In the future, will we all be incarcerated?
March 5, 2005 10:23 PM   Subscribe

Sometime, say within the last 4 years, I read an editorial which answered the question of what accepted practice of our society would be viewed by future generations as morally reprehensible. The editorializer (who I believe was a person of some note) proposed incarceration as punishment for crime as an answer. Does anybody know who this was or where it appeared?

I was thinking of it will reading this FPP, but can't remember where I read it. It was probably on the interweb, which means it was likely I caught it through a mefi post. Though it could also have been in something like the Atlantic or Harper's.
posted by cosmonaught to Law & Government (3 answers total)
Best answer: Decarcerate? [alt] Discussed here.

If a time traveler from the future showed up in our world today, which of our practices would strike him as most barbarous? This question makes for an excellent parlor game. When we look back at supposedly civilized societies in the past, we are amazed at how complacently they accepted such obvious evils as slavery, child labor and torture. Surely, people in centuries hence will be similarly astonished at our own moral blind spots. But what might they be? After a little reflection, you may wish to hazard a guess. Here's mine: punishment by imprisonment.
posted by dhartung at 12:48 AM on March 6, 2005

I think dhartung got it, and this isn't an editorial but a great speech on it all (if you're interested), and alternatives to incarceration:
Restorative Justice and a Better Future

(I personally think that fact that we still have homeless and hungry, especially kids and families, and have been cutting programs that help the poor, will make us seem even more barbaric, and then there's public education, and the environment...)
posted by amberglow at 9:24 AM on March 6, 2005

Response by poster: Dhartung, that's definitely it, thank you.

Amberglow, I am certainly interested, thank you. Though it's going to have to wait until after college basketball.
posted by cosmonaught at 10:02 AM on March 6, 2005

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