Prison Is An Unethical Experiment On Human Beings

Image from a dramatization of the Stanford Prison Experiments, which were deeply flawed

We cage, torture, and kill human beings based on a theory that punishment changes behavior. Can we test this theory? Um, no. No ethics board will let you cage and torture people for years to see how it ‘works’. Incarceration is too fucked up to study, but



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Indrajit Samarajiva is a writer from Sri Lanka, grumpily in Oxford for a while. Sign up for my newsletter at, and you can reach me at