Prison a Ethical Form of Rehabilitation?

Topics: Prison, Recidivism, Crime Pages: 10 (3346 words) Published: April 24, 2013
Prison a Ethical Form of Rehabilitation or Not?
Venice Gardner
SOSC:120 Introduction to Ethics and Social Responsibility
Instructor Natasha Scott
August 6, 2012

Prison a Ethical Form of Rehabilitation or Not? Gardner 1

Prison a Ethical Form of Rehabilitation or Not?

Prison, what is prison? What is it used for? Is it effective? Good questions, but the subject as a whole will always remain an age old debate. Prison can best be describe as a place where criminals dwell, and are deprived from personal freedoms. Is this ethical? Does this type of confinement, deter criminals from reentering the prison system? The general public may think yes, because the criminals are off the street helping keep people safe. However, many crimes do not keep criminals locked up forever? What happens when criminals are put back into society? That question leads us into the subject of rehabilitation. When a prison is describe the word rehabilitation should surface, but in most cases it doesn’t. Rehabilitation is basically a process that includes several types of therapy, aimed to improve physical and emotional functions that have been diminished due to traumatic injury. A ethical rehabilitation process should be included in every prison's mission statement across the world. The latest studies show that over 67% of prisoners released are rearrested within 3 years. Without a ethical form of rehabilitation, life as a whole cannot be completely restored. Prions have to research the rehabilitation process in depth to better serve prisoners. Criminals shouldn't be sent to prison for punishment, but as punishment. While in prison a ethical rehabilitation process should start after a prisoner is evaluated. Many times this process does not take place or is in effective causing high recidivism rates. The recidivism rate measures the relapse of a person, into criminal behavior after incarceration. According to the Bureau of Justice June 2002; more than two thirds(62.5% to 67.5%) of prisoners relapse in prior years were rearrested within 3 years. Prison a Ethical Form of Rehabilitation or Not? Gardner 2

( See Figure 1 Prevention of Corrections) Therefore the rehabilitation process in prison is unethical and ineffective because punishments are not appropriate for the unique individual; prisoners are isolated from needed support and the lack of reintegration programs.

Figure 1 Applicable sentencing policy
All offenders Old law New law
Offense of Number of Percent Number of Percent Number of Percent conviction first releases returned first releases returned first releases returned

All offenses* 215,263 15.7% 111,577 13.7% 103,686 17.9%
Violent 13,036 32.4 9,094 32.1 3,942 33.0
Robbery 8,880 36.3 6,646 35.8 2,234 37.9
Other violent 4,156 23.9 2,448 21.9 1,708 26.6
Property 48,428 16.6 27,451 13.6 20,977 20.6
Fraud 23,970 13.2 13,064 9.2 10,906 17.9
Other Property 24,448 20.0 14,387 17.6 10,071 23.5
Drugs 72,728 13.4 40,063 11.7 32,665 15.4
Public-order 79,202 14.7 33,744 16.3 45,458 17.2
Weapons 9,203 24.2 4,372 12.3 4,831 31.3
Immigration 49,709 14.7 17,714 39,995 16.0
Other public-
order 20,290 10.7 11,658 8.1 8,632 14.1

*Includes offenses with indeterminable offense category

Prison a Ethical Form of Rehabilitation or Not? Gardner 3

Ancient cultures in the 1700's believed that the victims or member of a victim's family should deliver justice to the accused offender. However, as societies became more civilized, local communities began to assume the responsibility for punishing crimes against the community and its members. Even as societies became more civilized punishments were brutal; criminals were boiled in oil or fed to wild beasts. ( Prevention History of Corrections) With the development of writing, list of crimes were made with their respective punishments. Communities began to develop work houses and debtor's...

Cited: Arisitiz 'abal, Andres, Sylvia Bayme, and Valerie Jones. ""Prison: Rehabilitation?"" ProQuest, Apr. 1999. Web. 12 Aug. 2012. <>.
Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice. Vol. 3. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2002. Print.
Irwin, John. ""After Prison"" Stanford Social Innovation Review 6.4 (2008): 33-34. Print.
Johnson, Raphael. "Second Chances." Newsweek 2009: 157. Print.
Mosser, K. (2010). Introduction to ethics and social responsibility. San Diego, Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Retrieved from
Padgett, Tim. "When God Is the Warden." Time 2004: 50-51. Print.
Schwartz, Judith. "Web Log Comment." Weblog comment. The New York times. N.p., 12 Oct. 1997. Web. 13 Aug. 2012. <>.
Sifakis, Carl. The Encyclopedia of American Prisons( Facts on File Crime Library). New York Times: Facts on file,2003.Print
Unites States. General Accounting Office. Http:// 2001.Web 07 Aug. 2012
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