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Proper function of prisons is to punish criminals and life in prisons should be hard. Do you agree or disagree?

(22/9/2012 India) I disagree with the first half of the statement which says that the main role of prisons is to punish criminals, but agree with the second half of the statement which says that life in prisons should be tough. A number of arguments surround my opinion. Normally, prisons have three basic functions. The first is to protect the society from offenders. There are some hard core criminals and mentally sick people who should be behind the bars for the safety of the general public. Secondly, prisons punish offenders by keeping them away from their kith and kin. Thirdly, they rehabilitate or reform offenders. Prisons are correctional institutes where prisoners are reformed to become law-abiding citizens. Education and vocational training is given to inmates of the prison so that they are able to make a living after being set free and do not re-offend. Those prisoners who are mentally sick are given proper psychiatric treatment and are only set free when it is sure that the society is not at any risk from them. Therefore it would be wrong to say that the proper function is only to punish offenders. As far as the life in prisons is concerned, I believe that it should be very tough. By that it does not mean that inhuman, cruel or degrading treatment should be given to them. It simply means prisoners should be made to lead a very disciplined life and made to some community work. This work could be any labour type work or any work depending on the capability of the inmates of the prison. If they have to be given vocational training, it should also be given seriously. There would be many advantages of a tough life in prison. To begin with, it would act as a deterrent for prisoners to re-offend once they are set free. Another important effect would be that they would not have the time to learn crime from other serious offenders within the prison. It has generally been seen that prisons act as schools of crime for petty criminals. Another benefit that could ensue is that this prison labour could be turned into an industry and money could be generated for the maintenance of these prisons. To conclude, I reiterate my opinion saying that prisons have other roles besides punishing criminals and the life within prisons should definitely be hard.

Plan followed Intro: I disagree with the first half of the statement which says that the main role of prisons is to punish criminals, but agree with the second half of the statement which says that life in prisons should be tough Para 1: Functions of prison Para 2: Why life in prisons should be hard Para 3: Benefits of hard prison life Conclusion:

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