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Prison Education as a Tool for Socialization (Part 1)

By Christopher Zoukis

Generally, the idea of crime is a violation of generally agreed upon societal norms; societal norms which have been codified into law via criminalization. The concept is that society has deemed certain actions to be acceptable and others to be unacceptable. When someone violates a social norm they are chastised so as to acknowledge the breaking of social norms. This in turn acts as a correction to the individual who violated the norm and as a warning to the rest who might do so. This chastisement maintains the agreed upon social order which facilitates basic life in our nation and throughout the world.

Some forms of chastisement are not so bad. For example, a friend voicing disagreement, a teacher giving a bad grade, or even a parent grounding their child as a show of disapproval. All of these, while not pleasant, allow the offender to reflect upon their actions, correct them, and go on with life relatively unabated. This is the purpose of small correction; the person is not hindered from living life, but they will remain with the reminder of their correction. Hence, their behavior should theoretically conform according to the level, kind, and motivation of the correction.

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