The usage of captivity as a punitory and rehabilitative attack to offense has been around for centuries. The usage of penitentiaries began in the eighteenth century in England. The British society started a move off from bodily penalty and more towards imprisonment with the hope that it would reform the head and organic structure ( Jackson, 1997 ) . These alterations finally paved the manner for the constitution of penitentiaries throughout Europe and onto the United States. Historically, imprisonment was based on the construct of penalizing those who wronged society, by bring downing enduring on the organic structure. Today its strives to accomplish its basic dogmas dwelling of penalty, disincentive and rehabilitation. In concentrating on the United States, over the past 30 old ages the state has experienced an unprecedented rise in the usage of captivity. In 1972 there were 330,000 people shacking in prisons and gaols, today there are 2.1 million ( King, Mauer & A ; Young, 2005 ) . During this clip span, the population rose by less than 40 per centum yet the figure of people in prison and gaol rose by more than 500 per centum. To explicate this dramatic alteration, we must look to factors such as altering offense rates, demographics, cultural craps and political relations ( King et. al. , 2005 ) . Today, there are many conservative, firm politicians who bank on “ acquiring tough on offense. ” In this light, we must measure whether institutionalization is the best method for decreasing offense and whether those wrongdoers being imprisoned, are being set up for success or for failure, particularly in their ability to reintegrate back into society once their clip has been served. We must turn to the fact that these wrongdoers, one time imprisoned, encounter serious psychological alterations and stigmatisations. The captivity of an single affects more than merely the single, but besides household, equals and the community. The release of an wrongdoer back into society leaves one vulnerable and scared by an “ ex-con ” label. Their reintegration back into society is a critical phase that is dependent on certain critical factors, which contribute to whether one will necessarily take a continued life of offense or a life of desistance. Is incarceration truly a redress to offense, a alleged hindrance for future condemnable activity, or simply a mechanism for labeling person as a aberrant member of society?

It is of import to measure what is really known about the impact of imprisonment on offense control and with that in head we must analyze how captivity rates have increased. The usage of captivity has significantly grown over clip and the United States has become by its ain creative activity, an highly punitory system. The passage of tougher sentencing regulations, restrictive release forms and the abolishment of word in some provinces have supported a system based on this construct. Many advocators of the system, including the Department of Justice, support this attack and have stated that tough sentencing means less offense ( King et. al. , 2005 ) . However, an overview of alterations in captivity and offense in all 50 provinces revealed that there is no consistent relationship between the two. Crime did non diminish simply because captivity was increasing ( King et. al. , 2005 ) . Therefore, captivity may non be the most effectual manner to accomplish consequences in offense control. Advocates believe that by locking person up, they can physically no longer perpetrate offense. This construct may really good uphold to be true, but what about after their release from prison? Will they be more susceptible to or off from offense? Introducing person to a life of captivity necessarily leads to institutionalization and the effects of prisonization, which can earnestly impede one ‘s version and reintegration procedure.

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Institutionalization is a term used to depict the procedure by which inmates are shaped and transformed by the institutional environment in which they dwell. Sociologist, Irving Goffman described in his book Asylums, that establishments were “ a topographic point of abode and work where a big figure of like-situated persons, cut off from the wider society for an appreciable period of clip, together lead an enclosed, officially administered unit of ammunition of life ( King, 2000, P. 2 ) . ” By this history, we can claim prisons to be a signifier of establishment. Subsequently, the term was besides coined “ prisonization ” when it occurred in correctional scenes ( Haney, 2001 ) . The term, frequently thought pejoratively, expresses the negative psychological effects of imprisonment.

Goffman identified five manners for accommodating to an institutional life. The first measure involved a situational backdown, where captives begin to minimise their interaction with others. Following, captives form counter behaviour and garbage to collaborate with staff members and get down to demo ill will towards the establishment itself. This type of behaviour will frequently ensue in captives being sentenced to the conditions of lone parturiency. Colonization is a measure in which involves the captive doing a transmutation to which he or she becomes “ institutionalised. ” In this measure, captives begin to experience that life in prison is more desirable than life outside the prison. Next is the transition measure, which leads captives to follow to the behaviour that the guards and installation regard them to be like. The last measure in the version manner is the alleged playing it cool section. In this phase, captives stay out of problem and conform to their milieus so that when they are released, they can hold “ a maximal opportunity, in the peculiar fortunes of finally acquiring out of prison physically and psychologically undamaged ” ( Haralambos & A ; Holborn, 1995 p. 306 ) .

Once an wrongdoer is confined to an incarcerated life, the captive frequently is forced to undergo a alone set of psychological alterations in order to last the prison experience. Prisoners must undergo serious versions and acknowledge the wants and defeats that come along with a prison life. This is normally referred to as the “ strivings of imprisonment ” and most surely carries certain psychological effects ( Haney, 2001 ) . Such psychological symptoms can include dependance on the institutional construction, hyper watchfulness, interpersonal misgiving, intuition, emotional over-control, disaffection, psychological distancing, societal backdown, isolation, incorporation of exploitatory norms of prison civilization, diminished sense of dignity and personal value and post-traumatic emphasis reactions to the strivings of imprisonment ( Haney, 2001 ) .

With the rate of captivity increasing, it besides brings about the alterations in prison populations. As a consequence, the size of the U.S. prison population has led to widespread issues in overcrowding. Penologists have described this quandary by claiming that the U.S. prisons are “ in crisis ” and have characterized each new degree of overcrowding as “ unprecedented ” ( Haney, 2001 ) . The United States incarcerates more individuals per capita than any other state in the universe. The U.S. rates have systematically been between four and eight times more than those for other states such as Japan, Netherlands, United Kingdom and Australia ( Haney, 2001 ) . This combination of both overcrowding and rapid enlargement of prison systems adversely affects the life conditions in these prisons. Overcrowding leads to endanger captive safety, compromised prison direction, and limited captive entree to meaningful scheduling. The rehabilitative procedure is in consequence significantly hindered.

Many sociologists, psychologists and head-shrinkers, have studied the procedure of prisonization extensively and all agree that the procedure involves a alone set of psychological versions that frequently occur in changing grades in response to the extraordinary demands of prison life ( Haney, 2001 ) . A captive must integrate the norms of prison life into their wonts of thought, feeling, and moving. However, given today ‘s enlargement and overcrowding of prisons, this is a demanding and unsafe procedure. The prison environment is non a friendly one and many “ soft ” felons leave prison as “ hardened ” felons. Prison life can dwell of many negative properties, which affect a captive ‘s ability to rehabilitate. The more overcrowding in prisons, the less entree to rehabilitation, which hence leads to higher reconvictions rates ( Hanks, 2008 ) . The presence of packs and force within prisons, along with the feelings of choler, depression, fury and unhappiness all accompany incarcerated persons. Prisons are frequently the scenes of ferociousness, force and emphasis to the point where many captives are concerned for their ain safety. The addition in sentence lengths for captives besides consequences in captives sing higher degrees of psychological strains of imprisonment due to the longer periods of captivity clip. The psychological isolation of prison from 1s community, the deficiency of prison trial plans and the already scarce resources that have been used to keep ties between captives and their households and the outside universe, earnestly affect the captive ‘s opportunities for endurance and rehabilitation ( Haney, 2001 ) . Juveniles are particularly more prone to the effects of prisonization. An illustration of such transmutation is the instance of “ Boston Billy. ” Billy spent half his life in prisons and gaols and claimed that these establishments were atrocious topographic points that toughened up people up “ to a point that you do n’t care ” ( Bhati & A ; Piquero, 2008 ) .

Once the institutionalization stage has been completed, the captive must finally undergo their reintegration back into society. Facilitating the passage from prison back to the free universe is a really delicate and critical phase. There are many stigmatising facets of captivity, which may ensue in a captive ‘s inability to successfully do the passage. Prisons are aimed to basically cure felons of offense so they can be fit to reenter society, nevertheless, this construct may non be so encouraging. Surveies show that whether a prison releasee will reoffend one time back in society depends on their life flight and life class station prison life. Certain factors contribute to the indicant of whether they will hold a successful readjustment. However, the stigma of a aberrant yesteryear and life in prison ne’er leaves their head. We live in a society that unluckily Judgess those for “ making clip ” and frequently society is the perpetrator to the footing of their reoffending and self-fulfilling prognostication to stay aberrant.


Prisons have traditionally been coined “ schools of offense. ” The prison experience helps to construct up bitterness, expose captives to many skilled wrongdoers who help to learn them many fast ones of the trade. Many inmates will frequently travel into prison as petit larceny, nonviolent wrongdoers who are released back into society as now serious, violent wrongdoers. It is customary to province that two-thirds of all released captives will be back in prison once more within three old ages of their release ( Stevens, 2004 ) . Since prison life is comprised of its ain construction and institutional regulations, a signifier of regulating amongst this establishment will be. There are at least four sets of codifications, or regulations, that govern prison life: ( 1 ) the official administrative regulations and ordinances ; ( 2 ) the inmate codification ; ( 3 ) the colour line ; and ( 4 ) pack rank regulations ( Stevens, 2004 ) . The official regulations are the basic dogmas of acceptable and unacceptable behaviours and regulations. The inmate codification is an idealised description of how the perfect inmate should act. The colour line is instead an unseeable codification, which one immediately becomes cognizant of when certain racial groups appear to be ruling or in control. Race tends to be a factor in many prison issues such as the finding of friendly relationships, cell assignments and cell locations. This procedure is sometimes referred to as balkanization ( Stevens, 2004 ) . Gang codifications besides dominate some prison lives and be given to be belowground lineations for condemnable endeavors.

Similar to Goffman ‘s theory on institutionalization, Wheeler ( 1961 ) , found that inmate committedness to prison society followed a U-shaped curve. When an inmate first enters the prison, they enter so still being committed to the regulations of conventional society, nevertheless as clip base on ballss, their misbehavior additions. This misbehavior begins to reflect a committedness to inmate codifications. As their release from prison is infringing, they begin to regenerate a committedness to the values of the outside universe. This can be viewed in a positive visible radiation because it signifies that most inmates orient themselves for observant behaviour shortly before they are released ( Stevens, 2004 ) . However, there remains no confidence in cognizing that a released captive will avoid go oning a life of offense.


Labeling theoreticians argue that the province is to fault for grounding people in their condemnable callings. Prisons are non the replies to work outing our offense jobs and they are in fact, perilously criminogenic. There is a important social reaction towards wrongdoers and when they are treated like such, there lies the unforeseen effect of making the really behavior we seek to forestall. Society makes premises about wrongdoers and sees them as people with hapless character who will most likely recidivate. This public examination can either dishonor the wrongdoer into conformance or force them into offense because they see no other means to get the better ofing their label. Chiricos, Barrick, Bales and Bontrager ( 2007 ) conducted a survey on the destiny of convicted criminals confronting probation. In support of labeling theory, Chiricos et. Al. concluded that, “ being adjudicated a criminal significantly and well increases the likeliness of recidivism in comparing with those who have had adjudication withheld ” ( Cullen, Lilly & A ; Ball, 2011, p. 151 ) . Further research on the effects of imprisonment has been conducted by criminologists in which have besides supported labeling theory. Three general decisions have been resulted which claim that a tutelary countenance has either a void consequence or criminogenic consequence, the longer the clip spent in prison leads to a higher likeliness of recidivism and in conclusion, the harsher the captive life conditions, the higher the likeliness of reoffending ( Cullen et. al. , 2011 ) . A meta analysis of 50 surveies analyzed the consequence of prison sentences on recidivism and found that longer prison sentences were associated with higher recidivism rates for both high and low hazard wrongdoers. It was besides reported that drawn-out exposure to the rough conditions of prison life and the institutionalization ensuing from that life, has both short and long term effects on an persons ability to readapt to life outside prison ( Visher & A ; Travis, 2003 ) . It is of import to recognize that there are indirect effects of captivity and the reentry procedure is basically a dynamic, societal procedure. The public stigma attached to an ex-convict position earnestly affects the reintegration procedure. We can infer that prisons may in fact be making more injury than good.


Recidivism is straight affected by station prison reintegration and accommodation. This is in bend, dependent upon four sets of factors: personal and situational features, societal environment of equals, household, community and state-level policies ( Visher et. al. , 2003 ) . Understanding an person ‘s tract to reintegration and the assorted support systems necessary, both in private and governmentally are important to a successful integrating. Reconnecting with the establishments of society is a end and a procedure in which a released wrongdoer must systematically work through and one to which policymakers need to take attending to. In 1994, the Bureau of Justice Statistics conducted the largest survey of its sort when it examined condemnable recidivism utilizing a sample of 300,000 captives released in 15 provinces. The survey found that 67.5 per centum of captives were arrested for a new discourtesy within three old ages and 51.8 per centum were back in prison for perpetrating a new discourtesy or go againsting their word. These per centums demand for advancement in the reintegration procedure. In 2002, the federal authorities awarded $ 100 million dollars to the provinces in order to assist develop more effectual reentry plans for those released from prisons ( Visher et. al. , 2003 ) .

Similar to the societal bond theory, the procedure of reintegration is dependent upon a captive ‘s fond regard and bonds to society. Strong ties between captives and their households have the strongest positive impact on their station release success. A committedness to household functions is imperative to avoiding a life of offense. Rejoining the labour market and guaranting stable and consistent employment is besides important in the procedure and frequently this component is diminished for captives who have blue occupation chances given that they have learned few marketable occupation accomplishments while institutionalized. These wrongdoers will frequently happen trouble in happening a occupation while being labeled as an ex-convict ( Cullen et. al. , 2011 ) . The stigma of a condemnable record is a important barrier in the hunt for employment. Watts & A ; Nightingale ( 1996 ) reported that every bit many as 60 % of ex-offenders are non employed within one twelvemonth after their release and this figure is partially due to the limited handiness of felon-friendly employers ( Counsel on Crime and Justice, 2006 ) . Laub and Sampson found that captivity as a juvenile had a negative consequence on later occupation stableness, which was besides negatively related to 1s continued engagement in offense over the class of their life ( Bahr, Armstrong, Gibbs, Harris & A ; Fisher, 2005 ) . Many wrongdoers will go forth gaol feeling unprepared for their release and face obstructions in their manner towards going a healthy and productive member of their communities. In a focal point group survey of adult females and work forces, research workers found that substance maltreatment, employment, and lodging were the most important factors that facilitated or blocked successful reintegration into communities ( Weiss, Hawkins, Despinos, 2010 ) . Leaving a extremely structured environment like a prison for an unstructured society leaves many determinations and duty for an person to see. Post release is a extremely vulnerable clip for ex-convicts and their susceptibleness to negativeness is really likely.


Recently, the effects of imprisonment on households and communities have been going a focal point of research for some. Hundreds of 1000s of captives return to their communities yearly and hence, the reentry procedure has become an increasing involvement. The extents of the effects that result from mass captivity frequently go beyond merely the single wrongdoer but besides onto their households and their communities. Research has indicated that due to the rise in captivity rates, there has besides been an addition in broken places and disenfranchised

communities ( Counsel on Crime and Justice, 2006 ) . The Counsel on Crime and Justice introduced the being of the construct of “ indirect effects ” which refers to the unintended negative effects that result from an wrongdoer ‘s strong belief and captivity. Incarceration effects more than merely the one being locked off and the costs of imprisonment are paid both straight and indirectly on many degrees. Imprisonment can straight negatively affect the wrongdoer ‘s household and kids and can include personal, societal, fiscal, emotional, psychological, and physical concerns. Social and economic constructions of communities are besides affected. Research workers will besides reason that the remotion of wrongdoers from communities does injury, particularly in communities of colour ( Counsel on Crime and Justice, 2006 ) . Captivity can besides be conceptualized as a signifier of coerced mobility. Coerced mobility is a pattern that takes big Numberss of males out of inner-city communities for drawn-out absences ( Cullen et. al. , 2011 ) . While it would be appropriate to propose that wrongdoers are liabilities in their communities, theoreticians besides suggest that they are besides assets to the community in the sense that they are members of their ain societal webs every bit good as income suppliers. Therefore, the riddance of these wrongdoers from communities will besides ensue in societal disorganisation and weak economic development.


Many people tend to bury the fact that imprisonment affects more than merely the single being imprisoned. Incapacitation can be contagious and accidentally creates an at-risk population for some. For illustration, today there are an increasing figure of kids with incarcerated parents. It is estimated that 1.5 to 2 million kids are affected countrywide by incarcerated parents ( Miller, 2006 ) . There is grounds to propose that these kids are reacting negatively to being separated from their parent. A kid with an incarcerated parent is frequently left feeling depressed and sad which leads to projecting behaviours that may include aggression and delinquent activity. Approximately 50 % of young persons in the correctional system have a parent in the grownup correctional system. Children with parents in prison are 5 to 6 times more at-risk to go involved in the condemnable justness system, nevertheless the short and long-run effects of this phenomenon are hard to accurately quantify ( Miller, 2006 ) . We can therefore observe that in this facet, prisons are doing more injury than good by making a reverberation factor. More offenses are basically being committed or traveling to be committed as a consequence of person being taken out of the community, particularly in the instance of a individual who had household bonds binding them to the community. Children and young person are waxy and vulnerable existences who are larning by illustration. The world of captivity in their place life is a life-altering experience, which can frequently put the class or way for their ain way towards condemnable behaviour.


There is much research on why people commit offense, but much less research about why people who have committed condemnable Acts of the Apostless choose to abstain from offense. In reexamining the station release life of wrongdoers, the theory to concentrate on is life class position. Refraining from offense depends on 1s local life fortunes. There are certain passages that can assist to increase societal bonds and may assist to change a condemnable flight. Bahr et. Al ( 2005 ) explored the entry procedure by questioning 51 probationers three times, over a period of three months from their release from prison. Of the 51 probationers, 10 were reincarcerated within six months after their release from offense. The findings suggest that overall, a web of household relationships is of import in doing the passage from prison life to community life. The extent of 1s household bonds helps to alter the condemnable flights of probationers. The quality of the parent-child bond besides significantly influenced the likeliness of a probationer returning to prison.

While there have been established links between incapacitation and offense on a negative point of view, there are besides findings that support captivity as a hindrance. Captivity can act upon condemnable callings based on two strands of criminological theory, those that focus on the function of penalty and that which focuses on the relationship between yesteryear and future condemnable activity ( Bhati et. al. , 2008 ) . A cardinal policy inquiry in criminology is whether captivity serves as a hindrance, criminogenic or void consequence on subsequent condemnable activity. Given that a deficiency of research exists in this country, Bhati et. Al. ( 2008 ) conducted a survey on this subject by developing micro-trajectories utilizing information from past apprehension forms. The day of the month used in this research came from a larger survey on recidivism of captives released in 1994, which was collected by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. A entire sample of 32,628 individuals was studied across 15 provinces. The findings reported that 96 per centum of the releasees were either deterred from future piquing or simply incapacitated by their captivity. A little per centum consisting of 4 per centum of the releasees exhibited a criminogenic consequence. This survey is non consistent with the labeling theory hypothesis but alternatively is more in favour of deterrence-based theories. However, this information besides raised the inquiry of generalizibility as it merely consists of informations on 15 provinces in a state of 50.


In reappraisal of the literature on institutionalization, captivity and its consequence on offense, we can reason that there is important grounds associating captivity with offense. While research workers have struggled to accurately quantify the grade to which offense decrease is attributable to imprisonment, the truth remains that prisons may really be making more injury than good. The consequence of captivity on subsequent condemnable activity at the single degree is still far from being recognized and further research on the country is needed. However, we can acknowledge that the captivity experience as a signifier of penalty tends to hold varied effects on wrongdoers. For some it may run as a hindrance, others as a criminogenic factor and for some irrelevant either manner. It is sad to recognize that in our society, one individual aberrant event can be adequate to stigmatise a individual indefinitely as an wrongdoer or as a aberrant individual. Some wrongdoers leave prison and do the instance that they have for good changed and are reformed, new people. Unfortunately, there is a negative prejudice with this, and labeling theoreticians will hold that regardless of whatever reformation is claimed, the aberrant stigma will go on to be. For some, one ‘s past behaviour is the best forecaster of their future behaviour. Research workers can back up this by happening that good over half of ex-prisoners are returned to prison within 3 old ages of their release. In today ‘s universe it is much easier to set up oneself as pervert, than it is to set up one ‘s certificates as a Reformed individual. As a consequence of labeling theory, many members of society are unwilling to take a opportunity on a one time incarcerated person who appears to be seeking to do positive stairss frontward. These obstructions merely hinder an wrongdoer ‘s opportunity for effectual endurance and reintegration into society.

Incapacitation schemes seek to cut down offense and do so in some ways. It is true that incarcerated wrongdoers are prevented by incapacitation from perpetrating farther offenses, but at what cost to themselves and to society. Incapacitation schemes ”take a piece out of ” an person ‘s calling, but who ‘s to state that that calling will discontinue one time they are back in the free universe. The United States presently has one of the highest captivity rates in the universe with over two million people under the legal power of correctional governments ( Weiss et al. , 2010 ) . The bulk of this rate can be blamed on the get tough on offense motion and the state ‘s continued war on drugs. In comparing to other industrialised states, these rates are five to eight times higher and have risen significantly over the last 30 old ages ( Weiss et al. , 2010 ) .

The condemnable justness system ‘s usage of correctional installations to penalize those members of society who violate Torahs and commit offenses is a method based on the construct of disincentive. The thought of going institutionalized and taken out of society for a period of clip is suppose to do an single recognize his/her bad behaviour to the point to where he/she will no longer act in such a manner for fright of going institutionalized once more. At the same clip, society can be at peace cognizing that that individual is no longer a current menace to society. However, the phases involved in this passage involve many negative facets, which question its intended map. The procedure of institutionalization and going “ prisonized ” is a traumatic event filled with psychological alterations that in some instances ne’er heal or reshape themselves. Institutionalization desensitizes wrongdoers and creates hardened felons, the really thing it seeks to forestall. During prisonization, physical and psychological transmutations occur which negatively changes an person, but are nevertheless, necessary in order for an single to last the entireness of the experience.

During the clip in which an wrongdoer is incarcerated, those close to him such as his household and community may be enduring as a consequence of this imprisonment. An wrongdoer with kids loses the ability to bond with their kid and as a consequence, the kid faces the hazard of going scared from the experience. This withdrawal from a parent can ensue in negative signifiers of behaviour and delinquency and as research has demonstrated, kids with incarcerated parents have a much higher hazard for acquiring involved in correctional scenes themselves. In this regard, imprisonment promotes offense. The community besides suffers greatly when those are taken out of it. Peoples are assets to a community in the sense that they are members of the societal webs and everyone, a possible income supplier. The riddance of wrongdoers from communities consequences in societal disorganisation and weak economic development. When there is a weak economic and societal disorganisation, a genteelness topographic point for offense will prevail.

Prison life is another universe, one that frequently does non do easiness for a smooth passage back to world. Research has shown that the phase of reintegration back into society one time being institutionalized, is a really critical phase and to which is dependent on several factors. The life class perspective focal points on the stairss necessary in 1s life to avoid a condemnable flight. A combination of life class theory and societal bond theory creates a medium to which explains the elements necessary for a successful reintegrated life, nothingness of offense. Family bonds, particularly that of child-parent bonds, are highly of import in the reintegration procedure. Socialization with positive equals and consistent and steady employment are besides important to the procedure. A deficiency of one or more of these bonds creates an chance to let for offense to warrant agencies. In this procedure, an wrongdoer is besides battling stigmatisation. In conformity with labeling theory, ex-convicts have a hard clip in their reintegration period due to the stigma that is placed upon them. For some, this presents a adversity that is frequently impossible to get the better of and some wrongdoers will frequently give into their label and go self-fulfilling prognostications. Labeling theory appears to be a valid consequence of institutionalization as research has shown that every bit many as half of the wrongdoers released from prison will return within three old ages of their release. This grounds can back up labeling theory as an obstruction in the manner of successful reintegration and disincentive from recidivism.

As we move towards an epoch extremely focused on a punitory system of justness versus a rehabilitative attack, policy shapers need to measure whether prison systems are truly the reply to obtaining intended aims. Captivity is increasing at an all clip record yet offense is non diminishing at an all clip record. There are excessively many strings attached with the procedure of captivity, and many of these strings lead to the realisation that in the overall strategy of things, prison does more injury than good. Research accurately quantifying this determination needs to farther be evaluated and discussed, but there is a consistent determination within this reappraisal, which significantly addresses the issues associated with the effects of institutionalization and its negative impact on the wrongdoer and society as a whole.