Flogging, (or flagellation), is a type of judicial corporal punishment. It is the act of methodically beating or whipping the human body. From punishment to religion to satisfying one self’s pleasure, flogging can be performed for many reasons. In this case we are talking about flogging in the form of a punishment. In “Bring Back Flogging” by Jeff Jacoby, Jacoby argues that flogging should be brought back and used against criminals instead of jailing them. According to Jacoby, flogging was introduced by the Puritans and that we should learn from their methods. Their sanctions were humiliating and painful, but quick and cheap. ” (Jacoby). Jacoby claims that flogging is cheaper than jailing and that “we should readopt a few” of the ideas brought by the Puritans. Overall, I agree with Jacoby on his argument. In addition to the problem with over populated prisons, fogging is a cheaper and more effective than jailing. According to the United States incarceration rate, United States is the leader in jail population. In 2008, “one in every thirty-six adults is in prison” (Moore). Some 1. 6 million Americans are behind bars today.
That represents a 250 percent increase since 1980 (Jacoby). This is the result of American’s belief that jailing is the only option. From murder to drug dealing to being intoxicated on the streets, jailing has become our number one punishment. Furthermore, prisons are populated because jails have become “homes” for certain people such as the homeless. To the homeless, being in prison is similar to being in a hotel. They are provided a “room” with a bed to sleep in and three meals a day. The best part is that it’s free. In addition, prisons in California are already engaged in an extensive 7. billion plan to expand prison capacity and are overseeing another 7 billion in upgrading healthcare facilities for prison inmates (Wood). With such good “services”, prison has become a designated “home” for people who do not have a place to go. Jailing as our number one punishment is not a smart decision because of its cost. Some criminals may be jailed for only one day, which is about sixty-two dollars per day. This amount may not seem that expensive, but with so many “criminals” placed behind bars, the numbers do add up. It is also more effective.
As a result of the increasing numbers of inmates in prisons, the cost of jailing is increasing dramatically. In addition to costs mentioned above, the price of keeping criminals in cages is an estimate of 30 thousand dollars per inmate per year (Jacoby). In 2006 alone, our government spent about 70 billion on criminal justice (BJS). The solution to this is instead of jailing every criminal who commits a crime, criminals that commit non-violent crimes such as drug use should be sentenced to be flogged. This will save money and lower the amount of inmates in prisons.
Also, another reason why flogging is cheaper is because it does not require a lot of workers. Prisons need hundreds of workers such as guards, counselors, cooks, etc. But flogging only needs one, the person who does the whipping. Because flogging requires fewer workers, this will save an awful lot of money compared to jailing. In addition of being expensive, prisons are also less effective. According to the Report of the Re-entry Policy Council: Charting the Safe and Successful Return of Prisoners to the Community, two out of three people released from prison in the United States are re-arrested within three years (prisons).
This means that criminals are not learning their lessons. By sentencing criminals to a few lashes in public, it will leave an impact on them due to the humiliation. As a result of being humiliated, they will most likely not commit another crime. Therefore, saving money and lowering the crime rates. In conclusion, I support that idea that flogging should be brought back. We should readopt the ideas developed by the Puritans, at least on the subject of punishment. Flogging is without a doubt cheaper and also more effective. In addition, it will potentially lower crime rates and keep ex-convicts from being re-arrested.