Purpose of Incarceration

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Purpose of Incarceration
The purpose of incarceration is not a simple question to answer. A prison is designed to keep a segment of the population segregated from another segment of the population. Having a understanding of why the segregation s necessary helps the manager or administrator apply or request for funding. During budget crisis or a recession, the manager has to be able to identify and explain the purpose of incarceration so that government monies will be allocated to the correct areas of corrections (Guillory, 2010). In the United States, over the last three decades, there has been an increase in the incarceration rates (Lynch, 1999). There are more than two million adults incarcerated. The US prison population, in the early 1920’s was documented at 110 inmates per 100,000 and in1973, this number had grown to 700 inmates per 100,000. This growth has placed a significant strain on the government’s budget and in 2005 the cost for criminal justice expenditures totaled $204.1 billion (DeMichele, Payne, 2010). In one way, the government has we done a great job making the civilians in this country, feel that the most dangerous people are being sanctioned for crimes against the communities. However, the government does not address the best plan for the majority of the inmates who will be released back to the community (Pinard, 2010). The cost of incarceration is about $76.59 per day (Fry, 2010). For those who manage prisons, a review of the real purpose of incarceration must be constantly reviewed. While incarceration results in some level of protection, we have to review the long-term benefits and compare the benefits to the cost of incarceration (Guillory, 2010).
Most people will identify either rehabilitation, retribution or punishment is the purpose of incarceration. In the past and during the war on drugs, politicians were afraid to be thought of as soft on crime. This caused the politicians, who wanted to be re-elected, to respond to the



References: DeMichele, M., & Payne, B. (2010, September). Electronic Supervision and the Importance of Evidence-Based Practices1. Federal Probation, 74(2), 4-11.  Fry, R.. (2010, February). Dealing With Violations in the 21st Century. Corrections Today, 72(1), 15-17.  Gertz, M., Li, S., Kleck, G., & Sever, B. (2005). The missing link in general deterrence research. Criminology, 43(3), 623-659.  Guillory, D. (2010, August). Workhouse or Warehouse? Corrections Today, 72(4), 8.  Hesse, M. (2009, December). A Snapshot Of Reentry In Minnesota. Corrections Today, 71(6), 64-67.  Hua, J., Moffatt, S., & Weatherburn, D. (2006, January). How much crime does prison stop? The incapacitation effect of prison on burglary. Crime and Justice Bulletin,(93), 1-12.  Lynch, M.  (1999). Beating a dead horse: Is there any basic empirical evidence for the deterrent effect of imprisonment? Crime, Law and Social Change, 31(4), 347-362.  Miller, S. (2009). Retribution, Rehabilitation, and the Rights of Prisoners, Criminal Justice Ethics, 28(2), 238-253.  Pinard, M. (2010). Reflections and perspectives on reentry and collateral consequences. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 100(3), 1213-1224.

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