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

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Introduction

OPTION TWO 'Crime is both deterred and prevented by the use of imprisonment.' Discuss. Imprisonment is a process of incarceration whereby the confinements of deviant members of society are segregated into confined spaces where the offender is punished according to the criminal justice system. I will in this essay discuss the process of the prison being used as a product of crime control against the notion of reforming and rehabilitating offenders. I will also evaluate the claim that crime is both deterred and prevented by the use of imprisonment. Imprisonment has been around for centuries, it was seen as a way of removing unwanted offenders from society. Historically England led the way in developing the prison system; correction houses would hold the town beggars and vagrants. In the 18th century prisons were used for 3 main reasons, the firstly being as a custodial establishment for those that were awaiting sentencing, the second in a coercive manner, for defaulters of fines and debt, and finally as a punitive measure, the state's intention is to inflict a punishment to the offender, although prison is now seen as the last resort, it is still the main form of punishment. Incapacitation advocates the protection of society by removing criminals from the rest of society therefore preventing the chances of them committing further crimes, but this does not necessarily deter them from further offending upon their release. ...read more.

Middle

Using prison as a general deterrence, by using an individual criminal as an example to the rest of society is what the state generally tries to accomplish rather than a specific deterrent concentrating on an individual punishment so that they do not re-offend. The prison system itself has seen a dramatic increase in prisoners over the years as such it has encompassed various problems. The cost of containing prisoners is very high and increasing all the time, this is paid for out of the taxes that we as a society pay. Overcrowding is also seen as a major problem that has profound affects on the prisoners being held. The highest proportion of prisoners are victims of other failing social factors, they are mostly unemployed, uneducated, homeless, drug addicts, poor parents with poor social skills, they see crime as a more promising prospect than that of unemployment and poverty, of which poverty is the main cause of crime, because of the failed systems of state control deviant individuals are forced to turn to crime, they try and escape the poverty trap, these crimes are products of desperation. This criminal underclass as described by Feeley and Smith (3) in their description of The New Penology whose main objective is not to punish or rehabilitate but to manage unruly groups. ...read more.

Conclusion

present prison system with the introduction of the probation service this can be an alternative to prison, other alternatives to prison include tagging, reparation and drug treatment and testing. Classification of prisoners to enable the appropriate security is already implemented in most prisons. Segregating hardened criminals from the petty ones can only happen if the overcrowding in prisons is addressed. Within the prison establishment they now offer Enhanced Thinking Skills, (ETS), courses, which have proved invaluable to some of the prisoners, but with the problem of overcrowding it, is making it difficult for some to access the courses. (7) According to Claudia Strut (8) head of Erlestoke prison, shows how important managerial processes are in prisons, Claudia emphasis the need to prepare offenders for resettlement into the community to ensure the offender does not re-offend. For this to work 3 main conditions need to be provided. The offender needs to know that there is human contact on the outside, there needs to be an assurance that family and friend support is eminent on their release. The second is shelter to provide physical well being, and finally money or a basis to earn their own legal money, with these 3 things in place the offender is less likely to return to prison. WORD COUNT: 2190 WORDS Sharon Ebanks T274910X TMA04 1 ...read more.

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