Correctional System

The correctional system has three main goals: punish, protect the population and rehabilitate the offender. However, it is unclear how well the modern U. S. correctional system achieves these goals and whether the money invested in the correctional system might be better spent. (http://www. ehow. com/about_5087269_role-correctional-system. html) The only goal the correctional system has is to punish those who are incarcerated, so they never commit another crime and have to come back. It is the most common way of punishment besides capital punishment, parole or probation.

Its supose to teach them a lesson and be the most affective way, but is it? The correctional system is also supposed to rehabilitate inmates. Rehabilitation, if done well, will make the criminal functional in normal society after release. This may include vocational training, counseling and drug rehabilitation treatment. Rehabilitation is intended to shift the criminal from being a cost to society to being a contributing member of society. (http://www. ehow. com/about_5087269_role-correctional-system. html) For punishment in our correctional systerm prison conditions and the treatment of inmates are regulated at several levels.

The highest level is the U. S. Constitution. The Eighth Amendment reads: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. ” Legal precedent is used to determine what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, since the amendment’s wording is vague. International law also regulates prisoner treatment through the treaties known as the Geneva Conventions. More than 90 percent of all prisoners are eventually released. (http://people. howstuffworks. com/prison4. tm)

Normally before any prisoner is released from incarceration they normally go through a psychological evaluation of some sort to make sure they are fit to go out in the real world, espeacially if they have been in prison for awhile. But when they get out alls they know is life behind bars, some choose not to leave, others just go right back in. I always hear people say that if you go to jail once, you will go back agian, some believe its true others dont. Basically the only punishment people do go through besides prison or jail is parole or probation and to me its like a slap on the wrist.

I dont think they are so harsh on these offenders as they should be or could be. Any more people don’t look at it as you being on parole or probation as a bad thing, its almost like a norm in todays society. I personally do not think they puish offeners as they should because if they did you wouldn’t have people getting out and then going back in. When they are released, often the only skills they acquired in prison were those that allowed them to survive. They may be paranoid or bitter. They may have learned that the only proper response to a problem is violence. Their social skills have atrophied.

Getting a decent job as a convicted criminal is hard enough — add in these factors and it can become very difficult for ex-cons to reassimiliate themselves into the outside world. A study of state prisoners from 15 states who were released in 1994 showed that more than half of them ended up back in prison within three years [Source: U. S. Department of Justice]. Sixty-seven and a half percent of them were arrested for a new crime, unrelated to their prior charges. (http://people. howstuffworks. com/prison4. htm) Obviously if they just end up going right back in and espeacially one a new charge, they are deffenitly doing something wrong.

Some people argue that everyone deserves a second chance, not matter what they did. To put yourself in their shoes and then think if your truely sorry about what you did you deserve that second chance. Thats why some people argue rehabilitation over punishment. Until the mid-1970s, rehabilitation was a key part of U. S. prison policy. Prisoners were encouraged to develop occupational skills and to resolve psychological problems–such as substance abuse or aggression–that might interfere with their reintegration into society. Indeed, many inmates received court sentences that mandated treatment for such problems.

In many prison systems, psychologists are the primary mental health care providers, with psychiatrists contracted on a part-time basis. Psychologists provide services ranging from screening new inmates for mental illness to providing group therapy and crisis counseling. They also provide rehabilitative services that are useful even for prisoners without serious mental illnesses, says Fagan. For example, a psychologist might develop special programs for substance abusers or help prisoners prepare for the transition back to the community.

Another constraint is the basic philosophical difference between psychology, which is rehabilitative at heart, and corrections, which is currently punishment-oriented. 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 . (http://www. apa. org/monitor/julaug03/rehab. aspx) Rehabilitation can and can’t speak for itself for incarceration unlike punishment can. Everyone hears about the “horrible” things they do to you in prison or the things that go on.

People tell storys on how bad it was in there to scare you and to feel bad for them, and yet some end up going right back in. They won’t tell you that there was a chance for them to get help in there. That there are people out there that do care and do know what there going through in there and are there to hepl you and to be your friend and to make sure you are okay. Rehabilitation goes for any crime I think you could think of from being addicted to drugs to killing people, theres ways to get help. If rehabilitation didnt help people then why do people who arn’t incarcerated go to theropy or counciling for there problems.

Those words are just fany ones for rehab to me and everyone at some point needs a little help, we are not all super heros. In my opinion I think that Rehabilitaion is the best way to make a prsoner not come back. When they are in there they feel like they have no potential at all. In rehab they make them see what they really can do and that they do not have to be in there, that they dont belong, no one does. It helps them get on the right path in prison so hopefully when they get out they will still be on the right path, and who knows they might end up helping other people along the way.