Can Prisons Work?: The Prisoner as Object and Subject in by Stephen Ralph Duguid

By Stephen Ralph Duguid

Can participants be reformed or rehabilitated within the legal? A power physique of labor exhibits that rehabilitation and/or reformation via incarceration is illusory. Exceptions, in line with this view, are the results of coincidence, no longer layout. for plenty of practitioners in corrections platforms, the incarceration of criminals is a .fact. and the duty of prisons is to isolate, deter, and punish and merely then, might be reform the felony. In .Can criminal Work?. Stephen Duguid contends that either critics and defenders of incarceration have erred in making the prisoner the item instead of the topic in their discourse; the critics see prisoners as sufferers of a enormous establishment and the defenders view them as incorrigibles persuaded purely via coercion or manipulation.

Duguid starts by way of reviewing the philosophical and cultural contexts that ended in the belief of .curing. criminals (in addition to deterring crime) via therapy and incarceration, offering various old commentaries from Plato and Socrates to former inmates. the 2 dominant methods to trendy corrections also are mentioned, the only in accordance with sociology and the single according to psychology - the latter being obvious as answerable for the increase within the 20th century of a medicalized method of corrections.

It used to be the cave in of this 'medical' version (in the Nineteen Seventies) that created percentages for leading edge methods in penology and 4 of those ways are tested in a few intensity. targeting prisons with commonly conceived academic courses geared up by means of humans from open air the sphere of corrections, Duguid describes how courses in Canada, England, Scotland, and the U.S. have been profitable principally as the dating with prisoner-students was once outfitted round notions of reciprocity, mutual admire, and person improvement. Empirical info from an in depth follow-up examine of the Canadian software is gifted as proof of the capability good fortune utilizing a lot of these methods. In each one of those circumstances, although, those courses, others like them, have been ultimately terminiated through felony experts. The publication concludes with the exploration of the strain among legal structures and outsiders engaged with courses inside prisons. It argues opposed to the re-emergence of a brand new scientific version in favour of extra humane - and human - ways to person swap and reformation.

Winner of the Harold Adams Innis Prize, offered by way of the Canadian Federation for the arts and Social Sciences

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

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There is insight or lack of insight, remorse or no remorse, sincerity or insincerity, truth and lies, good and evil. Drawn into this Manichean world in a cruel embrace, many prisoners come to accept its terms and seek themselves the transformation from black to white, while others find in such dualisms only the justification or validation of their chosen course. The 'being' of the prisoner/criminal is in many ways a mystery to the observer responsible for correcting. Like with most phenomena, however, there are degrees of mystery.

Focusing on the neurosis-producing conflict between the competing demand of human instinct and civilization, Freud pulled no punches in describing the base nature of the human animal: 'Men are not gentle creatures who want to be loved ... they are, on the contrary, creatures among whose instinctual endowments is to be reckoned a powerful share of aggressiveness ... In circumstances that are favorable to it, when the mental counter-forces which ordinarily inhibit it are out of action, it [aggressiveness] also manifests itself spontaneously and reveals man as a savage beast to whom consideration towards his own kind is something alien ...

Their counsel has guided us ever since - it is our duty to attempt to bring the criminal back into the fold and only as a last resort exile or execute him. Thus began modernity's great adventure with correction and treatment. The Treatment Issue North Americans cling stubbornly to the 'correctional' nomenclature attached to their carceral world. ' The label conveys a powerful faith in what is clearly a mission and may as well be an illusion. ' As we have seen this must be so, for at the base of the modern project is a determination to place an almost unlimited value on the individual, to see each as an end not a means, to paraphrase Kant.

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