Should Incarceration Serve as Rehabilitation or Retribution

Topics: Punishment, Prison, Crime Pages: 14 (3500 words) Published: September 17, 2014
Should Incarceration Serve as Rehabilitation or Retribution Should Incarceration Serve as Rehabilitation or Retribution 1

Incarceration refers to the state of being confined in a prison. It may also mean detention, custody or captivity. This is usually as a result of a crime committed, and serves the offender as a form of punishment. It is meant to deter others from committing crimes, and to rehabilitate criminals. Rehabilitation on the other hand, refers to the process of restoring someone to a useful place in the society. People are not treated completely as criminals, but are engaged in useful activities so that they can be of importance to the society. This also helps a person to be self-sufficient. It is aimed at preventing habitual offending. It can either be through education or therapy. This brings the criminal into a more peaceful state. Retribution is a severe punishment for a serious offense. By contrast, the rehabilitation model of sentencing is expressed through strategies designed to reform the offender's character. It is based on a different, and in my view a more realistic, behavioral premise. It assumes that criminal offenses are to a significant extent determined by social structures, particular individual circumstances or psychological influences. Offenders are seen as needing help to change their behavior, by changing their circumstances through a range of different programs such as individual counseling, therapy, family intervention, education, and training. This approach to sentencing is particularly forward-looking since it indicates that sentences should be tailored to the needs of individual offenders.
Should Incarceration Serve as Rehabilitation or Retribution 2
Historical overview
The topic of offender rehabilitation, particularly offender treatment, has been greatly revived over the past decade. This comes with a brief consideration of the moral basis of rehabilitation, perhaps favoring a utilitarian stance in which rehabilitation should be a proven means by which to reduce crime. In this empirical light, summaries of the meta-analyses of offender treatment are presented. The meta-analyses have provided a major impetus for offender treatment over the past decade, helping define the principles of effective practice. One consequence of the meta-analyses has been the rise in popularity of offending behavior programs. The desirability of behavior change programs has been widely debated in the clinical psychology literature. Penalties for criminal behavior were initially accorded huge publicity. The administration of Justice was a public event. This was always done in a bid to shame offenders. It was also viewed as a way of deterring others who may be contemplating engaging in any form of criminal activities, specifically the one being punished at the given time. Criminals were placed in the ducking stool, pilloried, whipped and branded. During the early years, the main punishment was death. The prison used to be a place where people were detained prior to their trial. Those who had been sentenced were also placed in prisons as they awaited their punishment. It was uncommon for prison to serve as punishment on its own right. People were never sorted in prison based on any grounds. Men, women, boys, and girls were placed in the same place as they awaited sentence and punishment. Historical evidence of the early period suggests that the prisons of the time were poorly Should Incarceration Serve as Rehabilitation or Retribution 3

maintained. They were always in deplorable conditions. This was done intentionally by negligent prison warders who were often left to control them. In the end, people in prisons would easily contract diseases and eventually die. The most important...

References: Bacik, Ivana. Crime and Punishment. Retribution or Rehabilitation. Retrieved on March 28,
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Pollock, Joycelyn. (2005). The Philosophy and History of Prisons: San Marcos. Texas State
University. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Punishment: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved on March 29, 2014, from
Rehabilitation Has Greater Regard for the Offender. Retrieved on 29 March 29, 2014, from
Should the Criminal Justice System Focus more on Rehabilitation than Retribution? Retrieved on
March 29, 2014, from
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