A question for abolitionists

Over the years, I have come to the position that prisons should be abolished however I have always wondered what to do with administrators and politicians who through acts of omission or Commission, lead to death or destitution among the population.

I saw this question and wondered what most of you here you support abolition think

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

38 thoughts on “A question for abolitionists

  1. jim- says:

    We have streets in Seattle burgeoning with homeless, tents, drugs, property crime the worst in the nation after a ten year hiatus on punishing civility laws and allowing possession of narcotics. We arrest them and turned them out. It’s becoming a joke. House arrest is fine, but what for the homeless who are no longer incarcerated in our city. They shit in public places and there is trash and needles everywhere. What to do? The Uber liberal PC leniency on crime here has the cops handtied and it’s turning the emerald city into a dump—and a mockery of the law

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      Do you think arresting the homeless is a long term and sustainable solution?
      As for drugs, don’t you think the Federal govt policy on drugs has made the situation worse?


      • jim- says:

        On a federal level the war on drugs is a bust and should end with that money being spent on intervention and inpatient services—or the same services in prisons for repeat offenders. Sanctuary cities where homeless congregate is a big problem. Seattle cops are afraid they’ll be videotaped and hung out to dry for enforcing the law. And why bother when they just turn them loose anyway.
        I’ve seen my home town decimated in a generation.
        Certainly I think some cities are doing it better with treatment programs and psychological intervention. Prison is not the answer but something must be done soon.
        On the other hand, home confinement and ankle monitoring I’m totally in favor of. If they have a home.


        • makagutu says:

          Do you think homelessness is an income issue? So that address unemployment we address homelessness?
          We are agreed prison is not the answer and something ought to be done.


          • jim- says:

            Homelessness is rarely an income issue. We have programs and aid for that. Mental illness and drugs don’t do well together and that is the typical homeless. Virtually all the homeless are users first. Statistics support that observation.
            I have a coworker though who was homeless four years downtown Yakima (which is another town here the homeless congregate) and he got off heroine because he got arrested. He’s a very normal guy, but his early exposure to narcotics cost him years of his life.
            I’m still getting to know him slowly, but he seems pretty normal off the dope.
            He is very outspoken against drugs and loves trump. He also thinks a border wall would save lives by stemming the flow of narcotics. I don’t think it would help at all. Criminals always find a way to use obstacles to their advantage.


  2. Barry says:

    I think the abolition of prisons is a long term goal worthy of chasing, but whether or not it is possible to actually achieve, I have my doubts. There are a few individuals, that don’t seem to be capable of being let loose safely at any time, and in the case in NZ they eventually end up in preventative detention, which as the term suggests, means they are denied freedom to prevent the possibility of them committing another serious crime.

    I think most people will agree that imprisonment does not deter most crime, nor does it do much, if anything, to reform most of those who find themselves behind bars. In fact one of the most “productive” outcomes of prison is the creation of lifetime criminals.

    Here in NZ, there is growing recognition of the worth of restorative justice, and hopefully this will eventually become a significant factor in our justice system. It currently has more support within Māori society than it does within Aotearoa as a whole, possibly because Māori recognise that most people aren’t usually criminal/bad/evil by nature – they are usually a product of the society within which they live. Of course there are a few who are an exception to that rule.

    I’m convinced that a more equitable society with true justice would see a significant change in the types of crime. When a person sees themselves or their group as being “othered” then everyone else becomes “other” and, as history has shown all too often, barriers that keeps one in check within one’s own group, start to fall down in regards to other groups and to individuals who belong to those groups..

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      I’m convinced that a more equitable society with true justice would see a significant change in the types of crime.

      I think this sums up the entire argument for me. Some crimes can be tied to an injustice perceived or felt.
      I also think there could be those who may not be integrated easily back into the community. I am not sure they are totally a lost cause


  3. Mordanicus says:

    For the most serious, dangerous criminals I would favor to deport them to penal colonies – where they can live in relative freedom, except that they are prohibited from leaving.

    In case of less severe criminals I would favor income dependent fines, penal service and probation in combination with mandatory behavioral training as alternatives for prison.


  4. Gas chambers and crematoriums! If we simply “got rid of” criminals, drug users, the poor, the homeless, the disabled, and liberals, we’d have a wonderful, safe, and loving society. Combine this with a Christian theocracy that promotes love, fairness, and empathy, like Jesus commands, and we’ll have nirvana on earth. So, vote for me in 2020, and take a step closer to earthly peace. $Amen$

    Liked by 1 person

  5. basenjibrian says:

    inspired for God-Emperor of Terra. we need a firm hand on the Tiller of State, and after a Game of Thrones Marathon, I have come to conclude that ibtd is our man? gnome? spirit of vengeance. Only he can save us from the Kind of Night.

    I am skeptical to some extent. There are too many predators who might be “victims of society” and all that. Still…I want someplace to store the people who, for example, do “sideshows” in which they pilot their 4,000 pound flammable bombs (automobiles, in other words) in sliding circles on city streets, hitting onlookers and innocent bystanders. Meanwhile, some of these innocent bystanders themselves are victims of society who express their victimhood by forcing non-participating drivers out of their cars at gunpoint and setting public busses on fire. Maybe they are all victims of society who we should wag our middle class fingers at sadly?

    (Of course, I think prisons should be if anything EXPANDED for our bigger criminals, the vampire squids and white collar grifters, such as Herr Trump). I would say “guillotines” except as a good liberal I cannot support capital punishment. 🙂


  6. rautakyy says:

    There are prisons and then there are prisons. In some countries, that have deep cultural values against socialistic solutions to social problems, the prison system is already serving as a sort of criminal “colony” and housing the people who would have needed totally different sort of help. Like help in mental issues. In those countries the culture is all about making money and the worth of the person is measured by how much they have money, or how much they are feared. Then we have societies where social movement is a real possibility and the division between the poor and the rich is not so very deep, where the prisons are more like rehabilitizing centres for the people whom the social security and social benefits, like free quality education, free healthcare or free mental care, free social services did not catch them. We all know wich sort of countries suffer less from crime.

    Some countries have been exploited by other countries so long, that they simply do not have the money or even the culture to cure the problems of crime, drug abuse or mental issues behind them. On the other hand, some countries that have been exploiting others have not divided their aquired wealth any more equally or fairly, than the methods by wich they have aquired it, even among their own citizens. Look at the countries where military budget is the highest and you will see the countries where people are least happy to pay their taxes. Why is it so important to have these massive armies with all the most modern tools of murder? Because by robbing others you tend to make enemies.

    Nationally it may seem to make perfect sense that we constantly compete with each other, build armies just in case a nother nation decides to exploit us, that the individual workers compete with each other over jobs and how much of their personal life and health they invest in their work, but globally this competition is leading us to an early grave as individuals, nations and as the entire humankind. In the real world only precious few individuals actually benefit the competition and even they are victims of this culture, as it is only the hardest and most emotionally immature, or even emotionally dead who really succeed to the top in such this culture of constant competition.


    • makagutu says:

      There is nothing to add here. It is a sick world. Either states competing on which can develop kill machines quicker or individuals trying to outdo one another.


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