29 November 2009

Sadism against prisoners is wrong

British Justice Minister, Jack Straw, wants to restrict prisoner's rights to participate in theatre.

It is a statement of the obvious that those who commit serious crimes against the person or private property should be off the streets and in prison. It also seems to me to be common sense that, as these people will eventually emerge again into society, anything that can “humanise” them is an advantage to them and everybody else too. On these grounds alone Jack Straw’s attempt at populist sadism should be rejected.

However for me there is an ethical point too: it is always wrong to hold that the suffering of a human being per se, however evil he may be, can constitute moral value to society.

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