Some people think that criminals should be given longer terms in prison, so as to reduce the crime rate. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
There are many different opinions on the best way to reduce crime. In my opinion, long term prison is the only answer in a very few situations, but in most cases education, vocational training and rehabilitation are better.
Long terms in prison are the only answer in case of criminals who are a risk to the society, such as murderers. They cannot be made to mix with society. There are also mentally insane people such as serial killers who should be kept away from the people. In all other cases we can do without long terms in prisons.
My first argument against longer terms in prisons is that in traditional prisons, people learn a lot about crime and so when they leave prison they will commit even more crime. In other words prisons act as universities of crime. So for petty offenders like shop-lifters and pick-pockets should be given some vocational training and education. It is a well not fact that the basic causes of crime are poverty, illiteracy and unemployment. So, if we provide education and job training then we would be removing the causes of crime. If criminals are rehabilitated by some form of employment then they would certainly not re-offend.
Furthermore, the prisons are expensive to maintain. The government can spend that money on other important matters such as education and healthcare. This would ease some burden from the government’s shoulders. The petty and minor criminals can also be employed in some community service projects after providing education and vocational training.
In conclusion, I believe that, we should hate the crime and not the criminal. To fight crime we should focus on the causes of crime. Education and job training help to rehabilitate the criminals. Longer terms in prison are not the answer to fight crime. Focus should be on reforming the criminals.