Correctional Facilities in The United States

2152 Words9 Pages
Throughout United States correctional history, it has been heavily debated as to whether or not prisons have positive effects on inmates and society. Today, many prisons attempt to have a positive impact on the lives of the inmates, while giving society the satisfaction on punishing criminals. The correctional system achieves this goal through the use of four techniques. The four techniques used by the correctional system include rehabilitation, deterrence, incapacitation, and retribution. These four methods work individually as well as collectively to produce felons who can be productive citizens of society. Firstly, one main, effective method used by correctional facilities today is rehabilitation. Prisons aim of rehabilitation is to create productive law-abiding citizens through social and moral improvement. (Holt v. Sarver) An examination conducted by California Youth Authority researcher, Ted Palmer, in 1975, noted that after further inspection of data collected by Robert Martinson, rehabilitation results were partially positive. (Cei 2) Robert Martinson stated “Nothing Works” in regards to rehabilitating inmates. Palmer concluded that in Martinson’s research 39 or 48% of programs in the study were at least partially positive. (Cei) In 1978, Palmer continued on with his research on the positives of rehab and concluded that many programs do work. Palmer noted that we must not look at inmate as a whole but as individuals. He continued on to say, we must figure out what programs works for which type of offender, in a certain setting to gain increasingly positive results. (Cei) Furthermore, researchers Francis Cullen and Paul Gendreau expanded on the belief that rehabilitation programs work. After conducting 200 studies from ... ... middle of paper ... ...s status to that of a deprived outcast. (Quinn 4) Finally, as the effectiveness of today’s correctional facilities on inmates and society is debated people look to find out the correct answer. Through the use of four modern techniques, the prisons of today’s society achieve positive outcomes. Practices utilized for progressive results are rehabilitation to create productive citizens, deterrence to dissuade further crime, incapacitation to protect society, and retribution to reaffirm society’s morals and insure fairness. Works Cited Quinn, James F. Corrections: A Concise Introduction. 2nd ed. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland, 1999. Print. Hassine, Victor. Life without Parole: Living in Prison Today. 5th ed. New York, NY: Oxford UP, 2009. Print. Cei, Louis B. "Prisons Should Rehabilitate Inmates." The Prison Rehabilitation Debate in the 1990's (1996): n. pag. Print.
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