THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND
Threading through the history of civilization, the pursuit for punishment of lawbreakers was almost as bloody as the crime committed. Punishment then was prompt and pitiless. Although there were penitentiaries in the annals of early correctional system, its characteristics just redo the barbaric practices of treating erring individuals.
In this contemporary society when an authority places a person behind bars, it has acknowledged a moral obligation to change that person before he or she goes back to mainstream of society. Social scientist now believed that it is not right for the society to punish criminals without helping them to become productive and law-abiding citizens, otherwise, they may have no choice but to turn to crime again.
Modern day penologists envisage that jails and prisons are not anymore place for punishment but a venue for corrections, nor mere walled quadra but quads for rehabilitation. For them, prison today are like hospital, where socially ill patients are diagnosed and administered. The new concept of rehabilitation is being introduced through various rehabilitative programs purposely to change the behavior of prisoners in order to protect the society in general and to help them in particular.
Historically, the public turned its attention to prisons only in times of crisis, when news tends to focus on issues of the moment, without reference to everyday realities of prison management. The growing professionalization of the entire field of corrections means that correction work is an increasingly attractive career choice. Yet the public is largely unaware to this as we failed to get our story across and that people already think they know what they need to know about prisons. Unfortunately, these pubic opinions are largely collage of inaccurate, outdated impressions gathered from sensationalistic accounts of escapes and riots, or from movies. Woven from bits and pieces of history and anecdote, these images are far from the truth, but they are hard for an average citizen to absorb as facts. In short, myths of mismanagement, staff brutality and neglect of inmate’s needs, rampant sexual assault, and unfettered drug use in prisons seriously misrepresent most prison today.
A subtle but pervasive misconception is associated with these beliefs the notion that prisons should, in some unique way, be able to change all inmates into law abiding citizens. Prisons program should, in some unique way, be able to change all inmates into law abiding citizens. Prisons program for self-development can help some offenders. However, to expect such programs to do so invariable is unrealistic. Prisons primarily house offenders who are products of failed experienced with every other institution of society. By the time an inmate arrives in prison, the home, school church, and other social agencies have all had an opportunity to intervene in this person is life to no avail. It is totally unrealistic to think that in a context defined by deprivation of society is freedoms; imposing prison programs on such individuals will automatically change an inmate for the better. To be realistic, we cannot expect prisons to do what every other instrument of society with far more constructive potential has failed to. Upon reflection, most people would acknowledge that prisons are far from the ideal setting for effecting change in attitudes and behavior.
Prisons characteristically received that select group of offenders who poses a significant risk to the community and have been poorly motivated to change in other less stringent settings and programs. The prison population was, is a sense, defined by its very unwillingness or inability to change positively. As a result, we cannot expect prison experience to produce successes at the same rate as programs in the free community.
Inmates released from prison face stigmatization that virtually ensures major obstacles for even...