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Thread: Should Non-Violent Offenders Be In Jail?

  1. #1

    Default Should Non-Violent Offenders Be In Jail?

    simple as that.
    with the overcrowding (and multimillion dollar business that is the private sector jail) in american jails i was wondering what your people's take on it was.
    also, do people over in europe et al have coporation owned jails and why does that sit well with people over here. it makes no sense-- or better yet, it makes no sense to make money off of people languishing in jail making objects for a few pennies wage.
    anyway, your ball.

  2. #2


    I think it depends on the crime...If being in jail would prevent them from doing the same crime, then yes...But if being on house arrest or probation is enough to stop them, then I think they should be out of jail...But no excuses or leniency (sp?)...If they mess up, then it's straight to jail

  3. #3


    Like Pojo said.

    For example a Thief, In my opinion he can pay for the crime he commited not staying in jail, but with social work, or, instead of send them in jail, you can put them under house arrest.
    But somebody like an enterpreneur who stole money or committed crime against finance must be sent in jail.
    Same thing for people arrested fur using/possessing drugs, is unuseful to send them in jail.

    People linked to mafia should be send in jail.

    Remember, like Cesare Beccaria said, "Pushiment's aim is to let you understand that you have done something wrong and let you repair what you have done"

  4. #4


    depends what you consider to be a non-violent crime. is drug-dealing non-violent? burglary? theft?
    my experience of crime is that a criminal is a criminal: if they're prepared to cause harm or loss, they'll do whatever takes their fancy, violent or not.
    another thing to consider, and bearing the latter in mind, is that most criminals' actual convictions in court are only the tip of the ice-berg of their criminal activity.

    most of the criminals i know, i wouldn't think twice about killing them.....'cept it's illegal an' all that
    to me, there is no dividing line between violent and non-violent crime; someone always gets hurt.

  5. #5
    Footed P.J.


    I support execution for murder, rape, and certain drug cases. As far as jailing, I feel more folks should be in jail, and more money should be invested in both prison upkeep and anti-crime education. Overcrowding to me falls under cruel and unusual, and is also unsafe for the prison guards.

    In Maricopa County (Phoenix/Scottsdale), AZ, the sheriff has opened tent modules on the jail grounds. Might be moneysaving, but I'd think it just get prisoners angry.

  6. #6


    It always depends on the specific person and the specific crime. Putting somebody in jail doesn't just punish them, it punishes their entire family. If a guy gets a DUI driving to work, and he goes to jail for a year, then no, we know he won't be driving drunk again for a year. But he also won't be out making money to support his family, or spending time with them, or doing anything else useful to society. Plus, the taxpayers are shelling out thousands of dollars to keep him in jail. And once he's out, it's going to be harder for him to find employment, rejoin his family, etc, with a year of jail under his belt. Now, of course, he might not have done those things anyway - he might just go out and commit another crime and this time hurt someone. It just depends on the individual and the circumstances under which he committed the crime. Not everyone who gets thrown in jail is a horrible person with no hope for a better life. Community service and stiff fines need to be serious options.

  7. #7


    Ok... please let me vent.

    In my opinion... The death penalty SUCKS.

    I much prefer life in a crappy hell-hole of a prison for the worst criminals, to make them think about the crimes they committed. As a Catholic, I do not believe in capital punishment. It is up to God, not the American (or any other country) government when to take a life.

    Back on topic now... I guess fines might be more appropriate, as well as paying for the repair of damaged property.

  8. #8


    i think the DUI example is an interesting one because here we have a 'crime' where no-one has been hurt or suffered loss. true, DUI-ing is stupid and i do agree that the individual should lose their driving licence.
    it seems that there's more and more (and more subtle) examples of activities being criminalized, or considered on a par with criminality, when no-one has been hurt or suffered loss.

  9. #9


    Don't forget white collar crimes. The guys who defraud people out of their life savings, or who embezzle money on the job, or people who commit insurance / workers comp fraud.. they all ruin a lot of lives and raise costs for everyone else. These people definitely belong in jail. Also, I think if you have money to your name, you should have to pay rent in jail.

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by chevre View Post
    Also, I think if you have money to your name, you should have to pay rent in jail.
    I think the local jail here actually does charge inmates $1/day if they have money, or some jail in Virginia does that anyway. I remember reading about it but it was a long time ago. I generally think it's a good idea, but echoing what I said in my previous post, since the inmate isn't earning money the money would ultimately have to come from his family.

    Maybe it should be a sliding scale...if you have a wife and three kids back at home trying to get by on your wife's minimum-wage job, then no you don't have to pay. If you had a 100K/year job before going to jail, then you pay $5 a day (still a bargain!). If you made millions and committed some Enron-style white-collar crime, then you pay 10K a day, some of which goes towards the criminal justice system but some of which also goes directly to the people hurt by your crime. If you are a deadbeat who never paid child support, the money goes to your child and the child's other parent.

    I'm sure that'd never actually happen, but it's nice to think about.

    Also, jails and prisons need to be bare-bones. We need to ensure that mentally ill inmates get the help they need, which they generally aren't now. And I don't support torture or inhumane conditions. But my friend's mom used to work in a jail, and it had cable TV and air conditioning. Come on - why are my taxpayers paying for criminals or people awaiting trial to be watching cable? Plenty of hardworking people can't afford cable or A/C. In this area some of the schools did not even have air conditioning.

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