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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 84045 Find in a Library
Title: National Conference on Alternatives to Incarceration, Boston, Massachusetts - Reels 10-11
Author(s): Anonymous
Date Published: Unknown
Sponsoring Agency: National Council of Churches
New York, NY 10027
Format: Film
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Two college students debate with two inmates from Massachusetts over whether prisons should be abolished. The inmates favor abolishment; the students do not.
Abstract: Prisons should be abolished because they fail to rehabilitate offenders or deter crime. Prisons turn men into homosexuals, are places of guilt and wretchedness, and encourage violence. A total of 89 percent of America's 4,100 prisons have no educational facilities and 86 percent have no recreational facilities. Massachusetts spends $14,000 a year to keep 1 prisoner locked up, and 90 percent of the State's correctional budget is spent on personnel salaries rather than on rehabilitative services. The use of prisons only to punish causes more crime, whereas community-based corrections can help rehabilitate offenders within their own communities. On the other hand, the students argue that prisons are needed to control hardcore offenders even if all social/economic inequities were abolished. A prison can be 'without walls,' but some form of containment is needed for dangerous felons. Society must still control those people who cannot abide by its rules and repeatedly harm others. The demolition of prisons will not solve the problem of protecting society from repeat offenders. Prison conditions must change, but the need for some form of prison will remain. Audience questions conclude the session.
Index Term(s): Abolishment of prisons; Community-based corrections (adult); Correctional reform; Custody vs treatment conflict; Incarceration; Massachusetts
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. 2 videotapes, total running time 1 hour, 50 minutes, black and white, 1/2 inch. For the complete conference proceedings, see NCJ-84038-84046.
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