Prisons and Jails

Topics: Crime, Prison, Criminal justice Pages: 3 (997 words) Published: February 7, 2011
Prisons and Jails Final Essay
Teketta Fleming
Kaplan University

Professor McCauley

How Does Our Correctional System Punish Offenders?
The government has imposed punishment as a means to control crime. There are four key justifications for punishing criminals: retribution, incapacitation, deterrence, and rehabilitation (Seiter, R.P., 2005). These four justifications serve as the goals of the United States correctional system. The other side of retribution can be simply stated that when an offender commits a crime, he must be punished for his actions. Retribution serves as a means to keep the general public safe. (Seiter, R.P., 2005). In so many ways offenders are punished due to the crimes they commit, you are locked up in a cell and you stay there until you go in front of the judge and receive a sentence if found guilty. Now there are fines you must pay for certain crimes, community service is another consequence for a crime you have committed. No matter what the crime you will have to suffer the consequences for them.

Incarceration is the most common example of punishment in the correctional system, but the death penalty and lesser penalties such as probation are also designed to be punitive. Perhaps the most obvious goals of the correctional system is to punish those who are found guilty of crimes. In theory this is suppose to serve as a deterrent against one repeating criminal activity and as an example to others of why criminal activity should be avoided. It is unclear how well the modern U.S. correctional system achieves these goals and whether the money invested in the correctional system might be better spent. The main question is does punishment deter crime at all? Retribution is an act of moral vengeance which society makes the offender suffer as much as the suffering caused by the crime committed (Macionis, 2006). People have a choice whether or not to do a crime.

How Does Our Correctional System...

References: American Justice System Punishment vs. Rehabilitation—
Prison Rehabilitation—
Role Of The Correctional System—By an ehow contributor
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