Julie Foushi Essay

2256 words - 10 pages

Why are prison and jail so overcrowded? Could it be we need to establish a better program for rehabilitating the inmates? For many years now rehabilitation has been an issue within the Criminal Justice System. The debate of should these criminals be punished or should they be rehabilitated. What is the reason for our jails and prisons for becoming so full? Is it because we simply like to house criminals to keep them off the streets or do we truly not know how to rehabilitate them back in to society properly? Penitentiaries first used rehabilitation as a form of punishment with in their facilities, the inmates were required to read the bible and repent of there sins as a form of rehabilitated punishment. This form of rehabilitation did not work for long. They had to find different means of punishment. They were afraid that if they coupled rehabilitation with punishment the offenders would act worse and refuse to do anything for themselves. Most of us know that the word punishment means a penalty inflicted on an offender through judicial procedure; suffering, pain, or loss that serves as retribution. As well as rehabilitate is to restore to former state. So why should prisons or jails rehabilitate instead of being punitive? "Punishing offenders is something we take for granted. We expect that those who break the law will be punished by the criminal justice system, and we naturally link crime with punishment." (Banks xiii) If the jails and prison would concentrate on rehabilitation instead of punishing, the results may really surprise them. They need to find out why these criminals do what they do, there is a reason for there behavior.
Some Professionals say you should just punish the offender for the crime they have committed and that they will indeed learn from that, by changing there behavior and character through punishment this will indeed make them a better person. People do not just walk in there local prisons or jails asking to be rehabilitated or asking you to help change there lives. Humans are stubborn people, we think we can do it on our own or in fact we do not have a problem at all and that everyone else has the problem. And by all means, they of course are not willing to be rehabilitated or changed. So the idea of using rehabilitation as part of the punishment could become a very useful tool and it may just help offenders become a productive member of society, which in return will help the jails and prison become not so crowded. And stop the cycle of recidivism. "A theory of rehabilitation is a set of coherent hypotheses proposed to solve the problem of criminal recidivism and related adverse consequences." (Sung, Gideon 71) Recidivism is the rate of returning offenders back into jail. I believe that with the right programs and support that any person can return to being a productive member of society, thus solving the over population of prisons and jails. Of coarse unless they have a mental state that hinders them from learning...

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