John Sullivan 1/7/02 Prison Opinion Worksheet 1. I think that society sees the goals of prison as punishment and rehabilitation. I feel that for the most part prison is looked at as a source of punishment, but in reality is actually more of a source for rehabilitation. I don't agree with the rehabilitation aspect of prison as much, because I feel that the person has been put into prison for committing acts that are unacceptable by society's standards. However, my thoughts on this change depending upon the crime that the person has committed. For smaller offenses such as drug use there should most definetely be some sort of rehabilitation because that person will not be in prison for the rest of their lives. Yet, for more serious crimes such as murder there should be no form of rehabilitation. Society should simply lock the person up and throw away the key.
2. Yes, I believe that there are alternatives to prison. We learned that a judge can specifically sentence someone to community service or rehabilitation. These are alternatives that show society's disappointment in the individuals actions but give a second chance.
3. Yes, I think Americans should care about the kinds of prisons that are in America and what exactly goes on inside them. I feel that Americans cannot section themselves off from prison life just because it may not be a direct factor in their lives. There are things such as harsh treatment and unfair punishment of inmates that cannot go unnoticed. Society and lawmakers set the standards for what crimes put a person in jail, they cannot stop caring about what goes on inside the jail.
4. Prisons are not the problem. It is the excessive sentencing for lesser non-violent crimes that is the problem. Prisons should...