn't go down, that assumes some sort of fixed "amount of crime" that is just going to happen in the society, with non-criminals just... morphing into criminals to fill the void.
An interesting thought. Are you just thinking aloud or is there some data on this?
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Old 15th August 2019, 11:35 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
An interesting thought. Are you just thinking aloud or is there some data on this?
Thinking aloud mostly, but that being said I don't really know what data you think I can give.

If you have a bucket of 10 apples and take away 2 apples but afterwards you still have 10 apples... something's off. Maybe our definition of "apple" is wrong, maybe someone's adding apples every time we take them away, maybe something else. But something, sort of by definition, has to be happening.

If you have X amount of crimes happening, you take a percentage of the people committing the crimes "away" (how best to do that being another topic) but you still have the same number of crimes being committed... something's off.

If we have the highest incarceration rate in the free world but our crime rate isn't going down (or X isn't correlated to Y)... what's the variable?
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Old 15th August 2019, 11:37 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
If you have X amount of crimes happening, you take a percentage of the people committing the crimes "away" (how best to do that being another topic) but you still have the same number of crimes being committed... something's off.
Not necessarily off. I'd say something we haven't considered or understood.

And I didn't expect any sort of evidence. I was just wondering if you were drawing these musings from something I didn't know about.
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Old 15th August 2019, 11:39 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Not necessarily off. I'd say something we haven't considered or understood.
And that's my overall point. (I clarified and expanded because I realize I sort of just said a truism and ended it there.)

It's not a matter of thinking there is X percentage of the population that is just destined to be criminals and identifying and getting rid of them is a viable solution, that's fatalistically simplistic, but the idea that there is just some fixed amount of "crime" that is going to happen independent of the people who commit it doesn't strike me as right either.
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Old 15th August 2019, 11:42 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And that's my overall point. (I clarified and expanded because I realize I sort of just said a truism and ended it there.)

It's not a matter of thinking there is X percentage of the population that is just destined to be criminals and identifying and getting rid of them is a viable solution, that's fatalistically simplistic, but the idea that there is just some fixed amount of "crime" that is going to happen independent of the people who commit it doesn't strike me as right either.
Maybe there's a criminational constant in the universe.
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Old 15th August 2019, 11:44 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Maybe there's a criminational constant in the universe.
Maybe. But that would throw a lot of what we're doing into question.

I mean to some degree; "crimes of opportunity" there probably is some sort of value in there. I mean you're pretty much limited to 1 "Hope Diamond Thief" in a society because... well once someone steals the Hope Diamond nobody else can do it.

I mean in our hypothetical society of 1,000 people if all but 10 of those people lock their doors, you are sort of limited to 10 burglars in the society.
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Old 15th August 2019, 11:55 AM   #90
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On a similar train of thought this is why I'm not as focused on things like recidivism rates and "fixing" criminals, because for me the punishment is about the crime they committed, not some hypothetical future crime they might commit.

Look at it this way. Bill walks out of his house, brutally beats the first person he sees to death with a hammer, walks to the nearest police station and turns himself in without incident. He signs a full, non-coerced confession, is caught on security cameras committing the crime, etc, etc He is as fully guilty as a society can comfortably label someone.

But in this society we have a magic machine that can tell us with 100% certainty if a person will commit a crime in the future and Bill comes back clean, he will within a metaphysical certainty never so much as get a parking ticket or listen to an illegally downloaded MP3 song as long as he will live.

If we're focused entirely on rehab/recidivism and reject the idea of justice as a punishment as barbaric... then Bill's got to go free.

Now obviously this is an intentionally absurd extreme hypothetical, but I do think that focusing too much of crimes a criminal will commit in the future at the expense of the ones they did does have a sort of implied "You get the first one free" to it.
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Old 15th August 2019, 11:57 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
On a similar train of thought this is why I'm not as focused on things like recidivism rates and "fixing" criminals, because for me the punishment is about the crime they committed, not some hypothetical future crime they might commit.

Look at it this way. Bill walks out of his house, brutally beats the first person he sees to death with a hammer, walks to the nearest police station and turns himself in without incident. He signs a full, non-coerced confession, is caught on security cameras committing the crime, etc, etc He is as fully guilty as a society can comfortably label someone.

But in this society we have a magic machine that can tell us with 100% certainty if a person will commit a crime in the future and Bill comes back clean, he will within a metaphysical certainty never so much as get a parking ticket or listen to an illegally downloaded MP3 song as long as he will live.

If we're focused entirely on rehab/recidivism and reject the idea of justice as a punishment as barbaric... then Bill's got to go free.

Now obviously this is an intentionally absurd extreme hypothetical, but I do think that focusing too much of crimes a criminal will commit in the future at the expense of the ones they did does have a sort of implied "You get the first one free" to it.
I understand what you mean, but as I said earlier if you punish someone it's with the expectation of changing their behaviour, not just some vague personal feeling of vindication. That's why I used child discipline as an example.
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Old 15th August 2019, 12:03 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
What consequences? When you slap someone's hand for picking from the cookie jar, you do that just to hurt them and not to modify their behaviour? That makes no sense at all. Of course the whole point of punishment is to alter behaviour!
I don't agree that crime and punishment in society is analogous to raising children. I don't think we as a society have the standing to treat each other as children, and I think it would be a mistake to approach crime and punishment that way.

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Give an answer that's not nonsensical.
The answer makes sense to me. I'm not obliged to modify it into an answer that makes sense to you. If we've reached an impasse, then simply say why you think my answer is nonsensical, and let everyone decide for themselves which argument has more sense.

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You answered a question I didn't ask. I didn't mention fairness, I mentioned results. Could you answer the damned question, please?
Going back through our exchange, this seems to be the last question you asked on this point:
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yes but what if that sense of fairness doesn't match reality? What's more important, that we have an impression of doing good, or that we actually do good?
I answered that question pretty extensively in my very next reply. I even answered the follow-up question.

Unless you have new questions, I'm not going to have any new answers for you.
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Old 15th August 2019, 12:06 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I don't agree that crime and punishment in society is analogous to raising children.
It's not a matter of it being analogous to it. It's a matter of what the end goal of punishment is. You're seeing analogies where none exist, now.

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The answer makes sense to me.
Then explain how it makes sense. You punish someone with no expectation of any result, so why go ahead with the punishment? To make yourself feel better?

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Unless you have new questions, I'm not going to have any new answers for you.
How about you answer the one I asked here:

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
What if we feel like X is working but it's not?
?
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Old 15th August 2019, 12:27 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
It's not a matter of it being analogous to it. It's a matter of what the end goal of punishment is. You're seeing analogies where none exist, now.
I opened this conversation with my statement of what the end goal should be. I've stood by that statement ever since.

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Then explain how it makes sense. You punish someone with no expectation of any result, so why go ahead with the punishment? To make yourself feel better?
I opened this conversation with my statement of what result I expect. I've stood by that statement ever since.

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How about you answer the one I asked here:
The question:
"What if we feel like X is working but it's not?"
Then either do Y instead, or fix X.

But it's kind of a moot point in this conversation, where "X" is "the perception of a fair system of crime and punishment." For this X, feeling like it's working is literally it working.

That's the X I'm talking about. I'm sure there are other Xs, with other answers, but I'm not talking about them. Asking about the general case of unspecified X doesn't seem to have a point in this conversation.

I repeat my entreaty to you, to simply say what you think should be, and why.
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Old 15th August 2019, 12:30 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Terrible analogy. Money can be measured objectively. But the fairness of a system is entirely subjective. If what we want is a fair system, then the perception that the system is being fair is literally the system working.

By this reasoning, Jim Crow was fair, because the majority of the people where such laws were implemented believed them to be fair.
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Old 15th August 2019, 12:35 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
If we have the highest incarceration rate in the free world but our crime rate isn't going down (or X isn't correlated to Y)... what's the variable?

That has already been answered numerous times in past threads, the variables are poverty, education levels, opportunities for gainful employment, cultural influences, mental health, institutionalized bigotry, and non-rational restrictions on non-harmful behaviour.
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Old 15th August 2019, 12:39 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
That has already been answered numerous times in past threads, the variables are poverty, education levels, opportunities for gainful employment, cultural influences, mental health, institutionalized bigotry, and non-rational restrictions on non-harmful behaviour.
That doesn't follow.

I'm not poorer/richer, smarter/dumber, employed/unemployed, etc etc whether Bill is in prison for the crime he committed or not.

Again for longer sentence to NOT effect crime rates, some factor has to be making people who wouldn't commit crimes commit crimes to "make up" for all the people in jail who know can't commit them.
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Old 15th August 2019, 12:44 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
By this reasoning, Jim Crow was fair, because the majority of the people where such laws were implemented believed them to be fair.
Perhaps. Or perhaps it was unfair, because the majority of people observing it through time believe it was unfair.

Or perhaps it was unfair, because the majority of the people who had standing to judge the laws thought it was unfair.

But that's not exactly my reasoning. I was being somewhat casual with my language. My actual reasoning, from the opening of this conversation, was that a society needs have a consensus that its system of crime and punishment is a fair system, and the primary goal of such a system should be to achieve this consensus. Obviously Jim Crow didn't quite meet this need, since it resulted in civil unrest, violence, and ultimately rejection of the laws.
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Old 15th August 2019, 01:31 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Yet our societies don’t seem to be safer and more secure (yes I’ve read that gun violence in the US is decreasing, but it is still at an unacceptable level in my view). Rehabilitation might be a stated objective of justice systems, but when someone gets a set sentence of 30 years without parole, how is rehabilitation really working?

So my question. Is tougher sentencing a good or bad thing and why?
This is almost certainly false where ever you live. With rare exception, crime rates have been decreasing for 20 years. We* are actually safer than we were 20, 30, and 40 years ago.


https://www.newscientist.com/article...he-rich-world/

https://knoema.com/atlas/topics/Crime-Statistics

https://www.brennancenter.org/public...-crime-decline

If your society doesn't seem safer and you are in a developed country, they you can blame the media. The media has increased time and space devoted to crime reporting while crime rates have been decreasing.

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tan...me-in-the-u-s/

So the thread is based on a false impression of reality. Probably, it is possible the OP does live in one of the areas were crime isn't actually at a 50 year low.

That being said, it is unclear if tough on crime legislation actually works to reduce crime. Crime went up in the 60s and 70s, lots of tough on crime legislation was passed in the 80s(mostly in the US) then crime starting decreasing in the 90s and has been ever since. When isn't if obvious that tough on crime legislation, including minimum mandatory sentences worked? Crime decreased pretty much everywhere in the developed world, even where other less harsh tactics were tried. It decreased more in the US by the way, so its not quite clear that tough on crime policies didn't work at all.

Personally, I'm ok with mandatory minimums so long as there are also mandatory maximums and that the range is reasonable. It seems reasonable to have a legally prescribed range of punishments for a particular crime, that should reduce to impact of bias at least.

Some other things that correlate with the decrease in crime rates; legalized abortion, bans of lead paint and leaded gasoline, the aging of the boomer population past the age of violence.


*Almost everybody who i snot in a nation currently torn by war.

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Old 15th August 2019, 03:18 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think maybe you haven't thought this through. In a democracy, the government answers to the people. The government's justice is the people's justice, and should reflect what society thinks is fair.

Tyrannies are no better. A tyrant whose justice is unfair in the eyes of his subjects is going to have a bad time.
I think maybe I have and that you have not. Revenge is not justice. Revenge is not a valid function of government, no matter how much some people would like it to be.
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Old 15th August 2019, 03:23 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
. . .

I agree that preventing recidivism is important. I don't agree that it should be at the heart of a system of crime and punishment. Our prisons should not be in the business of making better people. Providing opportunities for people to make themselves better, yes. But I think the heart of the system is fair punishments for crimes committed. Not rehabilitative detention for crimes that only exist in the imagination of the system itself.
On this we agree. And as you say, prisons can not make people better, but can and should provide opportunities for people to make themselves better.
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Old 15th August 2019, 03:24 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
It also leads to militarization of any and all police activities in order to justify the storage and maintenance costs of all that military surplus equipment. Such as the use of SWAT teams to serve warrants on non-violent offenders. The paramilitary evolution of many police departments has served also to further alienate police from the communities that they serve, and widen the divide between police and civilians; exacerbating the bunker mentality already present.
Yep, and it leads to statistics without thought.

"We used our SWAT team in 847 raids last year" Yeah, but those were all just folks selling weed. Who cares?

Well, the people distributing money care. Which is why I say, again, be very careful, watch for corruption. Granted, Boris Johnson looks like an obese, less idiotic Dolt 45, but still...

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Old 15th August 2019, 04:01 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
Yep, and it leads to statistics without thought.

"We used our SWAT team in 847 raids last year" Yeah, but those were all just folks selling weed. Who cares?

Well, the people distributing money care. Which is why I say, again, be very careful, watch for corruption. Granted, Boris Johnson looks like an obese, less idiotic Dolt 45, but still...

The bad old days of the '80s and '90s Civil Forfeiture laws without oversight jumps immediately to mind. Numerous police departments became highway bandits as soon as they realized how lucrative the laws could be.
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Old 15th August 2019, 05:33 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
On a similar train of thought this is why I'm not as focused on things like recidivism rates and "fixing" criminals, because for me the punishment is about the crime they committed, not some hypothetical future crime they might commit.

Look at it this way. Bill walks out of his house, brutally beats the first person he sees to death with a hammer, walks to the nearest police station and turns himself in without incident. He signs a full, non-coerced confession, is caught on security cameras committing the crime, etc, etc He is as fully guilty as a society can comfortably label someone.

But in this society we have a magic machine that can tell us with 100% certainty if a person will commit a crime in the future and Bill comes back clean, he will within a metaphysical certainty never so much as get a parking ticket or listen to an illegally downloaded MP3 song as long as he will live.

If we're focused entirely on rehab/recidivism and reject the idea of justice as a punishment as barbaric... then Bill's got to go free.

Now obviously this is an intentionally absurd extreme hypothetical, but I do think that focusing too much of crimes a criminal will commit in the future at the expense of the ones they did does have a sort of implied "You get the first one free" to it.
In your admittedly absurd hypothetical, I agree. Bill should go free.
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Old 15th August 2019, 07:17 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
In your admittedly absurd hypothetical, I agree. Bill should go free.

Whereas in the system we have now, no one cares if they person they turf out onto the street after five or ten or twenty years is going to go rape someone or kill someone the moment they are free. Which is why so many of them do.

When punishment is prioritized over rehabilitation and prevention, one can guarantee and endless stream of inmates pouring into prisons; and if one can find a way to profit from that endless stream of inmates, say, through forced prison labour...
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Old 15th August 2019, 07:35 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
Whereas in the system we have now, no one cares if they person they turf out onto the street after five or ten or twenty years is going to go rape someone or kill someone the moment they are free. Which is why so many of them do.



When punishment is prioritized over rehabilitation and prevention, one can guarantee and endless stream of inmates pouring into prisons; and if one can find a way to profit from that endless stream of inmates, say, through forced prison labour...
To be fair, the same people who would figure out how to profit from forced labor would also figure out how to profit from rehab and prevention programs.

They're essentially the same people who are profiting from incarceration. The solution is not to abandon incarceration, but to reform it.
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Old 15th August 2019, 07:40 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The solution is not to abandon incarceration, but to reform it.
I agree. Some people do need to be separated from society until such time as they are able to reintegrate as productive citizens. Some people need to be separated from society permanently.

Prison labour to me would be just fine, as long as you were paying your prisoners a decent wage. Just like anyone else. The way it is practised in the US today (at least so I gather from watching that John Oliver clip a couple of weeks ago), prison labour is literal slavery.
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Old 15th August 2019, 08:45 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Prison labour to me would be just fine, as long as you were paying your prisoners a decent wage. Just like anyone else. The way it is practised in the US today (at least so I gather from watching that John Oliver clip a couple of weeks ago), prison labour is literal slavery.
Agreed.
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Old 15th August 2019, 08:48 PM   #109
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A minimum wage, less room, board, and healthcare, seems reasonable for convicted criminals. Considering their entire income is being paid by the very people they set out to victimize.
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Old 15th August 2019, 09:09 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think maybe you haven't thought this through. In a democracy, the government answers to the people. The government's justice is the people's justice, and should reflect what society thinks is fair.

Tyrannies are no better. A tyrant whose justice is unfair in the eyes of his subjects is going to have a bad time.
Democracy can easily go hand in hand with tyranny; we're living in a perfect example of that fact right as we speak.

As has been pointed out to me in a different thread, even direct democracy can produce tyranny of the majority, yes?

We currently have an oligarchy, in essence. Who is allowed to vote is gated (many rules and restrictions are applied to who has the right to vote); who we are allowed to vote for is extremely gated as well; the rules which affect when a voted-for member of government can stay or whatever are created by those people in charge (so designed to limit the authority of the voters to kick them out of office in other words); and other laws and rules have been put in place to completely destroy the will of the people in any event -- such as jerrymandering, (in the case of the president) the electoral college, and the supreme court (a bunch of people whom no people elected) decided that money equals free speech and on and on.

Any thoughts that the US government is beholden to the population in general is a farce which includes the so-called criminal justice system.



Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
We can hem and haw over it all day but a society's justice system needs the support of the society.

At the end of the day any type of justice system that leaves a big enough chunk of the society it's... justicing... feeling like justice wasn't served it's gonna be hard as hell to maintain.
Well, yeah. Just take a gander at the current mess where we have the poors and dwindling middle class are in near-permanent debt peonage and the wealthy still commit crime after crime and suffer not at all.


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"The Mob" doesn't have to go home happy, but there's a practical limit to how unhappy it can go home.
Yes. Yes, there is. They'll eventually go home and grab up the pitchforks and roll up their sleeves and head on out to get some real justice.


Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I do have one thing I want to discuss that I see pop up a lot in this topic; the whole "Longer sentences don't reduce crimes" thing because... I'm calling B.S. Sorta, in a fashion. Hear me out.

Let's break it down to brass tacks. We have a society with 1,000 people, just to keep the numbers easy to keep track of them. In a 1 year period let's say 10 them commit crimes and are put in jail for 10 years.

If the crime rate doesn't go down in those 10 years... who's committing those crimes?

Like the idea that walling criminals off from society doesn't cause crime rates to do down sort of requires us to assume as fact that society just has some sort of "Conservation of Crime" law built into it and if we put 10 criminals in jail, 10 more criminals are going to just raise up to take their place.

And that's... weird.

I mean this is looking at one very specific variable in vacuum apart from the whole complex system it's a part of it, and I'm not saying longer sentences aren't bad for a host of other completely valid reasons, but the idea that they aren't effective seems almost self refuting to me.
In this limited argument, sure, you're right. The problem is that, over the last 150ish years, the role of the police and government has been to expand the concept of policing which has criminalized lots of behaviors which were at one time dealt with outside of a formal policing hierarchy; "quality of life" type situations which tend to happen all the time and everywhere. IOW, more and more stuff has been criminalized, hence the creation of more criminals.



Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That doesn't follow.
Yes, it does.


Quote:
I'm not poorer/richer, smarter/dumber, employed/unemployed, etc etc whether Bill is in prison for the crime he committed or not.
Are you the whole of society? The point is, if I may interpret luchog, is that those reasons could very well be reasons why Bill is in prison in the first place.


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Again for longer sentence to NOT effect crime rates, some factor has to be making people who wouldn't commit crimes commit crimes to "make up" for all the people in jail who know can't commit them.
Yes. Your "some factor" is all those listed by luchog and more.
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Old 15th August 2019, 09:20 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
This is almost certainly false where ever you live. With rare exception, crime rates have been decreasing for 20 years. We* are actually safer than we were 20, 30, and 40 years ago.


https://www.newscientist.com/article...he-rich-world/

https://knoema.com/atlas/topics/Crime-Statistics

https://www.brennancenter.org/public...-crime-decline

If your society doesn't seem safer and you are in a developed country, they you can blame the media. The media has increased time and space devoted to crime reporting while crime rates have been decreasing.

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tan...me-in-the-u-s/

So the thread is based on a false impression of reality. Probably, it is possible the OP does live in one of the areas were crime isn't actually at a 50 year low.

That being said, it is unclear if tough on crime legislation actually works to reduce crime. Crime went up in the 60s and 70s, lots of tough on crime legislation was passed in the 80s(mostly in the US) then crime starting decreasing in the 90s and has been ever since. When isn't if obvious that tough on crime legislation, including minimum mandatory sentences worked? Crime decreased pretty much everywhere in the developed world, even where other less harsh tactics were tried. It decreased more in the US by the way, so its not quite clear that tough on crime policies didn't work at all.

Personally, I'm ok with mandatory minimums so long as there are also mandatory maximums and that the range is reasonable. It seems reasonable to have a legally prescribed range of punishments for a particular crime, that should reduce to impact of bias at least.

Some other things that correlate with the decrease in crime rates; legalized abortion, bans of lead paint and leaded gasoline, the aging of the boomer population past the age of violence.


*Almost everybody who i snot in a nation currently torn by war.
Firstly my comment on safety was clearly subjective (“seems to”), but there is some evidence backing it up:

https://aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/tandi359

Quote:
However, commentators on violent crime are more cautious in their interpretation of the trends. Earlier research that examined changes in violent crime detected sustained increases in recorded rates of assault, sexual assault (rape) and robbery that began or intensified in the 1990s (Carcach 2005; Indermaur 1996, 2000; Ross & Polk 2005). While rates of recorded assault and sexual assault continued to rise into the early 2000s, rates of robbery began to decline. In contrast, the homicide rate has remained relatively stable since it peaked in the 1970s. Any year-to-year fluctuations observed in homicide rates is believed to be more a function of the small number of homicides that occur in Australia each year than any real changes in incidence (Mouzos 2000).
Some violent crime trends are up in Australia and some are down and, as is always the case, there are differences in how the data is interpreted. But there is no evidence violent crime rates in Australia have reduced.

I do not believe that tough on crime policies have made Australia safer.
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Old 15th August 2019, 10:31 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I do have one thing I want to discuss that I see pop up a lot in this topic; the whole "Longer sentences don't reduce crimes" thing because... I'm calling B.S. Sorta, in a fashion. Hear me out.

Let's break it down to brass tacks. We have a society with 1,000 people, just to keep the numbers easy to keep track of them. In a 1 year period let's say 10 them commit crimes and are put in jail for 10 years.

If the crime rate doesn't go down in those 10 years... who's committing those crimes?

Like the idea that walling criminals off from society doesn't cause crime rates to do down sort of requires us to assume as fact that society just has some sort of "Conservation of Crime" law built into it and if we put 10 criminals in jail, 10 more criminals are going to just raise up to take their place.

And that's... weird.

I mean this is looking at one very specific variable in vacuum apart from the whole complex system it's a part of it, and I'm not saying longer sentences aren't bad for a host of other completely valid reasons, but the idea that they aren't effective seems almost self refuting to me.
You're treating it like it's a logic problem, but it's an empirical question that certainly depends on the specifics of any particular place and time where the sentences are being applied. Whether or not "longer" sentences will be effective also depends on how long the sentences are now.

The fact that putting someone in prison means that they can't commit more crimes while they are in prison is certainly one factor in how crime is affected by sentencing. But there are also other factors: that person isn't committing crimes, but he's also not getting an education, or working and supporting his family. How much more likely is a child whose father is in prison to commit crimes than one whose father isn't in prison?

All the various factors interact in different places in different ways, but it suggests that there will be an ideal sentencing structure for any place and time such that shorter sentences would lead to increased crime and longer sentences than that ideal would as well.

And the empirical question is what the ideal is and how we can approach it. Of course there are other factors than the crime rate that might be important to our sentencing structure as well, and can change where we put that ideal number.
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Old 15th August 2019, 10:35 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Caring more about one than the other isn't the same as not caring about the other.

And you can't punish people for victims they haven't yet created.
But if the system isn't about punishment but about preventing crime (and the creation of victims) the best way to design the system will be different from one that is about punishment.

And people who disagree about which sort of system we want (or in the case of a hybrid system, how much to value punishment relative to crime prevention) will disagree about how the system should be designed.

I say this only because it seems to me that you are presenting your arguments as though those questions were already answered.
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Old 15th August 2019, 10:40 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
That doesn't follow.

I'm not poorer/richer, smarter/dumber, employed/unemployed, etc etc whether Bill is in prison for the crime he committed or not.

Again for longer sentence to NOT effect crime rates, some factor has to be making people who wouldn't commit crimes commit crimes to "make up" for all the people in jail who know can't commit them.
There are many potential factors (I mentioned a couple in my last post). Another is that longer sentences tend to increase recidivism, so if for instance you sentence someone to six months when they get out they are less likely to commit another crime than if they'd been sentenced to 1 year. I'm not saying that is the case, just that it's conceivable.
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Old 15th August 2019, 10:43 PM   #115
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The thing is, we know that prisons don't work. A stay in prison increases the likelihood of reoffending, and does not serve as a deterrent. So why on earth are we talking about making the problem worse?
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Old 15th August 2019, 10:46 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Perhaps. Or perhaps it was unfair, because the majority of people observing it through time believe it was unfair.
So whether or not it was fair at the time was dependent upon future events?

I find that framing of what fairness means to be very strange. It doesn't break the rules of logic, but it's not very useful for determining what's fair today since we'd have to wait several decades to get an answer.

Quote:
Or perhaps it was unfair, because the majority of the people who had standing to judge the laws thought it was unfair.
I thought all the members of society had standing to judge what is fair. At least that seems like a reasonable reading of everything you've said previously in this thread.

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But that's not exactly my reasoning. I was being somewhat casual with my language. My actual reasoning, from the opening of this conversation, was that a society needs have a consensus that its system of crime and punishment is a fair system, and the primary goal of such a system should be to achieve this consensus. Obviously Jim Crow didn't quite meet this need, since it resulted in civil unrest, violence, and ultimately rejection of the laws.
No society of millions of people will ever reach consensus. There are still people who think that Jim Crow was a good thing, does that mean that not implementing it has failed to reach consensus? If we don't need actual consensus but just some threshold of agreement, then that has to be defined somehow. It seems that any such definition is going to be about reaching some level of majority agreement, maybe you want 90% instead of 50%, but if you have something better then I'd be interested in it.
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Old 15th August 2019, 10:50 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
In your admittedly absurd hypothetical, I agree. Bill should go free.
Not necessarily. There's also the deterrence factor. The question of whether or not setting Bill free will mean that more other people will go out and brutally murder one person, knowing that as long as they make sure they'll never do it again they'll also go free, is meaningful to how we should treat Bill.
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Old 15th August 2019, 10:58 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Not necessarily. There's also the deterrence factor. The question of whether or not setting Bill free will mean that more other people will go out and brutally murder one person, knowing that as long as they make sure they'll never do it again they'll also go free, is meaningful to how we should treat Bill.
But as I just pointed out, punishment is not a deterrence.
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Old 15th August 2019, 11:30 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
But as I just pointed out, punishment is not a deterrence.
Seems to have worked quite well in the Philippines
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Old 16th August 2019, 01:30 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
In your admittedly absurd hypothetical, I agree. Bill should go free.
And that's the "You get the first one free" problem. It leaves no place for justice of any kind for the initial crime that was committed. It is, essentially, a freebie.

It's essentially saying on a societal level, that no crime was committed against Bill's initial victim.
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