Moskos Central Argument For Incarceration

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Moskos' central argument is that our nation's entire prison system is inhumane. Incarceration is not the best alternative because it often means tearing apart families, social bonds, a lack of options upon re-entry, and inhumane prison conditions. He offers flogging as an alternative to incarceration. Is flogging less humane than prisons? It depends on whether you think that five to ten really painful skin ripping lashes are somehow more detrimental to human lives than caging those lives for five to ten or more years in a “stone coffin” (p. 51). Moskos makes a convincing case that prison is often seen as more humane than flogging mostly because most Americans don't have much of an idea on what really goes on in prisons. Lets face it, criminals…show more content…
The first one was the topic of racial injustice. The majority of inmates who are incarcerated are uneducated, poor, black males. Advancing through the book a very strong argument can be based for the transition of “black America from slavery to segregation to incarceration” (p.74). If flogging is to be an alternative, the mental thought- provoking images of slave owners whipping their slaves are haunting because of this countries’ past. It would be unsettling to many citizens to know a white flogger could legally administer lashes to a black floggee regardless of the crime. The second topic, which was expected, was incarceration as a business. Many interest groups profit from the "Prison-Industrial Complex" (p. 77), including private sector corporations, lobbyists, and prison guard unions who lobby for harsher sentencing guidelines. Since labor unions are involved, how much of the $26,000 per year it costs for one inmate is spent ensuring people keep their jobs? Moskos shined a light on private prisons too. There is a town named California City, which on speculation built a 2,300 bed prison. The private prison added another 400 jobs to guards. Construction of this prison was based on the “if you build it they will come” theme. The state of California did not provide any prisoners but after lobbying, the private prison received federal

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