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You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. You should write at least 250 words Present a written argument to an educated reader with no specialist knowledge of the following topic:
"Should criminals be punished with lengthy jail terms of re-educated and rehabilitated using, for instance, community service programs."
Use your own knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence.
Crime is a social vice yet societies have been dealing with this throughout the history of societies. The ways in which legal system deals with those who break the law has long been a contentious programs, as well as notions of just and adequate punishment. There are many people who question both the principles behind, and the effectiveness of programs that seek to re-educate criminals before they are re-introduced to society. It is my opinion that even assuming limited effectiveness, these programs are socially and practically valuable.
Criminologists, based on criminal profiling, broadly categorize two types of offenders. The first category offenders are those who have repeated causes of breaking the law. So releasing this type of criminals is in a sense releasing the identified social dangers with high propensity to relapse-back to their old habits. Rehabilitation efforts have a high rate of frailer in case of this type of criminals. The second category is circumstantial offenders where the offender is mentally healthy and not prone to crime, yet the crime happens due to circumstantial influences. In the second cases, rehabilitation programs work better and many argue that longer jail terms are not a good idea at all for this group of offender.
Arguments against rehabilitation are often based on two points. Firstly, opponents question the effectiveness of such program. Given the great expense rehabilitation programmer incur on the taxpayers, they are not effective enough in preventing repeat offences. Secondly, it is unfair and against social justice that criminals receive expensive education programs at public money. The opponents maintain that the offenders should be given exemplary punishment with long jail sentences instead. However, neither of the opinions has absolute suitability over other.
Though it is true that rehabilitation programs are often not effective and that upon release some inmates quickly re-offend and it does seem unfair that criminals receive taxpayer financed education programs, it is society’s best interests to gradually reintegrate offenders safely to society. Moreover, punishing criminals with long jail terms creates a “them and us” society by establishing and reinforcing a criminal community within prisons. However, it cannot be denied that having a rehabilitation program is more effective than not having one at all, and that at least it offers prisoners more options when they are released. More importantly, long time inmates often report that they repeat offence from the above discussion that crime should really be seen as a social problem and criminals as members of society who need help to fit in.
As such, locking these members of society up in jails for long periods of time is not the best way to help make these adjustments, and moreover neither is it a cost efficient way of dealing with these members of society up in jails for long periods of time is not the best way to help make these adjustments, and this was the recent construction, in Western Australia, of the Biblemum Trail, a 600km hiking rack with facilities all along the way. During this construction project inmates received instruction in various different areas of the building trade, including workplace integration and deadline responsibilities.
Finally, though rehabilitation programs use up public money, longer jail terms would entail even greater costs. However, now a day many rehabilitation programs use up public money, longer jail terms would entail even greater costs. However, now a day many rehabilitation programs offer opportunity to make up some of these costs.
Prisoners can be put to work in community service projects, which both provide the prisoners with valuable training, public with much needed services.