Prisoners are Human Beings – Criminal Justice Ethics

prisoners are human beings. Following the 19th century penal reforms in the criminal justice system, the act of degrading and demeaning of prisoners was done way with. With initial aim of prison being to reform other than harming the prisoners, it is not ethically justified to expose prisoners to unnecessary degradation on the basis of punishing them. According to Foucault (2000), the goal of reformation in the prison system was to repair all previous deficiencies that law breakers had, with an aim of making them more productive members of the society. prisoners are human beings.

Further, it is important to note that the prison system is a corrective institution which facilitates dynamic rejuvenation of the offenders back into the societal mainstream. prisoners are human beings.

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prisoners are human beings

In conclusion, it has been noted how the prison system is based on reformation and rehabilitation, where unnecessary demeaning and degrading of prisoners should be avoided. Being corrective-oriented system, the prison system need not to subject prisoners to any form of psychological torture through degrading and demeaning, which will act as means to facilitate efficiency in achieving the ultimate goals in the system. prisoners are human beings. More so, various international covenants like International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights tend to advocate for treatment of prisoners with dignity. On this basis, the act of demeaning and degrading prisoners is ultimately unethical act and should be avoided.   


Braswell, M., McCarthy, B. and McCarthy, J. (2008). Justice, crime and ethics, (6th ed.). New      Jersey: Anderson Publishers. prisoners are human beings.

Foucault, M. (2000). ‘The ethics of the concern of self as a practice of freedom’, in P. Rabinow    (ed.), Ethics: Subjectivity and truth. Essential works of Foucault 1954 – 1984, edited by Paul, 37-49. London: Penguin.

Reiman, J. and Leighton, P. (2000). Criminal justice ethics, (2nd Ed.). New York: Prentice Hall. prisoners are human beings.

Rusche, G. and Kirchheimer, O. (1998). Punishment and Social Structure. New York: Wiley. prisoners are human beings.