skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 120790 Find in a Library
Title: Penalty of Imprisonment
Author(s): L Blom-Cooper
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 59
Sponsoring Agency: Prison Reform Trust
London , EC1V 0JR
Publication Number: ISBN 0-946209-11-1
Sale Source: Prison Reform Trust
15 Northburgh Street
United Kingdom
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The historical development of England's prison system is reviewed, and penal policies to deal with the crisis in English prisons are proposed.
Abstract: The authors contend that prisons exist because societies have found it expedient to provide places in which to segregate certain citizens from social intercourse. Further, they feel that England's criminal justice system is not capable of being fair, humane, or effective and that humanity and punishment are at loggerheads. Imprisonment has been variously used to satisfy fluctuating purposes, such as punishment, deterrence, rehabilitation, humane containment, and social defense. Given this state of flux, the proper function of imprisonment as a major response to crime cannot be regarded as static or immutable. In addition, attitudes toward criminal justice and imprisonment are strongly influenced by history and tradition. Four objectives of penal policies should be to reduce crime, show concern for victims, denounce the offense, and use residual imprisonment to contain the few from whom society can be protected in no other way. Arguments against the extensive use of imprisonment in the United Kingdom focus on cost and effectiveness.
Main Term(s): Incarceration
Index Term(s): Foreign correctional systems; Foreign criminal justice systems; Punishment; United Kingdom (UK)
Note: Tanner Lectures delivered at the University of Cambridge, November 30-December 2, 1987
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.