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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78128 Find in a Library
Title: Justice and Consequences
Author(s): J P Conrad
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 182
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Sale Source: Lexington Books
866 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Philosophies of imprisonment and ways to improve prison life are examined.
Abstract: In the foreseeable future, prisons will continue to be the symbols of justice and secure confinement for those who have committed heinous crimes and shown themselves to be extremely dangerous to the public. There is a widespread disillusionment with the effectiveness of prisons for changing criminal behavior and reducing crime. This has resulted from an exclusively utilitarian view of imprisonment, which is based in the assumption that criminals have no free will, but are subject to and responsive to their environment, which is the critical element in producing and changing human behavior. Based on this assumption, the prison has been labeled an ineffective environment for change, as utilitarians have pressed for community-based programs deemed more appropriate environments for change. Under this climate of utilitarian cynicism, the incentive for improving prison environments has waned while the population of prisons has increased. The remedy for the deterioration of life in prisons is to abandon the utilitarian penological approach in favor of a commitment to social justice for its own sake. Efforts to create a humane environment in prisons may not show a significant correlation with crime reduction, but they do manifest a society's sensitivity to human need and the humane treatment of all its citizens as important values in themselves. Based on this commitment to social justice in the prisons, the book's individual chapters focus on the handling of the dangerous juvenile offender, the control of gang violence in California prisons, prison architecture, the abolition of parole, and evaluation in corrections. Notes accompany each chapter, and an index is provided.
Index Term(s): Environmental quality; Gangs; Incarceration; Inmate Programs; Parole; Penology; Prison construction; Prisoner's rights; Violent juvenile offenders; Violent offenders
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