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Ethical Treatment of Prisoners

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Ethical Treatment of Prisoners

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Some people believe the history of corrections shows continuous movement toward more humane treatment of prisoners as society has progressed. In the beginning punishments for prisoners were considered a corporal punishment which was whipping, beheading, dismembering, torture or even death. There was fines, dispersion of property were common which was more common than the physical torture. 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. When there are thousands of crimes incarcerated throughout the United States, the ethical treatment of prisoner’s rights must be analyzed. Throughout the years many modifications have been made to accommodate inmates and preserve their basic human rights. Have we as a society done enough regarding the ethical treatment of prisoners or have we 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 and fall on both sides of 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 utilitarian view the argument could be made that these prisoners are being treated to good and not good enough. Utilitarianism gives an understandable, theoretical 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 should be the basis for morality. An example of this is an eye for an eye; if you kill someone in my family then I will have your life. In earlier history...

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