JUS-601-Q5344 Correctional Policy/Practice 15TW5
1-2 Short Paper: Paradigm Shift and the Evolving Corrections Environment Assignment
Southern New Hampshire University
Professor Michael Murphy
July 11, 2015
This paper will try to explain how our correctional facilities use to be and what they are today.
In today’s order, our correctional facilities are nothing like they were a long time ago. Foremost, the federal, state and local governments have a monopoly over our criminal justice systems and incarceration. This includes defining crimes, apprehending and prosecuting criminals, and then deciding what to do with the convicts. During imprisonment, government control is downright. Despite variation in the means, methods, goals and dreams of the many prison reform organizations, most of them out of necessity have a big-government focus. (John Dewar Gleissner, 2012)
Still, the shift must eventually be away from heavy government and towards decentralization, local control, individual initiative, competition and evidence-based punishments in public. Why? Because that is what worked in the yesteryear. American and world history provides fully documented successful evidence-based practices, not with studies or "social science," but in the more critical world of practical application over the centuries. (John Dewar Gleissner, 2012)
A punishment used to be carried out at the local level, but over time, it became centralized.
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According to statistical data found in the Bureau for Justice Records, there are a number of problems that most prisons in the country face. The records indicate that the number of adult federal and state inmates increased from `139% in `1980 to 260% (Walker, 1999). As a natural default, the United States of America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. This in itself brings about one of the major problems that are faced in modern incarceration which is overcrowding in most prison facilities. The number of offenders in the country has increased rapidly over time while the country prison system has not really been able to cope with this rapid increase. Prisons intended for one or two inmates are now crowded with more than fifty individuals. Because of this most prisons are overcrowded and most of the facilities available are unable to cater for the needs of all the prisoners (Siegel, 2009).
As prisons grow in size, governments look for new methods to aid in cutting costs and increase efficiency. Over the last decade government run institutions have been replaced with privately funded, for-profit prisons. Although it is cheaper for governments to run contract based institutions this mass industrialization of the prison system has seen many issues with corruption, decreases in efficiency and even mistreatment and exploitation of incarcerated individuals. The prison system should remain under government control and in this essay I will discuss the faults and errors of for-profit institutions and why this system should not be overseen by private corporations.
When we think about prisons, jails, and courthouses, our minds are meant to draw a connection to cold, hard, justice and fair punishments for guilty and deserving parties. Yet, in our judicial and prison systems around the world, this idea is nowhere close to reality. From inhumane punishments, to mass incarceration, and “trapping” people in the system based on race or financial status, justice is far from being served.
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How did the change toward a more punitive model affect sentencing practices then and now?
In the 1970s and 1980s, a massive amount of inmates began fillin up the United States prison systems. This huge rate of growth in this short amount of time, has greatly contributed to the prison overcrowding that the United States faces today. In fact, the prisons are still filled to the seams. This enormous flood of inmates has made it practically impossible for prison officials to keep up with their facilities and supervise their inmates. One of the main reasons why many prisons have become overcrowded is because of states’ harsh criminal laws and parole practices (Cohen). “One in every 100 American adults is behind bars, the highest incarceration rate in the world” (Cohen). The amount of inmates in corrections systems, throughout the
Within this paper, you will find a comprehensive review of the United States prison system, and why it needs to analyzed to better support and reform the people of this country. I plan to persuade the other side (politicians and society) into seeing that the way the prison system is now, is not ethical nor economical and it must change. We have one of the world’s largest prison population, but also a very high rate of recidivism. Recidivism is when the prisoners continuously return to prison without being reformed. They return for the same things that they were doing before. So, this leads us to ask what exactly are we doing wrong? When this happens, we as a nation must continuously pay to house and feed these inmates. The purpose of a prison needs to be examined so we can decide if we really are reforming our inmates, or just continuing a vicious cycle. What is the true purpose of prison besides just holding them in a cell? There must be more we can do for these hopeless members of society.
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Societies throughout history have always tried to service punishment or retribution over those that are considered delinquents or criminals in their society. The societies in the industrialized world have seen several transformations in their mission to achieve this level of discipline. Vast portions of the population have become very disenfranchised with their criminal justice system has meant that in recent years, and mostly since the 60 's, a main theme in exertion of control over societies deviants has been a state-sponsored attempt to rehabilitate criminal populations. In the face of steadily
For centuries governments have acted on behalf of society removing and punishing criminals with the goal of protecting its citizens. Criminals were arrested and locked-up in jails awaiting their sentencing. Once sentenced, they were publically humiliated, tortured, or killed. Early forms punishments were cruel and mostly focused on retribution.
It is common knowledge that the American prison system has grown exponentially in the last few decades. The prison population within the last forty years has risen by two million inmates. Multiple factors such as overcrowding and cost cutting have also decreased the quality of life within prisons by an order of magnitude. With this rising statistic, it becomes increasingly urgent to understand the effect of incarceration on our prisoners and whether the reformation process is actually doing more harm than good.
“The history of correctional thought and practice has been marked by enthusiasm for new approaches, disillusionment with these approaches, and then substitution of yet other tactics”(Clear 59). During the mid 1900s, many changes came about for the system of corrections in America. Once a new idea goes sour, a new one replaces it. Prisons shifted their focus from the punishment of offenders to the rehabilitation of offenders, then to the reentry into society, and back to incarceration. As times and the needs of the criminal justice system changed, new prison models were organized in hopes of lowering the crime rates in America. The three major models of prisons that were developed were the medical, model, the community model, and the crime
How a society deals with its members that disobey its established rules has been an issue for which all societies have been faced. A Paleolithic cave drawing in Addaura, Sicily depicts a scene of several humans circling one bound human in such a manner that any movement would cause choking. This suggests that even prehistoric societies utilized organized and ritualistic punishment and that the community participated in this punishment. It also suggests that punishment was corporal and capital. (Whitehead, Pollock, Braswell)