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University of Ottawa

The prison is considered so natural that it is extremely hard to imagine life without it Davis 2003 It is imbedded in our society a part of life but yet it is not contributing positively in the growth of society or its individuals Harsher punishments and longer sentences are being handed out while people are being incarcerated by the masses and there is still no reduction in crime rates The question now becomes are prisons a valuable option in crime reduction The answer is no they are not Mathiesen states that International comparisons have not shown any tendency indicating that stiffer penalties bring about a lower crime level Mathiesen 2006 Prisons do more harm than good they are not helping in reducing crime are not rehabilitating inmates to give them a chance at life outside of prison walls and are not providing the same skills community based alternative do these are all reasons why prisons should be abolished These alternatives are solid arguments in further the argument for prison abolition There are numerous positive alternatives that can help create the same security but are more beneficial to the offender and community Marion 2004Statistics are the basis of solidifying a theory or implementing a new system Statistics should be highly considered in regards to the abolition of the carceral system Numbers have shown that harsh punishments do not deter crimes from being committed the higher the crime rate in a given group the less effective punishment will be as a preventative measure Mathiesen 2006 A prison sentence is meant to deter inmates from reoffending but the exact opposite is happening recidivism rates are increasing due to lack of rehabilitation education and the increase of prisonization The lack of education provided is not helping the inmates once released it is only taking away the tools needed to succeed after their prison sentence These tools help inmates comprehend and positively understand prevention in a violent situation such as the prison The prison has its own society that is filled with crime such as drug use and assault The culture within the prison can lead to longer sentences for violent acts or further imprisonment of solitary confinement this is all due to the nature of having to protect ones self and territory The culture of prison dehabilitates inmates this creates a bigger risk of recidivism upon release due to not being able to functioning in a working society SeiterKadela 2003 With no social services available after release prisoners are forced to find other means of survival survival tactics from the past or new ones learned in prison Most distressing is that a large number of releasees are returned to prison for committing new crimes Seiter et al 2003 There is no decline in crime rates there is just a higher rate in recidivismThe purpose of rehabilitation in prison is to return the offender back to competence before the crime Mathiesen 2006 This is usually attained with the aid of educational work and counselling services This would all be extremely helpful to the prisoner if these ideologies and services were provided as it is advertised prison barely provides inmates with skills that will help them succeed outside of the prison environment These methods of rehabilitation need to go on as advertised to create legitimacy when this occurs prisoners will advance in rehabilitation Mathiesen 2006 A big part of rehabilitation is to provide work services that help prepare the prisoners for work outside of prison but these are all small time meaningless or nonexistent jobs that do not help qualify the prisoner for part time employmentMost prisoners released generally attempt to find a job and avoid future criminality but Seiter et al states that he world to which they return is drastically different from the one they left regarding availability of jobs family support community resources and willingness to assist exoffenders Seiter et al 2003 There is no use for prisons as a form of punishment and rehabilitation if the rehabilitation process does not affect the prisoner positively all it is doing is creating stigmatization and dehabilitating offenders Education and counselling is even a harder to attain than work experience
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