Despite there being a trend in a modern society aiming to limit the use of imprisonment as a disciplinary policy, it remains one of the most effective and most widespread policies.
Crime is a severe problem in modern society. People need a safe environment for happy living, and the state must provide for their safety. Many attempts are made to find new ways of dealing with the growing crime rate. Correctional policies are designed to punish lawbreakers and prevent further crimes. Using a differentiated approach when dealing with different types of crime can bring good results as it considers all peculiarities of each separate crime category.
In Kurt’s book on Actual Experiences of a Probation Officer, he shared that the “Incorrigible Families” he found most straightforward to deal with were those who would loudly demand upfront that the Probation Officer of the Court System “do something.” The more upfront they were with their demands for detention, placement in a foster setting of some sort, and psychiatric hospitalization, the easier it was to address every need with what could not and could be possible within the Juvenile Justice System.
Theories, Origins, and Reasons for Criminal Behaviors
Scientists provide many theories to explain the origins and reasons for criminal behavior. Most of the views turn to the ideas of inequality and trying poor people to get some compensation for their lower status and lack of possibilities in life.
Social Control theory regards all human creatures as naturally inclined to commit crimes and becomes surprised by those who do not. Despite these theories putting all the guilt for the crimes committed on the society, it still serves as additional proof that only retribution policies can bring necessary results.
Rational arguments will not work with people who feel social injustice. That is why preventive measures are not very likely to be effective in this case. At the same time, there is a big hope that imprisonment can become a combination of preventive and punishing measures. It serves as a punishment for actual criminals and reminds them about potential retribution to the potential ones.
Moreover, there are four different theories on crime and punishment, which assume the use of other disciplinary policies. Justice theory is based on the Judeo-Christian idea of paying a debt for the crime committed. The concept of retribution is widely accepted in this system. Such a theory assumes that those who commit crimes will be punished, and victims will feel better knowing about this. The second theory of the disciplinary policy is based on the principle of deterrence. This philosophy is anchored on the idea that punishment should be sure, speedy, commensurate with the crime, and sufficiently conspicuous to deter others from committing crimes. The incapacitation philosophy of correctional policy is based on protecting society from the threat caused by lawbreakers. This protection is provided by putting prisoners in prisons. The fourth theory is based on the principle of rehabilitation. It states that society is responsible for the criminal behavior of individuals and, thus, owes them restoration to help them come back to everyday life.
Community is presented as a complex system of interconnected phenomena.
Incapacitation theory corresponds to the demands of contemporary society. Since the 1960s, the disciplinary policy has emphasized lawbreakers and the community. Offenders and the community are not separated by modern justice. That is why disciplinary procedures should be designed in such a way that would enable offenders to punish and protect the community.
The disciplinary policy is generally aimed to defend the community. In contemporary society, the disciplinary procedure is designed in such a way that it combines retribution and rehabilitation. In addition, studies show that disciplinary policy should be designed to help maintain public safety at the lowest cost. And until the present, prisons proved to be the most economically adequate disciplinary policy, and there are no reasons to doubt this fact.
The Necessity of Imprisonment
An emphasis made on preventive measures during recent times proves to be not as effective as it was considered initially. The growing crime rate demonstrates the ineffectiveness of such a policy. It can be traced to school violence, where imprisonment is not used at all or used very seldom. The growing crime rate becomes additional proof in prison as a disciplinary policy. The first and the main reason is the increasing rate of school violence. The changing definition of school violence has also become a subject of concern. If chewing gum could have been considered school violence several decades ago, bringing a gun to school is usual. Schools, which aim to teach children basic knowledge on different subjects and give them moral and ethical values and behavioral patterns, become the places where children meet violence and crime. Nowadays, school authorities have to deal with severe problems such as sexual assault, rape, drug and alcohol use, verbal threat and abuse, suicide, gun possession, assault with a gun or a knife, etc.
These facts prove that preventive policies alone without punishment are not effective enough.
These arguments prove that imprisonment is the best disciplinary policy that benefits both criminals and society.