What Is Prison Imprisonment?

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According to psychology.about.com, punishment refers to any change that occurs after a behavior that reduces the likelihood that that behavior will occur again in the future. One of the most popular forms of punishment is prison. The purposes of imprisonment are often cited as incapacitation and punishment, deterrence and rehabilitation, and retribution, but views differ as to the relative importance and priority of each (Sinclair). As we all know, criminal justice remains a politically important issue in today’s society. Some may say that prison does work, because it takes offenders off the streets and into cells. Others, though, argue that it fails, either because it seems to do little to stop offenders returning to offending soon after…show more content…
So, along with incapacitation and punishment is deterrence and rehabilitation. The idea of rehabilitation through imprisonment is that a person who has been incarcerated will never be sent back to prison after they have been sent free. Unfortunately, research has consistently shown that time spent in prison does not successfully rehabilitate most inmates, and the majority of criminals return to a life of crime almost immediately (Rehabilitative Effects of Imprisonment). Prisons are now beginning to hire psychiatrists to assist with the criminal’s disorders and psychological problems. Along with the psychiatrists, prisons are creating classrooms for prisoners to educate themselves while in prison. The rehabilitation of prisoners is an extremely difficult process. Teaching people useful skills requires manpower and space (Stuffed). Inmates are set apart from the general public and forced to live in a society with people who know crime as a way of life. It is good to see that some prisons in the United States are trying to educate the inmates, but it is ultimately not paying…show more content…
The intention of imprisonment in the United States are incapacitation and punishment, deterrence and rehabilitation, and retribution, but often don’t seem to work. I believe that the justice system should be more strict and educational. This would result in the cure of the overpopulation of prisons and keep people out of prison as a whole. If the system would threaten most Class X Felonies with the death sentence, offenders would straighten up, or be put to death. According to CriminalLawyerIllinois.com, a Class X Felony in Illinois includes aggravated kidnapping; aggravated battery with a firearm; aggravated battery of a child; home invasion; aggravated criminal sexual assault; predatory criminal sexual assault of a child (over 17 years of age and victim under 13 years old); armed robbery; aggravated vehicular hijacking; aggravated arson; possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver (such as 15-100 grams or possession with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of a public park, church, school, or public housing). I know it almost sounds like a communist and look at things, but taking a more liberal look at this would be wise. The death sentence for most Class X Felonies including aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated battery of a child, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal
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