What Is Adequate Punishment?

Topics: Prison, Penology, Criminal justice Pages: 3 (970 words) Published: October 26, 2010
Final Essay
August 8, 2010

Imagine being separated from your family and friends for years. Imagine being segregated from the entire world and being confined to a small space for a number of years. That is how the US correctional system punishes criminal offenders. In definition terms, correctional agencies administer sanctions and punishment imposed by courts for unlawful behavior. In other words, “you do the crime, you do the time”. The correctional system has a key responsibility in criminal justice. They provide supervision, punishment, safety, medical treatment, rehabilitation, and educating to hundreds of thousands of inmates. The conditions at the correctional system are not always the utmost respectful, due to over population and the severity of some offenders. However, the correctional system administrators are accountable for every aspect of that particular correctional institute. But what is adequate punishment? Who determines the methods of punishments? Incarceration in prisons has become the preferred method of punishment for serious offenders. For minor crimes and misdemeanors may receive a short term sentence in local or county jails, probation or other alternative forms of sanctions. Different United States correction systems operate at different levels of security, ranging from minimum-security prisons, which house non-violent criminals to maximum-security prisons, which accommodates the more dangerous criminals. The subject of punishing inmates is highly debated along with the means of punishment. The four general purposes of incarceration are for retribution, isolation, deterrence, and rehabilitation. Some would argue “How does locking one up teach anyone a lesson?” Questions of how to impose discipline have troubled prison administrators since the establishment of the first penitentiaries. Flogging, gags, mutilation, whips, branding, public humiliation, workhouses, exile, beatings, and other torture devices...

References: Rossum R, Rossum C. Rehabilitating Rehabilitation. World & I [serial on the Internet]. (2003, Dec), [cited August 9, 2010]; 18(12): 24. Available from: MasterFILE Premier.
Schmalleger, Frank. (Ninth Edition). Criminal Justice Today. Ch.14, 526-569.
Federal Bureau of Prisons, Key Indicators/Strategic Support System, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, October 1997; Camp, Camille G., and George M. Camp, The 1998 Corrections Yearbook, South Salem, NY: Criminal Justice Institute, 1999.
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