What is the main purpose of prison

Topics: Punishment, Criminal justice, Prison Pages: 1 (387 words) Published: October 20, 2014
What is the main purpose of prisons?

Although the human society is marching on all the time, a variety of crimes such as cheat, steal and even more serious kidnapping, rape and murder keep happening around us unavoidably. In order to maintain the stability of our countries and punish those people who commit crimes, prisons appear. That is the simplest reason for prison establishing, and in this article I will analyze the purpose of prisons deeply.

Generally speaking, despite the punishment action, known as retribution, the purpose of prisons can be divided into another 3 categories. Firstly, incapacitation, it can be expressed as isolating the criminals and depriving their freedom by locking them in a secure place. Secondly, for people who intend to commit crime but have not broken the laws, prisons are deterrence to some extent. In another word, prisons act as a warning in people’s mind to prevent future crimes. Finally, rehabilitation means that the prisons have the responsibility to develop prisoners’ abilities and integrate them into society after releasing. Those activities may include but not limited in launching educational courses, teaching job skills, informing current news as well as providing psychotherapy by professional staffs.

However, after explaining the functions of prisons thoroughly, there comes a new problem for us, what should be the main purpose of prisons – rehabilitation (positive side) or punishment/societal protection (negative side)? In my opinion, it depends on the crime behavior and the intent behind the crime. If it is not a serious crime such as driving after drinking a bottle of beer, then absolutely yes, this person should be forgiven. And in this case, rehabilitation is the main purpose of prison to get him off of the wrong behavior. But then, if someone commit violate criminals such as murder or rape, the purpose of prison will change to the negative side and most of ordinary people will agree with locking him and...
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