Forget prison and bring back the lash

Incarceration destroys families and jobs, exactly what people need to have in order to stay away from crime. Incarcerated criminals are more likely to reoffend than similar people given alternative sentences. To break the cycle of crime, people need help. And they would need less help if they were never incarcerated in the first place.

Flogging, as practiced in Singapore or Malaysia, is honest, cheap and, compared to prison, humane. Caning succeeds in part simply because it is not incarceration. Along with saving tens of billions of dollars a year, corporal punishment avoids all the hogwash about prisons somehow being good for the soul.

Some would argue that flogging isn’t harsh enough. While this moves beyond the facile belief that flogging is too cruel to consider, if flogging shouldn’t be offered because it’s too soft — if we need to keep people locked up precisely because overcrowded jails and prisons are so unbelievably horrific — then perhaps we need to question our humanity.