Contemporary Issues and Futures in Criminal Justice
January 15, 2013
Corrections Trend Evaluation
This paper explains the many trends in the public and institutional criminal justice system. These trends, starting from the past, push the research into the present and future with the implementation of continuing trends and perspective ideations to aid in the progress and advancement of criminal procedures. This paper starts with the history of community and commercial criminal justice and attaches the proceedings to the present-day standing. This paper also shows an idealistic and theoretical analogy of how the criminal justice system may look in the future based on current trends.
Stories mentioning jails are throughout history even back to biblical times, however, America did not have an official penitentiary until 1790 at which time Philadelphia constructed the Walnut Street Jail. It was during this time that the root word of penitentiary took on its new form. Prisoners in early times were sent with the aim of the punishment in the form of penance, thus with any luck resulting in purity of personal reform. Inmates are kept in single cell units at all-times, even for meals. Recreation was not an option. In the rare event, that an inmate did leave the cell, a mask, or hood is required (Johnson & Dobrzanska, 2005). The goal is to lead a monk style life, thus providing a Bible to all inmates is mandatory, and it is a hope that the offenders would spend their sentences preparing to live law-abiding lives as governed by God's word, following their release. This type of containment for inmate is known as the separate system.
On the flipside of the separate system is the congregate system, and the first notation of its use, is by the Auburn Prison (Johnson & Dobrzanska, 2005). Prisoners still lived a life of confinement while in their cell, but with this system, they coexist with other inmates for work and meals. Although this is a change, inmates never speak a word and many recall the only sound coming from workshops within the prison and the marching of inmates (Johnson & Dobrzanska, 2005).
Much has changed following the days when inmates donned masks or hoods just to walk down a corridor within prisons walls. Prior to the 1960s, both the public and the courts developed a "hands off policy" toward the conditions and practices within criminal facilities (Martin, & Katsampes, 2007). The reasoning behind this was a notion that correctional administrators knew how to best control both inmates and correctional facilities. However, during the 1960s and the 1970s, while people outside were rallying for civil rights of different groups of people, inmates were inside prisons rallying for prisoners rights. At this point, the criminal justice system and treatment of inmates take a poignant turn in history.
The decision of the courts allowed the trend to move from inmates living a monk style lifestyle to inmates who currently have access to courts, counsel, mail, more choices for reading material and libraries, medical care, food services, recreation, exercise, and due process. Because of this society now, see's correctional facilities were inmates coexist around other inmates, as well as seeing inmates legally counseling other inmates in their cases as well as appealing and representing themselves in court. We have TV crews going into facilities and providing the public with firsthand accounts of life within the jails.
However with the changes come downfalls in the goals for incarceration. No longer is the goal one of penance, it has since changed to a goal of punishment. The focus is...