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Punishment and Human Dignity

Things are never the same in modern society, and there is a need to have a different perception of prisons. What it should look like is a significant concern. Have you thought of how prisoners should behave once they get out of jail? Ideally, respect and compassion should be critical virtues that every prisoner should have inside as well as outside of prison.

Respect for the law is also an aspect that such individuals should embrace in most instances. The possibility of expressing such virtues relies on the kind of platform that such individuals get while in prison. It should not just be a matter of punishment but also present aspects of rehabilitation. In that pursuit, the prisoner should get more mentorship on how to have a positive impact on society. Banking only on punishment is likely to make prisoners more violent than before, and that will further affect relationships with other entities in the community.

Emphasizing rehabilitation makes it possible for the offender to commit less crime in the future. That holds water since a change of mindset is imperative for the growth and development of individuals. It is crucial to understand a mistake and learn about the best approaches to thwart its occurrence in the future. According to behaviorist research, punishment can change behavior quickly. However, such a change can be temporary at a time, making it hard to achieve unity and integration in society. Such advantages are known to rubbish aspects related to penal systems (Tonry, 2018). Markedly, there is a need to have various approaches to rehabilitation based on the nature of an individual. Generalizing simply makes it hard to understand what a person might require to change behavior at a given instance.

Still, the punishment should be applicable in prisons. However, it stands out that it serves best when the prisoner is under a life sentence (Mears, Cochran & Cullen, 2015). In such a case, the possibility of individuals interacting with society at a later date is slim. Such individuals need to undergo thorough punishments, and in most cases, the nature of their crime is extreme. It requires a lot of time to bring sanity in such a situation. Hence, the use of force proves useful.

Do we imagine the violence that comes out of prisons? Ideally, such a level is more significant and can’t be compared with terrorism (Tonry, 2018). That also makes the costs astronomical, and society is the one to suffer the consequences. In the United States, for instance, a significant number of prisoners are part of the general public. Some of them either bribed their way or served their sentence and are now free. What they are capable of doing remains a concern to society. On most occasions, arresting such individuals occurs in mass delusion. The implications of such are disastrous to the community, and it stands out that the contribution of society is never enough. As a consequence, there is a need to consider the needs of the broader society. That better applies when the authorities learn the benefits of rehabilitation rather than punishment.

In conclusion, it is commendable that most countries such as the UK and the United States currently embrace the need for rehabilitation in most prisons. Such a step is useful for the common good of society and makes it possible to create a level of harmony that benefits the current and future generations. The most important step should be the integration of the best lessons that will prove useful in most instances.


Mears, D. P., Cochran, J. C., & Cullen, F. T. (2015). Incarceration heterogeneity and its implications for assessing the effectiveness of imprisonment on recidivism. Criminal Justice Policy Review26(7), 691-712.

Tonry, M. (2018). Punishment and Human Dignity: Sentencing Principles for Twenty-First-Century America. Crime and Justice47(1), 000-000.



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