Our corrections system was created to protect society from criminals, to punish those who commit crimes, and to make criminals better able to return to society once they’ve finished their sentences. So the questions we are left to answer are how does our correctional system punish offenders? And how does our correction system rehabilitate offenders? There are many ways our correctional facilities are able to punish those who have been convicted and sent to prison. Some of them are as follows: * Deterrence – Preventing crime by making it clear to potential criminals that the consequences of committing a crime are severe.
Most people believe that the threat of prison deters some criminals. Many criminal justice professionals argue that prison has little impact on the criminals who commit the most serious and greatest number of crimes (CPN). * Incapacitation – Keeping criminals from committing other crimes by keeping them off the streets. Many people agree that what prisons do best is prevent inmates from preying on society by keeping them locked up (CPN). * Rehabilitation -Helping criminals become productive, responsible citizens who can contribute to society and avoid committing crimes once they are released.
Many criminal justice professionals agree that rehabilitation is not possible for everyone. However, there is no consensus on what percentage of the inmate population could be rehabilitated, or at what cost (CPN). * Restitution – Ensuring that criminals pay a debt to their victims and to society as a whole. Criminals can perform restitution by performing public services like picking up trash or helping out in hospital emergency rooms. Some states also require criminals to contribute financially to people directly affected by their crimes. Restitution has been reemphasized lately, but can be difficult to carry out (CPN).
* Parole – This is when convicted criminal defendant after serving a portion of their sentence, upon a finding that the person is sufficiently rehabilitated and not a threat to society. The parole period is defined as a certain length of time and is subject to conditions imposed by the releasing authority and to its supervision, including a term of supervised release (US Legal, 2001).
We define rehabilitation as the restoration of someone to a useful place in society, this basically means to restore someone to where he or she can be a useful and functioning part of society and even though many convicted criminals are made to go through rehabilitation programs, serving as part of their punishment, it may also serve as a helpful way to get them on the right path once they released from prison. Our correctional facilities offer many different programs one may take part in, and again some that they are forced to do as part of their conditions of their sentence, and they must be completed before they are even considered for being released. Some of them are as follows: life skills classes, drug treatment programs, college, job training, GED courses and so on.
Even though these programs do help the minority of inmates in prison, the prison system is not rehabilitating the majority of inmates because the majority of inmates are leaving the prison system better criminals than they were entering the prison system; therefore, the prison system has a high recidivism rate (Hillman, 2009) So with this little bit of information I have been given as well as what I have learned throughout my nine weeks of class the question I am left with is What method is more effective in reducing crime, Is it punishment?
Or is it rehabilitation? In my personal opinion it would have to be punishment. I believe punishment to be more effective for several different reasons. As research has already proven before, rehabilitation may help the minority of prisoners but the correctional facilities have been unable to rehabilitate a majority of the people and it has led to high recidivism.
I think that many prisoners go through rehabilitation because it is part of their sentence, or because it will shorten their sentence by making them look as if they are trying to change, or maybe it is just away to pass time until they are released either way it goes Rehabilitation is still farley new in the correctional systems, and to top it off these programs are the first thing to go when budget cuts are taking affect.
No one wants to sit in prison, not even the worst criminals in the world, and when they are committing their crimes, they are not thinking about the consequences they could face but when they are caught and the book finally is thrown at them and they hear the sound of those doors locking on them that is when they make the decision weather to continue to do the things they did that got them in the situation they are in now or they decide to make the best of what they have available to them.
They will go to the programs that are provided by the prisons and take advantage of all the opportunities they can to change their ways so when they are able to be released the can hopefully find better ways to live and support themselves other than crime because they do not ever want to have to go back to that small room, sharing showers, no TV, no freedom, or just having any of their privileges taken away from them. This is why I believe that punishment is better than rehabilitation even though I understand some people are in need of rehabilitation and then by all means they should be forced to go through it as part of their punishment.
It should not be optional. Crime is something that must and will be paid for regardless of how long it takes for one to get caught I am a true believer that what is in the dark always come to the light, and if for some reason you do not get caught during your life doing the bad things you are doing or have done, you will still have to answer to the man upstairs and there is no way to get around that because no one gets out of life alive. Reference Page CPN. (n. d. ).
Balancing Justice: Setting citizen Priorities for the Corrections. Retrieved June 24, 2012, from CPN: www. cpn. org/tools/manuals/community/balancingjustice. html Hillman, S. (2009, April 17). Do US prisons erally rehabilitate Criminals? Retrieved June 24, 2012, from Helium: www. helium. com>… >USlaw&Jusstice>Police&Prison US Legal. (2001). Parole Law & Legal Definitions. Retrieved June 24, 2012, from Legal Terms, Definitions, and Dictionary: definitions. uslegal. com.