Picture this scene. You are standing in front of the judge, having been found guilty of fraud. The standard sentence is 6 months in jail. In a surprising turn of events, the judge offers you the possibility of 5 lashes or canings in lieu of prison time. Do you take the flogging and short-term pain, but walk out a free person? Or do you choose instead the conventional prison term and subsequent loss of freedom?
Peter Moskos, the author of “In Defense of Flogging”, holds to the belief that our prison system is flawed - inefficient, ineffective, and expensive. Instead of rehabilitating prisoners, prison is psychologically destructive and damaging to family and society. Moskos believes that flogging is a healthier form of justice.
I have to admit that I began this book as a sceptic. Even as he put forth his arguments a part of me said “yeah, but....does a civilized society hit? Parents aren’t even allowed to spank for heaven’s sake!” However, by the end of the book he had me convinced. His arguments are well researched and logical. The tone makes for an easy-to-read book that not only sets forth Moskos’s theories but also provides a blueprint for implementing the system.
Definitely not politically correct, but challenging and thought-provoking.