American Justice System Punishment vs. Rehabilitation

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American Justice System
Punishment vs. Rehabilitation
Melinda Colon
Kaplan University


William Patterson

January 17, 2010

Justice 2 The United States correctional system uses both punishment and rehabilitation when dealing with offenders. There are many ways that the justice system handles these punishments such as incarceration, probation, and sometimes death. However, punishment does not seem to work. It seems that the only way to effectively handle criminals is with successful rehabilitation. Punishment in the United States goes way back to the beginning of time, as early as the time before Christ when thieves and murderers were crucified for their crimes. As times passed, we eventually developed better and less cruel ways of punishing offenders. Some of these included jails and prisons, monitoring criminals through probation, and less serious punishments like community service. However, we still put the more severe criminals to death, just a little more humanely. The biggest form of punishment seems to be incarceration. This is obvious by the number of people currently incarcerated and the overcrowding problems that jails have today. It seems even the most minor, insignificant crimes are being punished by jail time. These crimes include driving on a suspended license, petit theft, and public nuisance. In December of 2009 the Bureau of Justice put out its latest statistics on the current inmate population. There were 2,304,115 people incarcerated in the United States as of December 2008 (Bulletin, 2009, p.8). Another form of punishment used today is conditional releases. In 2008 there were 505,168 criminals on probation or under supervision. Total conditional releases include releases to probation, parole and supervised mandatory releases (Bulletin, 2009, p.4)....
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