- Given the state of overcrowding in prisons today which often leads to early release of prisoners, is the term “Corrections” a misnomer? Discuss and justify your answer.
- Discuss the issue of capital punishment in the context of its use in correctional philosophy.
Retrieved from http://digitalbookshelf.southuniversity.edu/books/9781256509936/id/pg106
Center for Problem-Oriented Policing. (2014). Consider repeat offending. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from http://www.popcenter.org/learning/60steps/index.cfm?stepNum=30
I think you can compound those issues with the privatization of prisons, to start with.
I would also hypothesize that corrections staff is more subject to both bribery and fear of retaliation then the cop on the beat is; a quick google search doesnt come up with anything for "retaliation against prison guards", but daily contact with the staff probably gives some inmates an idea of who they can "play"
And another quick google doesnt come up with any studies of prison corruption within the US, other than by advocacy groups. So that's something for me to dig into a bit.
My knowledge of prisons is limited to the relations of street gangs to prison gangs, so I may have a skewed idea of the prison environment.
And finally, answering your question; even with low training and low pay, corrections staff still holds great responsibility, so I do count them as professionals. A profession can be rife with corruption and can still be considered a profession.
I don't think we should limit our justifications of any punishment, including the death penalty, to any one mode of thought. However, in the case of the death penalty, there are three "mechanics" used to justify it (as rehabilitation can't apply). The deterrent mode is certainly open to debate, although the evidence leans to the position that deterrence does not apply. The incapacitive mode works whether the criminal is behind bars or 6 feet down. You could then make the argument that the retributive mode is the factor that "justifies" the death penalty. Although lex talonis is a clear enough legal prinicple in itself, it doesnt't explain a human need for vengeance on the social level; "Emile Durkheim, George Herbert Mead (1918), Thomas and Znaniecki (1945 ) and, in more recent times,Harold Garnkel (1956) and Kai Erikson (1966), commented extensively on the fact that deviant acts evoke group response" (Ross & Miller, 2001, p.1) So some people have an intuitive social need for vengeance in order to restore the social relationship. Some people don't, and there lies the political question.
Personally, I consider criminals as a personal enemy, and on that level alone I would support the death penalty. And I mean criminals, people that kill, assault, rape, and steal; not "criminals" in the sense of people that say naughty things about politicians, or fat plebes guzzling Big Gulps and offending New York yuppies sippin sugar-laden lattes, or folks exercising Constitutional rights that offend ubersensitve suburbanites. (Although the death penalty is too much for theft)
Finally, the appeals process is something that needs to be looked at. “There’s no reason in the world for a death penalty appeal to take 20 years,” Negron said from Tallahassee. “That’s not justice, that’s people making a mockery of the justice system.'”(Holsman, 2013, para 4). Of course, that goes back to the ethical questions of a legal agent versus a moral agent..
Holsman, M. (2013, March 10).Negron bill would speed up appeals process for death row inmates. TCPalm. Retrieved February 4, 2014 from http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2013/mar/10/negron-bill-would-speed-up-appeals-process-for/#global_site_login
Ross, M, & Miller, D.T. (2001). The justice motive in everyday life. Cambridge U Press. Retrieved June 6, 2014 from http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1917&context=faculty_scholarship