abolitionist stance of prisons Essay

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Catherine Giguère 5246389 Term Paper #3 Work submitted to Professor Justin Piché In the course Abolitionism and the Criminal Justice System (CRM 4302) Department de Criminology University of Ottawa December 11th 2012 Many individuals believe that the criminal system and its institutions are flawed. These critiques have been brought on by the ineffectiveness of prisons to reform individuals, the ineptness of the system to reduce crime rates, the lack of focus on victims of crimes, as well as the racist, classist and sexist practices existing in these institutions. Therefore, we can ask ourselves if the elimination of the current penal system and the implementation of alternatives would better allow…show more content…
7) In criminological theories, we saw how police activity is largely geared towards minor visible crimes committed by individuals from the lower stratums of society as oppose to “white collar crimes” committed by those of higher stratums (Dubé, CRM 3701, 2011). Abolitionists argue that by severely punishing some of the poor in order to deter society from committing crimes; we are only further contributing to the inequalities in today’s society. A second key argument advanced for the abolition of prisons is the failure to rehabilitate with imprisonment. Rehabilitation is supposed to permit the individual to be restored to a law-abiding citizen, contributing to society. However, abolitionists argue that prisons do not permit this. First, schooling and work within prisons is supposed to allow individuals to become productive citizens in society. However, “In many prisons, especially the old ones, the work which is offered is to a large extent meaningless (placing advertisement material in envelopes, folding tobacco packets), or simply non-existent”. (Mathiesen, 2008, p. 34). This work experience is therefore without benefit to the prisoner upon his release.
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