• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Britain has one of the largest prison populations in Europe and the system is failing to cope adequately with the problem. Discuss the use of alternatives to prison sentence for convicted offenders

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Question 3: Britain has one of the largest prison populations in Europe and the system is failing to cope adequately with the problem. Discuss the use of alternatives to prison sentence for convicted offenders. More and more people in Britain are being sentenced to jail time: this is a fact. In 2004, there are currently over eighty thousand inmates.[1] (Peter Reydt, 2004 / Scottish Executive, 2003) Crime is on the increase but our prisons are already overcrowded. Consequently, new prisons will be required to accommodate prisoners. Where will the money come from to pay for the construction of new prisons? Will they have a sufficient rehabilitation programmes in place? The prison system is obviously failing because it is not acting as a deterrent. Clearly we should now be examining why the system is failing and possible alternatives to prison. What should these alternatives be? Would they work and would they be seen as a suitable punishment? First of all, I'd like to look at why the prison service is failing. Ten years ago, Britain's prison population was actually on the decline (Casciani, 2002)[2]. This was due to the government at the time implementing more community based punishments over the use of prison sentencing. However, not all of the Home Secretaries of the time - Kenneth Baker and Kenneth Clarke - agreed with this policy and soon changed their minds and began to follow up on the 'rhetoric of being 'tough' on crime'[3](Cascianni, 2002) ...read more.

Middle

(HMP Service)[8] By having this in place in the prison system, this can only be beneficial to the offenders for it gives them a chance of getting educated and rehabilitated, thus making it easier for them to be re-integrated into society. However, even though offenders have access to these programmes and training courses, there is a downside to being incarcerated: first of all, their living conditions. The majority of jails are overcrowded so in most cases, there can be up to three people sharing a cell. (Reyd, 2004)[9] Also, there is a problem of bullying which can have serious effects on the inmates' state of mind and wellbeing, which in turn can lead to self harm. Offenders in custody for the first time can find it very difficult to cope and this could lead both to self-harm and to the extreme of attempting suicide. As a matter of fact, prison suicides have reached a record high. There were more prisoners committing suicide in August of 2004 than in any month since records began. Seventy deaths have already been reported this year. (BBC, 2004)[10] This is a horrific thought, this cannot be allowed to continue, so what alternatives can be offered to stop this happening now and in the future? ...read more.

Conclusion

Would the public feel that the offender is being sufficiently punished for the crime they have committed or would they feel that the offender had somehow have escaped punishment nor not been punished with sufficient severity? Hopefully in the future, society's views will change to look more favourably on alternatives to prison and see their benefits. Having now examined whether to use alternatives more than using prison sentencing the alternatives seem the best way forward. If one life - even that of a prisoner - can be saved, then this must surely be a very good idea? If these alternatives were in place they would help the overcrowding in jails and the building of more jails - which cost on average sixty million pounds each to build.(Rethinking Crime and Punishment, 2002)[12]. This would be less of a burden on the taxpayer and this money could go into developing these alternatives and having them implemented instead of prison. If the offender is shown to be fully rehabilitated and to want to give something back to society, this can only be beneficial: not only to the offender to but to society as a whole. "There are some duties we owe even to those who have wronged us. There is, after all, a limit to retribution and punishment." Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC)[13] Word Count: 1644 Part One - Essay Question Three - 1 - ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. Evaluate the Two approaches (FBI and David Canter) to the profiling of offenders.

    Canter believes the way he can help police in investigations is by using sets of data to look at correlation's between things like time and location of offence, choice of victim, and analysis of speech. Through this Canter believes he can develop trends and patterns.

  2. Discuss the effectiveness of the Prison system, and its purpose in relation to its ...

    workshops, cleaning duties or routine maintenance within the prison, for which nominal wages are paid. (Prisoners in open prison can often go to jobs beyond the prison location). Although all prisoners are legally required to work there are rarely enough jobs for all the people within the prisons system and

  1. Referring to the John Duffy "Railway Rapist" case to illustrate, discuss the strengths and ...

    For example, murderers who kill a stranger without any interaction are likely to live a solitary life (Canter, 1989). Other important factors may be the choice of victim, location, nature of the crime and what is/isn't said, and forensic awareness of the offender, like rapists who force victims to bathe after the attack to remove any evidence of pubic hairs.

  2. This essay sets out to identify and analyse the argument that prison sentences are ...

    the other reason is that it takes people out of society and that creates social-economic problems such as unemployment.4 Furthermore, we should also note that due to an increase in the re-offending rate, England and Wales are in the top league table for Western Europe as they incarcerate 145 per

  1. "Prison makes bad people worse". Critically evaluate this statement in the light of rising ...

    Many different explanations exist for why this change from physical punishment to imprisonment came about, one of which argues that the reason for the shift was due to humanitarianism and reform which would offer a more humane and civilised alternative to the methods of previous years, (Wilson, Ellis, Mikulski, & Nash, 2003).

  2. A Failing Justice System

    In fact, there are, because her mother was also egoistic. As a result, although ethically and criminologically, "seeking the criminal element" can be considered different, these problems constitute the base of the gaps in the criminology system. Whodunit? This is the most important theme in the mystery novels and seems very remote to the real word situations.

  1. 'Crime is both deterred and prevented by the use of imprisonment.' Discuss

    Questions were asked as to the purpose of the prison system was it to be used just as a place of criminal containment? A place where a form of discipline could be used in order to reform the criminal? Or was it to deter potential criminals?

  2. How might we best explain the rise of the prison as a replacement for ...

    These figures substantiated the worries people already had about rising crime and a 'crime wave'. Although they do not confirm an actual 'crime wave', they were evidence to people of a failing system. Crime waves may be seen to occur in statistics, however most commonly they have appeared due to a change in the way crimes are recorded.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work