The U.S. Penal System

The U.S. Penal System

The U.S. Penal System Prison inmates, are some of the most “maladjusted” people in society. Most of the inmates have had too little discipline or too much, come from broken homes, and have no self-esteem. They are very insecure and are “at war with themselves as well as with society” (Szumski 20). Most inmates did not learn moral values or learn to follow everyday norms. Also, when most lawbreakers are labeled criminals they enter the phase of secondary deviance. They will admit they are criminals or believe it when they enter the phase of secondary deviance (Doob 171). Next, some believe that if we want to rehabilitate criminals we must do more than just send them to prison. For instance, we could give them a chance to acquire job skills; which will improve the chances that inmates will become productive citizens upon release. The programs must aim to change those who want to change. Those who are taught to produce useful goods and to be productive are “likely to develop the self-esteem essential to a normal, integrated personality” (Szumski 21). This kind of program would provide skills and habits and “replace the sense of hopelessness” that many inmates have (Szumski 21). Moreover, another technique used to rehabilitate criminals is counseling. There is two types of counseling in general, individual and group counseling. Individual counseling is much more costly than group counseling. The aim of group counseling is to develop positive peer pressure that will influence its members. One idea in many sociology text is that group problem-solving has definite advantages over individual problem-solving. The idea is that a wider variety of solutions can be derived by drawing from the experience of several people with different backgrounds. Also one individuals problem might have already been solved by another group member and can be suggested. Often if a peer proposes …


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