The Correctional School System Essay Sample

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Criminal Justice, Behavior, Crime, Victimology, Society, Social Issues, Development, Psychology

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/01/03


Understanding crime and the associated motivation antecedent to it has over the years been a major topic of discussion. Scholars from various disciplines have put forth their best in an effort to explain how and why crime exists in society. Crime in its literal sense is viewed as a defiant behavior that causes a disruption of widely accepted societal norms in the world. Any society has its own prescribed ways of conduct either in implicit or explicit terms depending on the various set ups that exist. Thus, any individual that goes against this norms or codes of conduct violates an ordered life by committing what will be called a crime. The society sometimes can be seen as hypocritical since it sets standards and expects people to live by them but does not make a deliberate effort to understand the likely causes of deviation. It is thus worth appreciating the role psychologists have been playing in understanding criminal behavior. Tuvblad & Beaver (2013) argue that criminal behavior has been an area of interest amongst psychologists owing to the age old debate on whether criminal behavior is caused by genetic or behavioral character traits. Questions revolving around whether it is an individual’s genetic makeup or the environment in which they live that causes him or her to undertake criminal activities have been raised again and again. The answers from previous research show that both genes and environmental conditions shapes ones tendency to engage in criminal behavior (Tuvblad & Beaver 2013).
It is such discoveries that have encouraged correctional facilities and other areas in charge of disciplining society to adopt a cross dimension approach towards handling crime ad criminal behavior. The intriguing fact in this debate is the persistent increase in crime and criminal tendencies amongst minors, something that should be a reason for worry amongst people of present generation. Hollin, C.R (1993) provides perhaps the most coherent approach in understanding and dealing with criminal behavior. He offers a rather comprehensive approach embracing both cognitive and behavioral approach towards working with young offenders. He touches on the aspects of individualized, community and institutional programs that would help aid the young offenders.


Of the several intervention techniques suggested by Hollin (1993), I being in charge of a correctional facility would opt to use a constructive approach by adopting approaches that focus on the offenders to help them bring about plenty of positive change and turn-around behavioral change. This approach, in my opinion is a constructive approach that aims at giving a most personalized touch and a feeling of self-worth amongst those affected. Besides, it provides an additional sense of obligation to society or rather the community by those affected. In adopting this approach, I will focus on the core aspects that would make this community aspect effective.
Focusing on bringing about positive change to the offender is the best approach since most of the offenders would have been entangled in this menace as result of circumstances beyond their control. This in itself provides a sound humanitarian approach towards helping the offenders. The traditional punitive measures imposed on those who break the law are perhaps the main reason why crime has never been fully dealt away with. Apparently, my students may have come from different backgrounds with different upbringings that would have deprived them of the basics of living. What these offenders need is a show of love by the larger society and not victimization, continued hatred distancing from them. (Widom, 1989) suggests that these offenders in most cases have been victims of criminal abuse. Previous research has shown that continuous efforts channeled towards helping a group achieve a positive change have been effective. It will thus be very unfair of me to adopt other approaches such as the taking of punitive actions against the offenders and run the risk of aggravating their behavior.
What informs my decision to use the humanitarian approach also is the backing by scientific evidence that shows that indeed all is not lost in trying. Widom, C. (1989) shows that findings from Meta-analysis adds weight to the fact that when treatments are designed in a unique manner, they often tend to yield a net positive contributions towards reducing recidivism as would otherwise have been in casual treatment. The research has led to a paradigm shift the mentality that nothing works to that of something works.
Besides, a humanitarian approach provides for an individual case formulation where one can focus on the individual in helping them achieve the positive change so desired. As earlier mentioned, most of these if not all offenders may have had an unfortunate past. This makes them be vulnerable to crime since in an effort to settle scores, majority would find themselves entangled in criminal behavior. Touching on the self-esteem issues of each individual would thus be a milestone towards helping them change for the better. The motivation for treatment in this case will be focused on how to help them regain a sense of self-worth, love themselves and embrace others in their lives. Other correctional measures such as the adoption of a punitive approach will be avoided owing to their inherent negative effects such the possibility of relapse by most of these offenders. The punitive approach brings about resentment, the desire to be free and in most cases the natural intentions of getting even.
If I was in public school system, I would use a different approach to bring about the same results. Owing to the unique feature of public schools, one cannot afford t use a punitive or rehabilitation approach. The most effective approach here could be a utilitarian approach. Proponents of this approach argue that the main objective of a criminal system is to affect a positive change by reducing the tendency of offending and not just by delivering punishment. Offenders in public schools will thus be better managed through a utilitarian approach. They will feel worth of service to the society at large by going through a program that helps them reduce their likelihood of engaging in criminal behavior. This approach does not favor rehabilitation over punishment but provides comprehensive approach in dealing with effectiveness and morality. A utilitarian approach will thus be effective in public schools by striking balance between effecting punishment and being morally sound.


In as much as crime and criminal behavior is frowned upon by most people in society, people have to learn and design effective ways of understanding and dealing with the same. Every problem has a solution but running away from the problem has never been part of the solution. It is thus desirable that various disciplines bring about their diverse knowledge in helping curb this menace. The contributions from psychology and the medical fields are to be applauded. The correctional facilities the world over in their attempt to bring about effective change should strive to strike a balance between meeting their goal and living by the humanitarian standards. People will tend to expect to live in a just society and hence all resources should be employed to achieve this. No one is expected to be happy about criminal activities since it is morally incorrect and causes undue friction on normal living. To prevent the advancement of the same, early childhood education perhaps should incorporate an understanding of the societal expectations on the growing population.


Tuvblad, C., & Beaver, K. (2013). Genetic and environmental influences on antisocial behavior. Journal Of Criminal Justice, 41(5), 273-276. doi:10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2013.07.007
Widom, C. (1989). Does violence beget violence? A critical examination of the literature. Psychological Bulletin, 106(1), 3-28. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.106.1.3
Hollin, C.R (1993). Advances in the Psychological Treatment of criminal Behavior. Criminal Behavior and Mental Health,42-57.

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