Orange is the New Black

1716 words 7 pages
Orange is the New Black Essay

Piper Kerman is a Smith College graduate who is serving thirteen months in prison, from 2004 to 2005, for a drug trafficking and money laundering crime she committed nearly ten years before. For most of her entire stay Piper is placed in a minimum-security prison in Danbury, Connecticut. I am from Avon, Connecticut so because her story was so close to home it immediately struck me as interesting. Her experience is eye opening, and as the book progresses you can see a slight transformation from a “normal” person to a hardened convict. Pipers book, Orange is the New Black, gives insight into the realities of women’s minimum-security prisons in the United States and how the criminal justice system works
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I want to point out the difference between retribution and incapacitation and why I agree with one and not the other. I think that Piper should have been punished for what she did, that is retribution. On the other hand, I do not think that Piper was a threat to her community, and that there was not a chance she would do it again. So in the sense while I do agree that it was necessary as a punishment, I do not think that it was necessary to stop her from committing another crime again. Deterrence is the third goal of punishment and is compatible with incapacitation. Deterrence is the threat of punishment to convince people that the crime or activity they are committing is not worth it. There are two types of deterrence in my opinion and one of them was successful while the other was not. In Pipers case, while she did think about the fact that when she was smuggling the money over she might get caught, it did not deter her from saying no. Piper still decided that she would drug traffic and money launder so obviously the idea of going to prison did not affect her decision. So, in this case, I would say that no, under this meaning deterrence was not met.
On the other hand, another form of deterrence is the idea that you can reduce the amount of repeat offenders coming back again and again. Under this definition I believe that in Pipers case this deterrence was


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