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Jeff Jacob’s “Bring Back Flogging” for Criminal Justice, Book Review Example

Pages: 1

Words: 891

Book Review

Perhaps the beliefs the Puritans shared about public flogging were more successful than the criminal punishment system in force in the United States today. The justice system should consider bringing back flogging because it was not only a better deterrent to future crime but it was very cost effective, much less than the current $30,000 annual cost to house a person in the United States jail system. Evidence shows that the western world prefers to lock people up in what the legal system calls more humane ways. These humane ways are now cages or jails. Jails suit any type of crime including murder, rape, drugs or any minor offense that judges feel the person should be jailed. Over 1.6 million people today are behind bars which have shown a 250% increase over the last 25 years. Jails are at their limit and some felons as a result are on the streets without even a probation or parole. It appears the current criminal justice system is not working because the offenders keep re-offending and the jail systems are full. Further the judiciary keeps punishing for minor crimes and letting out the more serious offenders early. “Research shows that 58% of criminal convictions do not even result in a prison sentence. (Jacoby, 1997).  Certain states have higher potential for arrests and convictions and they are Texas and California. Research shows the jails in Texas and California at are peak capacity. Keeping criminals locked up for long periods of time promotes savvy criminal minds upon release and further promotes resentment and anger.

In contrast flogging promotes a traditional way of learning and discipline that is easier to understand for the common offender. Flogging punishments are individualized for the crime at hand and are not generalized as in caging a criminal for any type of crime as done in the western jail system. “Justice Harry Blackman stated that crimes in jail border on the imaginable.” (Jacoby, 1997). What Blackman is specifically stating is that so many crimes happen in jail one could not imagine with the common mind. Further it is disgusting to me why these crimes cannot be prevented by the guards. Sometimes even the guards are the ones committing the crimes. The Puritans seem to have a better idea than the criminologist have of disciplining the criminal minds.

When corporal punishment was banned in the western world the flogging could no longer be legally existent in the United States. Flogging was banned as a result of being labelled as being too inhumane, brutal and much too emotional degrading for the offender. Many other countries third world countries still practise flogging as criminal justice. Bringing back flogging may be a means to end the violent criminal acts in the United States. Starting the flogging process with the commencement of a non-violent crime can be a deterrent to future violent crimes because the pain and embarrassment of public flogging causes the mind not to want to commit future crimes.

This article cites strong reasons why western criminal justice systems do not presently deter future crimes and aid in violent tendencies of future criminal activity yet lack in presenting sufficient evidence to support why there is enough evidence to support a full flogging criminal justice system. There is average information available to support changing our present caging criminal system to a flogging system.

Further the article cites phrases such as “thieves and drunken drivers should be privy to flogging.” (Jacoby, 1997). I agree with this expression because non-violent crimes should be separated from violent crimes and they offenders of these crimes should not be jailed simply because the jailing would make money for the criminal justice system of America. Only after the three strikes crime is a minor criminal of a felony nature and only then so should it be treated as such. There should be no stereotyping or combining of one type of punishment fits for all. The criminal justice system certainly needs reorganization and restructuring so why not consider floggings since it was so successful in the days of the Puritans. It was only through the development through days of the practise being called inhumane that it was banned. Why not ‘caging of a man’ is called inhumane?  The obvious answer to that question is because it is the accepted legal way of caging men and women in the United States.

Flogging is presented as a typical self-explanatory means of punishing with the most obvious means of punishment system that will deter future criminal activity in the future. Historically speaking the process has been used on people such as Richard Hopkins, Joseph Gatchell, Hannah Newell and many others. Unfortunately this process of discipline has been banned for over 150 years. It is often contemplated that the rate of caging criminals is unconstitutional as well because sometimes people are caged for such minor offenses it is ridiculous just as some feared it was ridiculous to continue the process of public flogging. I do agree that some forms of flogging were inhumane such as Joseph Gatchell suffered a hot poker through his tongue. However if flogging were to be modified to a more humane way of discipline it could still serve as a great fearful deterrent to crime. Let’s fact it-our current criminal deterrent system is not working.

Works Cited

Jacoby, J. (1997) “Bring Back Flogging” in Globe Staff  Op Ed-Page (1997) A15

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