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OfflineAldous
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Libertarian position on imprisonment?
    #3156407 - 09/20/04 05:01 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Since libertarianism topics seem to be in, here's mine...

I was just wondering how libertarians feel about imprisonment as a way to sanction crime, felony and other misbehavior (interesting question, since their very name is based on the notion of freedom) and about the prison industrial complex, which is a very capitalist contraption, isn't it? How do they solve the tension between the freedom to make money out of prisoners and each man's natural right to freedom?


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OfflineTao
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Re: Libertarian position on imprisonment? [Re: Aldous]
    #3157148 - 09/20/04 08:14 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

i believe those rights can be taken away once you initiate force--since you are the one initiating the use of foce.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Libertarian position on imprisonment? [Re: Tao]
    #3157190 - 09/20/04 08:22 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Bingo. Libertarianism does not prohibit force--only the initiation thereof.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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InvisibleEvolving
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Re: Libertarian position on imprisonment? [Re: Aldous]
    #3157839 - 09/20/04 10:59 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

IMO, the primary purposes of incarceration should be (in order of importance)
1) Protect the innocent from any further agressive actions by the criminal
2) Restitution for victims
3) Restitution to the taxpayers (or the state) for expenses
4) Diversion of the perpetrator to non-criminal behavior upon release
. a) In cases where the criminal is deemed incapable of changing his ways, protect the public with the lowest cost means available.

I think it is a mistake to privatize prisons (at least) as long as there are victimless crimes, for this will only serve to help entrench the interests that benefit from the criminalization of victimless behaviors. In other words, it acts as an incentive for the creation of legal forms of slave labor under the pretext of 'criminal justice.'


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


Edited by Evolving (09/20/04 11:10 PM)


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OfflineAldous
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Re: Libertarian position on imprisonment? [Re: Evolving]
    #3159086 - 09/21/04 09:11 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Evolving said:
2) Restitution for victims
3) Restitution to the taxpayers (or the state) for expenses



You mean "retribution", I guess. In what way does incarceration provide retribution?
Quote:

I think it is a mistake to privatize prisons (at least) as long as there are victimless crimes, for this will only serve to help entrench the interests that benefit from the criminalization of victimless behaviors. In other words, it acts as an incentive for the creation of legal forms of slave labor under the pretext of 'criminal justice.'


Why would you think this only applies to victimless crimes? There can be benefit in the perpetuation of any kind of crime, victimless or not. That's why the government prefers to spend bucks on repression rather than education, which might lower the crime rates. In my view, there should be no incarceration at all for victimless crimes. Incarceration should only serve to protect society from potentially dangerous individuals. As a means of retaliation or rehabilitation or anything else, it just doesn't work.

Anyone else on private prisons? Can a true libertarian tolerate state intervention in such a crucial matter?


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InvisibleEvolving
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Re: Libertarian position on imprisonment? [Re: Aldous]
    #3159108 - 09/21/04 09:41 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Aldous said:
You mean "retribution", I guess.



No, here's what I mean... While incarcerated, prisoners should be working for restitution to their victims and towards the costs that the system has incurred to bring them to justice. If a person is a non-violent offender, there could be ways to make restitution while being monitored in a halfway house or even living a normal life but having his wages garnished. This of course should be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Quote:

Why would you think this only applies to victimless crimes? There can be benefit in the perpetuation of any kind of crime, victimless or not.



Did you notice this, '(at least)'?

Quote:

In my view, there should be no incarceration at all for victimless crimes.



In my view there should be no crime unless there is a victim.

Quote:

Incarceration should only serve to protect society from potentially dangerous individuals.



So aggressors should not pay restitution to their victims? Do you think that the state should force victims or their families to pay for the upkeep of those who have harmed them? Do you think that the victims or their families be further burdened (via taxation) with supporting those who have done them wrong? Shouldn't criminals pay for their own upkeep or at least contribute materially towards their own support? Do you think prisons should be places where people lift weights, watch T.V., play board games and file endless lawsuits from?


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


Edited by Evolving (09/21/04 10:52 AM)


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OfflineAldous
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Re: Libertarian position on imprisonment? [Re: Evolving]
    #3160119 - 09/21/04 03:58 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Evolving said:
No, here's what I mean... While incarcerated, prisoners should be working for restitution to their victims and towards the costs that the system has incurred to bring them to justice. If a person is a non-violent offender, there could be ways to make restitution while being monitored in a halfway house or even living a normal life but having his wages garnished. This of course should be determined on a case-by-case basis.


Sorry, I get the point now. Agreed.
Quote:

Did you notice this, '(at least)'?


Well, yes, but I fail to see any link. Prisons should never be private, regardless what the type of crime is. The reasons you stated are right, though.
Quote:

In my view there should be no crime unless there is a victim.


I agree if you litterally mean 'crime'. But I support banning utterly reckless and risky behavior, like drunk driving at high speed near schools (to take an extreme example), and sanctioning failure to comply.

Quote:

So aggressors should not pay restitution to their victims? Do you think that the state should force victims or their families to pay for the upkeep of those who have harmed them? Do you think that the victims or their families be further burdened (via taxation) with supporting those who have done them wrong? Shouldn't criminals pay for their own upkeep or at least contribute materially towards their own support? Do you think prisons should be places where people lift weights, watch T.V., play board games and file endless lawsuits from?


No amount of money can compensate death or permanent injury, for example, let alone on the wage of an inmate. If I had a relative who got killed, I would refuse any money for compensation, I would just want to know that the perpetrator is made unable to do more harm.
And I am not against some work for inmates, as long as it doesn't amount to slave labor and as long as they're not exploited by private companies. Also because this loses jobs to free workers and deflates wages if done on a large scale.


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Offlinehound
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Re: Libertarian position on imprisonment? [Re: Aldous]
    #3188561 - 09/27/04 10:56 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

If you do harm to another person or their property, you should go to jail. But outside of that I can't see of any reason where a jail sentence can be justified.


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