Only a few days ago I asked this question on abolishing prisons. It’s one among many things that I think are important discussions we should have in our time. Here is a podcast by a prison abolitionist that you could listen to or you can read the transcript of the discussion.
Then I remembered this address by Clarence Darrow to Cook County prisoners in 1902 where he says
There ought to be no jails; and if it were not for the fact that the people on the outside are so grasping and heartless in their dealings with the people on the inside, there would be no such institution as jails.