Jeff Jacoby Bring Back Flogging Article Critique

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The title of Jeff Jacoby article explicitly expresses his position and also serves as his thesis. Jacoby’s main argument is that flogging should be reintroduced in the system of justice. Jacoby show high interest in flogging and exhibits strong dissatisfaction with the current system of punishment. The main argument of Jacoby article is to convince his audience that flogging is much better than the conventional punishment of imprisoning culprits of crime (Moskos 93). He is opposed to imprisonment style of punishment and argues that both vicious and non-vicious lawbreakers are standardized. This is because they are held in the same correctional facility and face similar set of circumstances. He further cites that non-violent lawbreakers tend to experience a harsh life in prison than their violent counterparts. Jacoby’s main idea is that the justice system should reintroduce the puritan punishment which was practiced a long time age (Moskos 11).

Based on Jacoby’s argument, his dissatisfaction with the current system of punishment is visible. Jacoby arguments to certain point are not acceptable in the current civilized world. Some of the punishments accorded to prisoners that Jacoby gives example of are archaic and against the human rights. The current punishment system was put in place after sanctioning of the old system due to its numerous disadvantages. The author for instance gives an example of how Joseph Gatchell’s tongue was pierced with a hot rod of iron as punishment for blasphemy. Taking such an action in the current world would seem barbaric and evil. Although the puritan punishment method would scare potential offenders and probably reduce the crime rate, it would contradict the already adopted human right laws. The current system of punishment observes flogging as an outdated form of retribution (Moskos 71).

Jacoby however strongly believes that flogging would be the main remedy of reducing crime today. He identifies gaps in the current punishment system where imprisonment is the sole punishment system any category of offender gets. After a deeper analysis of the issue, it seems the author is somehow right. Multiple crimes today are punishable by imprisonment. The author however fails to address other forms of punishment exercised today that are alternate to imprisonment such as community service, house arrest, and probation among others. Though incarceration is the main form of punishment today, it would not be equitable for the author to say it is the only form of punishment. Numerous nonviolent crimes are mostly punished through the alternate methods (Moskos 118).

Jacoby also cites that penal institutions are very expensive. This ranges from the facilities to the constantly increasing number of inmates. He also notes that housing an inmate attracts a higher cost with an estimate of $30,000 per year per prisoner. This true as it is evident that the government spends a lot of funds to facilitate smooth running of prisons (Moskos 139). It is however logic to spend a lot of money to maintain inmates in prisons than set them free. Conversely, the cost to the general public would be high if the inmates were released with an aim of easing financial outlays. The main problem however is overpopulation in the prisons and needs immediate solution. After critical assessment of Jacoby’s articles, it is visible that the cons of corporal punishment exceed its cons. This is to say that the current penal system should remain intact. Reintroduction of flogging would possibly increase negative effects of the current punishment system (Moskos 149).

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