The supposed function of the prison is to Deter, Incapacitate and Reform individuals. The idea of deterrence is that individuals would be reluctant to commit a crime due to fear of imprisonment as a form of punishment. Incapacitation has to do with restricting the movement of offenders where they are unable to commit further crimes and Reform is based on the idea that crime can be reduced by using punishment to change the behaviour and character of offenders for the better. However, the prison has not been very successful in carrying out its supposed functions. For instance, when it comes to deterrence the prison has failed, in that the prison population has greatly increased over the years. The prison population has increased by 41,800 between 1993 and 2012. Currently, the prison population in England and Whales is 85, 564 and according to the Howard League for Penal Reform Weekly Prison Watch, as week ending Friday 6 March 2015 there are 20 more people in prison than last week and 95 more people compare to this time last year (www.howardleague.org/weekly-priosn-watch/ 12/03/2015
Incapacitation has to be the only function that the prison carry out quite we...
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...economic structure of society in which it takes place and to the class system, which as a result it promotes by penal practices and ideologies. For instance according to Hermann Mannheim ‘ the history of criminal legislation in England and many other countries, shows that excessive prominence was given by the law to the protection of property.’ In other words, the history of criminal legislation became important in accordance with the protection of property own by the ruling class.
Furthermore, Marxist see the law and state as operating in the interest of the ruling class, because by punishing people who go against the existing law- which keep in place the status quo and the position of the ruling class ;punishment, therefore, functions to reinforce the power and the privilege of that class. In this case, punishment is used as a means to control the working class.
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