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Prisons focus on rehabilitation instead of retribution

Research Proposal: should prisons focus more on rehabilitation instead of retribution

Select a topic on which your persuasive writing paper will be focused.
Write a one to two (1-2) page research proposal in which you:

  1. Identify the topic you selected and explain two (2) reasons for using it.
  2. Include a defensible, relevant thesis statement in the first paragraph.
  3. Describe three (3) major characteristics of your audience (official position, decision-making power,
    current view on topic, other important characteristic).
  4. Describe the paper�s scope and outline the major sections.
  5. Identify and explain the questions to be answered.
  6. Explain your research plan, including the methods of researching and organizing research.
  7. Document at least three (3) primary sources and three (3) secondary sources. Use credible,
    academic sources available through Strayer University�s Resource Center. Note: Wikipedia and
    other Websites do not qualify as academic resources.

Topic: should prisons focus more on rehabilitation instead of retribution
The research will focus on investigating whether prisons should shift their focus more
from punishing prisoners to rehabilitating them instead. The reasons for selecting this topic
are as follows: first, over 70% of prisoners re-offend within a period of just 3 years after they
have left jail, usually with a more serious and cruel crime (Kane, 2013). Secondly, over 90%
of prisoners go back to the community after just a few years and therefore it is crucial how
they are treated whilst they are imprisoned (Opperman, 2014). Thesis statement: prisons
should focus more on rehabilitating the inmates rather than focusing more on punishing them.
The main characteristics of my audience include the following: (i) political leaders in
the United States – they can make laws and legislations which mandate prison facilities to
rehabilitate inmates instead of punishing them. (ii) Prison leadership and officials: these are
the individuals who run prison facilities across the country. While some are government
employees running federal or state prisons, others are actually business people who operate
private prisons. (iii) Current viewpoints on the subject/topic: while some members of the
audience are in support of rehabilitating convicts instead of punishing them, some audience
members think that prisoners should be punished for their deeds, not rehabilitated. At the
moment, heads of prison facilities in the country are generally more in support of punishment
and not rehabilitation of convicts. Many of these officials maintain that it is not possible to
rehabilitate some inmates for instance serious criminals like child molesters, rapists, and
serial killers. They believe that criminals should go to prison to be punished and that if they
are taken to prison for rehabilitation, then the facility would not be a prison anymore, but a
rehabilitation centre (Lawson, 2015). According to prison officials, offenders have to be
punished and prisons serve this purpose of punishing them.

Regarding the scope of the paper, the research paper would be inclined toward
supporting the view that prisons should focus more on rehabilitating convicts and not focus
more on punishing them for their deeds. Even so, arguments from various parties against
rehabilitating convicts and which support punishing them would also be presented
objectively. The main sections of the research paper are as follows:
1.0 Introduction,
2.0 Significance of Research
3.0 Review of Literature
4.0 Research question and objective
5.0 Research methodology
6.0 Results and discussion
6.1 Views that prisons should focus more on rehabilitating prisoners rather than
punishing them
6.2 Views that prisons should focus more on punishing convicts rather than
rehabilitating them
7.0 Conclusion.
In the proposed research, the following research question would be answered?
 Should prisons focus more on rehabilitation of convicts than retribution?

This research question will help to determine the thoughts and viewpoints of members of
public regarding this topic. Their perspectives may be helpful in reform efforts aimed at
reducing the high rates of recidivism. Prisoners are typically individuals that have been

overlooked or even discarded from youth onwards, have had little education or
encouragement, have been told many dismissing words by other people, and putting them in
jail where all their moves and words are monitored may be regarded as punishment enough
(Kane, 2013). By punishing them in this manner, there is likelihood that they would still
return to prison after their release since they have not been rehabilitated.
With regard to research plan, this would be a mixed research study in which both
quantitative and qualitative methods would be employed. Quantitative questionnaire surveys
with closed-ended questions and qualitative interviews with open-ended questions would be
utilized in data collection. A total 210 participants would be enlisted and the questionnaires
would be sent to 200 of them online to complete. The remaining 10 participants would be
interviewed. Furthermore, focus groups would be used to collect data. Secondary sources of
data would include journal articles from electronic online databases, previous research on the
subject matter, and government reports.



Kane, S. (2013). An Interview with the Most Rehabilitated Prisoner in America. Litigation,

39(3), 16-23.

Lawson, C. (2015). Does Imprisonment Work?. Legaldate, 27(2), 9-11.

Opperman, G. (2014). Change Your Prison, Change Your Outcomes, Change Your
Community. Economic Affairs, 34(2), 224-234.

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