Is Flogging a Better Option than Prison?

BY Paul Solman  July 20, 2011 at 1:57 PM EDT


German soldiers flog a Russian villager while fellow villagers are forced to watch. This photograph was found on a dead German soldier. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

A new book by Peter Moskos is as provocative in name as in substance. “In Defense of Flogging” is just that: a spirited, albeit reluctant defense of the punishment already employed in Singapore and Malaysia.

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But why not offer prisoners an option to be buttock-caned instead of doing time, asks Professor Moskos, given how counterproductive, expensive and dehumanizing imprisonment generally is in America?

We became aware of the book via Salon, which interviewed Moskos. The most interesting multi-logue may be the one in the comments section of Arts and Daily Letters, the very thoughtful webpage of the Chronicle on Higher Education.

We’re about to interview Professor Moskos here on Making Sen$e. What questions would you like me to ask him? Let us know in the comments section.

This entry is cross-posted on the Making Sen$e page, where correspondent Paul Solman answers your economic and business questions _Follow Paul on Twitter._