Are jails and prisons designed to punish or rehabilitate the offender?
Jails and prisons are corrective institutions which are meant to curb criminal activities in the society. They are also meant to punish the offenders. Prisons execute imprisonment which involves legal penalties. Jails and prisons should basically be aimed at punishing and rehabilitating the offender so as he/she will not repeat the crime which he/she was convicted of. The federal spending on correctional activities has also been gradually increasing. In the recent past federal government has been enhancing its efforts to improve jails and prisons conditions as a sign of recognizing some human rights entitled to criminals. Nowadays, those serving imprisonment sentences can access various facilities. These include religious services, education facilities, and recreational facilities in the exercise yard. The prisoners’ health is also well taken care of. Prisoners are also trained and imparted with some skills which may be helpful in their future life. In our contemporary prisons, prisoners are provided with entertainment facilities such as pool tables and TV. (Cavadino & Dignan 2006)
USA jails and prisons are both meant to rehabilitate and punish the offenders. Rehabilitation is an effective method of ensuring no re-offence so as to reduce the number of prisoners’ population. This program seeks to address the casual links to offending, and employ cognitive behavioral approach towards modifying the prisoners’ behaviors. Counselors are used to ensure success of such programs. Those involved in use of prohibited substances and a number of civil crimes are usually rehabilitated. On the other hand, some criminal activities necessitate punishments such as fines, strokes and capital punishment. Capital punishment is applied to serious criminal activities such as terrorism, espionage, treason or mass destruction. (McGuire 2002; Cavadino & Dignan 2006)