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Essay Sample on: Does Prison Stop Crime?

This paper on rhetoric and reasoning is going to be devoted to considering and analyzing of two articles devoted to a same topic – imprisonment and crime rates and their connection – but contemplated from two different perspectives. It is understandable that such discussion is good to be done from the position of rhetoric for this science allows educated people to speak or write effectively and persuade their interlocutors of the fidelity of their beliefs and opinions.

With the help of theoretical advice and materials we are going to be able to successfully dissect the issues which are presented in both of the articles.  We are going to discuss the abovementioned issues with the help of Aristotle’s elements of rhetorical consideration – the purpose of writing, the intended audience, the role of the writer, and the message which lies in the writing.  As well, we will have to define which means of persuasion are used by the authors of the articles under discussion – the character of the speaker, the emotional state of the hearer or the argument itself.

So, to begin with, the first article under discussion is Peter Saunders’ ‘Figures Show Prison Stops Crime’. The main point of the author in this work is as follows. He argues that according to statistical evidence prisons are supposed to stop crime, and on the contrary the fact that the fewer criminals in Australia get imprisoned the higher the crime rates are nowadays. The purpose of the article as it is understandable lies in the call to action – the call to follow the examples of the USA and England and Wales (the countries where increase in custodial sentence results in decrease of crimes committed).

When we consider the audience to which the author appeals, we can argue that there is multiple audience. The author writes the article in the newspaper for general audience and seems to inform people about the situation in the sphere of crime fighting. But it seems that the appeal is to the government in the first instance which is supposed to be a call for action. As for the arguments which are expected to support the author’s main point, there are two: the first states that imprisonment could influence and result in a decrease of the amount of crime in Australia. The second, he asserts that not only this aspect – the declining use of prison – causes the growth of crime rates.

The evidences which underlie the author’s assumptions are as such. The first argument is supported with the statement that crime rates decrease when the offenders appear in prison because they become devoid of the possibility to commit further crimes. As well, imprisonments of criminals can prevent potential offenders from committing crimes for they may become aware of the possible outcomes of their violations and decide not to commit breaches. As for the second argument, Saunders believes that the lack of police officers who are supposed to deal with crimes results in many crimes remain not cleaned (and thus offenders feel their impunity). Also, social and economic situation in the country may cause increase in crime levels.

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