The concept of punishment traces back in the history of humanity for the wrongdoings committed by an individual. It is a system that imposes a sanction or penalty to prevent commission of crimes in the future. …
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In our world today, there are several forms of punishment being implemented in countries all over the world, including America. According to Mary Bosworth: “At the end of 2008, the U.S. was incarcerating more than 2.4 million men, women, and children in 5,000 or so custodial institutions scattered around the country. Over one and a half million (1,595,034) of these people were held under the jurisdiction of state and federal authorities serving sentences of greater than 12 months, leaving around 800,000 individuals housed in local jails, either awaiting trial, pending sentencing, or serving short-term periods of confinement of less than 12 months. Still others were incarcerated by military services or under military supervision” (Bosworth, 2010, p. 2). It can be concluded that prisons and jails play a big role in punishment while confinement is the most serious sanction being used by the courts in the U.S. Imprisonment or prison system, as a form of punishment has evolved in the U.S. and has also been adopted by other countries throughout the world. It has been regarded as a deterrent and preventive measure to lessen the crime rate. The purpose of the penalty is for the reformation of the felon. Since the U.S. does not practice death penalty or capital punishment, it is believed that convicted felons need rehabilitation, as they are subdued by a strange phenomenon which compels them to do wrong to others. Overview “It is a fact that the United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population, but has amassed almost a quarter of the world's prisoners. The U.S. leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. The Americans are imprisoned for crimes which include writing bad checks to the use of prohibited drugs and would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. These convicts are serving longer prison sentences compared to other prisoners from other countries around the world” (New York Times, 2008). “The United States, which has the most prisoners of any country in the world, last year recorded a largest increase in the number of people in prisons and jails since 2000, the Justice Department reported in June 2007” (Reuters 2007). Due to the fact that the number of prisoners has risen of the recent years, there has been an increase in the problems encountered by the federal government. The rise in numbers has become alarming and must be closely monitored as more criminals have emerged in the recent times. And the administration and management of the U.S. prisons have now been put into issue for criticisms on the effectiveness and financial drain it can bring to the taxpayers’ money. The result of the increase has caused economic meltdown as “Billions of public safety dollars are absorbed by prison expansion and limits the nation's ability to focus on more effective strategies to promote public safety” (Reuters). “In the current economic climate, the problem will only worsen as the federal system and many states struggle to deal with high levels of overcrowding. Even the most conscientious wardens must find it difficult to offer meaningful time out of cell, counseling, treatment, adequate care or job training” (Bosworth, 2007). According to Criminal justice experts, “the increase of the U.S. prison population is attributed the record to tough sentencing laws, record numbers of drug offenders and high crimes rates. State or federal prisons held two-thirds of the nation's incarcerated population while local jails held the rest,
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