Correctional Theories Discussion
Discussion #1: Theories of Punishment
Thoroughly discuss the seven theories/philosophical justifications of punishment, including criticisms of those theories/evidence of their effectiveness.
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A 'theoretical crisis in corrections" was described as being evident since the "nothing works" slogan was widely accepted and the goal of rehabilitation lost its credibility in the 1970s. Discuss the relevance of rehabilitation to the birth of modern corrections, which is linked to the birth of prisons. Also, discuss what the link of rehabilitation to the medical model suggested about the correctional system from roughly the 1940s-1960s. Finally, explain how the "nothing works" slogan was born and the problems with this conclusion about the effectiveness of rehabilitation.
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Describe the similarities and differences between those who are retributionists and those who favor punishment based on the notion of just deserts. What are the four problems that must be addressed by retributionists? What is the key challenge of corrections that aided in the evolution of proponents of just deserts? What are the central elements of their justice model? What factors simultaneously attributed to the failure of this just deserts-based model?
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In one well-developed paragraph, describe the key limitation of deterrence as a theory of punishment. Then, summarize research findings across the five types of studies that examine the effectiveness of deterrence.
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Different types of research studies are used to examine whether there is an incapacitory effect. These include cross-sectional and longitudinal self-report studies and macro-level research that relies on aggregate data. Some incapacitory effect probably exists, but the research on its effectiveness is problematic. Thoroughly discuss problems associated with this research on the incapacitory effect.
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