Prisons and the UK Criminal Justice System

1802 Words Jun 25th, 2018 8 Pages
The ongoing role of prison within the UK Criminal Justice System is becoming increasingly unclear. On the one hand in the 21st century, it is considered to be a “state strategy for crime control, a deterrent for those contemplating crime and punitive response for those who have broken laws”McAvinchey (2011 pg.10). On the other hand, it is also supposed to have a rehabilitative purpose, the intended role of a prison is to rehabilitate the offender so that when they have completed their prison sentence, they can be successfully rehabilitated back into the community and live a crime free fulfilled life. Yet, when examining the vital statistics that underline an increase in prisoner population, it is clearly apparent that the system neither …show more content…
Høidal , a prison officer in Halden prison Norway 2012 explains
"Everyone who is imprisoned inside Norwegian prisons will be released and will go back to society. We look at what kind of neighbour you want to have when they come out. If you stay in a box for a few years, then you are not a good person when you come out. If you treat them hard… well, we don't think that treating them hard will make them a better man. We don't think about revenge in the Norwegian prison system. We have much more focus on rehabilitation”, Guardian newspaper (2012).

This focus on rehabilitation as opposed to punishment appears to have had positive effects, as reoffending rates were less than 30% in 2013 in Norway, Guardian newspaper (2012). This was the lowest reoffending rate in Europe in that year; it is currently half of the reoffending rates within the UK. It could be said that this therapeutic type of prison is controversial, as one may argue that they are not punishing offenders for the crimes that they have committed, with the belief that prison life should not be enjoyable. Osbourne from the New York Times argues that prisons should not be a place of enjoyment “if things are made… pleasant for convicts.. the result

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