Corrections: Prison and Incarceration

Topics: Prison, Crime, Criminal justice Pages: 8 (2612 words) Published: April 23, 2013

Treatment and Punishment of Offenders in 1970s
In the 1970s disturbances were common in the correctional system; riots would break out in order for inmates to express their desire for reform and changes in rules. Inmates didn’t approve of the crowded living conditions, harsh rules, poor food, excessive punishment, and guard brutality. Inmates demanded change in the correctional system starting with those involving basic conditions to those concerning basic rights. The prisoners were not given the opportunity to express their feeling of deprivation in the correctional system that was until the upcoming of the ombudsman (Allen, J., & Ponder, 2010). Secure Holding and/or Monitoring of Offenders 1970s

At the start of the “modern era” inmate security and control had been improved, escape from prisons were difficult, system of identification and control, including computer banks of data, have made escape into society almost impossible. The security of the prisons was so uptight and escape cut off that the frustration and agitation for inmates turned into the prisons (Allen, J., & Ponder, 2010). Alternatives to Incarceration in 1970s

Some alternatives to incarcerations in the 1970s given to prisoners were to work as laborers in what is called a “chain gangs”. These inmates-predominately African Americans-worked on prison-owned farms were often leased out to local farmers. This alternative to incarcerations was justified by prison superintendents as hard labor to teach offenders the value of work and self-discipline. By the mid 1970s this form of incarceration had decreased substantially due to the limit on what inmates could produce (History of Corrections -Punishment or Rehabilitation). Treatment and Punishment in 1980s

The moral crusade against drugs and crime is accompanied by a legislative “get-tough” campaign on the state and federal levels. Popular perception is that the country has relaxed penalties and individualized sanctions that are too tolerant and that allow for pity. This is not so, in fact, deterrence and retribution are back, along with conviction that punishment should be as terrible as the crime, so that it will be feared. A ten year sentence should mean ten years, not six. By 1983, forty-three states have mandated sentences for certain violent crimes, and twenty-nine have similar laws regarding narcotics. In 1984, the federal government instituted mandatory minimums for federal drug and firearm offenses. A judge can add time to such a sentence but never reduce it, and probation is out the question. Habitual offenders are also targeted. Their punishment increases substantially with each repeat offense. By the end of the decade, America has the toughest sanctions in the Western world for many offenses (Get-Tough Legislation, 2009). Secure Holding and/or Monitoring of Offenders 1980s

With the war on drugs at an all time high, money pours into agencies large and small to build new prisons to accommodate the inmate population boom. The jails however, remain overlooked. Most are old, rundown, and incapable of handling the large and different populations that pass through their gates. Pretrial detainees and people being detained for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) are also held in jails awaiting their hearings. Jails also serve as drunk tanks, shelters for the mentally ill, and places to toss minors for a night to scare them when they have misbehaved. Jails suffer from inadequate funding and experience little reform. They are consistently neglected by scholars, the public, and policy makers. Administrators expand their jails in absurd ways. Old schools, vacant gas stations, and floating barges are converted to makeshift jails called annexes or satellites. These conditions spark a jail reform that becomes known as the new-generation jail (Jail Bait, 2009). Alternatives to Incarceration 1980s

With extreme overcrowding and budgetary crises threatening most prisons,...

References: Allen, H. E., J., L. E., & Ponder, B. S. (2010). Corrections in America. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.
History of Corrections -Punishment or Rehabilitation. (n.d.). Retrieved April 7, 2010, from Prisons as Workplaces:
Community Corrections & Alternatives to Incarceration
Crackdown. (2009). Retrieved from
Get-Tough Legislation
Jail Bait. (2009). Retrieved from
NYS—Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
Racial Profiling. (2009). Retrieved from
Restorative Justice
Supermax. (2009). Retrieved from
Thompson, S
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