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Word Count: 897
Typically there are four justifications for punishment that are still used today in the United States Retribution deterrence incapication and rehabilitation There are many ways of reaching these justifications besides prison today which are made to help the current problems in the criminal justice system There are many different views about the effectiveness of these justifications and with all of the problems in the criminal justice system many questions are left unanswered today such as How well do the realities of the correctional enterprise concur with these justifications of punishment Reality in this aspect generally means the rate of recidivism for a given offender According to Marquart and Sorensen It may be possible to manipulate certain gross features of the existing conceptional prison system- such as length of sentence and degree of security- in order to affect these recidivism rates Correctional Contexts Roxbury Publishing company 1997 pg 299 The recidivism rates for any given offender depend upon a lot of variables one of which being time of sentence One harsh reality of the correctional enterprise is that the majority of the correctional institutions in the United States today are over crowded A 1992 survey said that there are 3500 county jails in the United States today and there are 400000 inmates inhabiting them Class discussion September 20 This makes time of sentence difficult to be fair about when there is no room to house an offender even if he does deserve it In light of what we know about corrections how successful are we in achieving these goals Which should society use retribution deterrence incapacitation or rehabilitation Justifications for specific sanctions overlap considerably A term of imprisonment may be philosophically justified by its primary goal of retribution but also serve the secondary functions of deterrence and incapacitation American Corrections WestWadsworth 2000 pg 6 1 Judges try and impliment sentences
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