Corrections in society are instituted to serve various goals in the social order. The most important of the goals is retribution. Retribution is important from the perspective of the person who has violated the law or infringed on the rights of others deserving some penalty. Hence, the corrections should be aimed at making the person pay for the crime. The next in order of importance is deterrence. The aim, in this case, is to punish for crime as the means of deterring others from committing crime. If corrections can prevent crime, then this is an important goal. Incapacitation is the next important goal as it aims at depriving the offender a chance to continue committing crimes against the society (Cullen and Jonson, 7). As long as one is behind the bar, he/she cannot offend, and the society is a safer place.
Rehabilitation is the next goal in the order of importance. Before being reintegrated back into the society, the person should be given a chance to become a constructive member of society. Vocational training or therapy is provided to achieve this goal. Reintegration is the next significant goal, which is critical as the person is being prepared to join the society. Finally, restoration plays out in paying the damage made to victims and society. While the damage should be paid, it is not as important as the other goals because it is critical to work on making the offender a better person before taking him or her back to the society (Cullen and Jonson, 714). Hence, the goals that support the person to become a better and productive member of the society are the most critical. These goals should be pursued in the order of importance.
Sentencing Disparity; Short and Long Term Consequences
Sentencing disparity is a term used in reference to the unequal treatment of some people, due to some physical characteristics, in the sentencing process within the criminal justice system. The cause of the disparity is usually unexplained and has inappropriate, unfair, and disadvantaging consequences. Sentencing disparity is the reason there is an unexplained overrepresentation of members of some community in prison. In the United States, for example, there is a higher rate of blacks in the prisons when compared against the general population of these individuals (Mustard 287). This means that there is a sentencing disparity when dealing with such individuals, when compared to dealing with the members of the mainstream community.
Sentencing disparity has major consequences to the person and society in general. One of the consequences is the mental and emotional impact on the incarcerated person. The reality is that disparity sends people to prison, not necessarily because of the crime they have committed, but because of their physical characteristics. The long-term effect could be learning the criminal behavior during incarceration. For the society, there are cost implications in maintaining the prisoners and in terms of lost productivity as the people are not able to contribute to the economy while in prison. The society is also affected in terms of ruined reputation because of the failure of its criminal justice system (Mustard 290). A society that unfairly punishes its people is normally viewed in a negative light. Hence, the criminal justice system has a major impact on the image of the society and the well-being of its people.
Cullen, Francis T., and Cheryl Lero Jonson. Correctional theory: Context and consequences. Sage Publications, 2016.
Mustard, David B. “Racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in sentencing: Evidence from the US federal courts.” The Journal of Law and Economics 44.1 (2001): 285-314.