||It has been suggested that this article be merged into imprisonment. (Discuss) Proposed since March 2013.|
||The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010)|
People are most commonly incarcerated upon suspicion or conviction of committing a crime, and different jurisdictions have differing laws governing the function of incarceration within a larger system of justice. Incarceration serves four essential purposes with regard to criminals:
- to isolate criminals to prevent them from committing more crimes
- to punish criminals for committing crimes
- to deter others from committing crimes
- to rehabilitate criminals
Incarceration rates, when measured by the United Nations, are considered distinct and separate from the imprisonment of political prisoners and others not charged with a specific crime. Historically, the frequency of imprisonment, its duration, and severity have varied considerably. There has also been much debate about the motives for incarceration, its effectiveness and fairness, as well as debate regarding the related questions about the nature and etiology of criminal behavior.
Justice studies 
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Wilkenson (2004) notes that overall heterogeneity of a society may provide a meta-explanation for the variance in incarceration rates: There may be a multi-directional causality where close-knit societies are least likely to commit some forms of offenses against one another.
Penology and justice studies emphasize description and analysis of antecedents of criminal behavior and outcomes of consequences imposed by criminal justice on the criminal behavior. An example of a modern quantitative study of factors influencing the criminal behavior is the study by Krus and Hoehl (1994).
In the study by Krus and Hoehl, variables that might explain differences in incarceration rates among populations were located by a computer-aided search of the compendium of world rankings, compiled by the Facts on File Corporation and the World Model Group, containing over 50,000 records on more than 200 countries.
They argued that predictor variables explained about 69% of variance in the international incarceration rates. Cited as especially important were unequal distribution of wealth (the explanation perhaps favored by liberals) and family disintegration (the explanation perhaps favored by conservatives). According to Krus and Hoehl, these variables act in concert: the presence of one variable does not always precipitate crime, but the presence of both variables often does precipitate crime.
Incarceration rates by country 
In many countries, it is common for prisoners to be paroled after serving as little as one third of their sentences.
Denmark has a low incarceration rate with a total of 3774 inmates in the country. Denmark has 59 people in prison for every 100,000 citizens. 62 violent crimes such as rape, murder, robbery, and aggravated assault were reported.[when?] There were 322 Property Crimes reported.[when?]
England and Wales 
New Zealand 
The rate imprisonment in New Zealand in 2011 was 198 per 100,000.
India has one of the lowest incarceration rates with 281,000 prisoners in their jails. This is a rate of just under 25 per 100,000; given a total population, 1,129,866,154. India reported 1,764,630 crimes in 2007. There were 236,313 assaults and 111,296 burglaries.
United States 
The United States' incarceration rate is, according to 2009 figures, 743 persons imprisoned per 100,000 (as of 2009). The United States has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's incarcerated population.
Incarceration and torture 
Cruel treatment has long been a feature of incarceration. Taken to extremes, such treatment might be described as torture.
Torture has, for much of history, been seen as a tolerable or even necessary component of imprisonment, whether performed as punishment or as part of interrogation. On October 28, 2010, the head of UK's MI6, Sir John Sawers, has described torture as "illegal and abhorrent".
Alternatives to Incarceration 
 Before the 1950s, the Canadian Judiciary had few options for punishment of offenders. The judiciary was limited to incarcerating the offender, issuing a fine, placing the offender on probation, or giving the offender a discharge. In the 1960s and 1970s however, crime rates increased drastically. This created a large influx of people becoming incarcerated in prisons, resulting in overcrowding. The overcrowding of prisons left the government financially stressed, leaving them unable to pay the workers, maintain the prisons, and house the inmates. There was also growing evidence and concern that incarcerating offenders was not a successful deterrent to crime, or reducing recidivism. In an effort to save money and hopefully reduce recidivism rates, alternatives to incarceration were created.
 Conditional sentences were first introduced in 1996 in an attempt to reduce the amount of inmates in a quickly growing prison population. Conditional sentences, which are also known as indeterminate sentences, are sentences that are served outside of the prison walls and in the community with some sort of restrictions or conditions placed on the offender. The requirements or conditions may include mandatory programs such as a drug or alcohol treatment seminars, curfews, house arrest, or electronic monitoring. Most offenders who receive conditional sentences are low risk and are usually serving time for impaired driving where no death occurred. When an offender receives a conditional sentence of home confinement in comparison to incarceration, the offender is still able to see family members, maintain a normal job, and attend school. This is a huge advantage to conditional sentencing, since offenders are not completely cut off from the external world. Although the offender is not locked away in a prison cell, the offender is still expected to stay at home during certain times of the day or night. In order to verify that offenders are abiding by the restrictions placed on them, electronic monitoring is often used. The development of GPS, which allows law enforcement agencies to know the exact location of the offender by the use of satellites, has increased the effectiveness of offenders serving home confinement sentences drastically. Offenders can now easily be identified and tracked down through the use of GPS allowing law enforcement officers to quickly move in to make an arrest when an offender is in breach of their conditions.
 Boot camps are another alternative to incarceration. Boot camps as described by O'Grady are "correctional institutions where inmates are treated like army cadets." The majority of inmates who participate in boot camps are most commonly youth. The main goal of the camp is to teach the inmates discipline, since many advocates of boot camps hypothesize that youth who have troubles with the law is a result of a lack of discipline. Upon completion of the boot camp, the hope is that the inmate will learn respect and discipline, along with destroying any bad attitudes they may have, therefore reducing the likelihood of recidivism. The true effectiveness of boot camps has been under much speculation. O'Grady reveals a study produced by Wright and Mays (1998), who compared recidivism rates of first time offenders that attended a boot camp, to those who were on probation or served time in prison. The results of the study indicated that those who attended the boot camps were actually at a higher risk of reoffending than those who were in the other two groups. Although this research indicates boot camps may not be completely effective, other research has been conducted in the United States that reveal some boot camps are more effective in reducing recidivism than others. Under further analysis however, the boot camps that are more effective in reducing recidivism is not due to the boot camp itself. The aftercare that the boot camps provided for the offenders to help reintegrate them back into society, and help guide them away from a life of crime, is the true reason behind the success of these boot camps. Due to the lack of strong evidence supporting boot camps, coupled with the rising cost of running the programs, many boot camps have shut down across the United States.
Judicial Corporal Punishment
According to behavioral psychologists, soundly applied punishment under laboratory conditions stops or "extinguishes" unwanted behavior. "[R]esistance to extinction is reduced "when high-intensity punishment is delivered during early extinction." "[A] large body of evidence suggests that the effects of punishment are not temporary and that the effects of high-intensity punishment often endure better than those of reinforcement."[clarification needed] Punishment both discourages misbehavior and encourages socially useful conduct: "Perhaps the most frequently noted positive side effect of punishment is facilitation of appropriate social interaction and cooperation during or following periods of punishment for undesirable behavior." 
A study of corporal punishment on several ships in the British Navy found that the great majority of sailors did not receive JCP twice. "The positive side effects of punishment typically consist of improvements in social behavior, emotional responsiveness, imitation and discrimination learning, appropriate play, and attention."  Aggression can result from punishment, but aggression is reliably extinguished with additional punishment. This suggests that the most effective use of JCP would be as initial punishment and if necessary as aggression-extinguishing or other follow-up punishment under the exponentially faster schedules facilitated by parole and probation.
With widespread criticisim of mass incarceration, the option of judicial corporal punishment ("JCP") attracts new interest in Western nations. Some 30% of the world still utilizes JCP. Stable Islamic nations employing JCP enjoy significantly lower crime and incarceration rates than the United States, which formerly employed JCP. JCP was endorsed by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, the last use in the U.S. being to punish wife-beaters.
See also 
- Detention (imprisonment)
- Incapacitation (penology)
- List of countries by incarceration rate
- Alternatives to incarceration
- Sentencing Project
- Human Development Report 2007/2008 - Prison population (per 100,000 people). United Nations Development Programme.
- World Prison Population List. 7th edition. By Roy Walmsley. Published in 2007. International Centre for Prison Studies. School of Law, King's College London. For editions 1 through 7: aic.gov.au.
- World Prison Brief - Highest to Lowest Figures. International Centre for Prison Studies. School of Law, King's College London. Compare many nations. Select from menu: prison population total, prison population rate, percentage of pre-trial detainees / remand prisoners within the prison population, percentage of female prisoners within the prison population, percentage of foreign prisoners within the prison population and occupancy rate.
- Human Development Report 2007/2008 - Prison population (per 100,000 people). UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), using data from the World Prison Population List.
- World Prison Population List by Roy Walmsley, homeoffice.gov.uk
- , Justice Sector Forecast, 2011-2021.
- Prisoners in 2009 Heather C. West, Ph.D. and William J. Sabol, Ph.D. BJS Statisticians, and Sarah J. Greenman; US Department of Justice Dec 2010
- "MI6 chief Sir John Sawers says torture illegal". BBC. 28 October 2010.
- O'grady, William (2011). Crime in Canadian Context- Debates and Controversies. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press. p. 218.
- O'grady, William (2011). Crime in Canadian Context- Debates and Controversies. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press. pp. 218–220.
- O'grady, William (2011). Crime in Canadian Context- Debates and Controversies. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press. pp. 220–222.
- Ron Van Houten, Punishment: From the Animal Laboratory to the Applied Setting, in THE EFFECTS OF PUNISHMENT ON HUMAN BEHAVIOR 18 (Saul Axelrod & Jack Apsche, eds., 1983)(author cites research by Boe & Church, 1967).
- Id. at 19.
- Crighton Newsom, Judith E. Favell & Arnold Rincover, The Side Effects of Punishment, in THE EFFECTS OF PUNISHMENT ON HUMAN BEHAVIOR 302 (Saul Axelrod & Jack Apsche, eds., 1983).
- Alan G. Jamieson, Tyranny of the Lash? Punishment in the Royal Navy during the American War, 1776-1783, pg 64, available at http://www.cnrs-scrn.org/northern_mariner/vol09/nm_9_1_53to66.pdf.
- Crighton Newsom, Judith E. Favell & Arnold Rincover, The Side Effects of Punishment, in THE EFFECTS OF PUNISHMENT ON HUMAN BEHAVIOR 302 (SAUL AXELROD & JACK APSCHE, eds., 1983).
- J.D. Gleissner, "The Constitutionality & Effectiveness of Judicial Corporal Punishment Compared to Massive Incarceration," (2013, accepted for publication in The Criminal Law Bulletin).
Other Sources 
- ABC News/Washington Post poll (2004). Conducted by TNS of Horsham, Pa, on a random national sample of 1,005 adults with a three-point error margin.
- Arpaio, J. and Sherman, L. (1996) How to win the war against crime. Arlington: The Summit Publishing Group.
- Binsfeld, P. (1596) Tractatus de confessionibus maleficorum et sagarum. Trier, Germany: Heinrich Bock.
- Block, M. K. (1997) Supply side imprisonment policy. Washington: National Institute of Justice.
- Beccaria, C. (1764) An essay on crimes and punishments. New York: Gould & Van Winkle, 1809.
- Daneau, L. (1564) Les Sorciers, dialogue très utile et très necessaire pour ce temps. In Levack, B. (1992) The literature of witchcraft: articles on witchcraft, magic, and demonology. Garland. ISBN 0-8153-1026-9.
- Geiler, J. (1508) Die Emeis. Strassburg: Johann Grüninger.
- Kurian, G.T. (1991) The New Book of World Rankings. New York: Facts on File, Inc.
- Krus, D.J. (1999) Die Harte des Strafvollzugs: Entbindung in Ketten. Zeitschrift fur Sozialpsychologie und Gruppendynamik in Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, 24Jg/Heft 4, S.12-16 (Request reprint in English,in German).
- Krus, D. J., & Hoehl, L .S. (1994) Issues associated with international incarceration rates. Psychological Reports, 75, 1491-1495 (Request reprint).
- Mauer, M. (1991) American Behind Bars: A Comparison of International Rates of Incarceration. Washington, D.C.: The Sentencing Project.
- Mauer, M. (1999) Race to incarcerate. New York: The New Press.
- Mǖllendorf, P. (1911) Geschichte der Spanischen Inquisition. Leipzig, Germany.
- Rhyne, C. E., Templer, D. I., Brown, L. G., & Peters, N. B. (1995) Dimensions of suicide: perceptions of lethality, time, and agony. Suicide & Life Threatening Behavior, 25(3), 373-380.
- Sindelar, B. (1986) Hon na carodejnice v zapadni a stredni Evrope v 16.-17.stoleti. Prague: Nakladatelstvi Svoboda.
- O'grady, William (2011). Crime in Canadian Context- Debates and Controversies. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press.
- Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison
- Persons Detained Statistics of incarceration ("detained") from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
- Race and Incarceration in the United States. Human Rights Watch Press Backgrounder. February 27, 2002. Many tables.
- Red Magazine, stories about prisoners and prison conditions