An Analysis of Current Methods of Punishment and Rehabilitation in American Prisons
In this paper, I will discuss the nature of ‘lasting’ punishment for the prison systems that exist in America. We can see by psychological training, drug abuse rehabilitation, and to other methods of reform that there are ways that the prison system can use to remake a man after being locked up. By understanding these forms of rehabilitation, perhaps a better human being can come out of the prison system than has been seen from other forms of disciplinary measures. And isn’t this what we are ultimately trying to achieve?
One form of correction that can be useful for dealing with a prisoner with crimes of a drug related nature can be and almost always should be inclusive of drug rehabilitation. By better understanding how drugs and alcohol, as seen as a clinical disease by doctors, can alter and drive human behavior we can than better understand how these prisoners can be treated. We must understand the nature of this sickness. This is the key factor to a lasting sort of correction that “can be distributed through the American prison system in America.” (Duncan p.45) With this factor in mind, we can see how 80% of the convicts that are currently in prison can be seen as drug addicts, and their crimes are usually the result of this type of sickness. 80%, that is an incredible statistic! By creating the system that some prisons in Los Angeles and Detroit use, we can learn the idea of how prisons can work more efficiently to improve the conditions of the type of rehabilitation.
By realizing that alcohol and drugs are a problem that can be dealt with the different types of therapy that can be offered relate a way for convicts to learn “how to live in society in a drug free behavioral pattern.” (Hawkins p.155) By learning this as way to curtail further violations of probation, as well term sentences, we can see the ability of the community within the prison to validate this need for correcting prisoners who are deemed to sick to live out in the public society. This shows that the way that system of detox, and drug and alcohol awareness can be made to let the prisoners see this, and to make them more suitable to the world after their sentence. This will not only help to stop the reoccurring of the crimes such as drug dealing and or use of illegal drugs, but will also help to stop the current backlash of living in a society that does not make drug abuse and alcoholism. By creating a system of correction for the prisoner the “reoccurring nature of drug offences that fill the prisons of America can be slowed down, and even halted.” (Morris p.178)
In the case of murder, and other aggressive non-consensual crimes, we can see the ability of hard labor, as way to help, not only the state in the construction of highways, or even to work in stone yards, to be useful in correcting a person of this type of character. By using means of humility, and the hard labor practice, which makes men seem more apt to realize their actions as a punishment, there is a way to help the prisoner take more responsibility for their acts for this crime. Murder is an attack on another human being, and this, as is not with drugs and alcohol in that they only harm a person willing takes the drug, can tell us more about “the relationship of hard labor to teach a lesson than, and the value of the labor to the State.” (Vass p.34) This is one way that can truly set the terms of punishment for a person who has committed a heinous crime, and should be one way in which to make them pay for this type destructive act.
By allocating hard labor on a person with a crime of this magnitude, there are other ways that this can be productive for the prisoner, and teach them to behave responsibly in the society. They are forced to leave behind the sluggish ways of life that led them to murder another human being, and can teach them how to be useful in a society, rather than the...
Bibliography: Duncan, Martha, Romantic Outlaws, Beloved Prisons: The Unconscious Meanings of Crime and Punishment, New York University Press / August 1999.
Hawkins, Richard, American Prison Systems: Punishment and Justice, Prentice Hall PTR / November 1990.
Morris, Norval, Between Prison and Probation: Intermediate Punishments in a Rational Sentencing System, Oxford University Press, Incorporated / August 1991.
Vass, Anthony, Alternatives to Prison: Punishment, Custody and the Community, Sage Publications, Incorporated / August 1990.
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