The Effectiveness of U.S. and Scandinavian Penal and Prisons Systems

3045 Words Jun 24th, 2018 13 Pages
Joe is a prisoner in a United States penitentiary convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and attempted robbery. Johan is a prisoner in a Norwegian Correctional Facility also convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and attempted robbery. After eight years of serving their time in custody, they are released back out into society, the world beyond their prison walls. During the following month after their release, Joe has once again been arrested for assault and attempted robbery while Johan has started making a quiet living as a deckhand on the coast for a small fishing company in Kopervik. Now both men have the same background and have come out of the same circumstances but yet only one reverts back to a life a crime, why?
The United
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Or in the words of the Prison and Probation Service itself: “The Prison and Probation Service has two main goals: To contribute to the reduction of criminality, and to work to increase safety in society. To achieve these goals we work with sentenced persons in order to improve their possibilities of living a life without committing new crimes.” (Linstrom and Leijonram)
The PTA of 1974 is based on four key principles that continues to shape the modern prison system and inspire the ones of the future. These four points are:
i) Imprisonment as a last resort; that is the usual punishment should be a fine or community service, since imprisonment normally has detrimental effects; ii) Normalization; that is, the same rules concerning social and medical care and other forms of public service should apply to prisoners just as they apply to ordinary citizens; iii) Vicinity; that is, the prisoner should be placed in prison as close as possible to his or her hometown (which now is considered more or less obsolete with the advent of high-speed transit and long-distance communication via telephones and the internet); iv) Co-operation; meaning that all parts of the correctional systems (probation service, remand prisons, and prisons) should work closely together in individual cases as well as in general. (Linstrom and Leijonram)
These principles are points that the US prison and penal system needs to adapt and incorporate into the US penal
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