Penal System Change: Rehabilitating, Not Punishing

Life in a correctional facility is similar to that one of a ghost – though there is traceable evidence of existence, hardly anyone but the inmates acknowledge the prisoner’s existence. They have admittedly done something wrong to be in jail – at least, most of them have. However, the consistent process of daily punishment is no longer a sensible approach to addressing the inmates’ needs. Rehabilitation must become a part and parcel of the modern U.S. justice system (Benson par. 21).

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The current criminal justice system is far too rigid to allow for mistakes and misjudgments, yet the latter two still occur. Recent news about a woman with a drug problem, who was imprisoned, while her drug-dealing boyfriend was released (Tolar and Corona par. 2), is a clear-cut example of why we need a different criminal justice concept. Although the subject matter is rather old, it has not yet worn out its welcome. Unless the basic principles of social justice are incorporated into the modern criminal framework, the latter will become a mockery of justice as a concept (Gilligan par. 2).

Though committing a crime implies making a choice, it would be wrong to impose another punishment on the people that have already been sentenced. The above notion contradicts the very foundation of social justice. Therefore, it is crucial to focus on rehabilitating prisoners rather than punishing them consistently for something that they have already paid for. It is time to make a difference in the contemporary social justice system.

Works Cited

Benson, Etienne. “Rehabilitate or Punish?.” Monitor Staff 34.7 (2013): n. pag. American Psychological Association. Web.

Gilligan, James. “Punishment Fails. Rehabilitation Works.The New York Times. 2012. Web.

Tolar, Casey, and Jorge Corona. “This Woman Was Just Released from Prison by President Obama after 21 Years. Watch Her Walk Free.Justice Finally. 2016. Fusion. Web.

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