In every society there are those members of the population who deviate from the societal norms. Such members of the society behave in ways that are not acceptable to the society by breaking the laws and rules set to govern the society. Like in every society else where in the United States of America there are members in this society who commit wrongful acts in the society by breaking the rules and laws set to govern the country. These deviants are therefore entered into the correction system to be punished for their wrongful act. However in every correctional system there are the set objectives that such a system should accomplish. The USA correction system is one of the largest in the world today. The system which is tasked with adjudicating the members of the population, who have been accused, arrested and convicted of varying crimes in the society. These crimes vary from murder to the Blue-collar-crimes.
The origin of the correction system can be traced to the early 1770s in Philadelphia where the first jail was established with the objective of keeping the criminals away from the rest of the society in order to protect them and keep the accused under government control. Over the years however the system has changed to include other objectives in the correction system. But the main principle that is keeping the offenders under the control of the government still remains the same. The modern correctional system comprises of correctional facilities under control of either the federal government or under control of the various state in the USA. These correctional facilities whether under the federal government or the state are first and foremost intended to keep the offenders under the government control. In addition the modern systems are also intended to achieve other various objectives and these objectives include:
- To enable the offenders be adequately punished in accordance to their offences.
- To ensure that the members of the society are deterred from committing the same offences this ensures that crime is prevented.
- To protect the society from the criminal that is by jailing the offending member he or she is isolated from the society preventing them from repeating their offence.
- To enable the society correct the offender by correcting their behaviors through rehabilitation.
- To ensure that the offenders are held accountable for their deviant behaviors.
- To ensure that the society is discouraged from behaving the same way by denouncing that kind of offences committed by the offender.
- By punishing the offender the harms done to the victims and the society are acknowledge by the justice system.
Both the state and the federal government in the United States of America have similar objectives of punishing criminals or offenders who break the laws and regulation that govern the country. The punishment is administered in order to achieve deterrence, denunciation, retribution, reparation and incapacitation (Siegel2010). The punishments are also intended to show the recognition by the government of the crime victims. For Punishment to achieve deterrence criminals are punished for the crimes that they have committed fines, jail term, community service or being under probation. Depending on the crimes or wrongful acts that one has committed the state and the federal government can ensure that members of the society do not commit similar crimes by punishing the wrongful act appropriately. This sends the message to the society that similar offence will attract similar punishments thus deterring similar offences.
Similarly when appropriate punishment is accorded to wrongful acts the message that the authority sends to the society is that the kinds of acts that they are punishing are not to be tolerated thus they denounce such acts. When appropriate punishment is imposed offenders for crimes committed against other members in the society the authority is able to get retribution to the victims This is be cause retribution is the idea that the offender should suffer for their wrongful acts.. Rehabilitation on the other hand is achieved when an offender is punished for his or her criminal acts and this because of the punishment that they receives are able to changes their behaviors. Reparation is when a victim of a crime is compensated for the injuries or harm caused by the crime. This is achieved when punishment imposed requires the offender to pay for the damages resulting from is wrongful act. Incapacitation results when the offence is consider as being very serious requiring the authority to punishing by ensuring that the offender is completely incapable of repeating the offence (Siegel 2010).
In every society, law and order should be maintained so that people in the society can live and coexist in harmony. The law enforcement agencies should ensure that the laws are followed and in the event they are broken, the offenders are apprehended and face the full force of law. Lack of law and order in the society will not only affect how people live but also will affect every other sector of the society. Lawlessness will cripple development of the country and thus for the economic development of the country to be realized people should follow the laws enacted by the legislature of the country.
Incase people are apprehended for having broken the law, the judicial process in the country concerned may either convict or acquit the depending on the magnitude of crime committed and the evidence brought in court. When a person is sentenced for having committed crimes, it impacts both the federal and the state correction system in a number of ways. Some critics are of the opinion that the corrections systems are not effective in correcting the offender but even make the person more inclined to commit even more crimes in future. The correction system should help the offender to change his criminal activities and become a law abiding system. Aim of the correction facilities should be geared towards reforming the person and not punishing the sentenced person.
One of the impacts of sentencing is the upsurge of both the state and the federal correction system; the numbers of those convicted is far much higher than the number that the correction facilities can handle. United States, according to the statistics issued by the bureau of justice statistics shows that the country has the highest number of the inmates in the world. The rate at which people are sentenced is very high as compared with the capacities of the correction facilities in the United States. The upsurge in the number of convicts overstretches the resources available and thus those sentenced live in deplorable conditions while in those correction facilities (Raphael, 2009).
The American correction systems has seen largest number of convicts that any democracy in the world has ever attempted; these levels of those sentenced has never attained the levels that are realized today by our correction systems. In 1981, for instance there were about 369930 prisoners in both State and federal prisons, this number rose to 883593 prisoners in a duration of one decade. The ratio of the population to prisoners per 100000 people was 138 in 1981 which was still record high while the ratio of population to prisoner per 100000 people in 1992 was 344 which was more than double the number in 1981. The correction system both at the state and federal level should come up with the policies that are meant to decongest the correction facilities that include offering other penalties as a result of the person having committed crime such as court fines, engaging the offender in community services as opposed to sentencing the person to serve a jail term (Vera Institute of Justice, 2006).
Another impact sentencing both at the state and the federal correction system is the increase in cost. Due to increase of the people sentenced to serve the jail term, the cost of running the correction facilities have skyrocketed. The tax payers have to dip deeper into their pockets through paying higher taxes in order for the state and the federal government to meet the cost of running the correction facilities. It is important for the law and order to maintain by the government in order to ensure peaceful coexistence among the citizens but it should not be at the expense of the citizens who are overburden in taxes (Clear et al, 2006).
Another impact of sentencing both at the federal and the state is that sometimes justice is not delivered to the intended party. Sometimes the person acquitted may be guilty of the offence he is charged against. At the same time an innocent person can be sentenced to serve a jail term. From the study carried out, there are evidence of biasness in sentencing on the basis of race, wealth and the popularity of the charged person. In America, for instance, the population of black is about 12 % of the total population while they account for about 58% of those convicted as having committed the crime and they are serving a jail term. A person wonders whether the blacks are the ones who commit crimes in America than any other race (Vera Institute of Justice, 2006).
In conclusion the correction system is important in the country as they help to maintain law and society. However, both the federal and the state correction system are blamed for not sufficiently reforming the criminals but making them even more hardened. The correction system have being proved to overburden the citizens who are required to pay more taxes to the government for the running the expanding correction facilities in the country.