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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98547 Find in a Library
Title: Long-Term Trends in Criminal Justice in the United States - How Did We Get Here? (From Proceedings of the 29th Annual Southern Conference on Corrections, P 133-147, 1984 - See NCJ-98537)
Author(s): P P Lejins
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 15
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After describing the historic periods of corrections characterized by punishment, incapacitation, and rehabilitation, this paper argues for the application of a systemic model that incorporates all three aspects and goals of corrections in varying degrees according to offender characteristics and needs.
Abstract: Prior to the 18th century, corporal and capital punishment were applied to offenders along with mutilation, fines, confiscation, and banishment. In the 18th century, prisons replaced more severe corporal punishments as well as the wholesale use of capital punishment. The 19th century emphasized changing offenders through education, while the 20th century turned to the use of the behavioral sciences to rehabilitate offenders. In the mid-1960's rehabilitation was discredited by evaluation studies, and policymakers groped for a new corrections philosophy. The policy vacuum has been filled by a renewed emphasis on punishment and incapacitation, resulting in prison overcrowding. To resolve the current criminal justice policy crisis, the equal importance of punishment, incapacitation, and rehabilitation should be recognized; all three approaches should be applied to offenders according to their characteristics and needs. Research must establish which distinguishing characteristics qualify offenders for particular strategies.
Index Term(s): Convicted offender incapacitation; Corrections policies; History of corrections; Prison overcrowding; Punishment; Rehabilitation; Trend analysis
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