Corrections & the Criminal Justice System: Recidivism & Re-Entry

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History shows people in ancient times committed crimes which violated social norms and acceptable conduct despite threats of harsh punishment. There are theories regarding causes of crime but that by Emile Durkheim is quite prominent in that anomie arises as result of mismatch between individual or group standards when compared to the acceptable standards of wider society; this mismatch leads to deviance which in turn came from loss of social identity and self-regulation. Sociological theories help explain deviance and methods to prevent it, such as the strain theory by Merton, control theory, and the differential association theory. In earlier times, people found guilty of crimes were executed right after the promulgation of sentence since the state did not want to incur added costs of detention nor risk the possibility of escape but enlightened thinking led to creation of prisons to prevent torture or execution to be spectacles. Incarceration was a solution to achieve retribution, deterrence, incapacitation and (sometimes) rehabilitation. The three pillars of the justice system are the police, the courts or legal system, and prison system, with some people adding the fourth pillar which is the local community or larger society. Correctional goals can shift over a period of time depending on what is emphasized, whether it is more on retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, or rehabilitation (by reforming the criminal for his eventual re-entry into society). However, despite the best efforts of stakeholders in the justice system to prevent people from committing crimes again, the specter of recidivism always looms large as a big problem. Recidivism is defined as the act of reverting back to undesirable behaviors for which ... ... middle of paper ... ...ommunity is a vital part of the process of forgiveness, charity, compassion, and benevolence (Rothchild et al., 2012, p. 23). But in the final analysis, it requires a paradigm shift or mindset of a criminal to start a new life. Works Cited Andrews, D. A. & Dowden, C. (2007, July). The Risk-Need-Responsivity model of assessment and human service in prevention and corrections: Crime-prevention jurisprudence. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 49(4), 439-464. Maltz, M. (2001). Recidivism. Orlando, FL, USA: Academic Press Incorporated. Pollock, J. M. (2012). Crime & justice in America: An introduction to criminal justice (2nd ed.). Waltham, MA, USA: Anderson Publishing (Elsevier). Rothchild, J., Boulton, M. M., & Jung, K. (2012). Doing justice to mercy: Religion, law, and criminal justice. Charlottesville, VA, USA: University of Virginia Press.
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