Goals of incarceration

The blog OnFiction describing Hamlet being performed in a high-security prison. One line struck me:-

“One also cannot help but ponder the potential for human transformation in general, and the competing goals of incarceration: to both rehabilitate and to punish”.

Competing goals of incarceration.

1. A phrase that explains exactly why different prisons end up taking different approaches. In some societies it is primarily a tool of punishment and in other a chance for rehabilitation.

What is ‘incarceration’ to you?

2. Can you imagine prisons working so well that an individual might prefer committing a crime and, say, learn a skill in there while being fed than take the alternatives society provides him? Could such a model prison work when society around it is operating at a worse level (I suppose there could be micro-climates that are operating at lower levels than society taken as an enitirety).

Is this already happening?

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1 Comment

  1. UK prisons have Sky TV. I can’t afford that. Free meals, free education, free rent. I am sure this is a motivation for a lot of crime actually!


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