Punishment or Treatment: What are our prisons for? Essay

  1. Introduction

Today. we ever hear intelligence about offenses being committed by many people. Furthermore. those people who commit offenses tend to pique once more their old condemnable Acts of the Apostless. The repetition of making such condemnable act is known as recidivism. Specifically. recidivism is the term used when person. who after having a penalty or negative effects of the condemnable behaviour. reiterate his or her condemnable behaviour.

Due to the dismaying addition in recidivism instances. policy shapers in a given state attempt to happen out what will be the best option or solution that will assist in diminishing the figure of condemnable instances and one of their options is the execution of penalty or what they call disincentive and the other method is rehabilitation.

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Disincentive had been a hot issue sing on its ethical background and most particularly its effectivity in counterstriking recidivism. Many said that it is non effectual in its exclusive intent. They added that there are other ways to forestall an person in perpetrating offense once more other than coercing those single to be punished by jurisprudence.

But there were surveies that concluded disincentive to be an effectual tool in diminishing offense rate among offense lawbreakers whether the disincentive is specific or general. The most popular signifier of disincentive is imprisonment. Imprisonment brings fright to those possible committers. And this limits them to make offense once more because disincentive brings bad experience to those who were found to hold committed offense.

  1. Aim

The chief audiences of this paper are the policy shapers that are concerned on recidivism issues. Lawgivers will do certain policy that will steer these wrongdoers and will handle them wrongdoers. The said audience is non limited merely to policy shapers but besides to those people like word and rehabilitation officers who assess and ushers these condemnable committers in their probation plan.

This paper will seek to analyse recidivism happening. This paper will hold a deep analysis on the grounds why people tend to perpetrate once more their old condemnable behaviour given that they were already given the right intervention and appropriate effects to snuff out that behaviour.

The paper will non merely tackle recidivism but besides take a expression on the current state of affairs on the policies and actions given to those people who commit condemnable Acts of the Apostless once more. Potential intercession to cut down the hazard of recidivism will be one of the focal points of this paper. The effectivity of the current actions will be emphasized as it will function as a usher to the people who handle this sort of issue.

The paper will compare disincentive and rehabilitation as the two most popular solutions and actions when covering with recidivism. Is longer disincentive and rehabilitation will take to minimise recidivism or will merely increase the repetition of unwanted behaviour after they have either experient negative effects of that behaviour. or have been treated or trained to snuff out that behaviour? The paper will seek to reply all these inquiries to edify and give cognition to the proposed reader of this paper.


Recidivism and Disincentive

In legal footings. disincentive and recidivism are two common footings used. These two footings have many significance and it depends on the field that the two footings were utilized. Recidivism is the act of returning to the discourtesy that was antecedently committed. It is the repeat or accustomed committing on offenses. The word originated from the Latin wordrecidivuswhich means repeating. The said term is normally used in criminology.

An illustration of recidivism instance is when a sexual wrongdoer individual who after release from prison does once more sexual torment. Recidivism does non merely include sexual torment but besides other signifier of condemnable Acts of the Apostless. Recidivism rate has been a major job of different states and solution to the increasing rate on recidivism is being done ( Maltz. 2007 ) .

Recidivism Theories

After discoursing recidivism. the following subject to speak about is the theories behind recidivism. The theories that will explicate the happening of recidivism are: Anomie. Differential Association Theory. Deviance theory. Labeling theory. Rational Choice theory. Social Control theory. Strain theory. Subcultural theory and Symbolic Interactionism ( Clarke & A ; Felson. 1993 ) .

Anomie pertains to the status unease or depression of an person. Depression is the consequence of minimum counsel set by the government and governing organic structure of a state. It is the deficiency of regulations and ordinance. criterions and values that hinder condemnable behaviour. When the term anomy is applied in a authorities. it means societal agitation or convulsion. The term anomy is synonymous on normlessness. It means that a individual in a society will respond against from the societal norms which are guided by the set of regulations and criterions of a given society. Anomie focuses on the societal issues instead than on the single ground why there are such incidences of recidivism.

This theory stress that the society has large duty in casting and steering every citizen in the right way. On the other manus. Differential Association theory is about synonymous to anomie. The said theory was developed by Edwin Sutherland. Harmonizing to Sutherland. differential association can be seen when a individual is being affected by the people around him. That individual learns the values of the values. attitudes and behaviour of the people around him to make condemnable behaviour. Thus the society around an person has large impact on the possible recidivism ( Clarke & A ; Felson. 1993 ) .

Deviant behaviour is besides a possible reply why people tend to prosecute in reiterating condemnable Acts of the Apostless. When a individual displays aberrant behaviour. he is more likely to perpetrate offenses. He does non cognize nor follow regulations in a given society ( Clarke & A ; Felson. 1993 ) .

Labeling theory is another facet to look in understanding recidivism. In this theory. the person’s aberrant behaviour is being affected by the people around him because these people try to categorise or label him as a individual with unnatural behaviour. The society dictates and classifies a individual which can include the aberrant behaviour ( Clarke & A ; Felson. 1993 ) .

Looking on the psychological facet of a individual with recidivism instance. he or she may hold some job that can non be resolved easy. Thus. his encephalon may non work good. That individual will seek to perpetrate unwanted Acts of the Apostless like offense. This is the chief point of rational pick theory. in which the individual weighs agencies and terminals and makes rational determinations ( Clarke & A ; Felson. 1993 ) .

Another theory that has relation to deviant behaviour is the Social Control theory. The theory hypothesizes that aberrant behaviour if a individual is a consequence of the dissatisfaction in a society. The individual will interrupt Torahs as a mark of heartache. On the other manus. the Subcultural theory provinces that within a society. there is a group of individual that has natural aberrant behaviour. If these people meet together. so they will happen comfort with each other because they have the same feeling when making aberrant Acts of the Apostless ( Clarke & A ; Felson. 1993 ) .

And the last theory will be the Strain theory. In criminology. the strain theory provinces that societal constructions within society may promote citizens to perpetrate offense. When the construction of the society inhibits the demands of a individual. there is a large possibility that this individual will perpetrate unneeded behaviour like offenses ( Clarke & A ; Felson. 1993 ) .

For the past few old ages. the recidivism rate in the United States had a important addition. Given the figure below. we can see that between 3 old ages. the figure of recidivism in the state in 1994 within the 15 provinces had increased to 70 % which is higher than the twelvemonth 1983 which had a record of 60 % .

Harmonizing to the Office of Justice Program. OPJ of the United Stares. 67. 5 % of captives released in 1994 were rearrested within 3 old ages. an addition over the 62. 5 % found for those released in 1983. The figure besides shows that. all the offense classs had a relevant addition from 1983 to 1994. The belongings wrongdoers. drug wrongdoers and public-order wrongdoers had increased from 68. 1 % to 73. 8 % . 50. 4 % to 66. 7 % and 54. 6 % to 62. 2 % severally.

Furthermore. OPJ emphasized that in the twelvemonth 1994. recidivism rate within 3 old ages was estimated to be 51. 8 % of captives released during the twelvemonth were back in prison for the ground of a perpetrating fresh offense for which they received another prison sentence. or because they were non able to follow the ordinances of their word.

Figure 1. Recidivism rate in 1983 and 1994


For this paper. two subjects sing on the correctional methods will be focused and these are disincentive and word and probation. These two methods differ with each other in footings of the procedure and rule being employed. The former believes that correctional agencies can be attained and achieved when penalty or negative effect is applied in the offense committer while the former see the rehabilitation and instruction of captives.

Another term which has relation on recidivism is disincentive. Disincentive is the act of supplying necessary penalty on those who commit offense. The grade of the penalty depends besides on the grade of the offense that was committed ( Maltz. 2007 ) .

There are two signifiers of disincentive. the particular and the general. The former describes disincentive as penalty given merely to the person who committed the offense while the latter describe disincentive as penalty on the general audience. Specific disincentive is besides known as single disincentive. The general disincentive focuses on general bar of offense by doing illustrations of specific perverts. The single histrion is non the focal point of the effort at behavioural alteration. but instead receives penalty in public position in order to discourage other persons from aberrance in the hereafter.

Disincentive as a major tool in decreasing recidivism rate gained many unfavorable judgments about its effectivity. Many said that disincentive. whether it is specific or general. is non effectual in diminishing the offense rate in the state. Some surveies sing on the effectivity of disincentive found that lawbreakers are non afraid on the penalty. but instead they are more afraid on the act of caught.

Normally. the wrongdoers are the drug and intoxicant maltreaters. This consequence was supported on the findings on countries where surveillance cameras were introduced. Possible lawbreakers were afraid to be caught from the surveillance cameras therefore take downing the rate of offense instances. General disincentive has besides been to a great extent criticized for trusting on promotion of heavy penalties ; it has been described as “the least effectual and least just rule of sentencing” . Other states like the Great Britain believe on rehabilitation process instead than disincentive.

Deterrence Theory

But why disincentive is still being implemented in many condemnable processs? To reply this inquiry. it is better to analyze the rule behind the usage of penalty to eliminate offenses. In behavioural psychological science. disincentive is theory on presenting penalty for those who violated the jurisprudence. Today. United States is following and implementing this pattern in their condemnable justness process. The rule behind the usage of an Fe manus for those who committed offense is that. the lawbreaker will be afraid when introduced to penalty and will forbear from making it once more.

Disincentive: Effective or non?

This paper will seek to analyse the effectivity if disincentive in minimising the offense rate or the recidivism among states. Besides. the two types of disincentive. specific and general will be examined.

There were many surveies were conducted to turn to the job in the rise of recidivism. Part of the surveies was the execution of penalty among the lawbreakers. The surveies analyze process on the execution every bit good the effectivity of the said processs.

Harmonizing to the survey that was made by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. penalty among lawbreakers on persons who are apprehended for driving under the intoxicant influence ( DUI ) . driving while intoxicated ( DWI ) . or related discourtesies such as drive after suspension for a DUI and misdemeanor of zero tolerance Torahs found that giving them a countenance is effectual in making the said offenses once more.

As a affair of fact. many policy shapers use penalty to command the rise of offenses on their states. They developed Torahs that will impede in making discourtesy or any improper act. Peoples are afraid on the penalty like traveling to imprison. The rule behind the usage of any sort of penalty is the ingraining or realisation of the bad experiences from penalty ( Henry. 2003 ) .

Specific disincentive has a positive consequence on the lessening in the rate of offense instances. An person will believe once more if he or she will make the offense once more after the person had a bad experience of the penalty he or she received before. This will do the possible wrongdoer afraid on the possible countenance he may incur and will besides bring forth uncertainty in making the offense once more ( Martin & A ; Ellis. 1998 ) .

General disincentive besides produce a positive consequence in relation to the decreasing the offense rate in a given topographic point. Peoples will hold an thought on the proposed sentence or punishment. The most popular illustration of general disincentive is traveling to imprison. The media will air the bad status of a individual in a gaol. Harmonizing to surveies. gaol imprisonment is more effectual as a general hindrance. but it appears to be no more effectual as a specific hindrance for cut downing DUI recidivism than other countenances. and it is far more dearly-won ( Martin & A ; Ellis. 1998 ) .

Another signifier of disincentive is the administrative licence suspension or any other condemnable records that will be a job is any occupation employment. When a individual committed a offense. he or she will hold condemnable record and when this individual will use for a occupation. the company he or she is using will necessitate a condemnable clearance. if in United States. an FBI clearance. When the individual using for the occupation had a condemnable record. the company will waver to use the said single. This signifier of disincentive had created an impact in the decrease of recidivism ( Martin & A ; Ellis. 1998 ) .

To beef up the statement on the effectivity of disincentive when it comes to the riddance of recidivism. another survey was conducted to find the consequence of the length of imprisonment to the figure of jurisprudence misdemeanors. Harmonizing to Weinrath and Gartrell ( 2001 ) . they concluded that sentence length exerted consistent hindrance effects on repetition rummy drive. even for chronic wrongdoers. While in a shorter gaol imprisonment. the wrongdoers that will be imprisoned at shorter clip were more likely to reiterate their accustomed offense committedness. This determination will beef up the grounds on the statement that disincentive is an effectual tool in decreasing the offense rate in a given topographic point ( Weinrath and Gartrell. 2001 ) . Furthermore. longer disincentive has positive impact in decreasing recidivism rate.

Another categorization of disincentive is the badness and stringency. Harmonizing to Henry ( 2003 ) . mild penalty tends to hold positive effects on diminishing recidivism while those terrible effects produce negative effects. Psychological research on penalty in has shown that mild penalty can be effectual in altering behaviour and is dependent on the frequence. immediateness application and with positive support of pro-social behaviour. On the other manus. terrible penalty will merely take to avoidance or get away. disaffection of those punished. and aggressiveness.

Parole and Rehabilitation

There are many possible causes why recidivism is present in our society. One is the job in their household. When the parents of the household are non around in their place or a broken household. these are possible factors. The most prone to perpetrate recidivism that is consequences on the minimum parental counsel are the young person or juvenile. The juveniles are non being monitored on their activities. This sort of household construction is non good for a kid because juveniles has a low ego control particularly when meeting serious job like household jobs. they tend to interrupt and to get away to the job. they break the Torahs and norms of the society. In this period. they are engage in imbibing intoxicant and drug abusing. There will come a clip when they will reiterate the offense they had committed earlier.

Problems in their schooling are other factors that contribute to the addition in juvenile recidivism instances. If a kid experience neglecting classs or does non make good in category. the kid will happen a manner to get away on their jobs and this may take to juvenile delinquency activities.

Another major cause of recidivism among is the societal factor. This can be explained when a individual experient racial favoritism. sexual torment. forsaking. physical maltreatment and disregard. The society may order what an guiltless individual can make. If a individual is surrounded by condemnable incidences. that individual may be influenced by these incorrect behaviors. This is slightly related to peer to peer relation. If group of people has engaged in incorrect making like intoxicant imbibing. drug mistreating. the guiltless individual may be influenced. ( Roberts. 2000 )

Because of the dismaying intelligence and impact of recidivism in the society. the authorities of United States made a plan to decrease the impacts and instances of reoffending of condemnable Acts of the Apostless in the society. Lawgivers made a response to these issues. They made Torahs and policies that will extinguish recidivism instances in the society. Children who commits the instance were been rehabilitate in a rehabilitation centre to set in to realization the offense they had committed and how to get away from the upset of their behaviours.

Parole and probation are both portion of the rehabilitation plan made by lawgivers. Dressler ( 1959 ) defined parole as the release of the delinquent outside the rehabilitation centre under supervising of a parole officer. The wrongdoer had undergone rehabilitation in a correctional centre. The word word was in the Gallic linguistic communication is defined as promise and in dictionary context it is word of award.

The release is conditional and the behaviour of the delinquent is being monitored. While probation is the release of the delinquent to the community in which he can rehabilitate his behaviour better. Like word. the offender’s behaviour is being monitored by the probation officer. The word probation comes from the Latin linguistic communication intending a period of supervising and counsel. Probation in church term means the period were a individual is seeking in the entryway to the church.

In a rehabilitation centre. probation is a intervention where the wrongdoer will hold the opportunity to hold socialized in a community. Probation and parole plans are being handled by the tribunal members.

The delinquent under parole plan had stayed in the rehabilitation centre. Both parole and probation plans are made to alter the behavioural jobs of the wrongdoers. They believe that rehabilitation can be made better to the wrongdoers if they stay in a community than remaining in prison. In the parole plan. wrongdoers are given the 2nd opportunity to alter their behaviours. every bit good in the probation plan. The wrongdoers tend to larn their lesson after they undergone in this two plans.

Torbet ( 1996 ) said that probation or parole plan on recidivism instances has been overpowering dispositional determination of tribunal Judgess. Almost half of the recidivism instances were made to probation or parole plan. Torbet said besides that probation is the roughest countenance that the wrongdoer can have. At the terminal of 80’s decennary. Whitehead and Lab ( 1989 ) made a meta analysis on the effects of probation or parole intervention on the behaviour of the juvenile delinquent and concluded that probation plans lessen the recidivism of the wrongdoer.

In 1992. Lipsey released another meta analysis survey sing on probation or parole plans. The consequence besides showed that recidivism was decreasing on juvenile delinquent when probation is granted to them than those in comparing group. In 1998. Lipsey together with Wilson conducted another Meta analysis survey on the effects of serious juvenile delinquent instances to probation plan. The consequence besides showed that probation lessens the instances in recidivism. The consequences besides suggest that there are many fluctuations on how the probation plan is being worked.

Some surveies had been conducted to find the effects of the continuance of probation plans to recidivism. Wooldredge in 1998 found that the longer the clip of probation the greater are the incidence of recidivism. Longer continuance made the wrongdoers to hold restlessness and discourtesy on the probation officers. Wooldredge concluded that two old ages of supervising is the ideal continuance for a probation plan.

Another survey was conducted by Sontheimer and Goodstein ( 1993 ) to happen out how intensive probation aftercare plans lessen the happening of piquing utilizing random assignment. And the consequence showed that it does non decrease the happening that the wrongdoer will perpetrate once more juvenile offense.

Parole and Probation ; Effective or non?

Effective response on recidivism instances is a cardinal to minimise the happening of the said instances. Effective intercession on the possible causes of recidivism instances and the proper direction to the wrongdoers is the first measure in cut downing the reoffending of offense instances.

Surveies show that effectual intercession cut down the recidivism rate. The effectual intercession has a important consequence on recidivism rate. It made a 6 % decrease from the old instances. ( Lipsey. 1992 )


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