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The US Correctional System Essay

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When it comes to the phrase “being behind bars,” most people get the visualization and thought of prison, our correctional facilities. When thinking of these prisons there is one big thought about it and that is time. Offenders that get sentenced to prison usually have a very long sentence over there head. The real questions for these correctional systems is how are offenders punished as well as how are they rehabilitated? People may never understand the main role of prisons, but it won’t hurt to find out.

When thinking of punishment when it comes to offenders what does it really mean? Punishment is a penalty dispensed on an offender with legal system. Correctional officials and parole board members determine the context of punishment and, occasionally, its length (Stanko, Gillespie & CREWS, 2004). Soon after the advancement of penitentiaries, early disciplines were frequently brutal and torturous. These punishments were flogging, mutilation, branding, public humiliation, workhouses, and exile. Flogging is being beaten with a rod or a whip.

The last flogging of an offender was in Delaware, June 16, 1952. Mutilation is basically a system of particular prevention that makes it challenging or unrealistic for people to carry out fate wrongdoings. All through history, diverse public orders have cut away the hands of hoodlums and burglars, blinded spies, and maimed attackers. Blasphemers had their tongues torn out, and pickpockets endured broken fingers.

Noteworthy mutilation, which incorporated cutting off the ears and splitting out the tongue, was initiated in eleventh-century Britain and encroached on pursuers who poached on regal terrains. Branding was utilized to promptly distinguish declared guilty offenders and to caution alternates with whom they may go in contact of their perilous potential. Various early disciplines were composed to mortify offenders in accessible and to permit parts of the group a chance for vengeance. The stocks and pillory were two such disciplines. In the belief that neediness was created by slowness, administrations were snappy to make workhouses outlined to inject “inclinations of industry” in the unemployed. Lastly, many criminals were banished in many societies.

The French sent criminal offenders to Devil’s Island, and the Russians utilized Siberia for quite some time for the same reason (Schmalleger, 2008). Now days Imprisonment is the most regular illustration of discipline in the correctional framework, however the demise punishment and lesser punishments for example probation are likewise outlined to be corrective (eHow Contributor , 2013). In the philosophical level headed discussion about punishment, two fundamental sorts of speculations of discipline command: utilitarian speculation and retributive speculation. Speculations that set the objective of discipline as the anticipation of destiny wrongdoing (prevention) are for the most part pointed to as utilitarian being as how they are inferred from utilitarian theory. Past oriented speculations (hypotheses that center on the past activities of the offender) are pointed to as retributivist for the reason that they look for requital from offenders for their criminal acts (Banks , 2013).

After punishment comes rehabilitation. When it comes to prisons today, does rehabilitate really mean anything and if so what takes place with rehabilitation? Rehabilitate means to restore to a former capacity (Rehabilitate, 2013) as well as intimates interior change, importance a perpetual change in qualities, demeanor, ethics, or ways of getting a load of the planet (Stanko, Gillespie & CREWS, 2004). The prison framework offers a mixture of courses to accommodate restore offenders: existence aptitudes classes, drug medicine arrangements, school, work developing, and an assortment of different projects (Hillman , 2009). Rehabilitation is the essential re-socialization strategy connected with the criminal equity framework. Throughout recovery, offenders study that faithful, adjusting conduct gives more gushing and material compensates than resistant, oppositional conduct.

Correctional rehabilitation improved in tandem with the ascent of the social sciences in the early twentieth century. Scholastics started going to penitentiaries with the end goal of deductive exploration. It was noted that recovery regularly had a medicinal introduction. Clinicians and psychiatrics started overseeing emotional disposition tests to convicts throughout gathering and appraisal in the early twentieth century. Jail sociologists were likewise procured to group convicts as per their behavior and needs. A mixture of directing projects was launched, incorporating gathering treatment, conduct change, and contemplation. Rehabilitation was the overwhelming correctional theory for a large portion of the twentieth century.

Nonetheless, the New York State Department of Corrections led an assessment investigation of rehabilitative projects in the mid1970s. Martinson was one of the scientists who presumed that recovery did not diminish recidivism. That is, medication and help customizes outlined to re-socialized convicts were not working. Martinson’s exploration started a level headed discussion that kept up into the 1980s and 1990s. Lawmakers and social traditionalists utilized his summations to development the corrective part of adjustments, while analysts and liberals debated his findings. In late years, nonetheless, the open deliberation over restoration has disappeared in light of additionally pressing correctional issues, for example climbing jail inhabitant totals, packing, and budgetary lessening (Stanko, Gillespie & CREWS, 2004).

Determining whether punishment or rehabilitation is more effective in reducing crime, well it can be difficult to determine. In my opinion punishment would be the most effective. For example, if a 9 year old got in trouble by getting mad and going to his room after fighting with his parents and then slams the bedroom door. Talking with the child and pretty much telling them what they did was wrong is going to help them not do it again. If the child is punished by his parents and has to open and close the door softly 100 times nonstop in a row, it would teach the child that since he did something wrong he has to pay the price of it. I know that from experience. I used to slam the door and after opening and closing it over and over countless times, I learned my lesson and never slammed a door. Here is a quoted dialogue from the movie “Shawshank Redemption” that explains why I think rehabilitation isn’t very effective.

Redding: “Rehabilitated? Well, now, let me see. You know, I don’t have any idea what that means.”
Parole Board Interviewer: “Uh, well, it means you’re ready to rejoin society” –
Redding: — “I know what you think it means, sonny. To me, it’s just a made up word, a politician’s word, so that young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie and have a job. What do you really wanna know? Am I sorry for what I did?”

Parole Board Interviewer: “Well, are you?”

Redding: “There’s not a day goes by I don’t feel regret. Not because I’m in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then, a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I wanna talk to him. I wanna try to talk some sense to him — tell him the way things are. But I can’t. That kid’s long gone and this old man is all that’s left. I gotta live with that. Rehabilitated? It’s just a bull**** word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don’t give a s**t (American Rhetoric: Movie Speech , 1994).”

After this dialogue took place in the movie Redding’s parole decision to be released was approved. So honestly I really don’t think that rehabilitation does any good in trying to change offenders’ personal behavior so that they will not commit any future crimes. Like Redding said, it’s just a made up word.

Our US Correctional system can be very complex when it comes to punishment and rehabilitation. Flogging, mutilation, branding, public humiliation, workhouses, and exile were early punishments that took place soon after penitentiaries were created. Now day’s imprisonment is the main role for punishment. Existence aptitudes classes, drug medicine arrangements, school, work developing, and an assortment of different projects are all associated with rehabilitation now days.

Rehabilitation is the essential re-socialization strategy connected with the criminal equity framework. When it comes to reducing crime some people think that punishment is more effective than rehabilitation and others think that rehabilitation is more effective. We may never know exactly which one is more effective to help reduce crime but in my opinion punishment would me the most effective. It teaches the offender a lesson. Don’t get me wrong, rehabilitation can and does help for certain offenders, but for most offenders now days, sometimes it just takes some discipline to help turn them back around.


American Rhetoric: Movie Speech (1994). The
shawshank redemption [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.americanrhetoric.com/MovieSpeeches/moviespeechtheshawshankredemptionparoleboard.html

Banks , C. (2013). Criminal justice ethics. (3rd ed., p.
105). Tousand Oaks, California: Sage. Retrieved
from http://www.sagepub.com/upm-

eHow Contributor (2013). Role of the correctional
system. Retrieved from

Hillman , S. (2009, April 17). Do us prisons really
rehabilitate criminals?. Retrieved from

Rehabilitate. In (2013). Merriam-Webster. Retrieved from

Schmalleger, F. (2008). Criminal justice today: An
introductory text for the 21st century . (11th ed.,
pp. 451-453). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson
Prentice Hall. Retrieved from http://content-crj.kaplan.edu/CJ101_1201B/images/product/M13_SCHM4091_11_SE_CH13.pdf

Stanko, S., Gillespie, W., & CREWS, G. A. (2004).
Living in prison : A history of the correctional
system with an insider’s view. (pp. 10, 54-55).
Westport, Connecticut: GREENWOOD PRESS.
Retrieved from http://ehis.ebscohost.com.lib.kaplan.edu/eds/ebookviewer/ebook/nlebk_125608_AN? sid=a8ee54a8-197e-4b9a-8e17-
[email protected]&vid=2

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