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NCJ Number: 166476 Find in a Library
Title: Chain Gangs Are Right for Florida; Chain Gangs Are Cruel and Unusual Punishment; Back on the Chain Gang
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:58  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1996)  Pages:178-184
Author(s): C Crist; R Brownstein; M N Reynolds
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 7
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Three papers assess the use of "chain gangs" for State prison inmates.
Abstract: A State senator from Florida, which has chain gangs, supports their use. He argues that inmates' work on highways and in public places is an appropriate punishment. It puts criminals to work and forces them to do something positive for the society they have damaged with their criminal behavior. Chain gangs ensure that prison is not pleasant, so criminals will be deterred from committing crimes that bring them back to prison. Additionally, chain gangs are a useful prison management tool, since inmates are tired at the end of the day, and there is no need for recreation as a management tool during the day. Another paper argues against the use of chain gangs. They are viewed as a throwback to the days of slavery and involve the demeaning of an inmate's worth. Chain gangs do nothing to prepare inmates to re- enter society and become employed in an occupation that builds self-esteem and provides an adequate income. Those who view chain gangs as a tool to inflict harsh punishment fail to note the research which shows that punishment does not reduce crime or recidivism. A third article reviews the history of chain gangs in America and identifies the issues in the current debate about chain gangs. 11 references
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Alabama; Correctional industries; Deterrence; Florida; Punishment
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