The prison system has held a legitimate place within society for so long now that it is difficult for us to imagine that there was a time when it did not exist. However, just because there has been a complex system of correction and social control put in place for centuries does not mean that such a system hasn't gone through significant changes and ideological revolutions. Instead, the formats and purposes which society has seen take place in its prisons have changed many times since the inception of imprisonment as a punishment. In the early nineteenth century, the supposedly self-governing jail was replaced by a total regimentation which included lonely detention, "treadmills" and "moral instructors", moving away from the torture and humiliation of previous eras which Michel Foucault (1977) described as the "gloomy festival of punishment" (p. 8). This development was followed by the prison being recognized as a democratic community sometime during the early twentieth century, evolving in later years to become recognized as a center for treatment and rehabilitation.
[...] a greater degree than ever before Historical Practices of Punishment Cayley argues that the prison system exists for protecting social order and the safety of individuals. This is by many accounts the most common understanding of why society has prisons. The idea that punishing offenders discourages recidivism, however, is worth a closer look, as many arguments can be made that the current format of the prison system is unsuccessful in this regard. Although rehabilitation is a term that is frequently used when describing the prison system, the reality is often that the prison system perpetuates amongst the incarcerated an aggressive criminal subculture. [...]
[...] However, a punishment is only effective if it reduces recidivism and rehabilitates the criminal to re-enter society. We have examined in this paper that current principles of punishment within the justice system are not effective in this regard, instead socializing criminals into a prison subculture and failing to address the needs of psychological treatment in the course of rehabilitation. This must take into account both systemic problems with poverty and discrimination, but also make room for the role that individual responsibility must play in the rehabilitation [...]
[...] The main problem of prison policy was to introduce a set amount of time in the process of retribution. Instead, greater flexibility in costs and procedure should have been sought, alongside introducing the concepts of forgiveness and restoration of dignity. The rights of the victim are supported to a spectrum that strictly follows the limitation of the offenders Policy Regime Esping-Anderson (1990) identifies the term “policy regime” in discussing the collection of social and economic policies made popular in the 20th and 21st centuries. [...]
[...] The prison system is just another example where this unfortunate trend is omnipresent New Punishment Policy Zimring talks about the zero sum fallacy by which he defines the relationship between symbolic and the operational factors of penal law. The main idea behind this concept of new punishment policies is that it seeks to display that criminals and crime victims participate in a zero sum fallacy together. This means that in the criminal justice process anything that pretends to hurt the offender also helps the victim. [...]
[...] This relation occurs without concern for the effectiveness of penal policy or over-harsh sentencing, which if in place can only encourage recidivism and the prison subculture. Since this approach can also only increase the lack of trust in professionals, judges, and parole officials (due to their clear inability to deal with the rising prison population), the cycle is encouraged to continue through harsher sentences and more prisons. Moreover, individuals are concern with the problem that when judges send a particular offender behind bars, he or she will send them with too lenient a sentence. [...]
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