Criminal Justice Ethics

Criminal Justice Ethics

Following the 19th century penal reforms in the criminal justice system, the act of degrading and demeaning of prisoners was done way with. With initial aim of prison being to reform other than harming the prisoners, it is not ethically justified to expose prisoners to unnecessary degradation on the basis of punishing them. According to Foucault (2000), the goal of reformation in the prison system was to repair all previous deficiencies that law breakers had, with an aim of making them more productive members of the society. Further, it is important to note that the prison system is a corrective institution which facilitates dynamic rejuvenation of the offenders back into the societal mainstream. With severe penalties like death and corporal penal procedures being rendered as ineffective measures for reform due to their ability to inflict pain to the offenders, psychological torture through degradation or demeaning to the offenders should not be overlooked as well (Rusche and Kirchheimer, 1998). On this basis, the prison system should not include degrading and demeaning of prisoners.   

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Foucault, M. (2000). ‘The ethics of the concern of self as a practice of freedom’, in P. Rabinow    (ed.), Ethics: Subjectivity and truth. Essential works of Foucault 1954 – 1984, edited by Paul, 37-49. London: Penguin.

Reiman, J. and Leighton, P. (2000). Criminal justice ethics, (2nd Ed.). New York: Prentice Hall.

Rusche, G. and Kirchheimer, O. (1998). Punishment and Social Structure. New York: Wiley