Discuss about the Imprisoning Offenders for Australian Justice System.
From the very beginning, prison has not only been considered as an institution but also as a centre of correction in which inmates have lived their lives and experienced the worst. Traditionally, the concept of prison was based on the perspective that, individuals who have committed wrong against the society are bound to be kept in prisons. In this regard, scholars were of the opinion that for the purpose of protecting the society from crime and disorder, it is important to imprison offenders (Armstrong and Maruna 2016). In modern era, adequate research has been conducted on the life of the inmates inside the prisons however; the effects and necessity of incarceration was not emphasized. The essay is commissioned to examine the fact that why imprisonment of offenders plays significant role in the Australian Justice System and the impact of incarceration on inmates however; much emphasis is laid on the fact that why prisons are considered to be obsolete.
In the past the criminal justice system of Australia was complex in nature however; in recent era, with the implementation of various programs and individualized treatments, the criminal justice system of Australia gained new shape (Baldry and Cunneen 2014). According to the perspective of modern authors, the community of Australia deserves an efficient criminal justice system which would be beneficial in enhancing community safety. However, it is important on the part of the Australian Justice System to apply appropriate policies for the purpose of holding the offenders accountable for their criminal activities by ensuring the outcomes of their actions (Tonry 2015). It is noteworthy to mention here that, from the beginning, the primary objective of the Australian Justice System is community security and protection. However, community safety can be ensured if the crime rates are reduced considerably and the individuals of the society are deterred from further commission of crimes. It is evident that an offender shall be able to reform himself if he remains within the community however; in this regard, the community plays a major role in accepting such offenders back into the society (White 2015). The Criminal Justice System of Australia has undermined the risks related to this matter from time to time (Buchanon, Swanson and Swartz 2017). Now the question lies in the fact that why imprisoning the offenders is important for the Australian Justice System. This is due to the reason that with the imprisoning of offenders, the risk towards the society can be reduced to a large extent. In this regard, the Australian Justice System has undertaken flexible sentencing regimes for the purpose of improving community safety and contributing towards lower rates of recidivism (Glass 2016). It is worth noting that due to the implementation of such policies in the Australian Justice System, significant results has been achieved in managing the number of offenders in the community. However, it has contributed towards an increase in number of inmates in the prisons of Australia.
It is worthwhile to mention here that the criminal justice system of Australia has proved to be beneficial in protecting the interests and security of the community to a large extent. In this regard, the criminal justice system has been considered to be just and fair for enforcing and applying various successful programs for the elimination of crime from the society. Therefore, much emphasis has been laid upon the concept of sentencing and its significance for the betterment of the community. In the early 1980s, an unprecedented growth has been experienced in the prison population of Australia (Jeffries and Newbold 2016). As a result of such rapid increase of rates in prison population, highest per capita incarceration rate has been witnessed in Australia as compared to other industrialized democracies. In this context, mention can be made regarding the substantial increase in the number of inmates in Australian prisons that has efficiently attributed to the elimination of crimes from 1975 to 1985 (Tubex, Blagg and Tulich 2018). During that period, it was observed that, for the purpose of enhancing quick response towards the issue of increasing crime within the communities, various policymakers and government authorities demanded to introduce tough policies involving lengthy determinate sentences (Kapellas and Jamieson 2016). Therefore, due to such reasons, imprisoning the offenders became an important matter of concern to the Australian Justice System. It is worth mentioning that, as a result of increasing desire on the part of the general public to severely punish the offenders for their criminal activities in order to deter them from committing further crime in future, incarceration of the offenders is still a significant part of the justice system of Australia.
In spite of various efforts on the part of modern researchers in conducting extensive regarding the subject-matter of criminal justice system, the perceptions of inmates regarding prison life has been largely ignored. Therefore, the perceptions of the inmates shall be emphasized in relation to the sociological and psychological impact as well as their intention to avoid criminal activities after release. In recent era, plenty of research has been conducted for the purpose of examining the impact of incarceration on the inmates. According to the perspectives of early researchers, since time immemorial, incarceration had created negative psychological and physical effects on the inmates (Kelly and Armitage 2015). These impact included depression, suicidal tendencies and emotional withdrawal. However, in modern society, effort has been made by the prison authorities and various government officials to reduce the dreadful impact of incarceration on the inmates.
It is evident that the objective of prison is to provide appropriate cure to the offenders for the purpose of reincarnating them. However, it can be seen that, in reality prisons do more harm to the offenders than good. The pain associated with jail confinement creates harmful impact on the inmates in various ways. However, the most important of them are psychological and sociological impact. It is worthwhile to mention here that prisons have been designed for the purpose of converting the inmates into responsible citizen of the society. Unfortunately, recent researches have shown that life in a prison is a form of torture which results into various psychological effects which can be emphasized as depression, delusions and dissatisfaction with life (Lawson 2015). However, the sociological impacts are associated with isolation from family and relatives, the shame of being imprisoned and non-acceptance on the part of the society after being released. It can be observed that the prisoners on release face various psychological disturbances which promote the occurrence of more criminal activities in the future. It is noteworthy to mention here that these psychological impacts are sometimes destructive in nature which creates instances of madness substance abuse on the part of the inmates. In most of the cases, there is a feeling of shame on the part of the prison inmates regarding the matter of being incarcerated. In this regard, the inmates develop suicidal tendencies as a result of prolonged victimization (Nettelbeck 2018). As a result of such sociological and psychological impact, the dependency of the inmates towards the institutional structures has increased considerably. Therefore, interpersonal distrust and suspicion among the jail inmates have increased to a large extent which resulted into various exploitive activities within the prison structure. Due to the reason of being incarcerated, inmates are socially withdrawn and isolated from the community and due to lack of support on the part of the society; the sense of self-worth and personal value has diminished to a great extent (Perry 2016).
The argument regarding the fact that whether prisons are obsolete has been established for the purpose of emphasizing the fact that whether it is important to abolish prisons or not. In the opinion of Angela Davis, an author and activist, the structural framework of prisons has been designed for the purpose of promoting a new form of slavery. According to her perspective, the reformative policies of the prisons are not well structured and therefore as a result of it inmates are horribly tortured especially women (Davis 2011). According to her point of view, that there are better ways in which the criminal activities of the inmates can be addressed and therefore it is essential for the communities to change their perspectives towards criminals and contribute to the abolition of prisons in the long term. It can be stated that in modern era, the structural framework of prisons are quite complex which involves various forms of modern slavery, cruelty and corruptions. Therefore, it is worth noting that the argument presented by Angela Davis can prove to be efficient in presenting the idea that it is important to reform or rehabilitate the inmates rather than punishing them brutally.
In the conclusion, it can be stated that the present conditions of incarceration under the Australian Justice System has been improved. Therefore, there is a greater chance on the part of the government policies and programs to emphasize on rehabilitating offenders for the purpose of improving public safety and preventing future crimes. However, efforts should be demonstrated on the fact that the programs should be implemented for the benefit of the inmates and not for the purpose of making their conditions even more worsening.
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