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Alternatives to Imprisonment, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 270

Essay

What alternatives to imprisonment exist to deal with non-violent criminals who are repeat offenders?

The populations of prisons around the world and United States in particular, are increasing year after year, thus placing huge financial burdens on government. Meanwhile, it appears that imprisonment does not achieve some of its most essential objectives, thus being harmful to the offenders and their families, as well as to the community. The primary goal of rehabilitation would be addressing the initial factors that led to criminal behavior, thus reducing the chance of reoffending. However, imprisonment does not fulfill this certain goal. Therefore, prison populations should be reduced in terms of expanding alternatives to institutionalization for non-violent criminal who are repeat offenders. One of the suggestions would be the wider implementation of conditional sentence, for most of the offenders sentenced institutionally could be sentenced conditionally. “The recidivism study made in the course of this research showed that conditionally sentenced offenders recidivated about four times less than probationers.”(Bonderson, 1994) Another good suggestion would be sentencing more offenders to probation rather that imprisonment. Even though it is not more effective than conditional sentencing, it is more efficient than imprisonment. “The few experimental studies conducted in the United States also indicate that probation is either more effective than, or at least as effective as, institutional treatment.”(Bonderson, 1994) However, the probation with institutional treatment has to be abolished, for it results in higher recidivism rates, than probation by itself. Consequently, probation organization should ensure better collaboration with the client and contact person, to achieve the maximum level of effectiveness.

References

Bonderson, U. V.  (1994). Alternatives to Imprisonment: Intentions and Reality. Westview Press.

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