Do Prisons Rehabilitate? Essay

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Do Prisons Rehabilitate?

In this essay, I shall be focusing on the whether or Prisons rehabilitate offenders. I will
do this by focusing mainly on the Prison Service in England & Wales, the reason for
this, being that the data and statistics for England & Wales are easier to obtain than
that of other countries. The main information I will be referring to will be the rates of
conviction, types of imprisonment, types of non-custodial sentences. Also I will
explore some of the current methods of offender rehabilitation.

Her Majesty’s Prison Service is composed of two main types of prisons, they are open
and closed prisons. Following the Mountbatten Report (1965) Prisoners were placed
into security categories, ranging from category A (high
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In general, it would be fair to say that the majority of people in England and Wales
would agree with the statement that prisons are not working. The reason for this is
that on average 50% of prisoners within 2 years of release will reoffend. Hence this
shows that prisons do not rehabilitate everyone who passes through them, Norman
Brennan is quoted below saying that it is not the prisons that fail, but it is the inmates
that fail. I think that the only way that the prison service can rehabilitate offenders is if
the offenders themselves are willing to be rehabilitated.

“It is wrong therefore to say that prisons fail; it is their inmates who fail. If on
discharge from prison the ex-prisoner re-offend, it confirms that a custodial sentence
was right in the first place...”
Norman Brennan, Director of the Victims of Crime Trust, and a 23-year serving policeman

Often now, it is believed that a prison sentence is not always the most effective way of
punishing an offender. As stated below, often a custodial sentence causes more harm
than good. The main reason for this is that when a offender is sentenced to prison, they
often loose their job and the chance to see and be seen by their family. In many cases
this is not likely to cause a difference in the offenders criminal behaviour because when
they are released they will have no job and are often rejected by their…