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Today: Thu, May 26 2016  -  Last modified: April, 26 2007
 Rights, Justice
17 July 2013
Whole-life sentencing is wrong
by Ben Southwood
 sub-topic» Punishment and restitution

Why do we keep people in prison? There have typically been four reasons people have given for punishment of any sort: deterrence, direct prevention, rehabilitation, and retribution. I think it's clear that retribution has no place in a just system, and should be dismissed out of hand. In discussing the import of the others in the question it must always be kept in mind that there is a very strong presumption in any instance that someone should not be in prison. Firstly, this is because prison is the archetypal restriction of freedom, and secondly because prison is extremely costly and we know that there are always other good uses for the resources they take up.