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Future Correctional Philosophies

Essay by   •  May 10, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  2,918 Words (12 Pages)  •  2,727 Views

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Future Correctional Philosophies

Future Correctional Philosophies

When a person commits a crime he or she should automatically be concerned about the consequences of their decision. In a perfect world people think before they act; resulting in zero crime. But unfortunately this is not a perfect world and crime is a battle that law enforcement officials must fight every day. Punishment needs to be effective and worth the effort in order to justify the means. The criminal justice system was created to help prevent, punish, and deter dangerous offenders. This process involves retribution, rehabilitation, and reintegration into society. Retribution is based off the 'Theory of Justice"1972 which recommends that punishment should be based as far as possible upon the "veil of ignorance." The definition of retribution means 'to give in return for'. Most people associate retribution with money and giving back to society for the offender's wrongdoing. In order to prevent crimes from taking place prevention is the key so that the criminal behavior is not even considered. This includes preventing the crime before it happens and afterwards when the criminal is locked up as a way to prevent them from committing the same crimes again. Rehabilitation is ongoing method used to treat and punish offenders by pouring lots of money into treatment programs to help offenders get treated not "punished". Current studies and statistics do not show little or no improvement compared to prisoners without rehabilitation programs. Recidivism rates do not support the idea of rehabilitation by way of treatment programs and extra money for inmates to attend college while being locked up. In order to effectively introduce an inmate back into society they must be deemed safe and trustworthy to do so. The court system can only do so much when they are asked to release inmates do to overcrowding. That is a huge problem in the system all over the world today. Overcrowding should not be a reason why inmates are let out of prison. The Supreme Court recently ruled and decided on releasing over 30,000 prisoners statewide in California. This is a scary yet real situation that plagues the country because these prisoners should remain locked up until they are deemed fit to enter society. It is common knowledge that no one wants to live by an ex-convict let alone have hundreds of them roaming all over the streets of their neighborhood. In order to be able to live in society a person must earn that right by obeying laws.

Society's Viewpoint

Society believes in retribution more than rehabilitation or reintroduction because it is understood that if a crime is committed then there needs to be a punishment that is fitting. It is becoming difficult to please society when it comes to the punishments of crimes since the media magnifies the details of any publicized case to the point where the only justifiable sentence is the offender's death. It has also become increasingly challenging to find impartial jurors for high profile crimes since there are numerous media outlets that people get their information. When people have such a high opinion of a case then they automatically believe that any punishment that is given will not fit the crime. Therefore, if society does not agree with the punishment then the officials of the court have to answer for their decision which adds motion to the denial of an appeal making it even harder for the offender to have a fair chance.

However, rehabilitation used to be the main focus of corrections prior to the age of media coverage. Offenders used to obtain their GED's while they were incarcerated and they would learn job skills that they could then use in society once they were released. Now that society feels that offenders should not be given the opportunity to be outside of the prison walls ever again. The idea of rehabilitation has slowly started dissipating which has increased the rate of recidivism. Additionally, rehabilitation helps to reintegrate the offender back into society once their sentence is complete by offering skills that the offender may not have had prior to incarceration. If offenders are not given the opportunity or the skills to be a productive member of society once they are released then they become a burden to society and it eventually leads them to committing more crimes and being incarcerated again.

So in order to better society and the correctional system offenders need to be given harsh but fair punishments, have the opportunity of rehabilitation programs so that they may become productive members of society, and streamlined through programs that will help integrate them back into society life; by possibly setting them up with a job and housing. Instead of society looking at offenders as filth and ignoring their needs to become productive to society they should be viewed as equals to all other society members. In the past, people were always told not to give others labels because they would never be able to rise above what others thought of them since that is what they were being told all the time; i.e. orphans were called loners because no one wanted to associate with them so they would never be able to shake that label and would be alone their entire life because they would not even try to change the view of others. The same holds true with criminal offenders; if they are only referred to as a felon or an offender then they will not attempt to change others' viewpoints because they will always be known for things they have done wrong even if they have done other things right.

Breakdown of Corrections

The criminal justice system has many programs in place which are created to help offenders work out their issues with hopes to rehabilitate back into society. The Alcohol and Drug Program (ADP) is one program within California that has shown to have many success stories. This program is associated with many of the drug courts throughout the state of California, and its treatment is aimed toward nonviolent drug offenders who have been incarcerated. The goal of ADP is to reduce drug usage and reoffending, provide court supervised treatment, integrate drug treatment with other rehabilitation services to promote long term recovery and reduce social cost, reduce the number of children in the welfare system, and access federal and state support for local drug courts ("California Department Of Drug And Alcohol Programs ", 2012). In 2009, Anita became a success story of ADP. She was a 46 year who was arrested in June 2000 for possession of meth and had lost hope because she knew she would be facing serious time. But, Anita was introduced to the ADP program

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