Imprisonment In The Book 'The Society Of Captives'

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In chapter 1, Sykes describe a multitude of justifications for imprisonment. According to Sykes (2007), imprisonment is the appropriate consequences of most serious crimes. For example, if an individual is robbing and killing people in a community, the appropriate response to such violent crime is to place that individual in prison. In The Society of Captives book, many prisoners alluded to the fact that if one if one is committing crime he or she should be ready to endure the hardship of imprisonment. Imprisonment is justified on these three grounds, deterrence, punishment and reform. The punishment aspect of imprisonment refers to an individual that violated societal laws and must suffer as a result. Sykes (2007) asserted that imprisonment…show more content…
The next goal of deterrence is that imprisonment is not so much a deterrent for the offender rather for others in society who are thinking of committing crimes and the fear of prison should deter them from going through with their actions (Sykes, 2007). The last goal of deterrence, imprisonment will keep offenders away from society thus they are not able to prey on the community (Sykes, 2007). The last justification for imprisonment is reform. The use of reform as a justification for imprisonment is based on the idea that prisons can eradicate the causal factors of crimes within an individual and imprisonment can be used as a mean to keep the offender long enough in order for that goal to be accomplished. Based on the entirety of the book, the ground punishment seems to be more closely aligned with the New Jersey State Prison in the 1950s. Sykes argued that the New Jersey prison officials were in fact punishing the prisoners but could not openly admit it. A clear example of punishment by the New Jersey State prison was the condition of the buildings that housed the

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