The institution of the prison system in the United States has three purposes. Prisons provide a controlled environment which through lack of freedom and amenities, provides a punitive experience for convicted criminals. In addition, jails serve to protect the public from violent and unstable offenders who are deemed likely to reoffend if released into the community. Finally, to varying degrees, jails are intended to rehabilitate prisoners, to the extent deemed possible depending on the offender. Jails accomplish each of these purposes to varying degrees. Jails certainly curtail the movement and activities of inmates, however, critics note that many prisons permit prisoners to watch television, correspond with the outside world, have outdoor recreation, and socialize with other prisoners. Indeed, the phenomena of career prisoners, though minor when compared with the overall prison population, is remarkable for showcasing how comforting the routine of prison can be for certain individuals. In terms of the second purpose of jails, the protection of
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This note was uploaded on 12/21/2009 for the course COM 220 AAPSY-012 taught by Professor Danstone during the Spring '09 term at University of Phoenix.