Rehabilitating Criminals

Topics: Morality, Analects, Confucius Pages: 3 (1124 words) Published: November 11, 2013
Society can be a scary place with criminals all around us. People being mugged, children being kidnapped, the darkness seems like it will never go away. Men and women are being incarcerated daily to help serve society. Does this really help? Individuals who are released from prison tend to return to prison because it is the only thing they know. Are we serving the greater good by locking these people away? Shouldn’t we be trying to help the criminals turn their lives around and become law-biding citizens? Rehabilitation is the key to help the criminals in doing so. The government should be rehabilitating criminals because it will benefit the victims of crime, serve as a means to an end to crime, and serve the greater good. The government has two options when it comes to protecting society. One way is to punish the criminal for the acts they have committed. The other would be to rehabilitate them. Rehabilitation is the most beneficial, not only to victims but to the criminal as well. All rights should be protected and rehabilitation is a right to the criminal. Rehabilitation is used to intervene and to prevent crime from happening. John Locke says “if any mischief come in such cases, it is not to be charged upon him who defends his own right, but on him that invades his neighbors (Locke)”. Locke also states that the government should protect society from harm. John S. Mill, through the Harm Principle, states that political power can only be used against an individual to protect others from harm (Locke). The government shall protect society and use rehabilitation to serve as a means to end crime. There are philosophers who disagree. Kant argues that to “act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means but always at the same time as an end” (O’Neill 167). Using people to end crime is wrong because the fact that everyone has basic rights. Using a person through rehabilitation as a...

Cited: Dennis Arjo, JCCC class notes, 2013
Locke, John. "The True Orginal Extent and End of Civil Government." Comp. Dennis Arjo Arjo,
Omar Conrad, Landon Kirchneor, and Scott Yeargain. (2002): 131-37. Print.
Locke, John. "The True Orginal Extent and End of Civil Government." Comp. Dennis Arjo Arjo,
Omar Conrad, Landon Kirchneor, and Scott Yeargain. (2002):. Print.
O 'Neill, Onora. "Kant on Treating People As Ends in Themselves." Conduct and Character:
Readings in Moral Theory. By Mark Timmons. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Pub., 2012.
166-71. Print.
Selections from the Analects of Confucius, Book II, Print 2013
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