Analysis of 6 Articles: To What Extent do the Public Actually Agree with Imprisonment as a Means of Punishment?

Analysis of 6 Articles: To What Extent do the Public Actually Agree with Imprisonment as a Means of Punishment?

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Imprisonment is a popular form of punishment in modern society which dates back to the 16th Century. People were originally put in prison to ‘save their soul’. This method of punishment began to replace the death penalty, which was still sentenced for the serious crimes. As time went on, prison sentences became more popular, which reduced transportation as criminals were no longer sent to another country. According to the Ministry of Justice (2013) prisons have been overcrowded since 1994, which suggests that an alternative method of punishment is needed. It can be argued that people believe that prison is the only form of punishment, however, this is untrue. The reason it is important to study this is because there is not a lot of emphasis on other forms of punishment or rehabilitation for offenders. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the attitudes and opinions people have towards incarceration.
The main databases used for selecting the literature that is to be reviewed, were Google Scholar and Locate. Search terms and phrases included the following: prison, incarceration, imprisonment, alternative forms of punishment, public attitudes to prison, rehabilitation, community service and sentencing. There was also some emphasis on how public attitudes are influenced by the media, and the role it plays in informing people about what is happening relating to prisons and punishment. Having discussed the aims, rationale and methodology, the literature review and discussion/conclusion will now follow.

Article 1
Allen (2002) reviewed research that was conducted specifically on what the public actually thought of prison as a punishment. He explores the options available as an alternative to prison, and how effective these were ...


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...er’, Journal of Health and Social Care Improvement, 1-7.
Wermink, H., Blokland, A., Nieuwbeerta, P., Nagin, D. and Tollenaar, N. (2010) ‘Comparing the Effects of Community Service and Short-term Imprisonment on Recidivism: A Matched Samples Approach’, Journal of Experimental Criminology, 6, 325-349
Whitehead, J. T., Blankenship, M. B. and Wright, J.P. (1999) ‘Elite versus Citizen Attitudes on Capital Punishment: Incongruity between the Public and Policymakers’, Journal of Criminal Justice, 27(3), 249-258.
Williams, R. B. (2010) Why We Love Bad News [online] available from [15 January 2014]
Windzio, M. (2006) ‘Is there a Deterrent Effect of Pains of Imprisonment?: The Impact of ‘Social Costs’ of First Incarceration on the Hazard Rate of Recidivism’, Punishment Society, 8, 341-364.

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