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Push to ban short prison sentences

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Mar 19, 2018
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Go to the profile of Nicholas D Hart
Nicholas D Hart 2 months ago

We should start to recognise that prison was originally never perceived as a punishment, merely detention either for the protection of the public, or pending the actual punishment (whether corporal, fiscal or pending transportation). Its development as a punishment in the 19th century was a result, if i recall correctly, of the removal of the fiscal corporal and transportation routes, substituted by unpaid work whilst in prison, lapsing into detention alone by default. By all means use prison as detention pending some new outcome (rehab, re-education, or even a return to a modified fiscal punishment) but otherwise only for for the protection of the public. The disproportionate amount of dyslexics in prison (bright people turning to crime from frustration at seeing their less able peers succeeding whilst they can not solely because of their lack of reading skills) is reason enough to reconsider, let alone the disastrous policy of locking up extremists with access to the vulnerable. We need proper scientific input as to this new direction, not desperate firefighting.