Would corporal punishment be a better alternative to prison for certain crimes?

May 27, 2008 5:54pm CST
I'm thinking in terms of low-level crimes, on the order of nicking cars and suchlike. On the Isle of Man up until a few years ago, they used to birch some criminals. That was put a stop to under European law, as it was thought to be inhumane, but it seems to me that there are arguments in favour. Being birched would obviously be very painful, but after it's been done you go home and carry on with your life. If you're sent to jail, you lose your job (if any), possibly your home and family, and you're locked up with some very nasty people. Even if you avoid being beaten up, murdered or raped, hanging around with criminals all day obviously entails a risk of re-enforcing criminal habits - which isn't exactly the idea of the punishment! Plus a lot of people get hooked on drugs in prison. The other advantages of corporal punishment I can think of are that it's an obvious deterrent (no-one would say it was a soft option), and it's a lot cheaper than locking someone up. What do you think?
2 people like this
5 responses
@gewcew23 (8010)
• United States
28 May 08
Like caning, well paddling works in private schools, why not for low-level crimes. If you litter recieve a couple of strokes on the behind. I do not see how it could be inhumane. I did not recieve any strokes, but my husband did and he turn out to be a great man. Public school do not allow paddling and look at what kind of citizen they turn out over here. There could be punishment levels, for every level you go up more strokes on the behind or even the back. Punishment should be punishment what part of that do people not understand. Locking up people for stupid stuff is expensive, not just for the criminal, but the taxpayers of their own country.
1 person likes this
1 Jun 08
Cheers Gewcew, thanks for replying.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 May 08
Hmmm. This is an intriguing idea. Now, violence does not solve anything. And hitting someone only teaches them hit back. But, what does prison teach? A spanking that leaves no permanent marks for minor crimes like shoplifting might do more to discourage repeat offenders than spending the money on keeping someone who is no real danger to society locked up. EU law does allow for criminal punishments to be proportional. They only can't be cruel or unusual. Which is crueler: locking someone away from their families and friends in a dismal prison for a period of time or smacking them a couple of times and sending them on their way?
1 person likes this
1 Jun 08
My thinking exactly. Thanks for replying.
@kassdaw (592)
• United States
27 May 08
I think Corporal punishment should be the only punishment. We could cut back on alot of things, security, prisons, jails, police, and a lot more. Let's just exucute all offenders and make the world a better place.
• United States
28 May 08
If your father was falsely accused of a crime.... I think your thought might change a little there.
1 person likes this
@kassdaw (592)
• United States
28 May 08
If my father was falsly accused I would probably be one that thinks he did it. I think our crimal justice system is more able to find the right crimals now. So if someone is accused they did it.
1 Jun 08
Thank you very much for your input, Judge Dredd. Although you might want to look up the difference between "corporal punishment" and "capital punishment". Also have a glance through the papers from time to time, and see how many stitch ups and cases of mistaken identity take place.
@se7enthbird (8322)
• Philippines
29 May 08
people who are in prison and people who live freely is a choice. if you dont want to go to prison then you and i and all the pople in this world needs to follow the rule and the law. prison is the place where people who breaks the law stay, for there is where they belong. actually prison is not a punishment it is for rehabilitation, but the people who runs it abuses their power. now if you want an option then a good option is to follow the law.
@grammasnook (1875)
• United States
28 May 08
Well if people dont break the law then they wouldnt get either and we wouldnt be having this discussion. People know when they are breaking the law. So to me they make a choice is it I do what I want or do I go to jail?
1 Jun 08
But the real question is: does jail represent value for money for the taxpayers?