Instigator / Pro
0
1502
rating
3
debates
50.0%
won
Topic

maximum security prisoners should be used as slaves

Status
Voting

Participant that receives the most points from the voters is declared a winner.

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Category
Politics
Time for argument
Two days
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Open voting
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Contender / Con
0
1662
rating
15
debates
90.0%
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Description
~ 468 / 5,000

Prisoners such as rapists, child rapists, murderers, serial killers, and people along those lines, should essentially be used as slaves by the people, for the people, to fix our roads, to work for us for free to pay back something to the communities they took so much from, instead of getting free breakfast in bed and a TV. Being a leech to the tax payers' money. If we decide to keep them alive, why not make them useful towards society through means of hard labour?

Round 1
Pro
Cost of prisoners
In 2018, a report showed, the Bureau of Prisons found that the average cost for a prisoner was $36,299.25 per year , and per day $99.45. On July 9, there were 159,692 federal inmates in Prisons. It makes in total nearly $5.8 billion per year. But the recent annual costs total is $182 billion to keep the prisoner. 

Currently there are over 2.2 million people in the APS and each inmate brings in about $6,000 to $14,000 in revenue.[8]  Currently, the two biggest privately owned prison corporations are Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group which generated $2.5 billion in 2012 alone.[9] Clearly from this data, prisoners are overall a net deficit on the American economy. (sources will be down below). 

Not only do these prisoners do irreparable harm to many families, but they now also do harm to the country's overall economy, literally not offering anything back. Considering the cost it takes to kill a prisoner (in the thousands). Why not simply use them to help the community and give something back to those and the society from which they have taken so much? should we care for a prisoner's rights when we're already committed to putting them to death? Is that not the ultimate violation and worst crime one can commit? To kill them? why then are we so touchy about using them as slaves, when we're prepared to kill them? clearly one makes more objective sense than the other. If we're prepared to kill these people in revenge, then why not go down the route that gets the most objective economic use out of them and make them slaves for the people?

sources

Con
Resolved: maximum security prisoners should be used as slaves

a. Default to con
  • Pro evidently bears the entire burden of proof in this debate. Thus in the absence of upheld burden, the resolution defaults to me, the contender position. 

b. Morality
  • What makes slavery immoral? It deprives humans of the basic dignity of being treated as an end in themselves. Why are prisoners not allowed to be raped or tortured? Well because we give inherent rights to everyone in society, including the offenders within it. The freedom from slavery should fall under such rights such as the freeom from torture, rape, etc. 

c. Incentives
  • Prison slavery provides no incentive for prisons and governments to focus on rehabilitating prisoners [1]. Rehabilitation I posit, or rehabilitative justice should be the idea as it is an undoubtedly superior system [2], to simple retributive justice. It offers prisoners help and an avenue toward becoming productive members of society and reduces criminal recidivism thus improving society [3]. I argue that we ought to pursue any policy that maximizes the incentive and actualization of prison rehabilitation and that includes ending forced prison labor.  

c. Innocent
  • 6% of prisoners are innocent. We should reduce the harm done to innocent prisoners to the best of our ability. This is why the death penalty that executes innocent people [4] should be abolished. In a similar sense, the risk of enslaving innocent people should be removed by replacing the slavery system with a voluntary work system that most prisons already have [5].

d. Costs 
  • There are main costs associated with prison slavery. For one: "Although using unpaid prison labor seemingly appears to be free, there are associated costs that must be considered. The greatest expense is for the guards who have to supervise the prisoner workers – a significant cost that is borne by the government agency responsible for providing prison work crews. Other costs include transportation, training and the provision of meals, tools and safety equipment" [5]. 
  • Secondly "prison slave labor also comes with another cost – the cost of free world jobs that are lost to prisoners, both in the public and private sectors" [5]. Why should we continue the slavery of prisoners when it takes jobs and opportunities away from innocent people who have committed no crime? This is nothing but immoral. 
  • Because of this effect: "While prison slave labor is usually touted as saving money, it may actually harm the local economy." 

Sources
  1. https://bigthink.com/
  2. https://www.nber.org/
  3. https://nij.ojp.gov/
  4. https://innocenceproject.org/
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
  6. https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/

Round 2
Pro
b. Morality
What makes slavery immoral? It deprives humans of the basic dignity of being treated as an end in themselves. Why are prisoners not allowed to be raped or tortured? Well because we give inherent rights to everyone in society, including the offenders within it. 
There is an inherent hypocrisy in my eyes, that we're willing to enact "justice" on such people by killing them (the ultimate crime in all religions). But raping them and using them for experiments is all of a sudden too far?  Clearly through killing them, we erase their ability to be an end in themselves, making your point redundant and showing the hypocrisy of the law.

 It deprives humans of the basic dignity of being treated as an end in themselves.
We deprive death row prisoners of being an end in themselves already. If we're being morally consistent, it's consistent to use them as slaves too if we're willing to
kill them (as I've previously said in the other round).
 
c. Incentives
Prison slavery provides no incentive for prisons and governments to focus on rehabilitating prisoners 
People don't want rehabilitational justice just yet, even if I agree that it is morally superior. People don't care about child rapists and serial killers on death row. We would rather watch them die. There is currently no incentive in America to enact rehabilitation-based policies. I don't care for death row prisoners, but I realise rehabilitation prisons work better for crime rates, visitation rates, and the economy. What's the next best thing? Through the system I patron, we can both get the same economic production (if not more) as rehabilitation-based prisons AND our sense of retribution for their crimes. What is there to lose?


  • 6% of prisoners are innocent. We should reduce the harm done to innocent prisoners to the best of our ability. This is why the death penalty that executes innocent people [4] should be abolished. In a similar sense, the risk of enslaving innocent people should be removed by replacing the slavery system with a voluntary work system that most prisons already have [5].
Well, we can have rules in place to make sure the prisoners can have the most effective economic turn over. This may include actually feeding them and looking after them so they can produce more for society. Rather than taking talents, they are multiplying them. Perhaps some entertainment, such as a television, would be preferable if it provided long-term financial returns. At least now, innocent men and women won't be sent to the slaughter. At least now they will have time to plead their case while being productive. 6% is also an extreme example, as i imagine this is all prisoners, not just prisoners on death row or maximum security prisons.

d. Costs 
  • There are main costs associated with prison slavery. For one: "Although using unpaid prison labor seemingly appears to be free, there are associated costs that must be considered. The greatest expense is for the guards who have to supervise the prisoner workers – a significant cost that is borne by the government agency responsible for providing prison work crews. Other costs include transportation, training and the provision of meals, tools and safety equipment" 

I saw no money statistics. Clearly, this is simply guess work. It's not even saying we won't find turnover, just that it will cost more to pay staff, but they don't even elaborate on how much.

  • Secondly "prison slave labor also comes with another cost – the cost of free world jobs that are lost to prisoners, both in the public and private sectors" [5]. Why should we continue the slavery of prisoners when it takes jobs and opportunities away from innocent people who have committed no crime? This is nothing but immoral. 
With rehabilitational justice, this is a problem too. Although at least I have the argument to say we can make the prisoners do jobs where there is a massive need for workers no one in society wants to fulfil. With rehabilitational justice, these child abusers and gangbangers become competitive in the IT business, a business you and I may partake making our lives harder.
Con
b. Morality
  • Pro makes a crucial mistake here. In analyzing the ethics of enslaving prisoners we are speaking normatively. "A normative claim is a claim to the effect that some standard ought to prevail, a claim about what ought to be done or would be good if it were" [1]. The current law is irrelevant to a normative assessment or judgment of how things ought to be. 
  • I previously argued that the death penalty must be abolished as well as prison slavery. Anything that violates fundamental human rights and treats them like a means to an end rather than ends in themselves. In retrospect, pro's claims of a "hypocritical legal system" serve as an admission of a lack of ethical consistency in this debate on his part, something that loses him the point of morality. 
  • What is pro's argument here anyway? We do immoral things therefore we ought to do more immoral things? This obviously doesn't follow. Even if the current legality of the death penalty had anything to do with our debate, it doesn't follow that it should also be legal for guards to rape inmates or use them as target practice. 
  • I believe the lack of response allows me to extend my argument that in the same fashion that prisoners have and ought to have protections from being raped and tortured, they should also have freedom from slavery. Fundamentally, items included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


c. Incentives
People don't want rehabilitational justice just yet
  • Citation needed? 
  • First, this is flat-out wrong. In a poll for the Justice Action Network (JAN) published in January 2018, "85 percent of respondents supported making rehabilitation the goal of the criminal justice system rather than punishment" [2] so the overwhelming majority of people both want and actively support rehabilitation justice. 
  • But even if what you said was true, what ethical relevance does that hold? The majority of people used to support slavery, but that didn't mean it should continue right? 
I realise rehabilitation prisons work better for crime rates, visitation rates, and the economy.
  • Pro concedes that rehabilitation is an undoubtedly superior system. in every aspect. This concession is of course a truism but I argue that my opponent implicitly contradicts themselves. Pro has stated both:
  1. "There is currently no incentive in America to enact rehabilitation-based policies."
  2. "rehabilitation prisons work better for crime rates, visitation rates, and the economy." 
  • This may lead the voter to be rightfully confused. Proposition 2 is an incentive to enact rehabilitation-based policies. Pro affirms that rehabilitation is better in essentially all conceivable ways and then says that we have no incentive to use an objectively better system? That would be like saying lightbulbs work better than candles but we have no incentive to use lightbulbs. 
  • I already showed evidence that the benefits of prison slave labor remove any incentive to progress into rehabilitation. We ought to do anything that logically makes rehabilitation the most efficient and successful and that involves ending slave labor. 

d. Innocents
  • Pro does not seem to have refuted my argument from the prospect of innocent people. I argued in essence that we ought to remove human rights violations from prison not only as a prospect of morality but for the sake of innocent prisoners.
  • Pro makes the self-evidently weak counter-case that we can provide other things like television or entertainment to prisoners to make up for such. We could also do this and simultaneously rape and torture them as well. The introduction of other materials that have positive utility does not justify an action any more than giving someone's family money after you murder them does. 
  • Pro also objects to the number of innocent prisoners. Similar to the rate of death row, between 4-6% of people incarcerated in US prisons are actually innocent [3]. 
  • Conclusively, we ought not to preserve grave human rights violations for individuals who could be innocent. This includes removing the death penalty as well as the slavery of prisoners. 

d. Costs 
  • Secondly "prison slave labor also comes with another cost – the cost of free world jobs that are lost to prisoners, both in the public and private sectors" [5]. Why should we continue the slavery of prisoners when it takes jobs and opportunities away from innocent people who have committed no crime? This is nothing but immoral. 
    With rehabilitational justice, this is a problem too. Although at least I have the argument to say we can make the prisoners do jobs where there is a massive need for workers no one in society wants to fulfil. With rehabilitational justice, these child abusers and gangbangers become competitive in the IT business, a business you and I may partake making our lives harder.
    • With rehabilitation justice prisoners working would be as a fundamental baseline, voluntary with a wage attributed. This would take significantly fewer jobs away from people than forcing prisoners to work for free and we ought to best reduce the harm we cause.
    • The claim that they do jobs "nobody wants to fulfill," can be dismissed as a baseless and unsubstantiated assertion. 
    • Lastly, how exactly does it make our lives harder to incorporate a system you previously conceded is better "for crime rates, visitation rates, and the economy." That would make our lives significantly better, no? your own words demonstrate this. 

    Sources
    1. https://oxford.universitypressscholarship.com/
    2. https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/
    3. https://www.georgiainnocenceproject.org/




    Round 3
    Pro
    b. morality
    Your entire argument is that it is immoral to treat rapists and serial killers the way they have treated their victims. You are using very morally charged language like, "If it's already immoral, aren't we making it worse?" No, we're not making it worse. Some could say we're making it far better from a utilitarian perspective and a deontological perspective. Do you possess the keys to objective morality? If so, please indulge us all with the wisdom of the spirit. It's simply your opinion that treating rapists with love is the righteous thing to do.

    I'm not saying prisoners should be raped Novice! I've been saying all this time that we should do what leads to maximum economic efficiency and uplifts the lives of those they ruined and took. Maybe this does include giving them TVS', clothes on their back, maybe some Gucci slippers?
     

    C. incentives
    First, this is flat-out wrong. In a poll for the Justice Action Network (JAN) published in January 2018, "85 percent of respondents supported making rehabilitation the goal of the criminal justice system rather than punishment" [2] so the overwhelming majority of people both want and actively support rehabilitation justice. 
    • But even if what you said was true, what ethical relevance does that hold? The majority of people used to support slavery, but that didn't mean it should continue right? 
    I'm unsure where you got this poll from, I can also get another one  that simply disagrees with yours. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/12/06/u-s-public-divided-over-whether-people-convicted-of-crimes-spend-too-much-or-too-little-time-in-prison/

    Many people in the UK constantly complain about how these groomers are only getting 10 years in prison but out in 4 on good behaviour. Once more if you think using rapists and serial killers is immoral, you have to prove why its immoral. I think there is a clear symmetry breaker between these kinds of people and every day citizens which makes one immoral to put in chains and the other not.

    • Pro concedes that rehabilitation is an undoubtedly superior system. in every aspect. This concession is of course a truism but I argue that my opponent implicitly contradicts themselves. Pro has stated both:
    I was talking in regards to the current system.

    d. Innocents
    Pro makes the self-evidently weak counter-case that we can provide other things like television or entertainment to prisoners to make up for such. We could also do this and simultaneously rape and torture them as well. The introduction of other materials that have positive utility does not justify an action any more than giving someone's family money after you murder them does. 
    • Pro also objects to the number of innocent prisoners. Similar to the rate of death row, between 4-6% of people incarcerated in US prisons are actually innocent [3]. 
    • Conclusively, we ought not to preserve grave human rights violations for individuals who could be innocent. This includes removing the death penalty as well as the slavery of prisoners. 

     
    Well, no. Someone can be a slave and we can have rules in place against conduct that is acceptable and manners in which you cannot touch them. For instance, in the Bible, it says you can have a slave but you cannot inflict permanent damage on their body of any sort. If this does come to pass, you must let the slave go. We have rules about owning animals, such as dogs. Is a dog a slave? Yes, pretty much. Do we let someone do whatever they want to their dogs? No.

    slavery definition: slavery, condition in which one human being was owned by another. A slave was considered by law as property, or chattel, and was deprived of most of the rights ordinarily held by free persons.

    The key word here is most; meaning we can give them rights. Just as there is laws against causing unnecessary suffering of cows, or cattle despite them too, being property. 

    The same can be said for human slaves, such as not inflicting any permanent physical damage on your slave. You say I'm OK with raping psychopaths who have no empathy, and maybe I am. You can probably not prove this as immoral though, as it isn't hypocritical or contradictory for me to feel this way, as I recognise they have no empathy for me or anyone else. I have empathy for those who have empathy for others. I'd die for everyday people, child rapists. Not so much.

    You say 6% of people in prison are falsely accused, but you seem to have conveniently left out the part that I only want to make slaves of the worst criminals, such as mass murderers, school shooters, and child rapists. There's going to be a far lower number of people being falsely convicted of these crimes as opposed to others. And once more, they may not even be poorly treated if it leads to better empirical outcomes for good people like me and you.

    C. Costs
    With rehabilitation justice prisoners working would be as a fundamental baseline, voluntary with a wage attributed. This would take significantly fewer jobs away from people than forcing prisoners to work for free and we ought to best reduce the harm we cause.
    • The claim that they do jobs "nobody wants to fulfill," can be dismissed as a baseless and unsubstantiated assertion. 
    • Lastly, how exactly does it make our lives harder to incorporate a system you previously conceded is better "for crime rates, visitation rates, and the economy." That would make our lives significantly better, no? your own words demonstrate this. 
    How would it leave fewer jobs being taken? I've previously said we make them do work no one literally wants to do, where there is a negligence of workers. Strawman argument. Since you believe this claim is unsubstantiated (like you seem to think no jobs have a lack of workers), there is a massive worker deficit in construction and extraction workers in mining.

    Con
    a. Default to con
    • Applicable at this stage. 

    b. Morality
    • Pro drops the following points: 
    1. Normative Judgements vs Analytical ones. 
    2. His lack of ethical consistency. 
    • I am the only person that has established a moral framework in this debate where I said we ought to treat people as ends in themselves rather than means to an end, an obvious application of Kantian ethics. I also am the only person in this debate that operates ethically consistently. I argued that there is no coherent ethical separation between slavery and the violations of other freedoms 
    • I also cited the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (pro also drops) which clearly stated in article 4, "No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms." I argued that we ought to extend this to all people as it is ethically inconsistent to grant people freedom from rape and torture but not from slavery. Has pro responded to my argument? Of course not. Pro has argued: 
          1. The death penalty is legal in some areas therefore enslaving prisoners isn't wrong, however, my argument on normative judgments already refutes this, the death penalty is legal but it ought not to be as it executes innocent people. Secondly, even if this was a relevant case the existence of one system does not in turn justify another (ie. bombing Yemen does not justify nuking Yemen). This causes an axiological slippery slope where the proposition of your system would, in turn, justify other impositions upon prisoners such as rape or torture, and the proposition of those actions, in turn, would justify other actions (to illustrate the fallacy).
    Your entire argument is that it is immoral to treat rapists and serial killers the way they have treated their victims
    • My argument is that we ought to treat them in a way that grants them fundamental human rights such as the freedom from rape or torture, and that we ought to treat them as ends in their selves. 
    You are using very morally charged language like, "If it's already immoral, aren't we making it worse?" No, we're not making it worse.
    • No one has said this. However, I argued that pro's appeal to the current legality of the death penalty is arguing that "we do immoral things therefore we ought to do more immoral things." This is not a valid or sound argument. It would be similar to saying we already enslave prisoners so why can't we use them as target practice. This presents the axiological slippery slope that currently implicates pro's case.
    I'm not saying prisoners should be raped
    • However pro admitted himself that he is fine with prisoners being raped below: "you say I'm ok with raping psychopaths who have no empathy, and maybe I am." Additionally, what is the ethical barrier between giving prisoners freedom from rape and giving them freedom from slavery? This statement has been proposed in many different areas of the debate and pro has failed to exhibit any.
    I've been saying all this time that we should do what leads to maximum economic efficiency and uplifts the lives of those they ruined and took.
    • However, we have already shown that forced prison labor takes millions of free world jobs as a result of its cost incentives, and such has caused entire cities to shut down forced prison labor programs. Pro's system lacking a rehabilitative approach will also lead to a higher criminal recidivism rate ensuring that more innocent people will be harmed in the future. Conclusively, the social cost is much higher than any economic benefit that remains unsubstantiated.
    Maybe this does include giving them TVS', clothes on their back, maybe some Gucci slippers?
    • The introduction of other materials that have positive utility does not justify an action any more than giving someone's family money after you murder them does. 

    c. Incentives
    I'm unsure where you got this poll from
    • I clearly linked all of my sources. 
    I can also get another one that simply disagrees with yours. 
    • This is a poll that says 32% of people believe people spend too little in prison for certain crimes. I posted a poll that shows "85 percent of respondents supported making rehabilitation the goal of the criminal justice system rather than punishment."
    • Pro has stated himself that "I realise rehabilitation prisons work better for crime rates, visitation rates, and the economy," even saying that his own system is the "next best thing." We have already shown that to be false, but such an admission also makes the debate an easy decision. Why would we want the next best thing, as opposed to the best one?
    • Pro concedes that rehabilitation is the best system but is unwilling to allow the system to function effectively by removing prison slavery. If we have candles and lightbulbs we ought to choose lightbulbs. If rehabilitation is preferable to slavery ethically and empirically in every aspect possible, we ought to choose rehabilitation and end slavery.  

    d. Innocents
    • Pro does not even respond to my argument here and I believe pro has effectively dropped the majority of them in retrospect. Pro previously argued that we could give prisoners TVs as if that would make up for making them slaves. I counter-argued that we could also rape prisoners or use them as target practice and give them TVs as compensation, essentially, showing that adding factors that may provide positive utility does not sufficiently justify an action or practice itself. 
    • Instead pro seemingly responds to a strawman argument about giving prisoners rights at all. Extending, within any incoherent axiology, you can simultaneously give prisoners some rights and still use them for target practice or torture them. 
    You say I'm OK with raping psychopaths who have no empathy, and maybe I am
    • Here pro even admits that he is okay with raping maximum security prisoners. My previous assertions remain justified in that pro has no ethical grounding for anything he asserts. 

    e. Costs
    How would it leave fewer jobs being taken? 
    • Basic economics indicates that forced, free labor would take more jobs as it allows companies or even prison entities to reduce their costs with the use of slave labor. If prison slavery is removed prisoners will no longer be exploited this way and would be paid a fair wage under a voluntary system. This transitions prisoners from chattel slaves to sub-competitors in a labor market. 
    there is a massive worker deficit in construction and extraction workers in mining.
    • Pro's own source refutes his point. The source clearly says "conversely, in the transportation, construction, and mining industries, there is a labor surplus.There is literally the opposite of what pro tells us. The jobs have too many people. 
    • This not only indicates that pro has not read his own source, but it essentially fragments what was left of pro's argument.

    • What jobs does pro's source say are actually in shortage? Well the occupational fields it documents are food service, education, and health services, hospitality, and I don't even need to explain how dangerous and untenable it would be to have convicted murderers and rapists forced to cook and serve your food in restaurants, teaching your schools, and being public nurses and doctors!