Jeff Jacoby’s Bring Flogging Back Essay

1227 words - 5 pages

In Jeff Jacoby’s essay Bring Flogging Back, he discusses whether flogging is the more humane punishment compared to prison. Jacoby uses clear and compelling evidence to describe why prisons are a terrible punishment, but he lacks detail and information on why flogging is better. In the essay he explains how crime has gotten out of hand over the past few decades, which has lead to the government building more prisons to lock up more criminals. His effort to prove that current criminal punishment is not perfect or even effective is nicely done, but he struggled with discussing ways that flogging could lower the crime rates and provide a safer environment for America.
Jacoby uses many claims about how crime in the United States has grown and the how faulty America’s justice system currently is. One claim said that citizens pay around “$30,000 per inmate each year” (Jacoby 197). This grasps the reader’s attention by connecting their life to the problem; it is their money, a lot of their money, being used to imprison these criminals. The rates have increased on inmates since the 1980s by over 250% (Jacoby 197). Jacoby declares that the prison system is terrible; he uses accurate and persuading evidence.
According to Jacoby, flogging is faster, cheaper, and a more effective alternative to prison. Many young criminals would be less likely to become career criminals if punished through public embarrassment than through prison. Prison can be a sign of manliness or a “status symbol” (Jacoby 197). He says “prison is a graduate school for criminals”, providing evidence that criminals want to be convicted and be in prison, to strengthen their status (Jacoby 197). Jacoby knows how to properly get his view across to the reader, by saying that prison is not as effective now, as it used to be. Many young individuals who are striving toward the criminal life view prison as a way to be accepted and become a legitimate criminal. This affects the reader by proving that prison system is not as effective.
Jeff Jacoby uses evidence that is backed up by professional and legitimate sources, such as the Boston Globe, former Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, Princeton criminologists, and real Puritan history. The evidence is used properly to back up the effects of flogging and how crime has become a major issue that prisons are not helping. The statistics are accurate and logical; they are used in proper places to explain certain aspects of prison punishment. The rates of criminals, murders convicted, and the percent of criminals convicted prove to be properly placed and helpful to persuade the agreement. Jacoby’s use of counter-arguments are used properly and precisely to persuade the agreement without being bias. Everyone goes to prison, nonviolent and violent, “but few of us believe that the criminal justice system is a success”, we spend too much on building prisons yet not all criminals go to prison (Jacoby 197). He says that we spend so much money on the...

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