A Consideration of Prison Ethics: Punishment vs. Rehabilitation - Essay Example

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A Consideration of Prison Ethics: Punishment vs. Rehabilitation

Although this is an extremely simplistic way of looking at the problem of punishment the fact is that over the centuries no-one has found an effective balance between the two ideals and that could be one of the reasons for our ever growing prison populations. Punishment At present the ideology in terms of punishment in American society at least, is retributive. This stemmed from a mid 20th century debate between the merits of rehabilitation and a form of fixed sentences that was uniform (and therefore fair) and applied to everybody. The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 and subsequent political acts took care of that and has been adhered through to present day. The philosophy behind this legislation is that rehabilitation is not effective for all individuals and therefore society needs to be protected from individuals who do wrong (against others or property) with the best way of doing that perceived as being incarceration or incapacitation (Zimring). ...Show more

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Although this is an extremely simplistic way of looking at the problem of punishment the fact is that over the centuries no-one has found an effective balance between the two ideals and that could be one of the reasons for our ever growing prison populations. …
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