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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 63849 Find in a Library
Title: ABILITY OF OUR COMMUNITY TO MAINTAIN THE 'CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM' IS BEING IMPAIRED BY THE PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH IMPRISONMENT - ENGLAND
Author(s): G MACMURCHIE
Corporate Author: Northumbria Police
Chief Constable's Office
Force Headquarters
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 35
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Northumbria Police
Ponteland NE2 0B1, England
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THE CURRENT TREND TOWARD NONCUSTODIAL ALTERNATIVES TO PRISON IN ORDER TO REDUCE PRISON POPULATIONS IS RESULTING IN INCREASED CRIME.
Abstract: PRISONS HAVE EXPERIENCED SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH OVERCROWDING, LIMITED FUNDS FOR BUILDING EXPANSION, STAFFING RESTRAINTS, AND THE INCREASING NUMBERS OF DANGEROUS AND VIOLENT PRISONERS. THE DETERRENT VALUE OF PRISON HAS NOT BEEN PROVED CONCLUSIVELY, AND CRITICS NOW QUESTION THE NECESSITY OF IMPRISONMENT ITSELF. PUBLIC OPINION GENERALLY FAVORS IMPRISONMENT, BUT IS INFLUENTIAL ONLY WHEN SENTENCES ARE PUBLICIZED. LARGE INCREASES IN VIOLENT OFFENSES AGAINST THE PERSON CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO RECIDIVISTS WHO NOW RECEIVE A NONCUSTODIAL SENTENCE INSTEAD OF PRISON. PENAL INSTITUTIONS HAVE NOT BEEN EFFECTIVE IN ALTERING PRISONERS' BEHAVIOR, BUT THIS IS CAUSED IN PART BY OVERCROWDING AND PROBLEMS EX-PRISONERS ENCOUNTER WHEN RELEASED. IN ADDITION, THERE ARE UNWANTED SIDE EFFECTS OF IMPRISONMENT INCLUDING PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPAIRMENT, LOSS OF SOCIAL AND FAMILY CONTACTS, MALTREATMENT BY OTHER PRISONERS, ESTABLISHMENT OF CLOSE TIES WITH OTHER CRIMINALS, AND DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC PROBLEMS FOR THE PRISONER'S FAMILY. IF CRIME CONTINUES TO INCREASE, AND OFFENDERS ARE NOT REMOVED FROM SOCIETY, WE, AS A NATION, WILL EITHER HAVE TO CHANGE EXISTING LAWS TO FAVOR THE POLICE, DRAMATICALLY INCREASE POLICE TO MATCH THE RISE IN CRIME, OR IMPRISON OFFENDERS. THEREFORE THE IMPRISONMENT OF CERTAIN OFFENDERS IS AN INTEGRAL REQUISITE OF A STABLE SOCIETY AND, IN THE ABSENCE OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT, IT REMAINS THE ONLY SENTENCE WHICH IS GUARANTEED TO ACHIEVE THE AIMS OF THE SENTENCERS--INCLUDING THE PROTECTION OF SOCIETY, PUNISHMENT, AND SAFE STORAGE OF PRISONERS. A BRIEF BIBLIOGRAPHY IS PROVIDED. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Corrections effectiveness; Deterrence effectiveness; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Incarceration; Recidivism
Note: INTERMEDIATE COMMAND COURSE 1/79
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63849

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