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Should prisons be abolished?
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Prison is a scare tactic

Prison is a looming threat that keeps most people from acting out or committing crimes.
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The Argument

Prisons were created to scare people into obeying the law, punish offenders, and keep them separated from the innocent. If modern prison systems were abolished or transformed into rehabilitation centers, the act of committing a crime will be viewed as less risky. In the United States, incarceration only provides offenders with the bare necessities of life to frighten people into obeying the law. The threat of serving prison time deters some from committing a crime in the first place.[1] Overall, the objectives of the prison system should be viewed in terms of who will be protected, not the prisoners themselves. Innocent citizens should be the top priority when considering who should be incarcerated, and for how long. Including prisons as a part of society will scare people into following the law.

Counter arguments

Often, offenders do not go into a life of crime willingly, but because they are forced to due to financial or social situations. Many drug dealers and prostitutes begin selling to provide for their families because it is a better alternative to poverty or homelessness. To lower crime rates, prisons should help inmates prepare for their life after incarceration so they do not re-offend. Decreasing the number of people living in poverty will also lower crime.


[P1] Abolishing prisons will not stop crime. [P2] Prisons are meant to keep criminals away from the innocent. [P3] Prisons threaten people to not commit crimes. [P4] Therefore, prisons should not be abolished.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Some people commit a crime unwillingly. [Rejecting P4] Prisons should offer reform programs to help prisoners prepare for freedom.


This page was last edited on Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 00:23 UTC

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