How has deinstitutionalization impacted law enforcement and corrections?

How has deinstitutionalization impacted law enforcement and corrections?

Copy/Paste the questions/statements below and fully respond to each question with information from the textbook or outside sources in your Discussion Post. You must show evidence that you’ve read and mastered the material in the assigned reading.

Session 11 Discussion

Part 1 Discussion:

1) Define deinstitutionalization

2) How has deinstitutionalization impacted law enforcement and corrections?

Perhaps one of the most universal pieces of the historical past (that is relevant to
the modern correctional system) is that social minorities have always received disparate treatments in the legal system. Throughout history, each generation and culture
has seen distinctions between how the law treated those in the majority vs. those in
the minority. Examples may include how different cultures have treated women, ethnic populations, the poor, the infirmed, etc. The inequalities of the modern system of
crime and punishment can be traced back to ancient history, and the first legal codes.
Arguably, the earliest codified law came into being to draw divisions between those
who had property, wealth, and prestige and those who did not. This practice of protecting the privileged through legal traditions became important because it worked to
create and maintain social structures. Some might argue that the legal system came to
protect the rights of those who were of lesser social standing; however, this truth seems
to be a mere byproduct of the law.
Under most traditional legal systems, persons were granted varying degrees of
personal freedoms based on their social standing. An example of this is that of the slave
who occupied the lowest rung of the social ladder. The slave (in most cultures) could
not own property or participate in government. The slave also had limited control of his
own body and personal welfare. Slaves were often seen as property and therefore were
subjugated to the desires of their owners. Conversely, nobility were traditionally not
subjected to the same laws as the commoner. Regarding civil matters, nobles frequently
were exempt from paying taxes, could levy fines, and create their own tax structures.
Regarding criminal penalties, nobility were once again exempt from the crimes typically charged to commoners and peasants. For example, a slave would be executed for
killing a noble, yet a noble killing a slave would hardly go noticed. To a degree, whether
overt or not, class distinctions still exist that create preferential treatments within the
criminal justice system.
The importance of social status and freedoms permitted through the law is
relevant when considering the institution of modern corrections. It is through legal
structures that those with power, wealth, and prestige maintain power by limiting the freedoms of those without power. Traditionally, over a number of historical legal systems,
limitations of personal freedoms vary, ranging from limiting of financial acquiescence
(e.g., ownership of land and other property) to a complete lack of freedom that can be
associated with forced slavery or other similar institutions.

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