Many of you are starting to look at debate camps to go to or are even starting to research and find case ideas, so I want to go ahead and help you guys get started by giving you 5 things that you need to know about the resolution this season with the new resolution!
The resolution specifies that we are only looking at convicted prisoners under federal jurisdiction, which implies criminals who broke Federal law and not those that broke State law. But here’s the problem: sometimes a crime can break both State and Federal law, which means that it overlaps the two in what is called “concurrent jurisdiction.” So as a debater, your job is going to be to know the difference between State and Federal law and to know where they overlap in concurrent jurisdiction. That way, you can make sure you are arguing topical cases.
Even though this is a domestic resolution year, you will likely see a lot of play between domestic arguments and international arguments. Here’s what I mean by that: a lot of debaters will probably be running arguments comparing the U. S domestic criminal justice system to other nations abroad. For example, an affirmative team might propose a policy and then use their solvency as that same policy successfully implemented in another nation. That means that you don’t just want to be well-versed in the U.S. criminal justice system. You also want to be well-versed in a wide variety of international criminal justice systems that specifically apply to the kind of cases that you might see this year.
So make sure that you’re not just learning about the U.S., but you also have at least a little bit of an understanding of international comparative criminal justice systems.
This resolution is largely going to be dealing with crimes after they have already been committed, in other words, the treatment of convicted prisoners. However, largely how you deal with those convicted prisoners is going to be influenced by the type of crime that’s committed in the first place, which means that you need to know the pre-conviction as well as the post-conviction.
So here are some quick stats for you. The majority of Federal crimes are drug related, 48.1%. Next is firearms at 19.1%.
Here’s what that means for you: the type of crimes that are committed might influence how you’re going to pass policies on things like rehabilitation, halfway houses, or capital punishment. Make sure you’re well-versed in what kind of prisoners end up in Federal prisons and why they’re there in the first place.
While the resolution does mostly deal with the prison system after conviction in Federal Courts, there are still instances where the two systems are so tightly knit that you really can’t separate them.
For example, you might deal with situations of retrial of convicted prisoners; the prisoner has already been convicted, but he might be going to Federal Court, which means that your policy might actually be influenced by the Federal Court system more than the criminal justice system.
So you need to make sure that you’re not just well-versed in the prisons, but you’re also well-versed in how the Federal Courts deal with Federal prisoners when they go to retrial.
The Rehabilitation vs. Retribution debate itself is very controversial and extends to many different policy and academic schools of thought, which means that you are going to be partaking in that this year. So you will need to know what types of rehabilitation are offered and the arguments in favor and against those types of rehabilitation. And you need to understand how those two factors play into recidivism rates.
So become knowledgable on the topic. Become a participant in it if you want! But regardless, make sure that you understand what the debate is about and how those different factors play into the circumstances of convicted prisoners under Federal jurisdiction.
All of the different questions, debates, controversies, policies that I just mentioned are things that we will be covering in our membership this season, which means I will break down all of those components into 20 minute videos to give you the background that you need to understand the resolution. That is why we’re here!
If any of those things I said is interesting to you or you agree with me that you need to know them, then SpeechMakers is the right place for you.
1) You’ll get biweekly resolution videos explaining everything I just discussed.
2) You’ll be receiving Current Event Reports about the criminal justice system so that you don’t walk into a debate round and learn that you missed a vital piece of the news.
3) I have created a specific algorithm just for NCFCAers to have a constantly rotating newsfeed that only deals with the resolution, so you can log on and get the information you need quick and easy without having to do the work yourself.
So make sure that you sign up soon!