Mini Paper Punishment Philosophy
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The penalties or punishment in the realm of corrections reflect the philosophies and ethics of civilizations and the governments that sanction implementation. Historically corrections were grounded in “retribution and punishment- and the uglier the better”; “punishments were public occasions and street spectacles “filled with humiliation (Esperian, 2010). Then in the Nineteenth Century there was the rise of the penitentiary and was designated lawbreakers a confined place to contemplate on the transgressions committed, by repenting and preparing for life outside confinement, to be law-abiding citizens of society (Esperian , 2010). Today punishment in corrections considers concepts such as retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and vengeance; therein implementations of different models of correctional philosophies, such as the justice model, the medical model, and the custodial model, have developed (Hebrews 13:3). All theories for the field of corrections are grounded in rehabilitative resources to help and guide offenders in gaining a fruitful life (Isaiah 43:18)
Punishment is the “penalty inflicted on an offender through judicial procedure” (Merriam-Webster, 2004). The penalties or punishment in the realm of corrections reflect the philosophies and ethics of civilizations and the governments that sanction implementation. Historically corrections were grounded in “retribution and punishment- and the uglier the better”; “punishments were public occasions and street spectacles “filled with humiliation (Esperian, 2010). Then in the Nineteenth Century there was the rise of the penitentiary and was designated lawbreakers a confined place to contemplate on the transgressions committed, by repenting and preparing for life outside confinement, to be law-abiding citizens of society (Esperian , 2010). Today punishment in corrections considers concepts such as retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, vengeance, etc.; therein implementations of different models of correctional philosophies, such as the justice model, the medical model, and the custodial model, have developed. The models include and overlap in some theories, yet the primary goal of all correctional models is to prevent further crime from occurring or rehabilitation along with lower recidivism in the system (Seiter, 2005) (1 John 1:9 New International Version). Justice Model
The justice model of punishment theory proposed in 1975 by David Fogel, who was a liberal former correctional official. David Fogel (1975) “argued that treatments in prisons were a myth, parole board discretion was unpredictable and unfair to the inmates” (Seiter, 2005, p. 166). The justice model rooted in retributive theory that holds offenders accountable for actions, keeping convicted offenders isolated from the society of the law-abiding, and making the offender serve “hard time” (Mackenzie, 2001) (Barton, 2012). Fogel (1975) thought his ideas would ensure that offenders’ received just what they deserved. To accomplish his justice model prisons would return to the flat determinate sentencing, with procedures and rules to limit sentence discretion. The parole boards and parole agencies entirely eliminated, and all treatment programs for rehabilitation would be strictly voluntary, (Barton, 2012) (Seiter, 2005, p. 166) (Galatians 6:7). Medical Model
The medical model of punishment theory suggested that “offenders were sick, inflicted with problems that caused their criminality and needed treatment. Introducing rehabilitative treatment would treat and resolve the offenders’ problems and prepare them for release into the community to be productive and crime free” (Seiter, 2005, p. 23). Under the 14th amendment to the United States Constitution, the federal courts were inundated with appeals by inmates to improve the conditions of most prison due to conditions that were cruel and inhumane punishment. The appeals and conditions of the prisons began the rehabilitative period including the medical model, indeterminate sentencing, almost unlimited judicial discretion, parole, and coerced participation in rehabilitation programs (Seiter, 2005, pp. 23, 164-167) (MacNamara, 2006) (Hebrews 13:3). Custodial Model
The custodial model of punishment theory is established on the basis that the incarcerated offenders are a danger to the safety of society, are undisciplined, and lack respect of any authority (McWhorter, 2010). Many prisons today, such as maximum security prisons, operate under this model. There is great emphasis placed on security for staff as well as the inmates, discipline and order similar to the military, incapacitation, and monitoring of movements. These precautions must be taken due to the nature of the crimes the offenders committed and their propensity toward violence (Mackenzie, 2001) (Seiter, 2005) (Colossians 3:25). Conclusion
The world of corrections will always need prisons working under the custodial model; there will always be those inmates who will not accept rehabilitation and have no intentions of ever changing their violent, dangers, and evil ways (Isaiah 48:22). The more convincing argument for the appropriate purposes of corrections is the medical theory. This approach enables the offender to rehabilitate himself or herself to be a productive member of society. Medical does not necessarily mean physical illness, but a “sin sickness” that needs rehabilitation (James 5:16). The “medicines” to help the offender must be taken seriously, faithfully, and by their free will. This treatment could involve then implementation of one or some of these programs such as, educational courses, essential skills and apprenticeship training, visitation.
The treatment based programs could range from self-esteem, alcohol abuse, substance abuse, anger management, family classes, and domestic violence. All these programs would allow for probation instead of incarceration for non-violent offenders and provide mentors in society. These programs would pay for themselves with volunteers, and the reduced recidivism while implemented (Ecclesiastes 4:10). There must be deterrence from committing crimes and should be started in the community before offenses happens; there must be heed taken to remove the criminogenic elements in society. Christian societies should pray for those who are in authority and for the government (1Timothy 2:1-4), and should vote for ruling representatives with Godly discernment (1 John 4:10). Living in Godly principles, the laws will have more meaning and understanding which will allow for the goal of rehabilitated citizens (Matthew 25: 23).
Barton, A. (2012, August 1). Just deserts theory. Retrieved from Encyclopedia of Prisons & Correctional Facilities: http://www.sagepub.com/hanserintro/study/materials/reference/ref3.1.pdf Esperian , J. H. (2010, December). The effect of prison education programs on recidivism . Journal of Correctional Education, 61(4), 316-334. Retrieved July 2014, from http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA345617852&v=2.1&u=vic_liberty&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w&asid=cd6fb63c1b476073983acfb66c593b5c Mackenzie, D. L. (2001, July). Sentencing and corrections in the 21st century: setting the stage for the future. Retrieved from ncjrs.gov: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/189106-2.pdf MacNamara, D. E. (2006). The medical model in corrections. Criminology, 14(4), 439-448. doi:10.1111/j.1745-9125.1977.tb00036.x McWhorter, R. L. (2010). Punishment. Salem Health: Psychology & Mental Health, IV, 1563-1566. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CCX2275200464&v=2.1&u=vic_liberty&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=w&asid=184cd16bb595f9d0b96c22fca2e01642 Merriam-Webster. (2004). punishment. Retrieved from Merriam-Webster: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/punishment Seiter, R. P. (2005). Corrections: an introduction (Fourth ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.