Our corrections system was created to protect society from criminals, to punish those who commit crimes, and to make criminals better able to return to society once they've finished their sentences. So the questions we are left to answer are how does our correctional system punish offenders? And how does our correction system rehabilitate offenders?
There are many ways our correctional facilities are able to punish those who have been convicted and sent to prison. Some of them are as follows: * Deterrence - Preventing crime by making it clear to potential criminals that the consequences of committing a crime are severe. Most people believe that the threat of prison deters some criminals. Many criminal justice professionals argue that prison has little impact on the criminals who commit the most serious and greatest number of crimes (CPN). * Incapacitation - Keeping criminals from committing other crimes by keeping them off the streets. Many people agree that what prisons do best is prevent inmates from preying on society by keeping them locked up (CPN). * Rehabilitation -Helping criminals become productive, responsible citizens who can contribute to society and avoid committing crimes once they are released. Many criminal justice professionals agree that rehabilitation is not possible for everyone. However, there is no consensus on what percentage of the inmate population could be rehabilitated, or at what cost (CPN). * Restitution - Ensuring that criminals pay a debt to their victims and to society as a whole. Criminals can perform restitution by performing public services like picking up trash or helping out in hospital emergency rooms. Some states also require criminals to contribute financially to people directly affected by their crimes. Restitution has been reemphasized lately, but can be difficult to carry out (CPN). * Parole – This is when convicted criminal defendant after serving a portion of their sentence, upon a finding that the...
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