Does prison work

Topics: Prison, Criminal justice, Punishment Pages: 5 (1077 words) Published: September 30, 2014

BA CJ Assessment Front Sheet – 2008/9 Year 1
This section to be completed by student:
Student Number:
Assignment Deadline
27th November
Module Title & Code
Study Skills SOC163
Word Count
In submitting this assignment I confirm that this is the product of my own work and I am aware of and agree to abide by the University's regulations concerning plagiarism. Haydn Roberts

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1. PRESENTATION Layout, Word Count, Page Numbering, Type set, Spacing,

Referencing, Quotations, Bibliography,
Sentence construction, Paragraphs, Writing style, Spelling, Punctuation

Total Marks Awarded in this Section

2. SELECTION OF MATERIAL Extent and use of sources (books, reports, articles etc)
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Total Marks Awarded in this Section
3. PLANNING & STRUCTURE Intro, overall organisation of material and conclusion

Demonstration of knowledge and understanding

Identification of key themes and issues

Overall comments: To improve your grade I suggest you…

Does Prison Work?
The aim of this essay is to analyse and discuss the prison system in England and Wales to determine whether or not the current prison system works. The work of Joyce (2006) suggests that there are five objectives that are analysed when looking to see if prisons work, these are punishment, reform, incapacitation, deterrence and denunciation. However due to the limited word count this essay will only look at three key factors of prisons including punishment, rehabilitation and security. Crowther (2007) explains that a person may be in prison for two circumstances that include someone who has been sent to prison on remand and is awaiting trial or someone who has been sentenced to imprisonment as a consequence of their actions. The first key aspect of prisons that this assignment will discuss is punishment. Joyce explains that punishment is for society to avenge those who have committed crime. This would mean that in fact only society can decide whether or not prisons actually work in terms of punishment (Joyce, 2006). Joyce (2006) also explains that the legal and prison system are constantly criticised for being too lenient when sentencing and granting early release. Early release could be due to the mass increase in the prison population, as of the 23rd November 2011 the prison population was 88,115 (Howard League for penal reform, 2011), compared to the 25th November 2005 when the prison population in England and Wales was 77,421 (Howard League for Penal Reform, 2005). Overcrowding is a consequence of the prison population growing. Overcrowding impacts a prison’s function in many ways. It can disrupt daily routines and can influence the way that prisons maintain their order (Matthews, 1999). One great concern with overcrowding is that there is great pressure being put on the prisons rehabilitation programmes, as well as the cost to keep an offender in prison being £200,000 per year (British Crime Survey). However the increase in the prison population could impact the amount of crime in society, when looking at the British Crime Survey crime rate is down 50 per cent since 1995, these statistics could argue that prison is working and is in fact decreasing crime in our society. Another key issue when considering the validity of prisons is whether it is primarily designed to look after the interests of the prisoner or...

Bibliography: Crowther, C. (2007), An Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Davies. M., Croall. H., Tyrer. J,. (2005), Criminal Justice: An Introduction to the Criminal Justice System in England and Wales. England: Pearson Education Limited.
Joyce, P. (2006), An Introduction to Crime and the Criminal Justice System. Devon: Willan Publishing.
Matthews, R
Newburn, T. (2009), Key Readings in Criminology. Devon: Willan Publishing.
Ramsbotham, D
Howard League for Penal Reform (2011), Prison Watch. Available from: [Electronically accessed 23rd November, 2011.]
Howard League for Penal Reform (2005), Prison Watch. Available from: [Electronically accessed 23rd November, 2011.]
The Home Office (2011), Survey of Drug Misuse in Prison. Available from: [Electronically accessed 23rd November, 2011.]
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