Probation provides offenders the opportunity to serve their sentences within the community instead of serving in prisons. Since probation started, it has impacted both the community they serve in, and the citizens in the country. The community benefits from the services of the offenders. In addition, the communities have no challenges for an individual transitioning from life in prison to living with the community. Probation saves the society by reducing taxpayer costs. According to Travis (2012), prison costs are approximately $25,000 per year, while probation costs are only $2,000 per year. Individuals under probation benefit the economy of the nation instead of draining it.
In parole, prisoners undergo part of their sentence in prison and are then released early to serve the remaining portion in the community. In both parole and probation, when the offender is serving within the community, he/she is supervised and expected to follow various guidelines. Parole has almost similar impacts on community and the citizens/society. Although parole saves citizens certain amounts of taxes, a lot of money is spend since the largest portion is spend in prisons. The community benefits because an offender on parole enlightens the youth on the way prison life feels like so that they keep away from crimes (Travis, 2012).
Institutional corrections refers to prisons and jails. Prisons are housing facilities run by federal and the states to confine individuals with longer sentences while jails hold offenders with short sentences. Institutional corrections cost the society expenditure because taxes are spend on offenders, whereas they do not contribute to growth of the economy in that country. The communities around these institutions benefit from the fact that crime rates are reduced (National Institute of Justice, 2016).
Jails are short-term. They are usually run by local government and law enforcement agencies to hold inmates who serve short sentences, or those who await trial. County sheriff departments run jails. Communities benefit from the fact that crimes are reduced when the offenders are held there, awaiting trial, or serving their short sentences. However, they negatively impact the community because they contribute to bad health (Moroney, 2016). Some individuals are released to the community with infectious diseases. Jails affect citizens/society because of the fact that a good amount of taxpayer’s money is spend there.
Prisons are long-term. They are used to hold individuals who have been convicted of crimes. Correction offices in different states administer prisons. According to Moroney (2016), prisons help to reduce the crimes within the community. However, the author states that crime rates are largely reduced by more police, control of guns and a strong economy, and not necessarily by prisons. Prisons have more negative impacts on citizens. For instance, the offenders spend large amounts of taxpayers’ money. For the surrounding communities, prisons raise racial inequality and the poverty of individuals. This is because minor offenders are hardened in prisons, and the duration they spend in prisons reduce their annual earnings.
Private prisons are third parties contracted by state or federal prison agencies to incarcerate offenders. They do more harm to the community than public prisons. The owners think more about the profits. In this case, they rarely consider treating the prisoners in an ethical manner. Sacrifices are made on behalf of the inmates’ well-being so that an extra dollar can be saved. This hardens the inmates and makes them commit worse crimes when they are back in the community. Private prisons have positive impacts to the society, in that, they contribute to taxes and growth of the economy (Kantorowicz, 2014).
Kantorowicz, E. (2014). Can Imprisonment Be Cheaper? The Law and Economics of Private Prisons. SSRN Electronic Journal. http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2449265
Moroney, R. (2016). How Prisons Affect Society. WSJ. Retrieved 24 November 2016, from http://blogs.wsj.com/informedreader/2007/03/26/how-prisons-affect-society/
National Institute of Justice, (2016). Institutional Corrections. Retrieved 24 November 2016, from http://www.nij.gov/topics/corrections/institutional/pages/welcome.aspx
Travis, L. (2012). Introduction to criminal justice (1st ed.). Burlington, MA.
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