Should prison be used as a deterrent or a place for rehabilitation? Watch

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University of Hertfordshire Guest Lecturer
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Prisons affect many lives and are very expensive to maintain, but it is equally important that justice is always served.

So how does UK’s current prison system work? Is it a deterrent of crime or a place for rehabilitation? Recently alternatives to prison have also been suggested, for example, more focus on community sentences for less serious offences that have attracted a custodial sentence. However, for some the need for retribution is a greater need than rehabilitation...

What do you think? Should prison be a punishment to deter crime, or a place for rehabilitation?



Kofi Odei Addo is a lecturer at the Hertfordshire Law School, University of Hertfordshire. He studied his PhD at the Department of Sociology, University of Essex, where he also worked as a teaching assistant.

Prior to coming to Essex, Kofi worked in a number of organisations; this includes the British Armed Forces, Logistics Organisation, and also within the Private Policing Sector. After an exemplary Military service (2001-2006), for his second undergraduate study, he read Criminology/Sociology at Anglia Ruskin University (2009), and at the University of Cambridge, Institute of Criminology, he took Criminological Research at Darwin College and obtained MPhil in 2010.

Kofi’s interest lies in, Policing (police confidence, corruption and legitimacy), Private policing, War Crimes, State Crimes, Psychology of Criminal Behaviour and Crime Control, Procedural and Restorative Justice, Cross-Cultural Criminology, Sociology of Prison Life, and Deviance and Social Control. In my spare time, listen to music, do a lot of DIY. I also have an interest in football, boxing, hockey, skiing and cooking.
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rehabilitation because tbh many prisoners go out of prison and commit the same crimes, and the government don't really help them afterwards like if they were in jail for debt and gambling they still have that debt to pay making it harder for them to survive. lol sorry if this made no sense
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Drewski
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Why can't they be both?

It's a deterrent, because who wants to be locked up with no freedoms?
But it's for rehabilitation, because as society we want them to be better people.

What kind of basic and boring reductionist view puts it at either/or?
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Emiluu
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Both. Also it protects society from criminals.
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yamumisgæ
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(Original post by University of Hertfordshire Guest Lecturer)
Prisons affect many lives and are very expensive to maintain, but it is equally important that justice is always served.

So how does UK’s current prison system work? Is it a deterrent of crime or a place for rehabilitation? Recently alternatives to prison have also been suggested, for example, more focus on community sentences for less serious offences that have attracted a custodial sentence. However, for some the need for retribution is a greater need than rehabilitation...

What do you think? Should prison be a punishment to deter crime, or a place for rehabilitation?



Kofi Odei Addo is a lecturer at the Hertfordshire Law School, University of Hertfordshire. He studied his PhD at the Department of Sociology, University of Essex, where he also worked as a teaching assistant.

Prior to coming to Essex, Kofi worked in a number of organisations; this includes the British Armed Forces, Logistics Organisation, and also within the Private Policing Sector. After an exemplary Military service (2001-2006), for his second undergraduate study, he read Criminology/Sociology at Anglia Ruskin University (2009), and at the University of Cambridge, Institute of Criminology, he took Criminological Research at Darwin College and obtained MPhil in 2010.

Kofi’s interest lies in, Policing (police confidence, corruption and legitimacy), Private policing, War Crimes, State Crimes, Psychology of Criminal Behaviour and Crime Control, Procedural and Restorative Justice, Cross-Cultural Criminology, Sociology of Prison Life, and Deviance and Social Control. In my spare time, listen to music, do a lot of DIY. I also have an interest in football, boxing, hockey, skiing and cooking.
why not both
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Rock Fan
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If you committ serious crimes you should go to prison, it's that simple.
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1234543210
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I am a Norwegian citizen, and I have experienced how rehabilitation works (Norwegian prisons are 3 stars hotels). I would say that it is a good idea, and the crimes are being reduced. Instead of creating anger while locking prisoners in, are we preparing them for a life outside the bars - and hopefully helping them to get their life on the right track. Even though it costs a lot of money, it is the system protecting the rest of the community by making sure that the prisoners will not be a danger for the rest of the people when they come out.
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anosmianAcrimony
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Yes, both; but mostly rehabilitation. I suspect a lot of ''deterrents'' really just make people feel downtrodden and don't deter them much, or if anything increase their likelihood of committing crimes. If we as a society treat the most at risk among us with respect and dignity, and expect them to follow the law without needing to be ''deterred'' from crime, I suspect they will generally meet our expectations.
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davesantana
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some of the prisons are better than some peoples houses. tv, whatever food they want, phones.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by davesantana)
some of the prisons are better than some peoples houses. tv, whatever food they want, phones.
no they sneak in phones also they are allowed to "watch tv" during their free time which isn't very often. lmao the only reason it seems like the have phones and other rubbish is because its glamorised as that from prisons video on Instagram and also prisoners can pay police officers to sneak them goods such as phone etc..
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rebeccaxrss
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(Original post by Anonymous)
no they sneak in phones also they are allowed to "watch tv" during their free time which isn't very often. lmao the only reason it seems like the have phones and other rubbish is because its glamorised as that from prisons video on Instagram and also prisoners can pay police officers to sneak them goods such as phone etc..
this is very true the police officers they "trust" or family members & friends that come to visit can hand them items in a discreet way. lol its not as nice as it seems davesantana you should watch some documentaries on prison life x
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Sammylou40
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It needs to be both.
The prison system needs investment.
The use of drugs and mobiles for example has to be stamped out. How I have no idea.
And bad behaviour inside needs punishment too. Proper punishment.
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Faves_26
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I think both. A deterrent as well as a place for rehabilitation. To stop them and then make them understand the damage they might have done and also help them have a better quality of life
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angelinahx
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Rehabilitation. People who believe that prison actually works as a deterrent for crime don't understand why people commit crimes in the first place.
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bones-mccoy
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It should be both but primarly rehabilitation

Neither option seems to be very effective at the moment, though
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angelike1
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In order of importance: keep the public safe, rehabilitation, deterrence
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DiddyDecAlt
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They should be both.

The deterrence should from the loss of freedom not the appalling conditions that lead to the rise of mental health problems and self harm. That should never be used as a punishment.

Rehabilitation is the key to reducing prison usage and ensuring that those who have offended can become productive members of society rather than being marginalised to be pushed back into crime.

This either/or mentality is part of the problem with our prison system. Politicians in power focus too heavily on the punishment leading to appalling human rights abuse and prison conditions that should not be seen in any society claiming to be civilised.
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Joleee
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i know that police, crime and prison statistics are complex and distorted for a variety of reasons, but the re-offending rate proves that prison is not a deterrence nor a place of rehabilitation. asking what prison 'should' be, imo, is like asking what you would do if you won a million pounds.

prison doesn't work but prison is a necessary evil for other reasons, such as keeping the public safe (temporarily); preserving public confidence in the justice system/government/general-public-safety; and satisfying the common belief that you shouldn't be able to hurt someone and get away with it. but prison does more for the general population that it does for the actual criminal.

we need to treat the root cause of crime if we want less of it, which is probably more expensive and why we don't do it as much as we should be. but prison is a plaster for a much bigger problem (sorry if that sounds too pessimistic at this hour in the morning ).
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Wirt
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(Original post by Joleee)
i know that police, crime and prison statistics are complex and distorted for a variety of reasons, but the re-offending rate proves that prison is not a deterrence nor a place of rehabilitation. asking what prison 'should' be, imo, is like asking what you would do if you won a million pounds.

prison doesn't work but prison is a necessary evil for other reasons, such as keeping the public safe (temporarily); preserving public confidence in the justice system/government/general-public-safety; and satisfying the common belief that you shouldn't be able to hurt someone and get away with it. but prison does more for the general population that it does for the actual criminal.

we need to treat the root cause of crime if we want less of it, which is probably more expensive and why we don't do it as much as we should be. but prison is a plaster for a much bigger problem (sorry if that sounds too pessimistic at this hour in the morning ).
Even though reading this at 7:48am is somewhat painful, I completely agree with this post.

We cannot keep wilfully ignoring the evidence that prison doesn’t work as a deterrent just because we’d like to think it works. People who come to commit crimes have arrived at their actions through a very complex web of previous experiences and environment and there’s no rehab or deterrent that can stop that. We’re talking prevention.
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University of Hertfordshire
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(Original post by Drewski)
Why can't they be both?

It's a deterrent, because who wants to be locked up with no freedoms?
But it's for rehabilitation, because as society we want them to be better people.

What kind of basic and boring reductionist view puts it at either/or?
So we thought, let's have a discussion
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