Purpose of corrections: punishment, or rehabilitation? | CRJ 410 – Corrections | Strayer University

To successfully complete this, you will need to:

  • Refer to:
    • An Overview of the First Step Act. (https://www.bop.gov/inmates/fsa/overview.jsp)
      • This resource provides a thumbnail description of 2018’s First Step Act. This Act’s purpose is to: improve criminal justice outcomes, reduce the size of the Federal prison population, and to create mechanisms to maintain public safety.
    • The First Step Act of 2018: An Overview [PDF]. (attached)
      • This resource provides a more detailed overview of the First Step Act’s effect on inmates and their families.

 

The United States has experienced a corrections explosion over the past 40 years, despite a decrease in serious crime during this same period. Consider statistics such as these. Since 1980, the:

  • Number of people on probation has increased by nearly 300%.
  • Prison population has increased by more than 400%.
  • Federal imprisonment rate has increased 500% (Schmalleger, 2021).

Even though we are in the midst of a period of mass incarceration in the United States, we know that incarceration doesn’t work. Consider this quote from the video, Psychology, Criminality, and Incarceration in America: “Prisons don’t work. People do not get corrected in today’s prisons. Convicts come out worse than when they went in and are even a greater threat to society than before” (Lary, 2010). The Bureau of Justice Statistics has evidence supporting this sentiment. The 2018 Update on Prisoner Recidivism states an estimated:

  • 68% of released prisoners were arrested within 3 years.
  • 79% within 6 years.
  • 83% within 9 years (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2018).

 

Instructions

After reviewing the resources provided in the overview, you are to write a 2–3 pages in which you:

  1. Distinguish among the four functions of corrections: retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation.
    • Be sure to illustrate the distinctions with current and/or historical examples.
  2. Summarize the arguments for and criticisms of each of the four corrections functions.
  3. Explain the current state of each of the four corrections functions in the United States.
  4. Select a minimum of three corrections improvements included in the Psychology, Criminality, and Incarceration in America video that appear promising and explain why you think so.
  5. Use three sources to support your writing.
    • Choose sources that are credible, relevant, and appropriate.
    • Cite each source listed on your source page at least one time within your assignment.
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