Should prisons rehabilitate or punish? In this essay I will focus on whether law offenders sent to prison should be rehabilitated, punished or both. In my opinion I have a fairly bias view towards punishing the criminal as I feel that people do not have to be deviant yet some chose to be; however I will discuss both usefulness of rehabilitation and the disadvantages of this. With doing research for this essay I noticed that the majority of crimes were committed by the poorest of society (tend to be more of the unemployed council house families) and such crimes committed by this part of society is frowned upon; yet a crime committed by someone higher in the social hierarchy is most uncommon (yet it does happen perhaps its not publicised as much due to the whole Marxist theory of the bourgeoisies exploiting the people below). The work of Clarke and Mayhew can help support this idea because they believed that delinquency are results of choice. With this in mind this theory from Clarke and Mayhew is an excellent perception of how crime is committed and is one reason as to why I think prisons should be to punish as offenders should not be allowed a second chance.
Statistics released by the United States Bureau of Justice in 2003 on recidivism of sex offenders that were released from prison, show an otherwise position. These statistics indicates that sexual offenders, specifically child molesters, have a three percent probability of committing another sex crime against a child within three years after their release (Levenson, Tewksbury & Zgoba, 2007). Another comprehensive research conducted by this bureau using one thousand men convicted of sexual assault, rape, and child molestation showed that they have a re-arrest rate of twenty five percent less than other criminals like thieves, burglars, murderers, and other criminals. This serves as clear evidence that sexual offenders cannot be rehabilitated. This paper examines critically the statement of whether sexual offenders can be rehabilitated.