does prisons work

Topics: Prison, Crime, Recidivism Pages: 2 (705 words) Published: October 21, 2014
1:Do prisons work?
Michael Howard, Home Secretary speaking at the 1993 Tory Party Conference, stated the prison works. He went on to claim that it was no coincidence that recorded crime had fallen by a record amount over the last four years at the same time the prison population had risen. At the time of the speech, the prison population had been 60,000. At present, the prison population has reached 85,000. The rate of reported crime has almost halved. Prison can be said to work for a number of reasons. Firstly, if an offender is in prison, they cannot commit further crimes outside of the prison. Secondly, as stated by Michael Howard, as the prison population has risen, recorded crime rates have fallen. It would be difficult to disprove there is a direct correlation between the two facts. Finally. The cost of sending an offender to prison (£38,000 per year) is not as expensive as the cost of crime. Home office research has shown that, on average, those in prison have committed 140 crimes in the year before they had been sentenced. The cost of those crimes to society is £400,000 , Discipline and Punishment, Foucault (1975) believed that the prison system was not a failing system designed to decrease crime by punishing criminals and deterring others. He believed the prisons system instead functioned very effectively at accomplishing its goals. The prison system allowed the upper class to continue the subjugation of the lower class. The prison system effectively incarcerated, isolated and economically controlled the most dynamic members of lower class. The continuous cycle of segregation and supervision rendered this most volatile group both politically and socially harmless. Foucault referred to this as the Great Confinement Prison does not work the main argument from the anti-prison lobby is that prison does not work due to the very high rate or recidivism. In the UK, roughly 60% of those convicted each year are only in prison for less than 12 months, because they...
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