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Correctional Theory Essay

1402 words - 6 pages

Correctional Theories
Amber Eagler

This paper is about working in a senator’s office as a staffer. The latest charges of abuse at the local jail, has caught the attention of the senator. The senator has recently been focusing on the state correctional system which has become a constant target of criticism for an increasingly vocal number of civil libertarian groups. The senator is speaking before the state bar association next week and intends to address the ways in which the correctional system may be improved. This paper is a detailed outline on the correctional theory in general, as well as a ...view middle of the document...

(Merriam-Webster) Basically, retribution is a punishment given to someone that is deserved because of the crime they have committed. Retribution is seen as the reason behind sentencing. People go by the saying “An eye for an eye” meaning vengeance for a crime. Mahatma Gandhi, a man of peace, once said “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” If everyone gets even, after a while there won't be any one left. Think about it, if we all take an eye or two for every eye we lose pretty soon no one will be able to see at all.
Sentencing is a combination of retribution and utilitarian principles of correction. The purpose of corrections is to attain justice for the victim and to rehabilitate a convicted offender. Utilitarianism is a doctrine that the useful is the good and that the determining consideration of right conduct should be the usefulness of its consequences. (Merriam-Webster) This means that if someone’s actions are right and honest, then they tend to encourage the better good for everyone else. Utilitarianism concentrates on the differences between right, wrong, and consequences.
Competing Theories
Today’s correctional theories include: community service, home confinement, split sentencing, shock probation, shock incarceration, mixed sentencing, intensive probation supervision, and electronic monitoring. Split sentencing involves imprisonment with probation (community service) and jail time. Shock probation involves the offender being retained in custody and if granted later they are put on probation. Shock incarceration is where offenders are sent to a military boot camp that enforces hard work, strict discipline, and physical training. Mixed sentencing can vary from jail time to supervised probation. Intensive probation is five face to face contacts between the offender and supervisor every week. These meetings include mandatory curfews, weekly checks of arrest records, routine drug and alcohol tests, and a required number of community service hours. Now on to, home confinement (House Arrest) and electronic monitoring, the offender is forced to stay in the confinements of their home; the only exceptions to house arrest are work, household duties, and health related emergencies.
The Goals of Corrections
The goals of corrections are to punish and rehabilitate offenders. Rehabilitative programs are used to lower recidivism (relapse of crime) rates. Using rehabilitative approaches help to minimize overcrowded prisons. This program is used for juveniles that haven’t graduated; they have the opportunity to get their GED or attend a vocational school. The main goals of corrections are to help...

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