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

Punishment and Prisons. This essay shall describe the changes in the methods of punishment throughout the last few hundred years, how imprisonment came in to practice and why society has become more civilised in how criminals are dealt with.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In the modern era if a person breaks the law they may be sent to a prison; a place of confinement as punishment for their crime; however in the past a person may have been sentenced to what would now be perceived as an inhumane punishment of death or torture. This essay shall describe the changes in the methods of punishment throughout the last few hundred years, how imprisonment came in to practice and why society has become more civilised in how criminals are dealt with. Modern punishment tends to revolve around prison; however there are many non-custodial sentences such as: community service, fines, anti-social behaviour orders and probation. There are different types of prisons and, depending on the offender and the offence committed, a criminal could go to a minimal security prison, medium security prison, high security prison or juvenile halls if they are young. Young offenders are not imprisoned with adult offenders in case they become corrupted further by their influence; for example, older, more experienced criminals could advise them on how to get away with crime, or more effective ways of committing it. In addition to prison and non-custodial sentences, some offenders can be sent to mental institutions if it is believed that they are suffering from a mental illness. ...read more.

Middle

As the welfare state came in to force (1948), the government were taking on more responsibilities and a state-run criminal justice system was developed, (Class Notes). Remand centres were introduced and hard labour was abolished under the Criminal Justice Act (1948). There was also the idea of delivering a short, sharp, shock to young offenders in order to deter them from re-offending. The short, sharp, shock typically involved sending a young offender to a (rough and unpleasant) borstal for two to three months to 'scare' them out of a life of crime. However this regime eventually proved unsuccessful; the first few weeks of imprisonment are usually the worst, but after this time individuals start to 'get used to' it`s unpleasant conditions, and even begin to make friends on the inside. Therefore the 'short', sharp shock was too long, and briefer sentences of a few weeks may well have proved more effective (as well as less expensive). In 1965 the death penalty was finally abolished; a clear marker that society was becoming more rational and civilised. Punishment of the body is now a thing of the past, and sentences of torture and death seem incredibly in-humane by today`s standards. ...read more.

Conclusion

Prisons managed by private companies (such as G4S, Kalyx and Serco) are still subject to the same routine inspections as are public sector prisons. It has been argued that privately run prisons are more efficient, however critics of this initiative state that there have been some major problems with privately managed prisons; for example Ashfield prison for young offenders which opened in 1999 had prisoners withdrawn in 2003 by the Youth Justice board, due to repeated riots and reports of poor management, (Wikipedia). In conclusion prison comes to dominant thinking in punishment due to the sociological changes that have taken place throughout history. It is now 'morally' unacceptable to punish people in physically painful ways, such as death and torture, and everyone, including criminals, have human rights which must be respected. In addition we now know much more about crime, who commits it and why; this, along with society's technological advances, and the introduction of the police force means that more offenders can be caught and punished, and so 'bodily' punishments like death seem a rather unnecessary deterrent. Moreover, rehabilitation means that some offenders can be reformed and reintegrated in to society, (which further reduces the need for a death penalty). ...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. Corporal Punishment.

    Yet, it should be a parent's job to discipline their child and different parents have different ways. Corporal Punishment may interfere with the teaching process of parent's to obedient their children. Furthermore, teachers should not be like parental figures to children as they work to teach not to discipline.

  2. Which is more effective - punishment by imprisonment or with in the community?

    It has been calculated that over a quarter of offenders serving Community Sentences will have re-offended at least once by the time an offender has served an average length sentence. The majority of offences are minor ones. For offenders who present a risk of serious harm, prison is quite properly used.

  1. Explain why Prisons were reformed in the early 19th century.

    Eventually the Bloody Code was abolished with the help of the Home Secretary Sir Robert Peel. Public executions were not working as they caused riots if there was a disagreement over the sentence. It was difficult to control the large crowds and there was a danger of escape if the crowds liked the criminal.

  2. The Value of Non-custodial/community Sentences Over Imprisonment.

    Here they are told to "bare their souls and address their criminal behaviour" (Observer, 2003). The Canadian and American schemes have shown to be relatively successful, showing a dramatic drop in the re-offending rate after thirty to sixty sessions. However results in Britain have not proved to be so encouraging.

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

    Prisoners in the medieval prisons were held in poor conditions there was no segregation between men, women or children, nor were they separated according to whether they had been tried or not, or regardless of the crimes they were supposed to have committed, their age or health, and diseases such as typhus (gaol fever)

  2. Assess the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Different Aims of Punishment

    A famous "Utilitarian" Bentham said punishment involves pain so it is an evil, however it is justifiable if the increase in pain for the criminal leads to the prevention of crime therefore an increase in society's happiness. He saw punishment as an instrument for good with a deterrent effect.

  1. Crime is rapidly increasing in this day and age, however, thanks to the increasing ...

    If further analysis is needed swabs can be taken from the person who was suspected to have fired the firearms, and then examined for traces of lead, antinomy, and barium. In crimes such as murder, rape, assault, robbery, and hit and run accidents, body fluids such as blood are left behind.

  2. The effect of appearance on the percieved criminality of young individuals

    The options were "very likely", "quite likely", "unsure", "quite unlikely", and "very unlikely". To assess the results I awarded each of these categories a point score, from 5 for very likely, down to 1 for very unlikely. The graph below shows the mean scores for each crime given to images

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