To successfully complete this assignment, you will need to:
- The video, Psychology, Criminality, and Incarceration in America (30:19).
- The textbook readings for the first three weeks of the course.
An Overview of the First Step Act.
- This resource provides a thumbnail description of 2018’s First Step Act. This Act’s purpose is to: improve criminal justice outcomes, reduce the size of the Federal prison population, and to create mechanisms to maintain public safety.
The First Step Act of 2018: An Overview [PDF].
- This resource provides a more detailed overview of the First Step Act’s effect on inmates and their families.
Use the Strayer University Library to conduct research on the four functions of corrections.
- The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice library guide is a good place to start your research.
According to your textbook, the United States has experienced a corrections explosion over the past 40 years, despite a decrease in serious crime during this same period. Consider statistics such as these. Since 1980, the:
- Number of people on probation has increased by nearly 300%.
- Prison population has increased by more than 400%.
- Federal imprisonment rate has increased 500% (Schmalleger, 2021).
Even though we are in the midst of a period of mass incarceration in the United States, we know that incarceration doesn’t work. Consider this quote from the video, Psychology, Criminality, and Incarceration in America: “Prisons don’t work. People do not get corrected in today’s prisons. Convicts come out worse than when they went in and are even a greater threat to society than before” (Lary, 2010). The Bureau of Justice Statistics has evidence supporting this sentiment. The 2018 Update on Prisoner Recidivism states an estimated:
- 68% of released prisoners were arrested within 3 years.
- 79% within 6 years.
- 83% within 9 years (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2018).
This assignment will give you the opportunity to:
- Explore the U.S. correctional system’s role. Is it to punish those involved? Or is it to rehabilitate them?
- Consider the correctional system’s current state in terms of punishment or rehabilitation.
- Analyze specific improvements that appear promising.
After reviewing the resources provided in the overview, you are to write a 2–3 page paper in which you:
Distinguish among the four functions of corrections: retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation.
- Be sure to illustrate the distinctions with current and/or historical examples.
- Summarize the arguments for and criticisms of each of the four corrections functions.
- Explain the current state of each of the four corrections functions in the United States.
- Select a minimum of three corrections improvements included in the Psychology, Criminality, and Incarceration in Americavideo that appear promising and explain why you think so.
Use three sources to support your writing.
- Choose sources that are credible, relevant, and appropriate.
- Cite each source listed on your source page at least one time within your assignment.
- Access the Strayer University Library or review library guides for help with research, writing, and citation.