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Binghamton Speech & Debate

Proposition: Hank De Hoyos (Winston Churchill High School) vs. Opposition: Leslie Serrano (Wood River High School)

Judge: Dan Schatz (Unaffiliated)

Resolution: This house believes that prisons should be abolished

  • Hank De Hoyos
    Hank De Hoyos
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    Leslie Serrano
    Leslie Serrano
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    Posted at April 13, 2015 05:47:39PM EST by Hank De Hoyos

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    Prisons AC
    Prisons exploit people from bad backgrounds
    Greenstreet 14
    Stuart Greenstreet earned his living as a business manager and writer before taking up philosophy at Birkbeck College, London. After graduating from the Open University he did further philosophy at the University of Sussex.
    https://philosophynow.org/issues/102/Prison_Doesnt_Work
    SEU Social Exclusion Unit is a division of the British Government
    Prison doesnt work. Theories about the punishment of lawbreakers fail in practice because they disregard the real conditions of peoples lives. The apparatus of criminal justice exists to secure a society in which everyone is free to do pretty well as they wish so long as they dont inhibit others from doing as they wish provided, that is, that we all obey the law. Nevertheless, prison does not work for the great majority of offenders because all the evidence shows that far from cutting the level of crime, prison actually increases it. I display some facts about offenders lives in the panels below. They are from a report called Reducing Re-offending by Ex-prisoners (2002) prepared by the Social Exclusion Unit (SEU) of the British government, but the pattern is similar all over the Western world. The SEUs research helps us to see why most criminals go on offending again and again. The empirical evidence it offers supports the hypothesis that entrenched criminal habits are strongly associated with the worst kinds of upbringing. The typical prisoner seen in the SEUs data was raised in a family used to crime and imprisonment. His school life was ruined by truanting, exclusion and being taken into care. (95% of the UKs prison population of 94,000 is male.) He is too illiterate and innumerate for all but the most menial employment. His bad state of mental and physical health is aggravated by addiction to drugs or alcohol or both. He is poor, dependent on state benefits, and constantly in debt. He has no settled home-life. Here is the SEUs own conclusion: Many of those in prison come from the most socially excluded groups in society. Many will have grown up in backgrounds where serious violence, drug and alcohol abuse are commonplace experiences. Few may have known the security of a stable home or done well at school. Crime may be seen as a survival strategy, as inevitable, or the only means of getting the things that others have. (para.11.1) In large measure, then, prisoners are more sinned against than sinning. Is it right that they alone should be held responsible for offences they would probably not have committed but for their bad luck of being born into the kind of circumstances that dispose men to crime? If an offender is not ultimately responsible for the way he is, perhaps he shouldnt be jailed for what he does. But are character traits immutable? Perhaps someone with a bad moral trait should respond to reasons to change should see why that trait is spoiling his life. But how realistic is it to expect hardened re-offenders to go straight? They were brought up in poverty and chaos, starved alike of love, order and discipline, some even mentally scarred by violence and sexual abuse. Recall the SEUs conclusion: a career of crime is their survival strategy, or they see it as inevitable. Maybe these men in many cases really are incapable of change. Two out of three offenders are reconvicted within two years; each released prisoner who gets reconvicted commits at least five crimes while he is free. Do we need more evidence of this widespread incapacity? A childhood of abuse and neglect can leave a person psychologically damaged to such an extent that it is nave to hold them morally responsible for their traits, or expect them to change their ways. Ill nurture tends to predispose men to crime, and imprisonment to make them persist in it. The SEU found that having a job, a home and a stable family are strongly associated with reducing the likelihood of ex-prisoners re-offending, and that a jail sentence actually weakens these protective factors: Too often a prison sentence does not cure the causes of crime, but aggravates them. Instead of helping prisoners to connect with jobs and become included in society again, it can take away the employment, housing and family links, and leave prisoners virtually destitute, on the road back to prison. (para. 16.2) One ex-prisoner told the SEU, Its true what they say: your sentence begins the day you get out. Its not irrational for a destitute prison-leaver to choose to return to crime if it is his only survival strategy.
    Prisoners face hardships before and after conviction
    Data is from the United Kingdom and a study completed in 2014
    Family Background of Convicted Prisoners Prisoners are far more likely than the general population to have grown up in care, poverty, or an otherwise disadvantaged situation. Compared with men and women in the general population, prisoners were: 4 times more likely to have run away from home as a child. 13 times more likely to have been taken into care as a child. 2.5 times more likely to have a family member convicted of a criminal offence. The latter two characteristics interact. Around 125,000 children in Britain are affected by imprisonment each year. Many are taken into care, fostered, or adopted as a result of a parents imprisonment, and this increases the likelihood of their becoming offenders themselves. Nearly half of all prisoners say that they have lost contact with their families since entering prison. Many are sent to prisons far from their homes.
    Education and Employment of Convicted Prisoners Most prisoners have had their experience of school disrupted by truanting and exclusion, and leave school at the first opportunity, with no qualifications. Compared with the general population, convicted prisoners were: 10 times more likely to have been a regular truant. Nearly 25 times more likely to have been excluded from school. Nearly 3 times more likely to have left school at sixteen or younger. Nearly 4 times more likely to have left school with no qualifications. 23% of male and 11% of female prisoners attended a special school compared to only one per cent of the general population. 48% of prisoners have a lower level of reading ability than an 11-year-old; 65% have lower numeracy skills; and 82% have lower writing skills. Low skills feed into low employability: only half of prisoners have the reading skills, less than one-third the numeracy, and one-fifth the writing skills necessary for 96% of all jobs. Employment reduces the risk of re-offending by between a third and a half. But two-thirds of prisoners arrive in prison from unemployment. Unemployment in the general population is normally between 5% to 8%. Among prisoners (in the 4 weeks before imprisonment) it is 67%. The same proportion have never experienced regular employment or having a job that was really worth having. Over one in seven say that they have never had a job at all.
    Public Indifference and Drugs/Alcohol create make for horrible prison conditions
    Rothenberg 14
    http://jewishcurrents.org/prisons-dont-work-33197
    David Rothenberg is the author of Fortune in My Eyes: A Memoir of Broadway Glamour, Social Justice, and Political Passion. In 1967, he produced Fortune and Mens Eyes, an Off-Broadway play that led him to found the Fortune Society as a self-help group for those released from prison. His radio show, Any Saturday, can be heard Saturdays on WBAI from 8 to 10 a.m.
    THERE ARE TWO MAIN REASONS WHY PRISONS DONT WORK: public indifference and cruelly wasted time. For the most part, the public doesnt care about rehabilitation, but about sending the bad guys away and punishing them for their evil deeds. Weve seen these offenders on endless television crime shows, which identify them by their crimes and rarely reveal any other facet of their being. While 98 percent of the people we incarcerate will return to society, our preoccupation is with sending them off to be punished, without regard for their emotional and psychological condition. The result is a recidivism rate of nearly two thirds within three years. Our society pays a heavy price for this failure: With more than one out of a hundred adult Americans imprisoned at any given moment (the highest rate in the world), at an annual cost of close to $30,000 per prisoner, our prison system is one of the most expensive failures in history. MANY INMATES TODAY have severe drug problems. The 1300 percent increase in the state prison incarceration rate since 1980 is largely attributable, after all, to the War on Drugs. Yet prisons hardly deal with the reasons people turned to drugs, much less to crime. There are scattered programs inside, but hour-long activities with outside volunteers once a week can hardly undo the damage of a mind-numbing, often violent prison ambiance. Drugs and alcohol are, in fact, readily available in most prisons, and many inmates endure, as they endured outside, by getting high. Let me cite some examples of men and women Ive met who have shaken their addictions but still have deep wounds from their time in prison. As residents of The Fortune Societys Fortune Academy (known as The Castle), a haven for homeless former prisoners, they are among the many who are fighting to reclaim their lives. Thomas Jones home was dysfunctional, to say the least: His mother was going mad and his father had started another family. At the age of 7, Thomas began hustling and stealing for food and lodging. He was locked up at 10, which began a pattern that lasted for the next twenty-five years. Getting high was his way of surviving. Thomas never went to school, and by the time he arrived in prison as an adult, he was addicted and illiterate. Nevertheless, with the few dollars he earned performing menial prison tasks, he bought himself a dictionary. With the help of another prisoner he began to teach himself to read. After his last stay on Rikers Island, he was sent to a public shelter, another institution that fails to break the cycle of addiction, incarceration, and homelessness. Finally, a social worker referred him to The Castle, where released prisoners have access to crisis intervention, needs assessment, counseling, various forms of housing, literacy training, GED preparation, employment services, outpatient substance abuse treatment, parenting classes, legal services, and healthy cooking and nutrition workshops. With access to all of this and more, Thomas had an opportunity to confront his past and contemplate a future free of drugs, crime, and prison. After five years of study and training, he is now a counselor at Fortune, helping newly released prisoners with reentry and reintegration issues. He has his own apartment and is a useful, tax-paying member of society. Vilma Ortiz Donovan arrived at The Castle after her second state prison bid. Both of her arrests were drug-related. At The Castle, she says, she saw that fundamental change was possible if she was ready to do the hard work required: They created a place that allowed me to dig deep inside myself. With new insight and support, she found employment and her own apartment, and enrolled in college. The second half of her life promises to be much brighter than the first Casimiro Torres was turned over to the state at age 7. He was introduced to weed and wine at 10. Thats how I managed my pain, he says. Yet even as a homeless teenager, on drugs and stealing to survive, hed always carried a paperback book in his rear pocket; he dreamed of adventures and a heroic life. When I first met him at The Castle, he was sullen, unkempt, and suspicious. Slowly, he began to see the possibilities of something else. His physical posture changed. He began to take the time to comb his hair and shave. No one asked him to do that, but I was witness to a man discovering who and what he could be. Eight years later he is married, with a beautiful daughter, and holding a responsible job. He votes and is a taxpayer; he is a mentsh. If you met him now tall, handsome, self-confident you would never imagine Caz as I first saw him. MANY FORMER PRISONERS WANT TO CHANGE THEIR LIVES but havent a clue as to how. Ive walked the yards with all sorts of felons, says an old-timer, Bob Brown, who did twenty-eight straight years in New York prisons. Almost everyone, at some time in their life, is ready to chuck the crime-prison revolving door. The ones who make it are those who have someone or something to hold onto when they have that motivation. Walking the yards, marking time, and punishment for infractions, however, is mostly all that prisons offer. One ex-convict told me that to survive in prison, he had to continue the behaviors and crimes that were responsible for his incarceration. The terrible irony is that criminality becomes more deeply ingrained and subtle inside prison, where it is hidden and goes unreported. The underlying rage isnt dealt with, but is unleashed on an unsuspecting public when the prisoner is finally released. No one holds prisons accountable for the role they play in exacerbating this alienation and anger by piling punishment on top of punishment, including solitary confinement, which simply makes people go mad. Public skepticism about prison reform is understandable, and political leadership on the issue is sadly lacking. The media loves crime and sensationalism and hardly devotes any coverage to those men and women who do overcome and repudiate a lifetime of abuse and neglect. But I have been a witness for more than forty years to people who have slowly and quietly triumphed over their demons. I have experienced first-hand Dostoevskys observation that the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons. And I know that we need to go back to the drawing board in terms of whom and how we arrest, convict, incarcerate, and rehabilitate. At the Fortune Society, people are not written off, dismissed, or judged entirely based on their negative pasts. As a result, I have seen miracles there. A priest visiting Fortune once remarked to me, This is where Jesus would hang out. I replied, And he might run into Moses.

    Posted at April 14, 2015 11:29:55PM EST by Leslie Serrano

    Citations

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    Knafo, Saki. "10 Ways To Reduce Prison Overcrowding And Save Taxpayers Millions." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2015. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/08/prison-overcrowding_n_4235691.html>.

    "United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime." Prison Reform and Alternatives to Imprisonment. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2015. <http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/justice-and-prison-reform/prison-refoI negate the following resolution this house believes that prisons should be abolished
    Instead of abolishing prisons we should reform them.
    abolition: the act of officially ending or stopping something merriam webster
    Prison reform is necessary to ensure that, the human rights of prisoners is protected and their prospects for social reintegration increased, in compliance with relevant international standards and norms.
    COntention 1 Reform
    effective prison reform is dependent on the improvement and rationalisation of criminal justice policies, including crime prevention and sentencing policies, and on the care and treatment made available to vulnerable groups in the community. Reform of the prison system should therefore always take into account the needs relating to the reform of the criminal justice system as a whole and employ an integrated, multi-disciplinary strategy to achieve sustainable impact. Thus, reform initiatives will usually need to also encompass criminal justice institutions other than the prison service, such as the judiciary prosecution and police service, as relevant.


    COntention2 fixes for overcrowding

    under federal mandatory-minimum sentencing laws judges are required to sentence drug offenders to prison terms ranging from 5 years to 20 years. Before this 1986 law, one-quarter of all federal drug offenders were fined or sentenced to probation, the study notes. Today, 95 percent end up behind bars.
    Potential savings: The report concludes that this reform would have a monumental effect, saving the government $2.49 billion over 10 years while reducing overcrowding to its lowest level in decades.
    5. Lower the truth-in-sentencing requirement.
    The problem: Current law says that everyone in the federal prison system must serve at least 85 percent of the time to which he or she is sentenced, known as the truth-in-sentencing requirement.
    The fix: Require offenders instead to serve 70 percent of their sentences.
    Potential savings: 150,000 bed years, $1.55 billion.
    7. Allow more prisoners to reduce their sentences through credit for good behavior.
    The problem: Many federal prisoners are eligible to get months or years chopped off of their sentences, but only if they participate in a particular drug treatment program.
    The fix: Expand the number of rehabilitation programs that offer credits toward early release for those who participate. (This option also offers the benefit of providing more inmates with skills that could help them stay out of trouble after theyre released.)
    Potential savings: 2$224 million.
    10: Send more foreign inmates back to their home countries.
    The problem: 54,200 federal prisoners arent U.S. citizens.
    The fix: Streamline the international transfer program so that twice as many prisoners are sent to prisons in their home countries.
    Potential savings:, $6.9 million.
    rm-and-alternatives-to-imprisonment.html>.


    Posted at April 15, 2015 05:47:42PM EST by Hank De Hoyos

    Citations

    Show

    Prisons AC
    Prisons exploit people from bad backgrounds
    Greenstreet 14
    Stuart Greenstreet earned his living as a business manager and writer before taking up philosophy at Birkbeck College, London. After graduating from the Open University he did further philosophy at the University of Sussex.
    https://philosophynow.org/issues/102/Prison_Doesnt_Work
    SEU Social Exclusion Unit is a division of the British Government
    Prison doesnt work. Theories about the punishment of lawbreakers fail in practice because they disregard the real conditions of peoples lives. The apparatus of criminal justice exists to secure a society in which everyone is free to do pretty well as they wish so long as they dont inhibit others from doing as they wish provided, that is, that we all obey the law. Nevertheless, prison does not work for the great majority of offenders because all the evidence shows that far from cutting the level of crime, prison actually increases it. I display some facts about offenders lives in the panels below. They are from a report called Reducing Re-offending by Ex-prisoners (2002) prepared by the Social Exclusion Unit (SEU) of the British government, but the pattern is similar all over the Western world. The SEUs research helps us to see why most criminals go on offending again and again. The empirical evidence it offers supports the hypothesis that entrenched criminal habits are strongly associated with the worst kinds of upbringing. The typical prisoner seen in the SEUs data was raised in a family used to crime and imprisonment. His school life was ruined by truanting, exclusion and being taken into care. (95% of the UKs prison population of 94,000 is male.) He is too illiterate and innumerate for all but the most menial employment. His bad state of mental and physical health is aggravated by addiction to drugs or alcohol or both. He is poor, dependent on state benefits, and constantly in debt. He has no settled home-life. Here is the SEUs own conclusion: Many of those in prison come from the most socially excluded groups in society. Many will have grown up in backgrounds where serious violence, drug and alcohol abuse are commonplace experiences. Few may have known the security of a stable home or done well at school. Crime may be seen as a survival strategy, as inevitable, or the only means of getting the things that others have. (para.11.1) In large measure, then, prisoners are more sinned against than sinning. Is it right that they alone should be held responsible for offences they would probably not have committed but for their bad luck of being born into the kind of circumstances that dispose men to crime? If an offender is not ultimately responsible for the way he is, perhaps he shouldnt be jailed for what he does. But are character traits immutable? Perhaps someone with a bad moral trait should respond to reasons to change should see why that trait is spoiling his life. But how realistic is it to expect hardened re-offenders to go straight? They were brought up in poverty and chaos, starved alike of love, order and discipline, some even mentally scarred by violence and sexual abuse. Recall the SEUs conclusion: a career of crime is their survival strategy, or they see it as inevitable. Maybe these men in many cases really are incapable of change. Two out of three offenders are reconvicted within two years; each released prisoner who gets reconvicted commits at least five crimes while he is free. Do we need more evidence of this widespread incapacity? A childhood of abuse and neglect can leave a person psychologically damaged to such an extent that it is nave to hold them morally responsible for their traits, or expect them to change their ways. Ill nurture tends to predispose men to crime, and imprisonment to make them persist in it. The SEU found that having a job, a home and a stable family are strongly associated with reducing the likelihood of ex-prisoners re-offending, and that a jail sentence actually weakens these protective factors: Too often a prison sentence does not cure the causes of crime, but aggravates them. Instead of helping prisoners to connect with jobs and become included in society again, it can take away the employment, housing and family links, and leave prisoners virtually destitute, on the road back to prison. (para. 16.2) One ex-prisoner told the SEU, Its true what they say: your sentence begins the day you get out. Its not irrational for a destitute prison-leaver to choose to return to crime if it is his only survival strategy.
    Prisoners face hardships before and after conviction
    Data is from the United Kingdom and a study completed in 2014
    Family Background of Convicted Prisoners Prisoners are far more likely than the general population to have grown up in care, poverty, or an otherwise disadvantaged situation. Compared with men and women in the general population, prisoners were: 4 times more likely to have run away from home as a child. 13 times more likely to have been taken into care as a child. 2.5 times more likely to have a family member convicted of a criminal offence. The latter two characteristics interact. Around 125,000 children in Britain are affected by imprisonment each year. Many are taken into care, fostered, or adopted as a result of a parents imprisonment, and this increases the likelihood of their becoming offenders themselves. Nearly half of all prisoners say that they have lost contact with their families since entering prison. Many are sent to prisons far from their homes.
    Education and Employment of Convicted Prisoners Most prisoners have had their experience of school disrupted by truanting and exclusion, and leave school at the first opportunity, with no qualifications. Compared with the general population, convicted prisoners were: 10 times more likely to have been a regular truant. Nearly 25 times more likely to have been excluded from school. Nearly 3 times more likely to have left school at sixteen or younger. Nearly 4 times more likely to have left school with no qualifications. 23% of male and 11% of female prisoners attended a special school compared to only one per cent of the general population. 48% of prisoners have a lower level of reading ability than an 11-year-old; 65% have lower numeracy skills; and 82% have lower writing skills. Low skills feed into low employability: only half of prisoners have the reading skills, less than one-third the numeracy, and one-fifth the writing skills necessary for 96% of all jobs. Employment reduces the risk of re-offending by between a third and a half. But two-thirds of prisoners arrive in prison from unemployment. Unemployment in the general population is normally between 5% to 8%. Among prisoners (in the 4 weeks before imprisonment) it is 67%. The same proportion have never experienced regular employment or having a job that was really worth having. Over one in seven say that they have never had a job at all.
    Public Indifference and Drugs/Alcohol create make for horrible prison conditions
    Rothenberg 14
    http://jewishcurrents.org/prisons-dont-work-33197
    David Rothenberg is the author of Fortune in My Eyes: A Memoir of Broadway Glamour, Social Justice, and Political Passion. In 1967, he produced Fortune and Mens Eyes, an Off-Broadway play that led him to found the Fortune Society as a self-help group for those released from prison. His radio show, Any Saturday, can be heard Saturdays on WBAI from 8 to 10 a.m.
    THERE ARE TWO MAIN REASONS WHY PRISONS DONT WORK: public indifference and cruelly wasted time. For the most part, the public doesnt care about rehabilitation, but about sending the bad guys away and punishing them for their evil deeds. Weve seen these offenders on endless television crime shows, which identify them by their crimes and rarely reveal any other facet of their being. While 98 percent of the people we incarcerate will return to society, our preoccupation is with sending them off to be punished, without regard for their emotional and psychological condition. The result is a recidivism rate of nearly two thirds within three years. Our society pays a heavy price for this failure: With more than one out of a hundred adult Americans imprisoned at any given moment (the highest rate in the world), at an annual cost of close to $30,000 per prisoner, our prison system is one of the most expensive failures in history. MANY INMATES TODAY have severe drug problems. The 1300 percent increase in the state prison incarceration rate since 1980 is largely attributable, after all, to the War on Drugs. Yet prisons hardly deal with the reasons people turned to drugs, much less to crime. There are scattered programs inside, but hour-long activities with outside volunteers once a week can hardly undo the damage of a mind-numbing, often violent prison ambiance. Drugs and alcohol are, in fact, readily available in most prisons, and many inmates endure, as they endured outside, by getting high. Let me cite some examples of men and women Ive met who have shaken their addictions but still have deep wounds from their time in prison. As residents of The Fortune Societys Fortune Academy (known as The Castle), a haven for homeless former prisoners, they are among the many who are fighting to reclaim their lives. Thomas Jones home was dysfunctional, to say the least: His mother was going mad and his father had started another family. At the age of 7, Thomas began hustling and stealing for food and lodging. He was locked up at 10, which began a pattern that lasted for the next twenty-five years. Getting high was his way of su rviving. Thomas never went to school, and by the time he arrived in prison as an adult, he was addicted and illiterate. Nevertheless, with the few dollars he earned performing menial prison tasks, he bought himself a dictionary. With the help of another prisoner he began to teach himself to read. After his last stay on Rikers Island, he was sent to a public shelter, another institution that fails to break the cycle of addiction, incarceration, and homelessness. Finally, a social worker referred him to The Castle, where released prisoners have access to crisis intervention, needs assessment, counseling, various forms of housing, literacy training, GED preparation, employment services, outpatient substance abuse treatment, parenting classes, legal services, and healthy cooking and nutrition workshops. With access to all of this and more, Thomas had an opportunity to confront his past and contemplate a future free of drugs, crime, and prison. After five years of study and training, he is now a counselor at Fortune, helping newly released prisoners with reentry and reintegration issues. He has his own apartment and is a useful, tax-paying member of society. Vilma Ortiz Donovan arrived at The Castle after her second state prison bid. Both of her arrests were drug-related. At The Castle, she says, she saw that fundamental change was possible if she was ready to do the hard work required: They created a place that allowed me to dig deep inside myself. With new insight and support, she found employment and her own apartment, and enrolled in college. The second half of her life promises to be much brighter than the first Casimiro Torres was turned over to the state at age 7. He was introduced to weed and wine at 10. Thats how I managed my pain, he says. Yet even as a homeless teenager, on drugs and stealing to survive, hed always carried a paperback book in his rear pocket; he dreamed of adventures and a heroic life. When I first met him at The Castle, he was sullen, unkempt, and suspicious. Slowly, he began to see the possibilities of something else. His physical posture changed. He began to take the time to comb his hair and shave. No one asked him to do that, but I was witness to a man discovering who and what he could be. Eight years later he is married, with a beautiful daughter, and holding a responsible job. He votes and is a taxpayer; he is a mentsh. If you met him now tall, handsome, self-confident you would never imagine Caz as I first saw him. MANY FORMER PRISONERS WANT TO CHANGE THEIR LIVES but havent a clue as to how. Ive walked the yards with all sorts of felons, says an old-timer, Bob Brown, who did twenty-eight straight years in New York prisons. Almost everyone, at some time in their life, is ready to chuck the crime-prison revolving door. The ones who make it are those who have someone or something to hold onto when they have that motivation. Walking the yards, marking time, and punishment for infractions, however, is mostly all that prisons offer. One ex-convict told me that to survive in prison, he had to continue the behaviors and crimes that were responsible for his incarceration. The terrible irony is that criminality becomes more deeply ingrained and subtle inside prison, where it is hidden and goes unreported. The underlying rage isnt dealt with, but is unleashed on an unsuspecting public when the prisoner is finally released. No one holds prisons accountable for the role they play in exacerbating this alienation and anger by piling punishment on top of punishment, including solitary confinement, which simply makes people go mad. Public skepticism about prison reform is understandable, and political leadership on the issue is sadly lacking. The media loves crime and sensationalism and hardly devotes any coverage to those men and women who do overcome and repudiate a lifetime of abuse and neglect. But I have been a witness for more than forty years to people who have slowly and quietly triumphed over their demons. I have experienced first-hand Dostoevskys observation that the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons. And I know that we need to go back to the drawing board in terms of whom and how we arrest, convict, incarcerate, and rehabilitate. At the Fortune Society, people are not written off, dismissed, or judged entirely based on their negative pasts. As a result, I have seen miracles there. A priest visiting Fortune once remarked to me, This is where Jesus would hang out. I replied, And he might run into Moses.

    Posted at April 16, 2015 11:52:59PM EST by Leslie Serrano

    Citations

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    Justice, U.s. Department Of. Setting the Jail Research Agenda for the 1990sSetting the Jail Research Agenda (n.d.): n. pag. US Department of Justice. Web. 16 Apr. 2015. <https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.nicic.gov/Library/010484.pdf>.
    Thanks for a great round.

    Posted at April 17, 2015 05:36:06PM EST by Hank De Hoyos

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    None available for this speech.

    Status

    This match has been completed. Show the Decision.

    Submitted at April 19, 2015 10:59:27AM EST by Dan Schatz

    Category Hank De Hoyos Leslie Serrano
    Use of evidence: 4 4.5
    Delivery skill: 3.5 4.5
    Coherence of arguments: 3 4
    Responsiveness to opponent: 3 4
    Identification of key points: 3.5 4.2
    Comments: You need to be more responsive to the opponents arguments, just saying "it didn't work in the past" is not enough. If you are going to talk about the moral issues and make this a key issue you should impact it so and say that this imperative is more important than anything the opposition states because... I think you did a good job saying the negatives that could be addressed by prison reform but need to bring more evidence and extend it throughout to answer the propositions argument of "they don't work". Luckily he did not give evidence to the contrary either

    The decision is for the Opposition: Leslie Serrano

    Reason for Decision:

    In the end it seemed like prison reform could address a lot of the problems of prisons. Further the only work painted to me without a prison is one of chaos, that was actually not addressed by the proposition at all.


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