Ethical Treatment Of Prisoners

811 Words Jan 31st, 2018 3 Pages
When one is involved in the study of right and wrong, it is inevitable that one will be forced to make a choice between the two, and assign this choice to actions and behavior. When discussing the ethical treatment of prisoners, one is forced to decide what is right and what is wrong, not only for the prisoners involved, but for society in general. One theory of punishment is called the "utilitarian" philosophy, and generally assumes that whatever is best for society in general is the best course of action. The idea of utilitarianism, when applied to the criminal justice system can benefit those involved because what is best for society is an ethical question, one that must be answered within the bounds of ethics. This means that ethics must be applied to the question of the treatment of prisoners, and therefore can ensure that prisoners will be treated decently by society. Utilitarianism is the idea that whatever is decided to be best for the greatest number of people is the best course of action. When applied to the criminal justice system, utilitarianism becomes "consequentialist" in nature; meaning that the idea of the punishment of criminals, and its effect on society, must be taken into account. ("Punishment-Theories of Punishment") In other words, society must benefit from the punishment and not be…
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