How To Fix Our Prision System

Posted: February 25, 2010 in Debates, Ethics, Morals, Philosophy, Social Debates
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The United States has the highest prison population in the world, with approximately 2,424,279 serving prison sentences, and another 5.1 million adults under community supervision. In 2008 one prisoner cost $68.00 dollars a day. This adds up to $164,850,972 dollars a day, and $60,170,604,780 dollars a year. These numbers are staggering, and we have to realize that we as tax payers are the ones paying this bill. I have two solutions to rectify this situation; legalize drugs, and crime prevention via harsher penalties.

If we were to legalize drugs we would save money on prison sentences, and the government would generate income off the sales. A study in 1998 concluded the total number of people imprisoned for drug offenses was larger than the combined population of Wyoming and Alaska. The FBI reported 83% of drug arrests are for possession, and 53% of the federal prison population is drug related offenders. If drugs were legalized we would see a tremendous decline in the prison population.

The legalization of drugs would put the drug dealers out of business, resulting in less violent crime over drug turf. The drug trade in America generates almost a trillion dollars a year on the black market. The government would handle the majority of the sales, but individuals could apply for a license to distribute as well. The money saved from prison sentences combined with the income generated from sales and taxes would dramatically boost our economy, and allow us to put more money into the communities.

The argument against the legalization of drugs would be the increase in addiction. My solution to this argument would be to put more money into drug awareness and education. When I was younger I watched “Basketball Diaries” and “Requiem for a Dream,” these two movies scared me away from any hardcore drugs. Regardless if drugs are legal or illegal there will always be abuse. If we look at this debate in a utilitarian point of view the good outweighs the bad, therefore it is the right thing to do.

The prison sentencing in America is not a deterrent to not commit crimes. I believe by changing this aspect crimes against individuals would decrease. Here is what I purpose; establish a stricter capital punishment law, with the sentencing being carried out on national television. The punishment would fit the crime, an eye for an eye approach.

If you are convicted of murder, you would be tortured everyday for the next thirty days. This torture would last 20 hours a day, on the thirty-first day you would be shot in the head. If you are convicted of rape, you suffer the same torture lasting sixty days on the sixty first day you would be castrated. If you are convicted of child molestation, you would suffer the same sixty day torture and castrated on the sixty first. The crime of kidnapping would be the same as a murder conviction. If you are convicted of crimes such as Ponzi schemes, embezzling, or robbery your sentence would consist of fifteen days of torture; on the sixteenth day your hands would be cut off. Finally if you are convicted of domestic abuse; you would be tortured for forty days, on the forty first day your spine would be broken; ensuring you would spend the rest of your life paralyzed from the neck down.

I assure you if these sentences were carried out, crime would drastically decrease. The money saved on prision sentences could be put back into the community. We as a nation could payoff all of our debt in no time. We could improve our schools, public assistance, health reform, increase retirement benefits, and increase money used for loans, as well as research and development. The possibilities are endless; these two simple steps would improve our society in so many ways.


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