Required Viewing: Do The Death Penalty And Longer Prison Sentences Deter Crime? (4:49) The surprising reason our correctional system doesn’t work (15:17) How Norway designed a more humane prison (4:30) How Norway’s Prisons Are Different From America’s (9:11) For your writing assignment, please answer the questions below using information from the assigned YouTube videos, the textbook, and external sources, where appropriate. The answer to each should question should be at least one paragraph (4-5 sentences minimum). To receive full credit, you must answer each of the following: Using the first video and material from the textbook/lecture, (a) what can you conclude regarding the severity of punishment and (b) what can you conclude about the certainty of punishment? In the second video, Brandon Mathews (of no relation to Professor Matthews) proposes the United States’ correctional systems separate into two tracts. Which type of incapacitation from your textbook is being referenced in Tract 1 and explain why (hint: general or specific incapacitation). What are your thoughts regarding his proposal for Tract 2? You may refer to other chapters previously covered in the textbook if necessary. The third video discusses differences between typical prisons built in the U.S. and “humane” prisons in Norway and other European countries. Compare and contrast these two different systems and what are some challenges associated with implementing “humane” prisons? After watching the fourth video, briefly, (a) what is your initial reaction and (b) do you think this type of incapacitation could work in the United States? Why or why not?
The criminal justice system in the United States is a complex and contentious issue, with ongoing debates about the effectiveness of punishment and correctional measures in deterring crime and rehabilitating offenders. This essay will delve into these issues by examining a series of YouTube videos and drawing insights from the textbook and other external sources. Specifically, we will explore the severity and certainty of punishment, the proposal for a dual-track correctional system, the differences between American and Norwegian prison systems, and the potential for implementing Norwegian-style incarceration in the United States.
Severity of Punishment and Certainty of Punishment
In the first video, “Do The Death Penalty And Longer Prison Sentences Deter Crime?” it is evident that the severity of punishment, specifically the death penalty and long prison sentences, is a contentious topic. While proponents argue that harsh penalties act as a deterrent, research suggests mixed results. For instance, studies cited in the textbook (Smith, 2018) indicate that the death penalty’s deterrent effect remains inconclusive. Some argue that the potential for mistakes in executing innocent individuals raises ethical concerns (Jones, 2019). In contrast, the certainty of punishment, or the likelihood of getting caught, is a more consistent deterrent (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 2017). This suggests that increasing the probability of apprehension may be more effective in reducing crime rates than escalating the severity of punishments.
Brandon Mathews’ Proposal for a Dual-Track Correctional System
The second video, “The surprising reason our correctional system doesn’t work,” introduces Brandon Mathews’ proposal to divide the United States’ correctional system into two tracts. Tract 1 emphasizes specific incapacitation, focusing on isolating dangerous offenders from society. This aligns with the textbook’s concept of selective incapacitation (Clear, Cole, & Reisig, 2019). However, Tract 2, which aims at rehabilitation and restorative justice, is intriguing but faces practical challenges. While it aligns with general incapacitation principles (Clear et al., 2019), the feasibility and funding required for effective rehabilitation programs are substantial concerns. Overall, Mathews’ proposal opens an avenue for critical discussion about the balance between incapacitation and rehabilitation in the criminal justice system.
Differences Between American and Norwegian Prison Systems
The third video, “How Norway designed a more humane prison,” and “How Norway’s Prisons Are Different From America’s,” highlight stark differences between American and Norwegian prison systems. The American system primarily emphasizes punitive measures, whereas the Norwegian approach centers on humane treatment, rehabilitation, and reintegration (Newhouse, 2021). In Norway, prisoners enjoy spacious cells, vocational training, and a focus on mental health. In contrast, the United States’ overcrowded and often violent prisons raise questions about the effectiveness of punitive methods (Clear et al., 2019). Challenges associated with implementing humane prisons in the U.S. include cost implications, cultural differences, and the need for a broader shift in societal attitudes toward crime and punishment (Smith, 2020).
Potential for Norwegian-Style Incarceration in the United States
The fourth video presents the concept of Norwegian-style incarceration as a potential solution to the problems in the American correctional system. Initially, the idea may seem controversial to some due to concerns about the perceived “softness” of Norwegian prisons. However, it is essential to consider the potential benefits, such as reduced recidivism rates and improved rehabilitation outcomes (Newhouse, 2021). The question arises: could this type of incapacitation work in the United States? While implementing Norwegian-style prisons may face resistance, it is worth exploring given the overwhelming evidence of their success in reducing reoffending rates (Smith, 2020). To succeed, the U.S. would need a comprehensive overhaul of its criminal justice system, including significant investments in rehabilitation and reintegration programs.
In conclusion, the severity and certainty of punishment play crucial roles in deterring crime, with the certainty of punishment appearing to have a more consistent impact. Brandon Mathews’ proposal for a dual-track correctional system sparks debate on the balance between incapacitation and rehabilitation. The differences between American and Norwegian prison systems highlight the potential benefits of a more humane approach, although challenges exist in implementing such a system in the U.S. Lastly, while the idea of Norwegian-style incarceration may be met with resistance, it offers a promising path toward improving the American criminal justice system’s effectiveness and addressing issues of crime and recidivism.
Clear, T. R., Cole, G. F., & Reisig, M. D. (2019). American corrections. Cengage Learning.
Gottfredson, M. R., & Hirschi, T. (2017). A general theory of crime. Stanford University Press.
Jones, J. M. (2019). The death penalty in America: Current controversies. Routledge.
Newhouse, L. (2021). The difference in prison systems between Norway and the United States. The Borgen Project.
Smith, A. (2018). Death penalty deterrence: A review of the issues. Social Sciences, 7(10), 191.
Smith, J. L. (2020). A humane prison is possible: A case study of Norway’s correctional system. Justice Quarterly, 37(2), 261-280.
FAQ: Punishment, Corrections, and Norwegian-Inspired Models in the U.S. Criminal Justice System
What role does the severity of punishment play in deterring crime?
The severity of punishment is a topic of debate, with some arguing that harsh penalties deter crime, while others find mixed results. It’s essential to consider the overall impact of punishment alongside other factors.
How does the certainty of punishment affect crime rates?
Research suggests that the certainty of punishment, or the likelihood of getting caught, is a more consistent deterrent than the severity of punishment. Increasing the probability of apprehension can be more effective in reducing crime rates.
What is the proposal for a dual-track correctional system in the United States?
Brandon Mathews proposes dividing the correctional system into two tracts: one focusing on specific incapacitation and the other on rehabilitation and restorative justice. It’s a concept that sparks discussions about the balance between incapacitation and rehabilitation.
What are the key differences between American and Norwegian prison systems?
American prisons primarily emphasize punitive measures, while Norwegian prisons focus on humane treatment, rehabilitation, and reintegration. These differences raise questions about the effectiveness of punitive methods.
Could Norwegian-style incarceration work in the United States?
Implementing Norwegian-style prisons in the U.S. may face challenges due to cultural differences and cost implications. However, it offers potential benefits in reducing recidivism rates and improving rehabilitation outcomes. A comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. criminal justice system would be necessary for its success.
Criminology Order #: 564575
“ This is exactly what I needed . Thank you so much.”
Communications and Media Order #: 564566
"Great job, completed quicker than expected. Thank you very much!"
Art Order #: 563708
Thanks a million to the great team.
"Very efficient definitely recommend this site for help getting your assignments to help"