Evolution Of Corrections Essay

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The evolution of corrections throughout history has been key in forming what is the contemporary criminal justice system across a range of Anglo-American countries; such as the US, England, Wales and other European countries. The development of the correctional systems is intrinsically linked with the development of the broad philosophical, political and social themes which influence criminal justice space. Retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, isolation, incapacitation, reintegration, restitution and restoration are major punishment philosophies of which guide modern corrective programs, agencies and institutions through ideology and policy. Constant debate surrounds these corrective programs, agencies and institutions, to determine what …show more content…
Practices such as monetary fines, bodily suffering and incarceration. However, whilst such acts can be said to be punishment, without a definition one does not know what elements of the actions constitute punishment. Anthony Flew (1954) offered a definition of punishment; that the act must be evil or unpleasant motivated through an offence having been committed. Over a decade later, Herbert Packer revisited this ambiguous punishment definition and redefining it as an act with three distinguishing elements as part of the action of punishment. Firstly an offence must have taken place, secondly the act must inflict pain as a resulting of the offence having been committed and finally the dominate purpose of the act is to prevent further offenses or inflict deserved pain upon the offender. Whilst packer’s definition made it easier to determine what elements were at play in a punishment method of corrections, the definition was not comprehensive enough to allow comparisons to other methods of corrections. To get such an overview of punishment, one must look closely at the philosophies which makeup a range of punishment methods; retribution, deterrence, and …show more content…
The law of Lex Talionis is an example of retribution; whereby the act of punishment is an act of retaliation or revenge committed in a similar degree. It is the notion of an eye for an eye. Whilst Lex Talionis is no present in the modern criminal justice system, the ideal was reborn in the 1970’s where a derivative of the law emerged; the rational of deserts or retributive justice. This new rational drove policy change through the 1970’s as it suggests criminals deserve punishment for the sake of punishment. Over the past three decades the definition of desert has evolved and is now uses as a moral responsibility to punish coupled with proportional punishment. In the 1990’s retributive critics suggested that the philosophy of retribution had evolved into a philosophy of penal harm; punishment which was to be

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