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Why We Must Bring Back Flogging

It's more humane than prison, argues Peter Moskos
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2011 12:53 PM CDT

(Newser) – Prisons were invented to replace “barbaric” corporal punishment—but now, with our prison system failing, there’s only one thing to do: Bring back flogging. Yes, it sounds horrible, writes Peter Moskos in the Washington Post. But “America has a prison problem.” Namely, they cost too much money and they simply don’t work. Not to mention most people, when offered a choice between prison and the lash, will choose the lash. “Flogging, as practiced in Singapore or Malaysia, is honest, cheap and, compared to prison, humane.”

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“Never in the history of the world has a country locked up so many of its people,” Moskos writes. “We have more prisons than China, and it has a billion more people than we do.” That’s because of “longer and mandatory sentences combined with an idiotic war on drugs,” and it’s not helping anyone. Penitentiaries were supposed to “heal” criminals, but the truth is, incarcerated criminals are more likely to fall back into crime than those who receive alternative sentences. “If it takes a defense of flogging to make us face the truth about prison and punishment, I say bring on the lash.” (Read more flogging stories.)

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