Date: 2017-04-04 08:59
In order to understand the nature of imprisonment, this chapter will briefly look at the historical origins of prison, and then it will move onto justify their theoretical legitimacy: punishment/retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation. These theories/ideologies will re-occur through the thesis like themes- what we refer to them as 'meta-concepts'. The final section of this chapter will examine the strategies employed by the Prison Service to reach its ultimate goal of protecting public and reducing re-offending.
One of the most common and traditional punishments for corrections is retribution. What is retribution, what does it have to do the correctional theories that are prevalent to the criminal justice system? Retribution is the “act of taking revenge on a criminal perpetrator,” (Schmalleger, 7567). It is the “eye for an eye” or vengeance for a crime committed. “Retribution or just deserts bases its morality on the assertion that people break the law due to their free will. This is why this theory demands that punishments should be calibrated to the seriousness of the crime the more serious the crime, the harsher the punishment,” (MacKenzie, D. .).
While some rehabilitative programmes work with some offenders (those who would probably change by themselves anyway), most do not. Many programs cannot overcome, or even appreciably reduce, the powerful tendency for offenders to continue in criminal behaviour. They simply do not work. ‘Rehabilitation’ is therefore a false promise – and the danger with such an illusory and impossible goal is that it is used as a front to justify keeping offenders locked up for longer than they deserve and sometimes even indefinitely (‘if we keep him here longer maybe he might change’). We cannot justify passing any heavier or more onerous a sentence on a person in the name of “rehabilitation” if “rehabilitation” does not work.
"Right now there's such a focus on punishment--most criminal justice or correctional systems are punitive in nature--that it's hard to develop effective rehabilitative programs," says Morgan.
"This is what prison systems do under emergency circumstances--they move to punitive social control mechanisms," explains Haney. "[But] it's a very short-term solution, and one that may do more long-term damage both to the system and to the individuals than it solves."
The main goal of the actual prison is the separate and incarcerate the felon as a punishment. But after his time is thew there is no way for the said felon to reintegrate with society. With rehabilitation we can can incarcerate while providing the necessary means for the convicted to live a healthy ad productive life after prison. Everyone is worried about whether not justice has been met, but if we result to only punishment that said person will continue to return to prison which is not healthy for the general welfare. The main goal of a government is to protect the society, but we are forgetting that law-abiding citizens are not the only part of our society.
The question “does it work?” must be joined by a second question: “even if it does work, how can you tell, with each individual offender, when it has worked?” This provides further problems with subscribing to the rehabilitative ideal, argued below.
Part of the problem is limited resources, says Morgan: There simply aren't enough mental health professionals in most prisons. Haney agrees: "Many psychologists in the criminal justice system have enormous caseloads they're struggling not to be overwhelmed by the tide."
The most credible research (done by a technique called meta-analysis) demonstrates that the net effect of treatment is, on average, a positive reduction of overall recidivism (reoffending) rates of between 65% and 67%, which would promote a reduction in crime that is, by penological standards, massive [see resources above]
Corrections Theories: Rehabilitation vs. Punishment The big question is why are there so many offenders our correctional system? The answer to this is because they