Running head: FINAL


FINAL Laura Lenti CJS 230 December5, 2010 Rebeca S'anchez - Roig

FINAL FINAL Americans and Canadians are very much alike, we eat the same foods and listen to the same music but crime is handled differently. United States incarceration rate is more than six


times as high as Canada’s crime rate and United States has a homicide rate more than three times as its northern neighbor according to (Fathi, D.2010). Canada correctional system: Offences punishable by death in Canada are murder, rape, treason, poisoning or injuring a person with the intent to commit murder, mistreatment of a girl less than 10 years of age, arson, etc and Canada only used hanging for the death penalty and in 1976 no one is put to death again. Canada’s Parliament decided the chance of putting an innocent person to death was not worth the chance so life is mandatory instead without the eligibility of parole, according to Canada Corrections, (2010). Security levels are classified maximum, medium and minimum with some multi-level institutions. Canada inmates prepare for life after prison starts in the very first days of incarceration and professionals assess inmates to determine the needs they have. The gathered information of needs is used to build a healthy plan of rehabilitation of the detainee. Regardless of the crime all inmates will receive services, be placed in special programs, and participate in activities all to help the rehabilitation process before going back into the general free population. The way the prisoner participates in these services is an impact if they will be granted parole (or a conditional release according to (Public Safety Canada 2007). Some of the programs offered are as follows: Living skills Violence prevention Substance abuse prevention

FINAL Sex offender treatment Employment readiness Substance Abuse Parenting classes Education and Training


The goal for the corrections in Canada is to remove the offender from society for safety and then place them back into society with a new way of thinking with the new skills and training.

United States correctional system:

United States has the most incarceration numbers for inmates worldwide. The two main focuses of rehabilitation in the United States correctional system is education and training for skills in the work field. About one-fourth of inmates were enrolled in some kind of educational program according to (2010). United States has its levels of security in corrections as well; Supermax, Maximum and Medium levels are used the harder the crime offense the higher up you are sent, the more dangerous the crime/person or the threat the more security you are sent to. Corrections can be without walls, such as halfway houses where you have earned trust to come

FINAL and go to work but are under heavy supervision. Some inmates are on monitoring devices that tracks the whereabouts while you are outside the corrections and immediate supervision. The chart below from Wikipedia not an APA source but shows the correction facilities in numbers: USA and territories.[6] Incarcerated population Total Federal and state prisons Territorial prisons Local jails ICE facilities Military facilities Jails in Indian country Juvenile facilities Foreign and secret prisons [20] Number of inmates in 2008 2,424,279 1,518,559 13,576 785,556 9,957 1,651 2,135 92,845 ~400-20000


Canada and United States: Both countries have different types of facilities such as the jail and the prison system. Both countries use the jails for people awaiting trial, people sentenced for a short duration, less than a year typically. Prisons are for the more serious crimes and are for usually sentences over a year’s time. Prison is usually run by the state or government/parliament. Canada in the 1970’s redesigned and reformed the penitentiary walls (prison). New institutions embodying contemporary correctional thinking replaced the old prisons. A broadband of institutions that became alternate methods of corrections included reformatories, halfway house, juvenile detention and work camps. Security is done usually by electronics and they all often vary in the security level. Canada has up to date educational and vocational training facilities and allow for pre-release programs in socialization according to The Canadian Encyclopedia, Johnson, D. (2010). The staff has various responsibilities and is assigned to a group of inmates. The goal for

FINAL the staff is to rehabilitate and reform the inmate for reintegration into society, Johnson, D. (2010). Some of the woman facilities located in Kingston is arranged like cottages in a village and the attempt is to replicate non-institutional life having five centers making it a miniature


community. Below is two charts, one of Canada and one of United States with statistics of crime rates: This is just a small comparison and does not reflect on all populations of both countries. Canada per 100,000 Inhabitants 2001 2002 2002 2002 Homicide 1.78 1.85 1.82 -1.62 Robbery 88 85 90 5.88 Break and enter 901 879 935 6.35 Motor vehicle theft 543 516 534 3.52

United States Crime Index Rates Per 100,000 Inhabitants
Forcible Aggravated LarcenyYear Population Total Violent Property Murder Rape Robbery assault Burglary Theft 2008 304,374,846 3,669.0 457.5 3,211.5 5.4 29.7 145.7 276.7 732.1 2,167.0 2009 307,006,550 3,465.5 429.4 3,036.1 5.0 28.7 133.0 262.8 716.3 2,060.9 Vehicle Theft 314.7 258.8

According to the FBI, Crime Report, (2010) The differences between two countries I find staggering, I find it amazing that almost every crime has decreased in Canada since they took an new outlook of rehabilitation and reformed their way of thinking when it came to incarceration. United States went down slightly but yet a steady rise in crime in the past decades. Canada parolees usually serve part of their sentences in prison. Partially the time is served in the community where they are supervised by a professional staff of the Canada corrections system. A gradual supervised release with an inmate who has participated in rehabilitation programs show they are less likely to re-enter the prison system by committing crimes again. United States also has this system, there are programs directed at the inmates issues. Robbers, thieves, angry and abusive, victims of abuse or drug addiction programs are just the tip of the iceberg for what is offered to help inmates re-enter society. Educational and



vocational schools in both countries are used to update the skills of an inmate so they may have a better chance of gaining employment outside the prison walls. If it wasn’t for the Eight Amendment that was utilized immensely in the 1960’s, prison would be different today. This was the start of riots and advocates for people’s rights. The Eighth Amendment guarantees that “cruel and unusual punishment (not be) inflicted. It has challenged the death penalty and the three strikes law, crowded prison and the health/safety issues in prison. The Supreme Court has established several tests to determine whether conditions or actions violate the Eighth Amendment:
• • • • •

Did the actions or conditions offend concepts of "decency and human dignity and precepts of civilization which Americans profess to possess"? Was it "disproportionate to the offense"? Did it violate "fundamental standards of good conscience and fairness"? Was the punishment unnecessarily cruel? Did the punishment go beyond legitimate penal purposes?

According to, (2010) the above is the guidelines that shape the rights of prisoners today. I am still unsure what system works better, the incarceration or the rehabilitation from either country. It does seem that Canada has a better grip on controlling crime offenders. United States in my opinion has become too lenient however I don’t think more time handed down to the offender is the answer either. A restructure from scratch, start all over, look back at all the mistakes and rights and form a new system. There will be loop holes, there will be mistakes but at this rate it is not getting better and something needs to be done. I would vote if I had to on rehabilitation but with very strict guidelines and rules. It would be an earned possibility and one must enter and complete all programs offered for a chance in society again in my opinion. References:



Bunge Portie, V. Johnson, H. Balde, T. (2010) Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Uniform Crime Reporting Survey. Table source: Statistics Canada, 2005, Exploring Crime Patterns in Canada, Catalogue no. 85-561-XIE2005005.Retrieved December 2010 from: PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0009130 Canada Correctional Service, (2010).History of the Canadian Correctional System, Retrieved December 2010 from: Fathi, D. (2010) Custody Vs. Treatment Debate: Addicted to Punishment, The Prison News. Retrieved 2010 from: (ecekc4454pejijnvm51xsrep))/displayArticle.aspx? articleid=21498&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1 Federal Bureau Investigations, FBI-Crime Reports, United States Crime Rates, Retrieved December 2010 from:, (2010).Prisoners Rights Under Law, Eighth Amendment. Retrieved from:, (2010).Sober College, Not Your Ordinary Rehab <a href="">Rehabilitation - Correctional Programs in the United States</a> Wikipedia, (2010) Incarceration in the United States, Retrieved December 2010 from:

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