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Purpose of Corrections: Punishment, or Rehabilitation?

To successfully complete this assignment, you will need to:

Refer 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 America video 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.
This course requires the use of Strayer Writing Standards. For assistance and information, please refer to the Strayer Writing Standards link in the left-hand menu of your course. Check with your professor for any additional instructions. Note the following:

The preferred method is for your paper to be typed, double-spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides.
Include a cover page containing the assignment title, your name, your professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page is not included in the required page length.
Include a source list page. Citations and source list entries must follow SWS format. The source list page is not included in the required page length.
Learning Outcomes
The specific course learning outcome associated with this assignment is:

Examine the role of the U.S. corrections system with regard to punishment and rehabilitation.
Frank Schmalleger. 2021. Corrections in the 21st Century. CRJ410 McGraw Hill Education 9th edition textbook available at https://www.strayerbookstore.com

Banning Lary. 2010. Psychology, Criminality, and Incarceration in America. https://video-alexanderstreet-com.libdatab.strayer.edu/watch/psychology-criminality-incarceration-in-america

Bureau of Justice Statistics. May 2018. 2018 Update on Prisoner Recidivism: A 9-Year Follow-up Period (2005-2014) [PDF]. https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/18upr9yfup0514.pdf

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