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9.11: Current Issues in Corrections

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    Learning Objectives

    In this final section on punishment, we review some of the contemporary special issues that are occurring in our American jails and prisons. Our decisions to incarcerate on a large scale as a solution to many issues does have significant impacts. These impacts not only affect the individuals in the justice system, but also community members as a whole. Some of these issues include overcrowding, gangs, aging prisoners, and substance abuse. This section will provide a report on some of the more pervasive issues facing corrections today. By the end of this section, students should be able to:

    • Understand what are some current issues within the world of corrections
    • Recognize the different concepts of how we view these issues
    • Understand how punishment has increased and what are the outcomes of large scale incarceration

    Critical Thinking Questions

    1. What are some of the reasons we have so many people in jails and prisons?
    2. What impacts these levels of people under corrections?
    3. Can we solve these issues?
    4. What has been our approach to this point? Has it worked?