Ways of punishing criminals – Term Paper

Annotated Bibliography

Brent, J.J., & Kraska P. B. (2011). Theorizing Criminal Justice: Eight essential orientations.  Long Groove: Waveland Press.

In this anthology, the authors are able to stimulate the creative thinking to readers since they provide insightful discussions and usefully pedagogical materials that completely cover criminal justice apparatus. The articles provide understanding about the criminal justice system in America, specifically hinting on theories that relate to behaviors of the police, corrections administrators, and the police. The anthology closely hints on the role, changes, and complex issues that exist within the American prisons.

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Hancock, B., & Sharp, P. (2000). Criminal Justice In America, Theory, Practice, and Policy. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

In this collection of articles, one gets t understands the various fundamental components that make up the American justice system. The 28 articles that exists within this anthology, expound on courts, law enforcement, juvenile justice, corrections, and public policy. By providing an overview of the criminal justice system, the articles clearly give a clear idea of what goes on in American prisons and the trends and changes that exist since their commencement.

Moehling, C., & Piehl, A. (2009). Immigration, Crime, and Incarceration in Early Twentieth-Century America. Demography, 46(4), 739-763.

The authors attempts to inform readers on the state of incarceration in the country and the effect this situation has on the country. The authors also focus on the types of people who are confined and the processes that are taken to ensure that each and every person receive considerable attention. In combining the history and the changing makeover within the criminal justice system, the authors provoke a deeper understanding to readers. Also, they are able to dictate the rate of crime relating it to the rate of incarceration.

Case Study

Before the onset of the American Revolution, the United States on a larger scale began to imprison lawbreakers as a way of punishing criminals. The building of prisons in the United States took place in three waves. The first one took place during the Jackson Era, which saw incarceration and rehabilitative labor as the primary punishment for most crimes in the country (Brent & Kraska, 2011). After the Civil War the second on began and it received significant adaptation during the Progressive Era, where new mechanisms including probation, parole, and indeterminate sentencing were integrated into the American penal system. Finally, from the early 1970s, the prison system of the United States has expanded tremendously at both the state and federal levels. Since 1973, the number of incarcerated citizens in the U.S. has increased tremendously to the extent that 7,000,000 people were under the control of correction services in the country (Moehling & Piehl, 2009). During these three stages, the prison system of the country has realized tremendous changes in its structure. The responsibilities of state and federal agencies, as well as those of prisoners, have evolved massively. Also, the incarceration rate has increased following different reforms, but the crime rate remains constant.

The intrinsic nature of the components of crime and prison vary in regards to societal, psychological, and sociological structures, which solely contribute to recidivism and crime. This makes it difficult to know the actual factors that jointly affect prison population and crime rates in a country. Although these factors have enough information supporting them, the data concentrated on a more extensive comparative analysis of correctional factors within countries. This paper aims to shed insights through evaluation of America’s prison system by focusing on the role and evolution within the system. Also, the paper hints on the rate of incarceration and its effects on the internal and external population within the country. Hinting on the factors that lead to overcrowding within prisons the paper explains the different reforms and policies that continuous to facilitate this challenge (Moehling & Piehl, 2009). Through time America has changed from the instant it received independence. Basing its history of social equality and binding disparities America was able to come up with a justice system that focuses on rehabilitating individuals and releasing them with a changed or better conduct. This paper explains how America’s prison system evolved to the extent that the general public seized to view it as a rehabilitating center and end up neglecting those who came out from the system. It also gives a global view of prisons and how they began, focusing on the most adapted methods that facilitate detainment and confinement of law breaking persons. Through comparison with other countries in the same level as the United States, this paper aims to explain the variation of incarceration rates and how they directly affected the decline or rise of crime rates in the country.  

From time memorial, good people have made significant trends and rationalized efforts to curb crime and evil intentions within the society. From the past, prisons have been widely used to punish and detain wrongdoers. However, through time, prisons have evolved and are widely used globally. They are regarded as the most conventional and rational way of dealing with criminals. Since its onset the prison has served as a convenient space for restraining suspected criminals, an area for the insane, a home for the vagrant, a dreaded place of repute, housing for proper rehabilitation, and an establishment that facilitates charges and sentencing (Moehling & Piehl, 2009). The reforms, movements, and policies are a big part of prison transformation, as they have shaped these institutions to what people see today. It is a result of a combination of historical elements that prison today is a vast enterprise which holds citizens who don’t abide by the law.

Treatment of wrongdoers and criminals is one of the failing tests of civilization in every country. By observing earliest records, one can notice that people who choose to break the law have continuously existed and remained constant. However, the society made significant transformation through reforms and political policies to change the justice system into a discipline that focuses on putting transgressors in prison so that they can receive the correct rehabilitation to change their conduct. Using prison as a way of punishment has remained to be popular until now, and it has proved to be an effective way of changing the mindset of criminals, however not fully as expected due to upcoming issues and challenges (Brent & Kraska, 2011).

Looking back at the rudimentary times where gladiator deaths, horrific public executions, and subversive confinements were the hard and shocking realities that faced criminals, it is right to say the American prison system has come a long way. It is clear that refined progression within the correctional and prison establishments has made the sector more convenient and efficient in its practice and functions. However, the challenges that face the justice system in the United States make the final result of criminals unsatisfactory, because after they are released, they end up breaking the law again and find themselves back in prison (Moehling & Piehl, 2009). Classical prison methods and practices aimed at inflicting vengeance to criminal offenders while contemporary methods aim at reforming inmates so that they can refrain from committing crimes in future. Rehabilitating criminals for the common good of the general public and offenders themselves did not gain popularity until the Age of Enlightenment.