RIGHTS OF THE CONVICTED AND IMPRISONED
Common law, constitutional, statutory, and humanitarian rights of the convicted and imprisoned:
A right against cruel or unusual punishment A right to protection from physical harm A right to sanitary and healthy conditions of confinement A limited right to legal assistance while imprisoned A limited right to religious freedom while imprisoned A limited right to freedom of speech while imprisoned A limited right to due process prior to denial of privileges
These individual rights must be effectively balanced against these public-order concerns:
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Punishment of the guilty Safe communities The reduction of recidivism Secure prisons Control over convicts The prevention of escape Rehabilitation Affordable prisons
How does our system of justice work toward balance?
Criminal Justice Today: An Introductory Text for the Twenty-First Century, Ninth Edition, by Frank Schmalleger. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc.
Punishment—Justice for the Unjust?
The great Christian writer C. S. Lewis (1898–1963) once remarked that if satisfying justice is to be the ultimate goal of Western criminal justice, then the fate of offenders cannot be dictated merely by practical considerations. “The concept of just desert is the only connecting link between punishment and justice,” Lewis wrote. “It is only as deserved or undeserved that a sentence can be just or unjust,” he concluded. Once a person has been arrested, tried, and sentenced, the correctional process begins. Unlike Lewis’s exhortation, however, the contemporary American correctional system—which includes probation, parole, jails, prisons, capital punishment, and a variety of innovative alternatives to traditional sentences—is tasked with far more than merely carrying out sentences. We also ask of our correctional system that it ensure the... [continues]
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