Penologists And Correctional Workers Criminology Essay

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The current diagnosis of the correctional malaises shows amongst other things, its deep concern for the prevailing neglect of the concept of aftercare. It has indeed become common place now to hear that one of the very important reasons for the poor performance of the correctional outcome is largely due to its callous unconcern for the fate of its ex-clients. There is so much of disillusionment on this count that we run the risk of assuming that aftercare is a forgotten concept in contemporary corrections practice. Presently, aftercare is something like correctional charity devoid of any definite commitment to responsibility. It is more loudly preached than practiced. What ever little has been done looks more haphazard and less organized. The result it that the programmes and polices of aftercare are increasingly subjected to an amazing variety of complaints and allegations both by its lay and informed critics. The semantic confusion of the concept of aftercare is as great as are its policy deficiencies and programme limitations.

The purpose of the present article is to elaborate upon the concept of aftercare in corrections, both in its idealistic and realistic terms and also to examine the more evident short comings of the programmes and policies of aftercare as prevalent in India. The intention, to be praise, is to offer a few guidelines for action to be taken in regard to the designing of programmes of aftercare more suitable to our indigenous conditions and more in accordance with the limitation of resources. The recourse to western material is purely for the purpose of augmenting the analytical quality of the discussed contained.

Conversations with the Correctional Leaders in America in 1970, published in the American Journal of Correction on 100th Anniversary of American Correctional Association's describes the feeling of correctional leaders at that time which has guided the future development of prison system all around the world including India.

- Which is more important; to reform a certain percentage of those already criminals, or to try and operate a law that prevents people from becoming criminals?

- Business of making better prisons was the business of the prison people themselves.

-I think prison is a good thing, but this is not the only effort in society that is being made to change the treatment and the production of criminals.

- The Hitler Idea was that if you put education into prison you weaken the force and destroy the character of punishment.

- In Geneva, in 1955, Mr. Bates made the point of two parts to the prison system - the first part was to get the cruelty and brutality taken out of it; and the second part was to put something effective and valuable in its place. The first half is easier that the second.

- Classification is a namby-pamby thing.

- You can punish people en masse, but you can only cure them individually.

-Social Work or Case work was a dirty word in those days in the correctional field.

- Prison society was able, by hook or by crook , to adjust to the changes that were taking place because of their interest, and focused wholly on the prisoner.

- We ought to get away from the name penal because it just doesn't fit except that it has a punishment connotation.

- I think we are now involved in a different kind of seeking of alternatives, the seeking of alternatives to incarceration. I think we realize that confinement in the concrete cocoon of a prison offers the least promise of all our correctional resources.

- I think we would all agree that the retribution theory has sort of passed into disrepute and that we are now dealing with something which for want of a better term has been called reintegration.

- I think no matter what we do corrections will always be subject to criticism, but in the future I hope we are criticized for what we are doing rather than what we are not doing. We can no longer keep the public happy by running quiet institutions that don't draw the heat of the press. The public demands therapy, not tranquility; action rather than apathy; and results rather than reticence. This is the greatest challenge ahead, i think, for corrections but it also represents our greatest opportunity.

The Concept of After-care

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After-care refers to may developmental efforts to assist the products of institutionalization, whether they be mental patients, juvenile offenders or adult felons upon their release to the community. In such a scheme, after-care is interpreted broadly to include programmes and services for all those persons who are physically, mentally or socially handicapped and who sometimes or the other have undergone a certain period of care and training in any people- changing institutions. The object of such programmes and services is to complete the process of rehabilitation of and individual and to prevent the possibility of relapse into a life of criminality again. In figurative terms, the programmes which follow the period of offenders institutional commitment is something like released prisons convalescence. Model Prison Manual described it as "the bridge which can carry him from the artificial and restricted environment of institutional custody from doubts and difficulties and from hesitations and handicaps to an onward journey of resettlement and rehabilitation in the free community."

After-care, this is a continuance of the reformative and rehabilitative endeavors for the help, service, guidance, counseling, support and protection of those persons who are released from adult or juvenile correctional institutions. The main aim of the after-care services, therefore, is to reconstruct restore such persons to a social position of self-respect and also to enable them in settling down as law-abiding citizens in the community. In essence, after-care is a forward step in the direction of complete rehabilitation for the once institutionalized individuals. As a form of post- release assistance, it is closely interlined with the institutional training and treatment. It is a process of facilitating the transition from correctional institutions to the community.

In view of its undeniable importance, aftercare has been accepted as an essential component of the modern correctional process. Ideally any well-designed aftercare programme or service in corrections should aim at achieving the following:

Prevention of the possibility of relapse into a life of dependence or custodial care for persons who have undergone a certain period of care and training within an adult or juvenile correctional institution.

Suitable provision of help, guidance and supervision of such persons in fulfilling the societal obligations incumbent upon them a prescribed or desirable condition for their release.

3. Completion of the process of rehabilitation in the community by improving their personality strengths and by the removal of any stigma that may be attached on account of their previous institutional incarceration.

Rationale of After Care and Follow-up Services for the Released Offenders.

Juvenile and adult correctional experts agree that the successful rehabilitation of the institutionalized offenders depends upon the availability of the quality of post-institutional services. These services are necessary for resolving those problems and difficulties which ex-offenders face on their return to the community. The kinds of difficulties which meet a liberated convict on his return to society are neither few nor trifling. Consequent upon their release from penal or correctional institutions ex-offenders find themselves into a reentry crisis. They find their old world changed much to their discomfiture. They soon discover that many new problems have arisen making their reintegration difficult into the family fold, into former friend circle, into neighborhood conditions and into the general conditions prevalent in the community. Many such critical problems of adjustment look to them simply insurmountable. They desperately need help, encouragement and direction in resolving these strange problems confronting their peaceful existence in the community but when nothing seems to be in offing, their dream of home coming shatters into pieces. The result is more bitterness and more hatred towards society in general. This sets the stage for the enactment of criminal behaviour-this time with greater frustration and with still greater ferocity. They find no way but to a life of crime again. The circle thus gets completed: "Crime incarceration and release, and fresh crime and incarceration again." The following description of a prisoner's reentry crisis by Karl Manninger perhaps makes out a best case for the need and significance of aftercare services in corrections:

"He enters a world utterly unlike the one he has been living in and also unlike the one he has been living in and also unlike the one he has left some years before. In the new world, aside from few uneasy relatives and uncertain friends, he is surrounded by hostility suspicion, distrust and dislike. He is a marked man- an ex- convict. Complex social and economic situations that proved too much for him before he went to prison have grown no simpler".

The adverse social and economic circumstances that confront the ex- convicts clearly call for an organized system of aftercare and follow up not as a matter of charity but as a matter of unavoidable correctional responsibility. The fulfillment of this responsibility is perfectly in keeping with the well-defined tasks of corrections that include building or rebuilding solid ties between the offender and the community, integrating or reintegrating the offender into community life, restoring family ties, obtaining employment and education and securing in the larger sense a place for the offender in the routine functioning of the society" An effective correctional system, remarked Martin a renowned British penologist, "must aim for the reintegration of prisoners into society. In the last resort this is because there is a moral argument for aftercare. It is simply that no man is so guilty, nor is society so blameless, that it is justified in condemning anyone to a lifetime punishment, legal or social. Society must be protected, but this not done by refusing help to those who need it for more than most of their fellow citizen."

Prisons and jails may need to be reconditioned so as to provide arrangements to suit different classes of prisoners. Separate correctional institutions may be provided for female convicts. It should also be possible to develop open and close farm workshop prisons, agricultural colonies, and work camps at important work projects. The provision for Borstals, both open and closed, will also need to be expanded. It will be necessary to bring about greater uniformity in legislation applicable to first offenders and others charged more than once for minor offences. The appointment of probation officers and the release of prisoners on parole should remove a great deal of congestion from correctional institutions, reduce the cost of prison administration, and enable many prisoners to live as normal citizens after they have served their sentences. The work of private agencies like prisoners' aid societies and district probation and after-care associations has suffered on account of limited resources. It is desirable to entrust after-care work to probation officers, and a beginning may be made by organising after- care departments in central prisons and first grade district jails to deal with problems relating to work and employment, housing, health and family relationship. New developments in the administration and programmes of correctional institutions require the guidance and advice of experienced personnel working together in a central organisation. Such an organisation can assist programmes in the States, undertake experimental work and pilot projects, and function as a centre of information and publicity on all matters relating to correctional administration.

The Crisis of Offenders' Aid Organizations

The genesis of the failure of our present and old offenders' Aid Organizations lies in the following problems and difficulties:

Frustration, discouragement, lack of public appreciation constant financial troubles.

Marked inadequacy of the resources placed at the disposal of such Prisoners' Aid organizations.

Lack of cooperation from the concerned governmental departments.

Woeful inadequacy of grants-in-aid.

Shortage of dedicated workers.

Loss of public credibility of such organizations in the incidence of crime and delinquency.

Peoples unprepared ness to accept ex-offenders as citizens worthy of trust, confidence and help.

Majority of the functionaries of such organizations do not understand the gravity of their commitments. As a results, they do not take their job assignments seriously.

After-care problems of the Institutions and their Ex-inmates

Some of the major problems that thwart the after-care of follow-up work of the custodial-cum-corrective institutions in the country are as follows-

Systematic follow-up of all released inmates, as a matter of routing does not exist in the large majority of such institutions.

Contact is not maintained with ex-inmates and the institutions, on their own, normally do not take any initiative in establishing any link with the ex-inmates even by the medium of the post card.

Institutions have hardly paid any attention to the post-institutional problems of their ex-inmates which confront them in their adjustment to a new pattern of life in the outside world.

There is a virtual absence of any guidance and counseling services in such institutions in order to prepare the inmates for their reentry to the life in the open community.

Once the inmates in such institutions crosses the institutional boundaries he automatically becomes a subject of non concern for the institutional machinery.

The situation of under-staffing and over-crowding in many such institutions renders them completely incapable of proving any after-care or Follow-up Service. The responsibility is well beyond their resources.

No record of ex-inmates is maintained in all these institutions and simply do not know what happens to the inmates after their release from the institutions, in such a situation, do not know the problems that ex-inmates have to encounter on their discharge in the absence of any after-care or follow-up service.

The meagre help that the inmates receive by the institutions at the time of their discharge is of no serious value to them.


Name of State

Number and name of After-care institutions/organizations

Administrative Authority


1. After-care Home for Men at Malkapet Hyderabad.

Inspector General of Prisons.


1. State After-care Home for Boys at Anand Parbat, New Delhi

Directorate of Social Welfare Delhi Administrator


1. State After-care Home at Madhuban, Kernal

Social Welfare Department


1. District Shelter for Men at Ahmedabad

2. State Home for Men at Rajkot

Social Welfare Department


1. Three After-Care Hoems For Men At Trivendrum, Trichur, & Tellichery.

4. One After-care Home for Boys at Kottayam.

Jail Department


1. Two District Shelters for Men at Mysore & Bengaun.

2. One State Home for Men at Hubli.

Department of Probation and After-care Services.


1. Maharastra State Probation And After-Care Association And Its District Brhaches. Navjeevan Mandal, Poona


1. Seven District After-care Shelters at Puri, Belasore, Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Bolangir, Berhampur and Cuttack.

2. One Central After-care Home at Baripath, Distt. Mayurbhanj.

Jail Department


1. State After-care Home at Hoshiarpur

Social Welfare Department

Tamil Nadu

Madras Prisoners Aid Society and its District Committees

Uttar Pradesh

Asha Kiran/Prison Ministry

Nari Sewa Samiti

National Council for Women

Taru Chhaya

West Bengal

1. Bengal Prisoners' Aid Society.

Self Determination in Welfare and Corrections

"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding"

Louis D.Brandeis dissenting,

Olmstead V. United States (1928)

If research in the field of human behaviour revealed an unvarying casual connection between certain factors and resultant behaviour, then therapists could assume an authoritative stance in imposing treatment designed to effect changes in behaviour. Specially, if it were proven that people would never commit crimes if all their psychological, marital, child-parent, employment, interpersonal and other problems were in a state of stasis, then therapists in the field of correction would be justified in compelling all criminals to undergo treatment in all these areas to effect the desired equilibrium. In proposing non punitive acceptance of the offender's rejection of psychological and family counseling and moving toward concrete services and institutional changes, correctional thinking is reacting to what the national Council on Crime and Delinquency (1973) editors describe as a new concept in criminology. Examination of the new concept reveals strong resemblances to the marxist interpretation of society. In this approach the observation is made that practically the entire population has been guilty at one time or another of lawbreaking of various degrees of seriousness. The ruling social class defines what is crime and selects who is to be arrested for lawbreaking. The victims are the poor, those of limited intelligence and those the dominant class wishes to scapegoat to ensure social equilibrium. In these concepts, the focus for change shifts from the individual offender to society and its institutions.

The Role of Reward and Punishment in Education and Correction

In Search of incentives to motivate human beings to adopt socially acceptable and con­structive behavior, men have for centuries been looking for reliable tools, believing that reward and punishment were the best tools of all.

In a moral sense, reward is still bestowed for right and good conduct; punishment is still in­flicted for wrongdoing, with intent to correct error. Psychologically speaking, reward brings pleasure and enjoyment; punishment brings pain and displeasure and sometimes, if accepted as justified retaliation, it may also bring relief from guilt feelings provoked by consciously or sub­consciously acknowledged misdeeds.

We shall concentrate here on the kind of reward and punishment that is administered solely in the interest of the recipients, not in satisfaction of the desire for revenge on the part of those admin­istering them nor by way of appeasing or bribing the recipients to enter a pleasanter relationship, warranted or unwarranted. Mind you, we do not underestimate the psychological damage - the da­mage in their human relations - they do to those who administer them. (Papanek, 1958)

Reward and Punishment Unreliable and Unsatisfactory

Whatever the object of reward or punishment, they have always been unreliable and unsatis­factory. With our current knowledge of psychology in our present democratic society, reward and punishment are pretty well outdated ; at most, they should play a less important role than here­tofore, and it would' be best if they could be dropped entirely.

In the education Mark Twain once called the "organized fight of the grownups against youth" and in the so-called reeducation of deviates to the norms of society, reward and punishment are still considered the best stimulation to construc­tive behavior or the correction of faults and mistakes.

In the 16th century, the Jesuits substituted supervision for compulsion in their schools, al­though they did not dispense with punishment altogether. Otherwise they emphasized the impor­tance of rewards as incentives in the belief that "ambition, although it may be a fault in itself, is often the mother of virtues." [1] 

The famous Ratio Studiorum (1599) requested the introduction of a corrector, who was not to be a member of the Society, to administer punishment when such was necessary so that punishment should be dissociated from teaching. When a suitable corrector was not available, other methods than punishment were to be devised. Today, at least 90 percent of educational methods at home, in school, and in correctional institutions still involve prohibitions, repressions, suppressions, reprimands, and punishment.

Retributive punishment was highly important at the time when man knew little about his own psyche or how to apply this knowledge to induce socially acceptable behavior. He felt himself re­sponsible for all his acts to a higher power, some superior being; when he offended the world order set by this almighty, he must be punished. From the Erinyes to "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," the principle of retribution tried to function in the hop t that fear of certain penalty would restrain men from wrongdoing. We have difficulty in reconciling this with the ethical principle of judge not others lest you be judged, nor can we assume that there are any educational or correctional factors involved in punishment for punishment's sake. If some emotional relief results because of the good feeling that no wrongdoing can go unpunished, such relief is usually less help­ful to the wrongdoers than to the punishers or observers. Their sense of righteousness and su­periority has no constructive educational value for themselves otherwise.

Conditioned Reflexes or Social Responses

The deterrence - emotional but not ethical - effected by punishment is of even less value than retributive punishment. It appeals only to selfish fear, not to insight or morals. It may, sometimes succeed with cowards - actually it promotes cow­ardice. It is well known that in England, when public hanging was still the punishment for pick­pockets, other pickpockets did a tremendous business cleaning out the pockets of fascinated spectators at the execution. Since human behavior is not determined solely by conditioned reflexes, even the desire to avoid punishment will not serve as sufficient deterrence; there must be patterns of social responses well established by emotional and intellectual factors. In his natural struggle to overcome outside difficulties through his own personal endowments, the child or grownup threat­ened with deterrent punishment will be inclined to attempt to overcompensate for his inferiority feeling toward the punisher and to outwit him, to be smarter than the victim of the punishment he has. just witnessed, to try not to get caught. (Papanek, 1958)

Some people believe that Pavlov's experiments with conditioned reflexes -with dogs and other similar experiments with animals - prove that at least temporary success can be achieved with deterrent punishment and that repeated periodic application can bring lasting success. We must maintain that rewarding a dog with food for se­creting saliva at the sound of a bell, or punishing him if he does not obey his master's demands, is all right for dogs. Obedience is all we expect of him, but we expect more than obedience from human beings and we cannot get it by taming through fear. Education and correction, or re­education where necessary, must enable human beings to develop more than reflexes, reactions, and repressions of instincts and drives. Education or reeducation must help the unsocialized child or adult to become a happy, independent, under­standing, cooperative member of human society, without which he would not be a human being. It must make him able and willing to contribute his best to the advancement of mankind, recog­nizing that he, his family, his community, his nation can only exist within and gain by being contributing members of the race.

Is There Actually a Need for Punishment

Sigmund Freud, in Civilization and Its Discon­tents, [2] states that "the need for punishment is an instinctual manifestation on the part of the ego, which has become masochistic under the influence of the sadistic super-ego, i.e., which has brought a part of the instinct of destruction at work within itself into the service of an erotic attachment to the super-ego." We do not question the possibility of masochistic individuals who provoke punish­ment in order to satisfy a pathological need and in considering their treatment we will have to watch for it. But we doubt whether this overall generali­zation of the need for punishment as an instinctual manifestation is correct and would have it rather limited to Alfred Adler's more specified opinion that "Many criminals are not very fond of their lives; some of them at certain moments are very near suicide." [3] Furthermore, if there would be such an instinctual need for punishment, we would have to discard completely the concept of any successful deterrent punishment; it would satisfy a need and not be deterrent and could not be super-ego forming either, as Freud assumed.