Corrections literature gives information on a variety of information pertaining to the supervision of inmates, community sanctions, and various other correctional system information. The publics’ views on these varied topics does not always correlate with corrections literature. Through this analysis, responses to various questions pertaining to corrections are summarized and analyzed. This analysis also considers social factors such as age, race, income, marital status, and criminal history into context. The correlation and differences between public perceptions and reality can be seen.
People who have been arrested for, or convicted of crimes, are sentenced by the government to corrections. Corrections involve the supervision of criminals in prisons, community sanctions, parole, etc. Corrections and incapacitation are tools used to reduce crime and prevent future problems. Most people can agree that corrections are useful, but not everyone can agree that incapacitation is necessarily a good tool for crime control. When reviewing the opinions of the people included on the question matrixes, a conclusion can easily be drawn. When specifically looking at the responses to whether or not incapacitation is a good tool for crime control, the educated persons had more extensive opinions on the matter. They agreed that it could help with the reoccurrence of the same type of crimes, but would not control crimes from being committed. All participants also agreed that punishment is not enough retribution, but depending on what exactly the crime was that was committed. Rehabilitation is also an important part of corrections. If rehabilitation can be offered to the convicted, then it can help to stop the reoccurrence of crimes in the future, but the controversy over this matter occurs when considering inmates who will not be released from prison. For instance low income white males all agreed that rehabilitation is key, but does not deserve full support. This is probably due to their concern with spending more tax dollars on rehabilitation for inmates who will never even be released. In their eyes it seems like a waste. The women questioned all agreed that rehabilitation was key and that it needs full support. Women are naturally more nurturing, possibly explaining why they see it as important to help even inmates to become better people. Corrections literature includes evaluations of federally-funded programs, mainly dealing with drug addicted felons. However, from that information we can gather that the combination of corrections and rehabilitation can reduce recidivism. (Petersilia, 2007) Therefore corrections literature, views rehabilitation as beneficial, but social factors can skew opinions and show differences from the corrections literature.
Many people are unaware of exactly how much money is actually spent on corrections every year. It is difficult to imagine the actual price per year, per inmate, because most people do not even know what all is offered to inmates and what all it involves to take care of them, especially the incarcerated. In 2008, federal, state, and local governments had spent about $75 billion dollars on corrections. (Schmitt, Warner, & Gupta, 2010) Therefore it costs approximately $25,500 per federal prisoner, $26,000 per state prisoner, $2,800 per parolee, and $1,300 per probationer. (Schmitt, Warner, & Gupta, 2010) Participants in the question matrix responded with the cost per year, per inmate in ranges from $5,000 to $50,000 a year. Women assumed the least amounts, generally around $5,000, while men gave relatively higher amounts, all a little below or right at $50,000. Gender is a very important social factor to consider when comparing responses to the matrix questions. There was an even divide between opinions on what cost the most when