A new social consciousness as to the status of men and women in our society has developed in recent years. Debate over this status has often centered around the proper roles of men and women and how each group should be treated vis-a-vis the other. While the debate may never produce lasting answers, the consensus appears to be that at the very least some level of equality or parity is required.
Gender debates have a counterpart in the criminal justice system. While offenders cannot be viewed as representing the mainstream of society, their needs and goals are similar to the aims of members of the general society. Presumably, many want to improve their standard of living, obtain good jobs, have and maintain families, be free from sickness, vindicate their legal rights, and engage in recreational activities. Therefore, although there is a heightened level of security and a more restrictive atmosphere, the aspirations of individuals within the prison community may he seen as a microcosm of society as a whole.
Whatever crimes they committed, most inmates will one day return to society. Although some releasees will never he rehabilitated or lead law-abiding lives, others will. For inmates with such potential, the correctional environment is a key factor in preparing them for their eventual return to the mainstream of society.
The task of establishing this environment — correctional programming' — is a function of the executive branch of government. A significant developing issue in the area of correctional programming is whether or not government should take a more active role in the area of gender equality by set ting examples in its administration of correctional institutions.
Civil Rights and Discrimination
Law Enforcement and Corrections
- Journal title
Boston College Law Review
- Date submitted
6 September 2022