The Purpose of Prison

Topics: Prison, Recidivism, Penology Pages: 7 (2756 words) Published: May 2, 2012
The Purpose of Prison
Robert Lingo
CRJ 303
Bridget Lott
March 2nd, 2012

The Purpose of Prison
Not everyone is model citizens within a society. Individuals cheat people out of money, murder, rob, and rape others within society. When people commit crime against others and not stay within the law they must be punished. This research paper will discuss the purposes for prisons, and analyze conditions of prison. There are programs in prison and out of prison to try to reduce an individual from returning to prison. The ultimate goal is to teach an individual right from wrong and rehabilitate an offender back into society, another goal of prison is to incapacitate the individual so they cannot hurt anyone. The purpose of prison is to punish wrongdoings considered not within the normal spectrum of society and the law. When someone breaks the laws outlined by state and government legislation, they are arrested or detained then they go to court. The judge hears both sides the case by the defendant, State, or plaintiff. The judge then decides what the punishment will be for the offender, and how long their sentence will be. The judge also decides what will be the course of action depending on repeat offending, and the nature of the crime. If there was not punishment an individual would continue to cause crime, and the severity of the crime could get worse. The laws set by government and state legislation are designed to protect people within society and all communities. There has to be laws set as a guideline or people would do whatever they want, and the United States and world countries would be in chaos. There are jails and prisons in other countries also, and each country and providence has their own laws to govern the people by.

The conditions in the US prisons are by far better than any other country. In the US, prisons are run by a warden and corrections officers. The corrections officers watch over the inmates and maintain control. There are other designs of prisons “where more remote supervision is maintained, and a more indirect approach is accomplished. The disadvantage is limited contact and the inability to communicate issues that develop” (Seiter 2011, p.89). The direct approach is the model that most prisons use, which requires staff to continually watch over inmates and communicate with them about different issues they may be having. In a modern prison there are specific times when inmates eat in a common area or mess hall much like a school, but with more rules and regulations. There is laundry facilities in a prison, where most inmates take turns doing their laundry at designated times. Each prisoner has specific jobs that they are responsible for. The jobs prisoners are allowed to do reflect what certain skills they possess. The certain jobs within the prison that the inmates are responsible for are overseen by a supervisor, and the money made by making license plates or silk-screening shirts help fund the prison. “In many ways a prison is like a small city, requiring many of the same services and employees. Just like cities, prisons have schools, lodging accommodations, jails, eating establishments, convenience stores, places of worship, recreation facilities, sewer/sanitation/Street service departments, facility and vehicle maintenance departments, and barbershops just name a few” (Seiter 2011, p.383). “A prison has to be fairly self-sustaining and able to provide for themselves in most situations” (Seiter 2011, p.383). In a Texas prison “Textile operations remain a big part of prison jobs today. Inmates grow and harvest cotton, then spin and weave it into fabric for use in prison clothing, which they sew. Prisoners each month make 110,000 towels, 120,000 pairs of socks, 85,000 shirts and pants, and 75,000 pairs of underwear. Prison officials say the cost of inmate clothing purchased through a vendor is $7 to $10; making the same clothing in-house costs about $5 (Turner 2012). A prison and jail where...

References: Allan, T. (2012). Work programs for Texas inmates go high-tech. McClatchy - Tribune Business News, Retrieved April 2, 2012, from ABI/INFORM Complete.
Make room behind bars. (2010, February 26). Spartanburg Herald - Journal, Retrieved April 2, 2012, from ABI/INFORM Complete.).
Pollock, J. (2006), Prisons Today and Tomorrow. (2nd Ed): Jones and Bartlett Publishers Canada.
Raphael, S. & Stoll, and M. (2009): Do Prisons Make Us Safer? , The Benefits and Costs of the Prison Boom Russell Sage Foundation.
Seiter, R. (2011). Corrections: An introduction (3rd Ed.). Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Young, A. (2009) From Behind Prison Walls: a letter from an Inmate retrieved March 31st 2012 from
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