When Americans think of punishment, they usually first think of prisons. What alternate ways of punishing convicted offenders might the general public find acceptable?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The United States incarcerates a greater percentage of its population than any other country in the world. So, yes, prison is certainly the go-to means of punishment in America. Prisons, however, in my opinion do nothing to help someone change harmful behaviors. Recidivism rates (rates of a person returning to prison after release) are extremely high. This is because having a criminal record affects one's ability to obtain a steady income. Additionally, prison often breaks apart social support networks, and it can leave deep and long-lasting trauma and PTSD that affects a person's ability to navigate the world post-release. Prison abolitionists believe that prisons are not a necessary institution in the world. Rather, they look to transformative justice and strengthening social safety nets and meeting basic needs as a response to harm. Transformative justice seeks to truly support someone in transforming their behaviors through supportive therapy and setting healthy boundaries for a...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 538 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team