skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 98760 Find in a Library
Title: Illusion of Prison Reform - Corrections in Canada
Author(s): H Gamberg; A Thomson
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 164
Sponsoring Agency: Peter Lang Publishing Co
New York, NY 10001-6708
Sale Source: Peter Lang Publishing Co
Marketing Manager
257 7th Avenue
28th Floor
New York, NY 10001-6708
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study of Canadian prisons examines the body of ideas which have historically justified prisons and the meaning of attempts to change them.
Abstract: The empirical observations recounted in this monograph were derived from a study of the Federal penitentiary system in Atlantic Canada. The empirical focus is the changing ideological context of prison policies which have permeated a relatively recent reform trend that emphasizes segregation and punishment. A historical review of retribution and reformation movements considers classical criminology, the rise of the penitentiary, American institutional developments, and the positivism tradition in criminology. Liberal and conservative criminology are compared in their influence on justifications for prisons. The authors discuss a variety of recent programs and techniques devised to deter recidivism and punish with specific doses of severity tailored to the crime. The discussion demonstrates that the overall failure of the correctional system to produce positive changes in offenders has led to periodic attempts to reform the correctional system, to change the prison from a punitive to a rehabilitative institution, and to establish community-based rehabilitation programs. The authors argue that these trends have failed to deal with the basic problem facing Canadian corrections, which is identified as a body of assumptions and theories about crime and punishment that have persisted throughout every reform effort. This body of assumptions and theories is examined in a review of the development of the post-1945 version of the rehabilitative ethic and an analysis of the programs which were established within the parameters of this philosophy. The most recent trend in corrections, however, is noted to be toward a more punitive model. The concluding chapter summarizes the monograph's general finding about corrections and the role of reform. A rethinking of prison reform is outlined. Approximately 165 references are listed.
Index Term(s): Canada; Correctional institutions (adult); Correctional reform; Corrections policies; History of corrections
Note: American University Studies, Series 11, Anthropology/Sociology V 5.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.