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NCJ Number: 64145 Find in a Library
Title: CAN WE COPE WITH ALTERNATIVES?
Journal: CRIME AND DELINQUENCY  Volume:26  Issue:1  Dated:(JANUARY 1980)  Pages:1-9
Author(s): A HEIJDER
Corporate Author: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Newark, NJ 07102
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: PROPOSALS FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PRISON ARE DISCUSSED, EMPHASIZING THE NECESSITY OF SHORTENING PRISON SENTENCES.
Abstract: ALTHOUGH PRISON TERMS HAVE BEEN THE BACKBONE OF CRIMINAL PUNISHMENT FOR YEARS, RECIDIVISM IS TRADITIONALLY HIGH, ESPECIALLY WITH SHORT PRISON TERMS. THE RATIONALE OF THOSE WHO SUPPORT SUBSTITUTES FOR PRISON SENTENCING SHOULD BE EXAMINED BEFORE CHANGES ARE RECOMMENDED. THE POSITION OF THE POLITICAL RADICAL MUST BE DISCOUNTED IN CORRECTIONS REFORM, AS RADICALS IGNORE HISTORY AND FACTS AND DO NOT WISH TO REFORM CORRECTIONS AS MUCH AS ESTABLISH THE PERFECT SOCIETY. LIBERALS, WHO ARE MORE REALISTIC, EMPHASIZE REHABILITATION AND THE HUMAN FACTOR IN CORRECTIONS. HOWEVER, THEY IGNORE NONUTILITARIAN, SOCIETAL GOALS IN CORRECTIONS, SUCH AS INCAPACITATION AND RETRIBUTION. IN DEVISING PUNISHMENTS ALTERNATE TO PRISON, THE ENTIRE COMPLEX CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM MUST BE CONSIDERED, KEEPING IN MIND THAT DETERRENCE RESTS ON SPEEDY ARREST AND TRIAL, ASIDE FROM THE THREAT OF PRISON. EXPERIENCE ALSO SHOWS THAT NONPRISON SUBSTITUTES FOR PRISON TERMS OFTEN MERELY SUBSTITUTE FOR OTHER, NONPRISON PUNISHMENTS. IN ADDITION, EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAMS MUST FIT INTO THE LARGER CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. NEW PROGRAMS WHICH REQUIRE NETWORKS OF DILIGENT PROFESSIONALS WORKING FOR THEIR SUCCESS ARE OFTEN IMPEDED BY LEGISLATURES AND THE JUDICIARY. WHILE SHORTENING ALL PRISON TERMS MIGHT HAVE A GOOD EFFECT ON PRISONS AND THE CRIME RATE, THE ISSUE REQUIRES FURTHER STUDY. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (PAP)
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Correctional planning; Correctional reform; Corrections effectiveness; Deterrence effectiveness; Inmate Programs; Penology; Recidivism; Rehabilitation
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