IELTS essay sample: Is education more effective than prisons in curbing crimes?


In many countries prison is the most common solution to crime problems. However, some people believe that better education will be a more effective solution. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? Give your opinion.

Sample response

The practice of imprisoning criminals isn’t something that started recently. Prisons existed in the earliest human societies as well. Whether prisons have been able to reform criminals is a debatable topic; however, in my opinion, they should be there.

The fear of imprisonment acts as a major deterrent and prevents many people from committing crimes. No one wants to get locked up. If there were no prisons or a system for punishing the guilty, the society would be much less safe.

Prisons probably have not been able to reform the criminals. While some come out as reformed individuals, many become hardened criminals after spending time behind the bars. Therefore, I have hardly any faith in the ability of prisons to reform people. Still, while criminals are behind the bars, people can live without having to fear them. Locking them up is definitely an effective way of protecting the society from them.

Creating awareness about the ill effects of crime through education is definitely worth trying. However, I don’t think that education will solve all the problems plaguing the society. When people are made aware of the consequences of their actions, they may be less inclined to commit crimes. Still, believing that by simply providing education we will be able to reform the entire humanity seems foolhardy. If things were that easy, we wouldn’t be seeing so much criminal activity today.

Many people who commit crimes are actually aware of their actions. They know what they are doing. They hail from influential families. It is not the lack of education that prompts them to commit crimes – rather it is the belief that they will be able to get away with their crimes. These are the kind of people who need to be locked up.

To conclude, education might be beneficial in creating awareness; however, it cannot replace the penal system or prisons. If we want to live without fear, we need a system to prosecute criminals and put them behind bars.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

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