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The main purpose of a prison sentence is to reform the offender - Term Paper Example

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The belief that correctional intervention should reform rather than punish offenders dates back to the institutionalization of the penitentiary system in the United States in early the 1800s (de Beaumont and de Tocqueville 379). Suggestively, “penitentiary facilities” were…
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The main purpose of a prison sentence is to reform the offender

Download file to see previous pages... aric forms of punishments that included public flogging pillory, others argue of a sinister plot by the bourgeoisie (political and economic elites) to institutionalize a disciplinary system that shields them from the radical poor and transform them [the poor] into submissive, productive workers (Colvin 46-49). Regardless of the unclear background of the modern prison system, correctional interventions have a lengthy history of a justified objective to reform criminal mindsets as a preserve of virtuous control.
The question of how the society should deal with lawbreakers seems simple but often defies simple responses. Ostensibly adopted for decades as a possible escape route, the contentious rehabilitation efforts continue to generate much heat with critics raising their pessimism over the bar with “nothing works” overtones (Cullen and Gendreau 121). Indeed, the calls for a total purge of a trend described by a section of academics as “penal harm” have gained a sizable support; sizable enough to influence the direction of conservative correctional policy in the 1970s (Blumstein 353). In their proposals, punitive “get tough” policies were the only sure way of restoring “sensibility” about crime (Lipsey and Cullen 299). Notably, a collateral theme couched by the conservative critics on the nearly two century old rehabilitative system is the principle of “doing good” for offenders, who arguably maintains status quo at the end of the usually fixed jail terms. Sandwiched in between the arguments is the utilitarian effect of reform ideals of improving public safety. Accordingly, offenders’ rehabilitation was/is just but “a noble lie that serves best to encourage coercion behind a mask of benevolence” (Cullen and Gendreau 114). In a research review that evaluated 231programs adopted in rehabilitation efforts, Martinson and his colleagues Lipton and Wilks conclusively found out that the reform efforts on incarcerated offenders has “no ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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