Punishment vs. Rehabilitation

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: Punishment vs. Rehabilitation: What Society Wants vs. What Works

It’s a popular notion that harsh punishment in prison should act as a deterrent to crime. The slogan “to be tough on crime” often extends to the conditions in prison. The evolution of punishment has included executions, corporal punishment, hard labor, and exile.

Despite the presence of harsh punishments since the last twenty years, there has been only a slight deterrent effect. Conversely, approaches to reduce recidivism through evidence-based practices and programs have succeeded.

It is important to understand the goals of punishment and how they relate to public opinion and prison philosophy within the context of what works according to recent research.

Public opinion often recommends harsh punishments and labor for inmates during their incarceration.

Evaluate the use of hard labor and even chain gangs and compare to the theories of criminal rehabilitation and the impact on society. For example, the governor of North Carolina has ordered the use of inmates to clean up public areas after Hurricane Irene in 2011.

Tasks:

Look for the quantitative and qualitative research available to you on the use of inmate labor in your state and one other state using the Argosy University online library resources and prepare a 2- to 3-page paper addressing the following:

  • Evaluate the outcome of making inmates do hard labor and compare the theories of criminal rehabilitation and the impact on society.
  • Find research evaluating the outcome of making inmates do hard labor. Does the research support the use of hard labor as an effective method to elicit rehabilitation? Analyze and explain.

Note: Make sure you include a reference page in APA style.

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