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Author Topic: 2011-2012 Prison Reform Topic Paper  (Read 5129 times)
tnielson
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Posts: 30


« on: April 25, 2011, 07:03:15 PM »

This is the topic paper for prison reform. It is not built around the legal version of the topic, but around the domestic rehabilitation portion of prison reform. Much thanks to Luis Magallon, Orion Steele, & Deven Cooper for their feedback. Thank you for considering this area of controversy. -Toni Nielson

* 2011-2012 Prison Reform Topic Paper.doc (93 KB - downloaded 28559 times.)
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 12:07:49 PM by tnielson » Logged
tcram
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2011, 03:09:57 PM »

This is an issue that I haven't researched in earnest since my senior year in high school (mental health topic) and was hoping Toni or others in the know can elaborate on the states/federal dimension of the issue.  Is there good literature out there advocating a strong federal role in shaping American corrections policy?  It seems that the obviously strongest role is through the appeals system in terms of what types of treatment/services are required of a prison, but is there enough outside of that to keep a topic like this from getting pushed into a sort of courts topic rehash (my connotation here is strictly negative...)?  Alternatively, this may be a topic to get serious with thinking about alternative agents like the states.
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Paul Elliott Johnson
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2011, 03:35:18 PM »

There are federal prisoners in federal prisons, but the great bulk of these are state run institutions. Moreover, the states can do whatever they want if they just reject federal block grants. And, most states are outsourcing prison-stuff to private corporations. Its really difficult to think of a federalism argument that overreads imprisonment as interstate commerce.
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tnielson
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2011, 04:36:07 PM »

The topic paper is written with the concept of federal block grants for rehabilitation (reentry) programs in mind. Most states do not refuse these grants because they don't want to pay for them on their own. Of course, the feds control federal prisons. There is a healthy debate about whether or not the federal government should give grants/guidelines attached to those grants to states prisons. There are many private prisons but that is a complex subject because privatization takes many forms and usually the state retains some control over their prisons.
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Hester
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2011, 07:41:47 AM »

States/Federalism is obviously a significant issue with regards to Prison Reform, especially on a prison topic dealing with services like rehab.

as a community, we can decide that having States CP/Federalism is a good tool for the NEG toolbox.

OR, maybe we could decide that we don't want States/F'ism to be guaranteed NEG ground, and we could craft a resolution that allows the AFF to use Interstate Compacts as as a vehicle for implementing reform?

if this topic area is selected, i think it'd be worth having diversely written resolutions as choices on the ballot so the community could choose between the kinds of options mentioned above. 
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