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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97394 Find in a Library
Title: Does the Law Need To Know the Effects of Imprisonment?
Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminology  Volume:26  Issue:4  Dated:(October 1984)  Pages:479-491
Author(s): H J Haley
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 13
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: Punishment for crime can be rationally and justly applied only when the precise effects of imprisonment are regulated and designed to achieve the intended correctional goals.
Abstract: Reassessment of the rationale of punishment within Canadian society has had a major impact on the entire criminal justice system. Recent reforms have emphasized the realignment of traditional sentencing objectives to compensate for weakening confidence in the rehabilitative philosophy. Little attention has been paid to the impact of this shift in penal philosophy on the administration of the prison sanction; therefore, correctional programs may not have the guidance needed to conform to new expectations. The shift away from rehabilitation has led to an emphasis on the retributive nature of the criminal sanction. This trend is most evident in the adoption of long minimum sentences. Legislators and judges apparently believe that prisons should be as similar to normal society as possible. However, little as similar to normal society as possible. However, little evidence indicates that this is attainable. Social policymakers must recognize the ramifications of various lengths and conditions of imprisonment and define accepted objectives and standards for prison environments. If punishment is to be inflicted, it should be proportional to the crime. The appropriate measure of punishment can be appreciated only by knowing the actual effects of its administration; therefore, those who determine the punishment should know and appreciate what will happen to the recipient of that punishment. Forty references are listed.
Index Term(s): Canada; Effects of imprisonment; Punishment; Sentence effectiveness
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