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NCJ Number: 76568 Find in a Library
Title: Indeterminate Sentence and the Right to Treatment (From Justice as Fairness, P 69-99, 1981, David Fogel and Joe Hudson, ed. - See NCJ-76564)
Author(s): E B Prettyman
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 31
Sponsoring Agency: Anderson Publishing Co
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Sale Source: Anderson Publishing Co
Publicity Director
2035 Reading Road
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines the failure of the indeterminate sentence as a rehabilitative device, with particular attention to Maryland's Patuxent Institution for the Defective Delinquent.
Abstract: The indeterminate sentence in its purest form imposes incarceration on a convicted offender for a period that may extend from a minimum of 1 day to a maximum of life. Such a sentence has been in use for the past 18 years at Maryland's Patuxent Institution, a facility whose historical and theoretical roots go back to the 19th century. The argument for the indeterminate sentence is essentially two-fold: (1) if the inmate knows that release is contingent upon rehabilitation, motivation is there to work toward release; and (2) some prisoners are so bent on criminal behavior that they cannot be allowed loose in society. Disillusionment with indeterminate sentencing is growing, and interviews with various inmates at Patuxent largely support critics of the indeterminate sentence. Despite claims that Patuxent is more like a hospital than a prison, it is a prison in every sense that counts. The prisoners' attitudes about the following are discussed: strict rules, attitudes, treatment games, arbitrary action, staff quality, education, and post release. Patuxent inmates despise the indeterminate sentence to a man, including those with sentences as long as 25 years who fully expect to be released under the Patuxent system far in advance of that time. The case of McNeil v. Director is discussed as representative of the basic difficulties of the institution. Antitherapeutic forces existing at the institution are fear of bodily harm from fellow inmates; hatred of the institution's top officials and of other personnel; distrust of the guards; a mind-boggling anxiety about an ever indefinite release date; cynicism about psychiatry, therapy, rehabilitation, and reform; and an overiding feeling of unfairness about the way the inmates were selected for Patuxent to the institution's operation and release requirements. A total of 127 annotated footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Custody vs treatment conflict; Indeterminate sentences; Maryland; Psychiatric services; Right to refuse treatment; Right to treatment; Role playing
Note: Reprinted from the American Criminal Law Review, V 2, N 1, 1972.
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