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

The prison system in England and Wales could reasonably be described as being in crisis. Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

N0338670 The prison system in England and Wales could reasonably be described as being in crisis. Discuss. Within any society, no matter how embryonic, crime and deviant behaviour is always almost certainly present. Due to the ever presence of crime, there are nearly always certain measures, procedures and administrative bodies in place to deal with the matter. In most countries the measures in place, could be described as the commencement of criminal justice proceedings and the use of some form of prosecution and punishment service. Within England and Wales, upon conviction of a criminal offence and having been sentenced to a custodial term, her majesty?s prison service is employed to carry out, and manage the punishment of any said individual. This is where the basis of this essay lies, within her majesty?s prison service and the in-depth exploration of the administration itself. This will be accomplished through various readings and research with a view to eventually be able to identify whether the prison system in England and Wales could reasonably be described as being in crisis. In order to efficiently and accurately begin to draw conclusions regarding what state the prison system is in, it would be prudent to first establish what factors would contribute to any of the prison system?s failings resulting in a said crisis, whilst also revealing what elements or circumstance would suggest that the prison system is functioning both smoothly and successfully. ...read more.

Middle

"Today the prison population reached 60,000. It is no coincidence that recorded crime has fallen by record amounts over the last four years at the same time that the prison population has risen.? (Michael Howard, 1993) The above quotation illustrates how the media can also be used to the prison systems advantage, rather than solely as a crises creating tool. Regarding any said crisis there may or may not be within HM?s prison service, there are a few mainstream theories regarding the issue which are freely available via many media platforms. The one I shall be discussing in this essay is known as the Orthodox account and is heavily described within Cavadino and Dignan?s work ?The Penal System: An Introduction.? ?This passage gives us almost all the components of the ?orthodox account? of the penal crisis, The crisis is seen as being located very specifically within the prison system- it is not seen as a crisis of the whole penal system, or of the criminal justice system, let alone as a crisis of society as a whole. The immediate cause of the crisis is seen as the combination of different types of difficult prisoners- what has been called the ?toxic mix? of prisoners (Home Office, 1984a:para 124) ...read more.

Conclusion

To summarise it is evident there are a whole variety of problems present within the prison service, but not throughout the whole of the penal system. Whether these factors can be classified as putting HM?s prison service in a state of crisis is highly debatable. This is due to the large amount of evidence of these crisis contributing factors within the system, but also the special nature that the system does. In such a conflict filled niche, there are bound to be complications regarding the efficient running of things. As explained before it is hard to say at what time period a crisis turns into everyday life. To conclude, it could be said that the points presented in this essay, such as the orthodox account, can make a very strong argument that the prison system in England and Wales, is in a state of crisis. Although key workings such as Cavadino and Dignan could argue otherwise, by suggesting the job the system does, although not a pretty sight and full of misdemeanours, eventually does fulfil its purpose. It is only from an inside penological view that the failings become more obvious. With this the prison service could be classified a social success, as its purpose of detaining dangerous criminals is certainly being fulfilled, and certainly not enduring a crisis. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Criminology 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 University Degree Criminology essays

  1. Is the British penal system effective? Most of the evidence points to prison not ...

    According to Stein (2008), "Our initial findings indicated that improving what people eat could lead them to behave more sociably as well as improving their health." It was believed that what prisoners eat was affecting their behaviour in prison. A recent study found statistic evidence that changing prisoners' diets cut violent behaviour by 35% (Gesch, 2003).

  2. As prison populations rise to unprecedented levels, to what extent can it be argued ...

    But if locking people away doesn't prevent crimes, in theory it stops them for the duration of their sentence. I turn now to incapacitation. This seeks to stop people committing crimes by restricting their freedom, eg, through imprisonment or by imposing supervision orders (Spark, 2001, p204; Feeley and Simon, 2003, p437).

  1. PRISONS: AMERICAS CRIMINAL WAREHOUSES. Recent budget crises and the rapid increase of incarceration ...

    It is clear that it is time to move away from a model of massive, remotely-located prisoner warehouses, which only breed more crime, to facilities with improved rehabilitation and community reentry programs designed to reduce crime and enhance public safety.

  2. The purpose of this essay is to discuss the accuracy of the difference between ...

    One type of compensatory damages is special damages. They are things that the claimant has already lost up to the date of the date of the court case. Another type of damages is general damages. These are things like pain and suffering and future loss of earnings.

  1. Critically examine the suggestion that punishment today is as much about risk management as ...

    It is what the criminal justice agencies do that is measured rather than what it achieves. Garland (1996, p. 202) argues that actuarial techniques are not merely vehicles for more effective implementation of punishment and policy in fact they are becoming the actual objective of punishment and penal policy.

  2. Imprisonment should only be used as a last resort due to its long-term negative ...

    The detrimental effects of ?total institutions? date back to the critical assessment of Goffman?s (1961) Asylums; although ?institutional neurosis? has been studied in the United Kingdom by Barton (1966). Both identified similar negative effects including ?loss of contact with the outside world; enforced idleness; loss of responsibility, possession and friends? (Barton, 1966: pp63).

  1. Social Ethics and the Justice System. Should abortion be legalised?

    A utilitarian may argue that based on the principle of greatest good for greatest number, the pregnancy should be terminated. As previously stated; utilitarianism encompasses consequentialism, which focuses on the consequences that arise from actions. In this scenario the consequences are the possible mental and physical harm of mother and child.

  2. Perceptions of wrongful convictions amongst Americans working in the criminal justice system.

    direction ? as he has done with so many other students at the university. 1 Table Of Contents Chapter One --- Introduction ---------------------------------------------------- P. 6-24 a. ?Wrongful Conviction? Defined b. Historical and Modern Concerns About Wrongful Conviction 1. Getting Tough on Crime ? Unintended Consequences c.

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