Prison As A Last Resort

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To detain a person you are depriving them of their personal liberty (Findlay et al, 2000). The detention or imprisonment of offenders has been a consequence used for a variety of offences in society for hundreds of years. In recent times it has become such a frequently relied upon consequence that significant overcrowding in prisons has resulted (Findlay et al, 2000). In the 1990’s new implementations of rehabilitation were introduced to help ease the overcrowding in prisons. At this time, prison was utilised to the extent that the Queensland government adopted a strategy of “prison as a last resort”(Cavadino & Dignan 2006). There are many pros and cons in using this strategy. This essay will consider both the pros and cons of this policy and in so doing consider the implications of the policy for youth and adult offenders in Australia. It will explore the emphasis whether or not the use of detention or imprisonment is the best procedure. Furthermore, the essay will consider the history of imprisonment in terms of the crime rate and whether “prison as a last resort” has significantly impacted on these rates. Historically, previous fines and punishments would be decided by the tribal leader or king who could prescribe exile to the wrongdoer (Allen & Simonsen, 1992). The most common form of punishment over the centuries has been the death penalty. In recent times the form of imprisonment has evolved. The term imprisonment is when some one is held against there free will, in the old days it was also until there punishment had been decided. In the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century saw the growth of prisons (Allen & Simonsen, 1998). The main aim of detention or imprisonment for an adult offender is for questioning ... ... middle of paper ... ...ard, B. & Morris, M. (1976). Instead of prisons: a handbook for abolitionists. McCord, J., Spatz Widom, C. &. Crowell, N. (2001). Juvenile crime, Juvenile Justice: Panel on Juvenile Crime: Prevention, Treatment, and Control, National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Law. National Academic press: USA Munice, J., Hughes, G. & Mclaughlin, E. (2002). Youth justice: critical readings. Sage Publications Ltd: London. Peterson, C (1989). Looking Forward Through the Lifespan: Developmental Psychology (2nd Ed) Prentice Hall: New York. Roth, M. (2006). Prisons and prison systems: a global encyclopedia. Greenwood Publishing group Inc: USA. Shaffer, D.R. (1993). Developmental Psychology: Childhood and Adolescence (3rd Ed). Brooks Cole Publishing Company: California White, R. & Perrone, S. (2005). Crime and social control. Oxford University Press: New York

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