SOC120: Introduction to Ethics & Social Responsibility
April 30, 2012
Ethical Treatment of Prisoners
Some people believe the history of corrections shows movement toward more humane treatment of prisoners as society has progressed. At first, punishments for prisoners were considered a corporal punishment such as, whipping, beheading, dismembering, torture or even death. There was fines and dispersion of property, which was more common than the physical abuse. Execution was the economic and corporal punishment as the estate was forfeited. The economic and physical sanctions have given way of imprisonment less depreciation in the liberty of parole and probation. Ethics refer to the study of the moral value of human behavior and the rules and principles that are meant to govern the behavior. When there are millions of people incarcerated throughout the United States, the ethical treatment of prisoner’s rights has to be analyzed. Through the years many modifications have been made for inmates and their basic human rights. I sometimes wonder have we as a society, made their lives in prison too easy that it is no longer a punishment for them. There are many people in the United States who have strong feelings of what is right and wrong to this question. Utilitarianism is the belief that moral rules should be choices made by a society to promote the happiness of its members (Mosser, 2010). Through the eye of utilitarian, the argument could be that these prisoners are being treated to good and not good enough. Utilitarianism gives us an understandable foundation for moral decision making. Prior to coming to a decision upon a course of action, the utilitarian is asked to consider its effects on the entire population over an infinite period of time (Mosser, 2010). One problem with this method of decision-making is that many people might not agree with the premise that maximization of happiness...