The Prison System Analysis

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In order to understand the existence of the prison system in current society, it is important to recognise its history, goals and criticisms. Prison emerged as the central penalty in the criminal justice system in the United states in the 1820s. Originally, the prison was merely a holding station for the offenders before they were transported or hung. The current prison system was developed by the idea that isolating the prisoner, providing a strict routine and removing the offender from bad influences was a more reformative and humanitarian form of punishment than torture or death. Reformers also proposed that idleness was the root of deviant and criminal behaviour. By logical extension, by placing the lazy and unemployed criminals into a …show more content…
Prison served the purpose of removing the deviant sects of society and enforcing surveillance on the group in hopes they would self-regulate. Foucault’s main concern was the possibility that prison mentality would spread to wider society – surveillance and segregation would become the norm.

Contrastingly, Durkheim held a move favourable view of the prison system. By punishing deviant acts and utilising the harsh sanction of prison, Durkheim believed that values and an appropriate moral standard would be reinforced on society. Essentially, Durkheim believed that prison helped shape society in dictating between right and wrong.

Ultimately, it is important to view prisons as more than just a punishment in the criminal justice system. By analysing the original purpose of prisons, the goals of prison and the countless reports of prisons’ inability to meet these goals – one can barely understand the reasons behind the existence of prisons. It is pivotal to take into account the critical perspectives of Smith, Foucault, Rusche and Kircheimer when deciding is prisons can be justified in modern day society. Prisons serve no humanitarian purpose and are ineffective – their existence propels segregation and a hostile

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