Essay on An Alternative View Of The Correctional Process

Essay on An Alternative View Of The Correctional Process

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Prison systems around the world have similar goals - to ensure public safety, to enforce the expectations and laws of a society, to punish offenders and to rehabilitate the convicted. While the goals may be similar, the philosophy of individual systems and the means through which they either achieve their objectives differ. The United States has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, with approximately 1.6 million imprisoned in 2010, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics CITE. Further, the United States has one of the highest rates of recidivism, which would draw one to conclude that the structure currently in place does not facilitate rehabilitation. The purpose of this paper is to examine an alternative view of the correctional process, in this case the French Prison System, in order to perhaps glean more effective incarceration practices.
Philosophy of Punishment
The French have a particularly liberal view of punishment. The primary objective of the prison system is to punish for the purpose of reducing or mitigating the harmful effects of future crime. The purpose of incarceration is not to deprive the convicted of their freedom, but a means to ensure harm reduction for the victims and to the general public (Kazemian, 2012, p. 18). In general, the French take a liberal view of incarceration and their incarceration rates reflect that. While in the US 716 per 100,000 adults are behind bars, the overall rate of incarceration in France is significantly lower with 102 in every 100,000 incarcerated in 2012 (“France”, 2014). One simple explanation for this is that the French rarely incarcerate those who do not pose a threat to the community, while the United States incarcerates a much wider group of of...


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...rison System: Comparative Insights for Policy and Practice in New York and the United States. New York, NY: Research and Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.
Monnery, Benjamin. "The Determinants of Recidivism among Ex-prisoners: A Survival Analysis on French Data." GROUPE 'D’ANALYSE 'ET 'DE 'THÉORIE 'ÉCONOMIQUE ' 'LYON '6 'ST 'ÉTIENNE, May 2013. Web. 01 Oct. 2014.
"Recidivism." National Institute of Justice. US Department of Justice, 17 June 2014. Web. 01 Oct. 2014.
Viano, Emilio. "America 's Prison System." L ' Execution Des Sanctions Privatives De Liberte Et Les Imperatifs De La Securite = The Implementation of Prison Sentences and Aspects of Security ; Actes Du Colloque De La FIPP, Budapest, Hongrie 16-19 Février 2006 ; Proceedings of the Colloquium of the IPPF, Budapest, Hungary 16-19 February 2006. 139-84. Print.

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