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NCJ Number: 67739 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: ARGUMENT FOR PRISON ABOLITION
Journal: JOINT ENDEAVOR  Volume:6  Issue:3  Dated:(JANUARY 1980)  Pages:10-16
Author(s): L PAULSON; S WADE
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ARGUMENTS FOR THE ABOLITION OF PRISONS ARE PRESENTED AND AN ALTERNATIVE SYSTEM IS PROPOSED WHEREBY OFFENDERS, ACCOMPANIED BY GUARDS, WOULD BE ALLOWED IN THE COMMUNITY.
Abstract: CRIMINOLOGISTS HAVE OBSERVED THAT PRISONS DO NOT CURB CRIME, DO NOT PROTECT THE PUBLIC, AND RESULT IN A NET INCREASE IN CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR. ALTHOUGH IMPRISONMENT AS PUNISHMENT WAS INTRODUCED LESS THAN 200 YEARS AGO AS AN EXCITING REFORM, MYTHS PERSIST ABOUT IMPRISONMENT. ONE MYTH MAINTAINS THAT IMPRISONMENT IS A GREAT IMPROVEMENT OVER ALL PREVIOUS PUNISHMENTS, ESPECIALLY OVER THE BARBARITY THAT CONTINUED FROM THE MIDDLE AGES TO THE PRESENT DAY THROUGH THE PRACTICE OF INCARCERATION WAS A SAVAGE DEVELOPMENT FROM THE PRACTICE IN PREVIOUS CENTURIES OF A SYSTEM OF GRADED FINES. FINALLY, QUESTIONS ABOUT THE GENERAL EFFICACY OF DETERRENCE AS EFFECTED THROUGH IMPRISONMENT NEED TO BE RAISED. CURRENT REFORMERS ARE EITHER UNIMAGINATIVE AND ARE ACTUALLY OFFERING MINOR VARIANTS OF THE SAME OLD INAPPROPRIATE SYSTEM, OR THEY ARE VEERING TOWARDS HARSHER MEASURES (PSYCHOTROPIC DRUG CONTROL OF INMATES, ELECTRONIC DEVICES IMPLANTED IN OFFENDERS' BRAINS). FURTHER RESISTANCE TO CHANGE COMES FROM THE SELF-PERPETUATING PRISON BUREAUCRACY. IF PRISONS WERE ABOLISHED AND IMAGINATIVE ALTERNATIVES WERE CREATED PRISONERS (WHO ARE MOSTLY POOR AND SOCIALLY DISADVANTAGED) MIGHT RECEIVE SOME OF THE CHANCES THE MORE SOCIALLY ADVANTAGED HAVE HAD. ONE SUCH ALTERNATIVE WOULD BE THE SURVEILLANCE OF OFFENDERS BY ONE OR MORE GUARDS, A SYSTEM WHICH WOULD EMPLOY ALL THOSE PERSONNEL CURRENTLY BEING USED IN PRISONS, BUT WOULD LESSEN THE PUNITIVENESS AND OPPRESSION FELT BY OFFENDERS. (MHP)
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Incarceration; Supervised liberty
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67739

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