“Should criminals be punished with lengthy jail terms or re-educated and rehabilitated using, for instance, community service programmes, before being re-introduced to society.”
Whether we should apply custodial or non-custodial sentences have been still a hot debate for many years. However, nowadays, in a civilized society, it’s found that the use of non-custodial sentences is more and more popular. In many aspects, there’s nothing surprising here. That’s because non-custodial sentences have graduallly been showing their undeniable advantages over the traditional punishment of imprisonment.
First of all, it’s necessary to mention the financial benefits the use of the rehabilitation of criminals bring about, especially, when the expenses for detaining a prison per year reportedly can exceed the average income of an ordinary person. Therefore, it’s quite unreasonable for the gorvenment to spend such a large sum of money from people’s tax each year on good-for-nothing men, the criminals. Particularly, recent initial statistics reveals that there’s a drastic increase in the prison population, leading to the inevitable huge spending. In that context, the use of non-custodial sentences could help alleviate the swelling of state budget spending on detaining criminals. Through programmes for re-education and rehabilitation of criminals, such as community service programmes, they themselves can earn money for their living, thus it’s possible for the State to cut down unessential expenses for them, if not to say to partly improve their living standard in prisons. Who knows ? Perhaps, their labours even could make significant contributions to the overall economy as well.
Also, another reason leading to the wide application of non-custiodial sentences is the ineffectiveness of prison but not anything else. There’s no point in putting somebody in a building just to punish them, and let them come out no better. It’s reported that the reoffending rate of criminals put into prison is significantly high compared to that reeducated and rehabilitated. So there’s an obvious fact here that prison seldom can do anything but harden prisoners and turn them back into their sinful careers when released.
On the contrary, reeducation and rehabilitation have allegedly been proving their effectiveness over imprisonment – 20 percent more effective in reducing reoffending. That’s because of the humanitarian nature of the sentences of this kind. This point appears in that they would give the offenders another chance to rebuild their life and reintegrate into society. Centers for reeduation and rehabilition, like vocational centers, would make them grip some jobs, and in this way help them be able to live by their own labours without repeatedly breaking the law. Therefore, they gradually could become good cilivians and reintegrate into society again. In addition, this method also discriminates the treatment between major and minor offences, deliberate and unintentional ones etc… As a result, it’s possible to define who have the capacity for improvement and let them restart their life. Furthermore, while speaking about this point, it’s impossible not to mention a no-less-important facet, that’s the compensation the criminals have to make for society. Needless to say, the utilization of rehabilitation, such as community service programmes, is one of the best way for the offenders to pay back to society , or in other words, to make good the damage to the victims and society, in both financial and emotional sense.
After all, want it or not, the use of non-custodial sentences such as reeducation and rehabilitation should be used more and more commonly. Yet, there’s nothing worrying here, because over time they have been proven one of the most effective and meaningful ways to reduce offences as well as reoffences.
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