Prison reform—in its narrowest sense—is the attempt to ameliorate conditions for those incarcerated (i.e., reform prison conditions), develop a more effective and fair penal system, or implement alternatives to prison. Sometimes the term is used interchangeably with criminal justice reform, although the latter is more of an umbrella term that includes reform at the front end of the criminal justice system (law enforcement) and back end as well (reentry). Thus, prison reform is the attempt to address one of several parts of the criminal justice system.

Throughout history, religious groups, business leaders, philanthropists, scientists, scholars, advocates, activists, and elected and governmental officials have all become involved in prison reform. Early involvement often centered on the search for the cause of crime and rehabilitation of the offender. ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles