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Punishment Vs Rehabilitation Essay

In the 1700’s before there were correctional systems to incarcerate offenders, people were brutally beaten as a punishment until they became a little more humane and started putting them in jail to serve time as a punishment. In the early 1800’s the first real prison in the United States was available to put offenders away, this prison was called Philadelphia’s walnut street jail and this prison was viewed as the perfect opportunity for offenders to think about the crimes that they have committed and admit to what they have done.

In the Mid 1800’s the Cherry Hill penitentiary was opened and this prison was said to be humane and gave the inmates the opportunity for rehabilitation. Today our correctional system punishes offenders who violate the law by either fines, probation or incarceration. Fines are a kind of punishment enforced by a judge usually based on nonviolent criminal violations.

Probation is an alternative for incarceration, a judge can release and offender out on probation under the conditions that the offender will stay out of trouble under the supervision of a probation officer and generally get some sort of help whether it be counseling or attend drug and alcohol programs. And incarceration is when an offender is held in prison under a sentence imposed by a judge. Capital punishment is another form of punishment that and offender can be sentences to, this punishment is also known as the death penalty.

A person accused of committing a capital crime will be put in front of a jury who will then decide whether or not the accused should be sentenced to death. After it is decided that the accused should be sentenced to death the defendant is allowed to appeal in which it will pass through four stages for reviewing before the state can actually go through with the capital punishment. In many ways our correctional system rehabilitates offenders today through Education, work programs and even counseling programs.

The education and work programs are to help the offenders acquire the skills that they will need if and when they are released from prison back into the community in order to receive employment. The counseling programs are to try and help the offenders cope with their problems such as drug and alcohol abuse, before they are sent back in the community. Many may argue that rehabilitation is more effective than punishment.

The main point of rehabilitation is to improve the lifestyle of the offender in hopes that he/she will better their lives by either receiving an education or some sort of counseling that will help the offender when he/she is returned back into society. Rehabilitation is more of a permanent way of preventing offenders from committing any sort of crimes in the future. There have been stories of offenders who have been in prison for years even most of their life and when they are finally released out of prison they have no family to help them, not sort of work experience, no trade etc.

So for some of these people they don’t know how to live in society so there are many who commit crimes in order to be put back into prison because this is all they know and they can live “comfortably” but if all offenders were able to learn a trade and or be taught what they need to know in order to survive in society while incarcerated it is to be believed that less offenders would return back to prison. In my person opinion I believe that both rehabilitation and punishment can be effective for reducing crime.

As research states rehabilitation is good for offenders to give them a trade, get them the counseling and the help that they may need in order to be able to move back into society. And I believe that everyone makes mistakes and learns differently, some people need to learn the hard way and others need a little guidance. Some people commit crimes over and over and never learn from their mistakes no matter what is taught to them or how any people they may receive help from, they just need that physical punishment and not abuse but to be incarcerated with people telling them what to do 24 hours a day, Many of these offenders are ok with that, others make mistakes and want to learn from them and want to make better choices in the future, so I do believe that punishment and rehabilitation can both be effective in the correctional system.

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