Crime Laws Essay

2973 words - 12 pages

Throughout history there have been many ways of dealing with members of society that have disobeyed the laws. In earlier times, methods such as exiling criminals out of their land or direct forms of punishment such as hanging, burning, and mutilations were performed. In Canadian and American prisons, these methods have supposedly passed and more humane ways of punishing criminals have risen. The most popular sentences for criminals is prison. The main purpose of prisons can be argued. One can determine that the purpose of the prison system is to keep those who are a danger to the rest of society from causing any more danger. In placing a criminal in prison there are many effects that will occur. The process of imprisonment is a means of punishment. A prisoner is disallowed freedom and their life is basically controlled by the routine of the total institution. A total institution can be defined as all aspects of life (eating, recreation, etc.) being conducted in the same place under the same authority. As prisons developed and more research was done, prisons became institutions of reform as well as punishment. Prisoners are given jobs to promote responsibility and a sense of independence. This approach is suppose to enable criminals to re-enter society as a "morally better person." There is also an indirect result that has often occurred during imprisonment. Prison is viewed as a violent environment that breeds a "better criminal." By only socializing with negative and deterrent attitudes the prisoner is not rehabilitated but gains criminal views of society. For this reason it is important to understand the significance of capital punishment. Some believe that serious offenders need to be rehabilitated. If they cannot be, some argue that the death penalty should be considered. The purpose and consequences of prison is an important issue. It is necessary to study the effectiveness of prisons as a place of punishment, reform, and violence that in itself breeds new crime.In placing a member of society in prison, the most direct effect is punishment. Both the body and mind are subject to condemnation as incarceration is time that can never be made up. Thus, the term "doing time" has arose from these circumstances. Punishment can be seen as the direct purpose of the prison system. A prisoner no longer has their freedom in which life becomes controlled by the institution. The inmate is stripped of most of their symbols of personal identity where they must begin to adapt new meanings to all conditions of life, which were previously taken for granted. There is strong evidence that punishment is the sole purpose of prison. "Isolating people from society and confining them to prison is the harshest action that the Canadian criminal justice system can take"(Roberts, 240). If a prison was in institution of rehabilitation then one's sentence would be completed when that person was seen as "fit" to return to society. However, each crime and its circumstances...

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