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The Purpose Of Incarceration Essay

1143 words - 5 pages

There are five goals of incarceration, they are: punishment, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and restitution. Seiter describes the goals as follows: Punishment is the infliction of pain or suffering. Deterrence is a goal focused on future actions (or the avoidance of certain actions) by both individuals and society. Incapacitation is a goal that reduces offenders’ ability of capacity to commit further crimes. Rehabilitation means to prepare them for a crime free and successful life. Restitution is making right by repaying society or victims for the wrongs done by offenders (Seiter, 2011, pg 17).
“The expectations that society has for the criminal justice system is to ...view middle of the document...

“Criminal rehabilitation can help to solve the problem of overcrowding in most prisons. The criminal population continues growing, as the death penalty has been abolished, and the state would need to spend more on facilities to house criminals. There are statistics showing that only 35 percent of inmates do not make their way back to prison upon their release. This leaves us with a large percentage of released criminals who do commit crimes and end up being repeat offenders. This poses a major difficulty to society as well as a strain. The government has to fork out huge sums to keep tabs on these possible repeat offenders as well as maintaining the prison systems. Needless to say, the possibility of releasing prisoners who might be repeat offenders is a threat to social safety.
However, the scenario does have a light at the end of the tunnel. There seems to be a good reason why some former inmates do not return to jail: it appears that their time in incarceration was spent productively, changing some vital aspect of their personality.
Education is one of the ways in which this positive change was affected. Education works in two levels to successfully rehabilitate the criminal. On a macro level, society as a whole is being educated to promote the importance of keeping the laws as well as ensuring that there is less discrimination against former criminals. This ensures that there propensity for ex-convicts to return to a life of crime is less, as they are able to secure jobs after their release. Education is also being offered within the prison to allow the prisoners to upgrade and stay relevant to the changing society outside the prison walls.”((http://EzineArticles.com/455250)
Some methods that can be used may include; improving an individual’s decision making skills, increasing their level of education, developing a vocational skill, or decreasing substance abuse (Seiter, 2011, pg.17). These programs try to build competencies in offenders that may help them to avoid criminality and less likely to commit further crimes (Seiter, 2011, pg. 17). Some of the programs are Drug Awareness, Parenting, Communication, Anger Management, Higher Education and more.
Success rates will vary, however, the odds are in favor of those offenders who are able to take advantage of the programs available. The American Correctional Association says, two recent National Institute of Justice studies of drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs for female inmates, KEY/ CREST2 and Forever Free,3 found that a much higher percentage of participants in these two programs remained drug-free and arrest-free...

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