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Prisons are necessary unless we want to return to a system of corporal punishment or unless people all of a sudden become angels.  With human nature being what it is, there will always be crime and something will have to be done to/with criminals.  Prisons remain the only choice that...

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Prisons are necessary unless we want to return to a system of corporal punishment or unless people all of a sudden become angels.  With human nature being what it is, there will always be crime and something will have to be done to/with criminals.  Prisons remain the only choice that is likely to be acceptable to most people.

If a person sticks a gun in someone else's face and robs them, what can we do with them?  We can beat them or kill them as punishment but we no longer believe in such things for that sort of a crime.  We could send them to some sort of educational facility to try to teach them how to be a productive member of society.  However, that is not likely to satisfy most people because it is not much like punishment and it does not keep us safe from the person while he (presumably) is being rehabilitated.

With those options out of the question, prison is the only feasible choice.  Therefore, we will need prisons for the foreseeable future.

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