I don’t think the question is worded well, given the demographic that frequents this board. They’re a lot of things, but hardened criminals hardly.
A better question would have been “Do you think prison deters people from committing crimes?” and I’d say the answer is absolutely not, or crime wouldn’t be as prevalent as it is in society. And it absolutely is prevalent.
I think prison as a punishment is an absolute joke. Especially for major/capital crimes. I just don’t think society has figured out a way to dole out justice in a productive or appropriate manner yet. Prison is far too good, too easy, for way too many people, and yet, extreme overkill for many others. It exists solely because, quite frankly, we are just too stupid to know what to do with them otherwise, so we try to remove them from society to maintain normalcy. I’d argue a stint in prison only makes a better criminal. People don’t value freedom nearly as much as the populace wants to believe, if they did, well, society wouldn’t be the way it is, the way it’s trending.
Three hots, a cot, a roof, free healthcare, structure, socializing, there’s a sizable part of the population that appeals to, so those people can literally do whatever they want, to anyone they want, without consequence. Most states don’t have capital punishment anymore, those that do it’s completely pathetic and trending out, so there is really no mechanism to punish those that could be considered truly evil anymore. Knowing that, why wouldn’t you go out and kill as many people as possible as seems to be the popular thing to do these days? If the punishment is the same, whether you kill one, or kill 200, why stop?