Free Speech: Should a criminal be punished or educated?
Woop woop that's the sound of... Free Speech? Yes, on next week's show we'll be talking all things crime-related. In honour of this we asked three young writers to answer this question:
Should a criminal be punished or educated?
For every action there's a consequence. Whether or not it's pleasant depends on the action. For instance, a child learning how to ride a bike, will end up hurting themselves. There isn't a magic wand to wave to ensure they go unscathed.
The rapist who ensured that a woman can never again walk on the same side of the road as a man, should be punished. Likewise, the fool who thought they had the right to take another's life, should be given an actual life sentence, not a measly fifteen years.
Figures show that nearly 50% of offenders released from prison reoffend within a year. This tells us that prisons are not acting as a deterrent against crime.
To conclude: should criminals be punished? Yes. Educated? Yes.
Criminals must be punished appropriately, educated about the consequences of their actions, and rehabilitated effectively. Now that's what I call a Criminal Justice System.
Criminality may very well be one of the greatest problems that faces our society, but it's not one that should have its resolution decided on instinct.
Punishment appeals to the non-thinker, to the person who thinks that if they're out of society's way then the criminal ceases to exist. It's a fickle outlook, and not one that provides the answer.
Think it through; put yourself in the wrong-doer's shoes. If for some reason, you make the same bad choices that lead you to sit in their situation, would you want to be devolved from society?
Wouldn't it make you want to lash out more viciously than you may have done before? Education and rehabilitation is the only answer to crime. A life is precious, don't waste it on ignorance.
To say every criminal should be punished is too black and white.
I would go with the line that a person's behaviour could be a factor of society. In many cases, a criminal should be educated as there is probably an underlining reason why the crime was committed.
Maybe the person is poor, has no food or has a trainers fetish? Obviously, there are some criminals that endanger the safety of others, but why can't all the rest just be rehabilitated?
Maybe it's just our fetish of crime and punishment.
So what do you think? Should a criminal be punished or educated? Watch the animation below outlining who’s in our prisons and what they’re in for, then tell us in the comments below.
Episode two of Free Speech airs Wednesday 4th April at 10pm on BBC Three... to miss it would be a crime.
Louise, Robbie and Stephen are resident writers for the youth led magazine Live, as well as contributing to The Guardian, The Independent and Dazed and Confused.