Last Updated 06 Apr 2020

Understanding Deviance and the Criminal Justice System

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Deviance has been one of the most apparent behaviors or actions of people who commit and engage themselves in violent crimes. By thoroughly understanding its delineated characterization in John J. Macionis’ Sociology, this behavior in most cases violates the established cultural norms which include lawfully enacted rules and even informal defiance of social customs (Chapter 9). The criminal justice system continuously reforms its standards and practices to efficiently maintain social control and crime to carry out proper sanctioning of people who infringe the law.

The foremost goal of each society’s correctional theory is to furnish preclusion to the deviant behaviors of some citizens. The success of the current criminal justice system has been in great argument due to the fact that several people who had spent some time in state prison or jail did not change their whole being to the betterment of themselves and the society. The correctional system faces diverse issues and challenges in organizing and operating jails in coping up to the above concerns.

The facilities and design of the prison are very significant to exhibit a detention cell that can accommodate the necessities of the prisoners but also administer incarceration and imprisonment to the highest level. Though, modern prison cells and jails are now proficient to progressively prohibit the movements of the prisoners in the facility while providing utmost level of direct custody, the overcapacity of prisoners give way to the utilization of other large buildings like gymnasiums to house huge number of offenders which almost establish likely as dormitories rather than prisons.

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This might be seen as a straight opposition to the punishment that the law offenders should received, and so make them realize that jail is not as strict and as firm as it should be and going back to such state is not hard to accept when they commit another crime. Due to the possibility of former convicted people to do another offense once freed, the rehabilitation program has been sought as one of the major reforms to adhere at this moment. Efforts could greatly be provided to the reformation of not only the penal system but the individuals themselves.

Successful and effectual imprisonment curriculum decreases the likelihood of another wrongdoing or recidivism in the future (Andrews and Bonta, 2003). This would also bestow a goal which will fix the deficiencies in the offender and bring them back to the society as a more productive citizen. Moreover, the rehabilitation program will provide the prisoners with work skills; education, proper decorum lessons and self discipline which will equip them with the most appropriate social skills when they step out of detention.

Hirchi’s Control Theory discusses four main social controls that can be attached to the rehabilitation program. He conferred: Strong social attachments promote conformity. The more the offenders get access to the justifiable and legitimate opportunity, the greater the possibility of conformity. Deviance can be inhibited through extensive participation in legitimate activities. Deviance can be controlled through sturdy belief in conventional respect and morality for the authority (qtd. in Macionis, Chapter 9).

Rehabilitation theories, however, received many arguments that need to be addressed when pursued and mainly incorporated to the penal system. One main issue is the non-availability of scientific research in determining the reaction levels of individuals who will undergo the rehabilitation. This is important in determining the success rate of the rehabilitation scheme. Another concern being raised is the method or philosophy to be utilized for the offender. Resources and funds for the program appear to be too costly and complicated to successfully implement.

The complexities of the processes to be used are also being questioned. This is because a modification in the values or behavior of the offenders can traumatically change the behavioral structure of the individual. Though there are still many quandaries being raised, the rehabilitation reform can be practiced in the penal system with appropriate resources. Studies should also be developed in answering the queries being raised by people who believe that extending sentences and making the detention cells and prisons a less desirable place than it is today.

The deterrence of crime through a more rigid and strict penal system is a broader path to take by the authorities rather than the rehabilitation program. This is because while offenders may have committed heinous or violent crimes, they are still human beings with rights to take in consideration at all times. Despite the fact that, prisoners are deprived of freedom, they are still fully entitled to their human rights.

Furthermore, the criminal justice system’s main objective is defined by the President’s Commission as a stand for the society to “"enforce the standards of conduct necessary to protect individuals and the community. " Prison reform is far from being over. While crime is prevalent, a more effective penal system should also be utilized. The legal and penal system of a society provides a gauge into the government’s law and order to include morality, it is always best to seek reform for the betterment of the offenders rather than harder punishments that callous not only their individuality but also their souls.

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