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The Dilemma of Career Criminals Essay

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Updated: Sep 9th, 2022

The case of Frank Uhyarek has invited discussion of the matter of career criminals. On the one hand, people who repeatedly commit crime are likely to perpetrate again, as Frank Uhyarek has done despite numerous incarcerations. It propels many people to consider such individuals too dangerous to walk freely and approve of the court’s decision. On the other hand, people point to criminal rehabilitation program and believe that career criminals can also be redeemed.

The self-control theory explains delinquent behavior with the emphasis on the teenager years. The less efficient a person’s upbringing had been, the more likely they are to commit crimes in their adult life (Koi et al. 2018). Following this line of thinking, any attempts at rehabilitating life-long criminals seem to be a waste of time, since they are mentally driven to offend again. Nevertheless, the purpose of prisons is not only isolating criminals, but also giving them the chance to realize their mistakes and live a lawful life.

Moreover, putting a person in a prison does not guarantee their redemption. In contrast, according to Koi et al. (2018), “incarceration is typically not very effective in preventing recidivism or facilitating individual rehabilitation” (p. 230). The reason lies in the prisoner’s surroundings. They live in a society of criminals, which is more likely to cultivate deviant behavior than eradicate it. The same can be applied to career criminals – if the punishment is redeeming them by isolating in the circle of other delinquents than the entire undertaking is self-defeating.

This does not imply that rehabilitation of career criminals is impossible. Butler et al. (2020) have explored life-long offenders and found that the possibility of their redemption depended on two factors – the willingness of criminals to redeem and the readiness of society to accept the former offenders (Butler et al., 2020). Particularly, people with a history of drug crimes are known to be treated for low self-control disorder (Koi et al., 2018). state that there are programs treating people with low self-control disorder. It may be possible to create similar programs for other offenders, including career criminals.

References

Butler, L. C., Cullen, F. T., Burton, A. L., Thielo, A. J., & Burton Jr, V. S. (2020). Redemption at a correctional turning point: Public support for rehabilitation ceremonies. Federal Probation, 84(1), 38-47.

Koi, P., Uusitalo, S., & Tuominen, J. (2018). . Criminal Law and Philosophy, 12(2), 227-244.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "The Dilemma of Career Criminals." September 9, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-dilemma-of-career-criminals/.

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