Can Prisons Work?: The Prisoner as Object and Subject in Modern Corrections


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If Prisons Don’t Work, What Will?

It was the collapse of this 'medical' model in the s that created possibilities for innovative approaches in penology and four of these approaches are examined in some depth. Focusing on prisons with broadly conceived educational programs organized by people from outside the field of corrections, Duguid describes how programs in Canada, England, Scotland, and the United States were successful largely because the relationship with prisoner-students was built around notions of reciprocity, mutual respect, and individual development. Empirical data from an extensive follow-up study of the Canadian program is presented as evidence of the potential success using these kinds of approaches.

In each of these cases, however, these programs, others like them, were eventually terminiated by prison authorities. The book concludes with the exploration of the tension between prison systems and outsiders engaged with programs within prisons. It argues against the re-emergence of a new medical model in favour of more humane - and human - approaches to individual change and reformation.

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Can Prisons Work? Stephen Duguid. Cid Jose28 suggests that prison sanctions do not reduce recidivism more effectively than suspended sentences; however, the risk of recidivism increases when the offender is imprisoned. In order to reduce recidivism it seems reasonable to replace prison with non-custodial sentences; this is especially important when the offender has no previous experience of imprisonment. However, the author does not discuss what can be done for prisons to reform and rehabilitate offenders before reverting to alternatives to imprisonment.

Thus, this research is necessary. Reidy Thomas, J. Most inmates resort to violence while serving life sentence due to lack of hope for release. Thus, it is important 26 Cole George, F. The meaning of life imprisonment has caused controversy in the judiciary in Uganda especially with the Act limiting it to 20 years then the prisoner is fit for release on remission.


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Some judges oppose this limitation. Wormith Stephen, J. If treatment is not completed, the chances of recidivism are very high as compared to those who have finished the treatment. Therefore, there should be a mechanism in the prisons to enable the prison officers to ensure that all prisoners get effective and complete treatment to reduce the chances of recidivism.

He compares this to the meaning of life imprisonment under the Uganda Prisons Act He argues that life imprisonment should have a possibility for an earlier release. This gives prisoners the hope of earlier release through remission which is a spring board for their reformation and rehabilitation. Thus, to the extent that this work discusses remission under the Uganda Prisons Act , it is relevant to this study though he focuses on Namibia. Ddamulira32 analyses the different interpretations that have been accorded to remission of prison sentence under the Prisons Act by courts in Uganda. He argues that courts should interpret life sentence to mean imprisonment up to a maximum of 20 years as contained under the Prisons Act Section 86 3.

This is because if life imprisonment does not provide room for remission, prisoners will not see the need to get reformed because they will remain in prison anyway.

Imprisonment results into a high prison population, causing overcrowding. It is because of the above problems of using prisons as the only measure in dealing with offenders that she recommends the introduction of alternatives to imprisonment like, community service to reform and rehabilitate offenders. This has the impact of reducing the level of recidivism and the general crime rate in the country.

However, the author does not discuss how prisons can be used to reform and rehabilitate offenders and how the laws in Uganda, especially the Prisons Act , have enhanced the reformation and rehabilitation of offenders, which is the focus of this study. Masamba34 analyses the objectives of the Uganda Prisons Act , which are social rehabilitation and social reintegration of prisoners as per Section 4 of the Act.

These include members from where the prisoners come, including; the prisoners themselves, the victims and their relatives, the neighbours, the local authorities, and the prisons officers facilitates reintegration after release of prisoners. Prisons staff should be exposed to notions of; social control, social reaction towards prisoners' conduct to facilitate reformation of prisoners.

Kinemo Ross, E. She asserts that reformation and rehabilitation of prisoners is frustrated by the death penalty, excessively long periods of imprisonment, prescribed for under the Minimum Sentences Act and corporal punishment. It is hard to reform offenders by subjecting them to corporal punishment which is inhuman treatment.

These fundamental rights should be manifested in the treatment of prisoners.

Can Prison Work?: The Prisoner as Object and Subject in Modern Corrections / Edition 1

The best guarantee to secure the rights of the prisoners and to prevent recidivism through making inmates take responsibility of their lives and change their criminal behavior is the quality of the core personnel in the prisons, the prison staff. They have to be taught the difficult task of combining different goals in their work with inmates. The Report of the Justice, Law and Order Sector37 discusses the impact of key institutions including prisons in efficient justice delivery and reduction of the level of crime.

The challenges to effective reformation and rehabilitation of prisoners are; inadequate legislation, institutional resources that constrain capacity and attitudinal barriers to change and a high re-offending behaviour. The Prison Census Report discusses the causes of the ever increasing prison population in Uganda which among others include high level of recidivism. As some of the solutions to the eradication of the high prison population, the report suggests compliance with the constitutional minimum length for remand prisoners and reformation and rehabilitation of prisoners.

This report is relevant to this research because of overcrowding is one of the problems hindering implementation of prison programs like categorization of prisoners. However, the report does not discuss the legal challenges to reformation and rehabilitation of prisoners, which is part of the focus of this research. This is always in a place of confinement specifically designed for that purpose, called a prison Imprisonment is normally pronounced by courts upon a person convicted of a crime.

The major objectives are; protection of society, deterrence of potential offenders, retribution, and reformation and rehabilitation of offenders. This theory emphasizes solitary confinement so as to deny the criminal a chance to commit more crimes This theory was advanced by Sutherland who realized the need of removing social and economic forces that induce delinquency and commission of crime by focusing on the individual who shows potentialities of anti-social behavior. Imprisonment incapacitates the criminal because he is put under strict control to make him unable to commit more crimes This brings peace and stability in the community due to reduced crime commission.

In Kalibobo Jackson versus Uganda43 the Court of Appeal held that prevalence of a crime in the area should be considered alongside the other circumstances of the particular offence. If the crime rate is high, there is need to protect the society by imposing long prison sentences on offenders. However, the reliance on prisons to prevent crime by confinement of offenders is expensive in terms of their maintenance on state resources due to over congestion. Cesare Beccaria argued that human behavior can be influenced by variation in punishment and, called for general prevention of crime through intimidation or deterrence and asserted that to be just, punishment should not exceed that degree of intensity which will deter others from crime Imprisonment, first, deters the individual offender who, because of having been to prison, will reflect on his criminal background and will refrain from committing further crime Secondly, the prisoner serves as an example to others who harbor criminal intentions to abandon them For these reasons, it is argued, for prisons to be deterrent, the conditions therein should be such that no one would ever want to return to prison.

This means that imprisonment is a punishment which can achieve the aims of any other punishment and thus any additional punishment accompanying it is adjudged inhuman treatment. Imprisonment is viewed as satisfying the hopes of the victims of crime by keeping the offenders in confinement. It is believed that a criminal deserves 44 Caldwell, R. Through pain the offender pays the debt owed to the society. If this is not done, it is likely that those who obey the law will feel cheated and may also be demoralized in their obedience and develop criminal attitudes Therefore retribution through long prison sentences helps to maintain the public sense of justice.

The more heinous the crime committed the longer the prison sentence There is no need for giving consideration to mitigating factors in sentencing. Instead, emphasis is placed on gravity of the crime and harm suffered by the victim.

In Yanus Wanaba versus Uganda55 the Court of Appeal held that there is need always to tailor the sentence to fit the crime. This shows the retributive view held by courts. The two terms are almost synonymous but, rehabilitation is more of a direct intervention by prison authorities, for instance through treatment, while reformation is more inclined towards an indirect role of the prison authorities through for instance, education, religion, work, among others, which gives the prisoner chance to reconsider his criminal deeds This is a result of the influence human rights law on penology.

It is now desirable to treat prisoners from a humane stand to enable them to be reformed and rehabilitated. It is argued, if reformation and rehabilitation of prisoners is to be realized, their rights have to be respected Since punishment does not give pleasure, it must be useful.

If punishment is not useful, then it would not be just and thus everything useless in punishment should be avoided. This has been advanced as one of the basis of the reformative approach to punishment and imprisonment in particular The theories that criminality is hereditary and the Lombrosian doctrine that criminals have certain body features have been jettisoned from modern penological conceptions It is accepted that criminality is a product of human society and environment and nobody is born a criminal thus abandoning punitive methods of dealing with offenders and other forms of torture The idea under the theory of rehabilitation and reformation of offenders is not punishment should fit the offence but, punishment should fit the offender The modern concept of criminal justice is convalescence and social rehabilitation of offenders where a prisoner must be brought to realize that he has done wrong, and desires to do better The major objective of imprisonment is rehabilitation and reformation of offenders This started in the eighteenth century with the beginning of strong human rights movements.

It marked not only the culmination of a shift in the nature of punishment, but also in its objective and purpose The aim of punishment shifted from the body to the soul of the offender It is argued that a humanitarian, individualized treatment, classification, meaningful academic and industrial education, intense religious instruction, and positive reinforcement and mild discipline, 58 Ten C. Gower Publishing Company. Great Britain, pg 61 Jacobs, J.

This finds support from international instruments like the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights67 especially Article 10 3 which provides inter alia thus; the prison system shall comprise treatment of prisoners the essential aim of which shall be their reformation and rehabilitation. It thus is incumbent upon governments to ensure that the prisons are used to reform and rehabilitate offenders. It is the function of penal institutions to reform and return the offenders to society as law-abiding citizens by training prisoners in the different skills for rehabilitation Therefore, as Rule provides, correctional personnel in prisons should put emphasis on non exclusion from the community, but, on prisoners continuing being part of the community to which they will return Reintegration programme in correctional institutions are a cornerstone in the rehabilitation processes This is in accord with Rule which advocates fostering of social relations and prison after care services of offenders and members of the family.

This process should not be limited to prisons. All criminal justice institutions should coordinate and rhyme the reformation and rehabilitation of prisoners. This includes, especially, the police, courts and prisons. Therefore, if the objectives and functions of the Uganda Prisons Service are to be realized, the courts of law in imposing sentences, especially imprisonment, have to bear in mind need for reformation and rehabilitation of offenders Reformation and rehabilitation of the offenders should be considered by courts as one of the factors when imposing sentences especially imprisonment In the case of Sebuliba Haruna 66 Pisciotta,W.

Thus, if reformation and rehabilitation of offenders are to be realized, there should be principles to guide the courts in sentencing. These include, among others, the age of the offender, possibility of reformation, remorseful nature of the offender and recidivism.

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This shows that the courts consider the impact of imprisonment on young offenders and will hastate sending a young person to prison. In the case of Kiisa Henry Bairukanga versus Uganda78 the Court of Appeal stated that since the appellant showed remorse, twelve years imprisonment for manslaughter should be reduced to seven years imprisonment because remorse is a sign that the appellant is amenable to reformation and rehabilitation while in prison. This is because recidivism is a sign that the offender is not amenable to reformation and rehabilitation.

The only way to secure community from crime is by sentencing him to a long period of imprisonment.

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In the case of Wilberforce Kakara versus Uganda79, the accused spent ten years in prison for defilement. Upon release he committed the 76 Criminal Appeal No. Ocan J.

Thus in sentencing courts consider the criminal record of the offender to tailor a sentence that will enable one to get reformed. If a person is a first offender courts prefer to keep him out of prison than when one is a recidivist. Thus shorter sentences are ideal if the offence committed is not grave.

Can Prisons Work?: The Prisoner as Object and Subject in Modern Corrections Can Prisons Work?: The Prisoner as Object and Subject in Modern Corrections
Can Prisons Work?: The Prisoner as Object and Subject in Modern Corrections Can Prisons Work?: The Prisoner as Object and Subject in Modern Corrections
Can Prisons Work?: The Prisoner as Object and Subject in Modern Corrections Can Prisons Work?: The Prisoner as Object and Subject in Modern Corrections
Can Prisons Work?: The Prisoner as Object and Subject in Modern Corrections Can Prisons Work?: The Prisoner as Object and Subject in Modern Corrections
Can Prisons Work?: The Prisoner as Object and Subject in Modern Corrections Can Prisons Work?: The Prisoner as Object and Subject in Modern Corrections
Can Prisons Work?: The Prisoner as Object and Subject in Modern Corrections Can Prisons Work?: The Prisoner as Object and Subject in Modern Corrections

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