Resolved: Rehabilitation ought to be valued above retribution in the United States criminal justice system... To clarify, I will provide the following definitions
"ought" is a moral obligation.
“retribution” is “Punishment that is considered to be morally right and fully deserved.” “rehabilitation” is “The restoration of someone to a useful place in society.”
Since “ought” is defined as a moral obligation, the obvious value to look towards is morality. We need to value morality first because it allows people to judge whether something is right or wrong. Without morality, the world would be chaotic because people could to anything, and nobody could determine if the action was morally correct or not.
Therefore, my value criterion is Public Safety. IT SHOULD BE THE CORE VALUE IN THE AMERICAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. Adrienne Lee Benson, (Dir., The Constitution Project), SMART ON CRIME, 2011 Writes “The goal of the criminal justice system is to protect the public and punish blameworthy activity. Therefore, to ensure an effective system, policymakers should evaluate any proposed recommendation to determine that [the system] increases public safety and regulates conduct that truly rises to a level that justifies its criminalization.” Cliff Roberson, (Prof., Criminal Justice, Washburn U.), PROCEDURES IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM, 2010. (Retrieved Dec. 15, 2012 from www.besmartoncrime.org/pdf/Complete.pdf.) Writes “Most experts agree the basic goal of the system is to protect society from crime -- beyond that, there is little agreement.”
Therefore, the side that reduces crime rates the most will win this round. Just for clarification, the resolution says we have to value either rehabilitation or retribution over one another, not totally remove one from the prison system. Therefore, the affirmative will specifically rehabilitate all criminals, except the ones who have failed rehabilitative trials, or have a life-long sentences or are on death row. I will clarify in cross-examination if necessary.
CONTENTION I. THE MAJORITY OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE OFFENSES ARE RELATED TO DRUG OFFENSES OR MENTAL ILLNESS. A. MOST CRIMINAL OFFENSES IN THE UNITED STATES ARE ASSOCIATED WITH DRUG ABUSE. Timothy Edwards, (J.D. Candidate), WISCONSIN LAW REVIEW, 2000, 304. Writes, “There is an abundance of statistical evidence that connects drug use to criminal activity: "At least 60% of violent crime is associated with drug use"; "violent offenses such as and assaults and murders, are connected with drug trafficking itself"; "almost a third of those convicted of robbery and burglarycommitted their crime to obtain money for drugs, as had about a quarter of those in jail for larceny and fraud"; "addicts commit 15 times as many robberies and 20 times as many burglaries as criminals not on drugs." Roger Peters, (Prof., Mental Health Law & Policy, U. South Florida), SECOND CHANCE ACT OF 2007, Hrg., House Judiciary Comm., Mar. 20, 2007, 49.
Writes, “Drug abuse is a major burden to our society. The estimated annual cost of drug-related crime is $107 billion. We know that substance abuse is closely linked to crime with over half of all violent crime, property crime and child abuse and neglect cases are related to drug use. Of the nearly 7 million adults inthe [prison], the majority have drug disorders. Most of these individuals have never participated in a comprehensive drug treatment program. We also know that incarceration without treatment is ineffective and is also a costly solution to this problem that we have. B. MENTAL ILLNESS IS A MAJOR CAUSE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROBLEMS IN THE UNITED STATES. Anthony Thompson, (Prof., Clinical Law, NYU School of Law), RELEASING PRISONERS, REDEEMING COMMUNITIES: REENTRY, RACE AND POLITICS, 2008, 91.
Writes, “Despite the mandate, increasing numbers of individuals suffering from severe mental illness end up in jails and prisons without access to appropriate treatment. In fact, too often the reason that they have...
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