Imprisonment, as it is used today in this country and in others throughout the world, began as an experiment in punishment and reformation less than 200 years ago. It is still an experiment, and, unfortunately, it will remain an experiment for a long time to come. As a means of punishment and as an instrument with which to change criminal behavior, imprisonment still is a failure when it must be acknowledged that even among the best correctional institutions at least thirty per cent of their inmates become repeaters. Why is this so? Is it that prisons and other correctional institutions, as devices for the treatment and control of offenders, have never been fully tested?
Myrl E. Alexander,
Corrections in Transition,
45 Neb. L. Rev. 10
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol45/iss1/4