The Ethics of Correction and Punishment

For people to coexist, control of behavior is important. To harmonize the society, laws are set stating the kind of punishment to be administered to the offender (Norman 2003). To enforce these laws, several agencies are charged with the responsibilities of charging and punishing those who break the law. Punishments can also be administered by individuals to those persons they have authority over as a response to their wrong doings (Norman 2003). This essay is an evaluation of the ethics of correction and punishment.

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Punishments are imposed on law offenders for various reasons. It is true that some of the offences committed against the law are as a result of factors that can be rectified if the offender is made to realize his mistakes through punishment. In this case, the offender is put on a scheme to rehabilitate him by engaging him/her in various activities that may include community service so that he gets to realize his mistakes and change his attitude towards life (Norman 2003). By doing so, he will have underwent rehabilitation which is an important reason for punishments which is still in place in today’s systems of justice.

Punishments are also important for they protect the society against the offenders who may be a threat to peace and property. This involves weakening the offender’s ability and chances of committing the same crime again. It may include seclusion, confinement or elimination of such persons depending on the level of the offence (Norman 2003). They can also be administered as a way of showing disregard and condemnation of such offences in order to scare away others who may have the intention of committing such crimes. This is common in some religions which punish the offenders in public.


Difference between Private Corrections and Traditional Government Corrections

Private correctional facilities are companies contracted by the government to assist in punishing offenders on its behalf (Pollock 2006). This is done due to increased number of prisoners in government prisons necessitating for extra space and facilities. They are different from government corrections in that their main aim is business where as government corrections serve humanity.

Correctional Officer Subculture

The correctional officer subculture exists as they are accorded little respect by the society. This is due to their working environment that is surrounded by convicted people who are disgrace to the society. The attitude of the society towards these officers sees them as equals to the convicts they protect unlike other police officers who are perceived as to protect the society (Pollock 2006). Through time, the society has shown appreciation for these officers by viewing them as a solution to the criminal activities in the society by rehabilitating offenders through their advanced training that has advanced with time.

Ethical Issues That Correction Managers and Administers Face

Managers in the correctional facilities are faced by many ethical challenges in upholding the mission and vision of the facilities. Over population leads to congestion which results to low standards of cleanliness and maintenance of the facilities. As a result, contagious infections spread uncontrollably leading to loss lives (Bosworth 2005). The managers have the responsibility to ensure that proper standards are maintained to prevent such occurrences which could also be spread to the society outside after infected inmates are released.

The managers are responsible for all the staff working in their facilities. It is their duty to enhance and protect the inmates’ rights by ensuring that they are not subjected to torture (Bosworth 2005). Officers who subject torture should be punished to ensure that proper moral standards are maintained. They are also faced with the challenge of making decisions regarding any changes in the facilities. Wrong decision making would be a failure on their part and might result to them losing their jobs or suspension from work.

Principles of Restorative Justice in Contrast With Traditional Models of Justice

Restorative justice mainly delivers under the guidance of three principles. It advocates for full restoration of the victim’s status after which reconciliation between the victim and the offender is done. It assumes that by doing this, the victim would be satisfied and the chances of the offence occurring again would be reduced (Pollock 2006). Also, it gives those involved a chance to express their views as an input to the process of judgment. It also defines the role of the government and that of the community. The government is supposed to ensure that the public maintains order while the community is to maintain peace and avoid conflicts with one another. In contrast, traditional justice does not develop the space for reconciliation. Instead, severe punishment is administered which may include expelling the offender from the community. It is conservative and this way, it does not incorporate views from the involved parties thus not a fair justice as compared to restorative justice.


Bosworth M. (2005). Prisons and Correctional Facilities, Sage.

Norman J. (2003). Sociology of Punishment and Correction, John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Pollock J. (2006). Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice (Ethics in Crime and Justice), Wadsworth Publishing.

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