• Created by: Cat91
  • Created on: 30-04-21 14:50



  • Gets dangerous people of the streets.
  • Acts as a deterrent.
  • Lack of escaping prisoners.


  • Drugs are available in prisons for prisoners.
  • 'University of crime'.
  • Can be hard for offenders to get back into society.
  • Short sentences.
  • People could feel angry about being in prison and seek retribution on society.
  • Funding, 2010-2018 the number of prison officers went down by 15%.
  • Overcrowded, 43000 in 1993 to 83000 in 2019.
  • Doesn't meet the rehabilitation aim of punishment.
  • Violence within prisons has risen in the past few years.


Evaluate the effectiveness of social control inside prisons (8 marks).Prison fails to achieve social control because it is a place where offenders can learn more about how to commit crimes. It has often been compared to a University, but one that teaches how to be a criminal. This leads to a lack of social control because when the prisoner gets out of jail and goes back to living in society, they have learnt how to be more effective at committing crimes which could lead to them creating more disorder. Additionally, it can lead to criminal networking as the criminals could remain friends after their releases from prison. For example, there was an article written by 'Prisoner Ben' for The Guardian in which he describes going to prison for a petty crime and coming out knowing how to hide a body.Another way in which prisons fail to achieve social control is how they don't meet the rehabilitation aim of punishment. In some cases, this is due to a lack of funding that then impacts their access to resources. There has been a cut in money that goes towards buying things for prisoners that help them too rehabilitate. In some cases, it is because the prisoner is there for too short a time to be rehabilitated. The blame could also be placed on prison being so vastly different to society. In prison you get treated in a very different way to how you get treated in society. You could be treated like you're nothing more than a criminal, which often leads to a self-fulling prophecy, and ties to labelling theory. In some prisons a 'token economy' is run, meaning that prisoners get tokens for good behaviour (which they can then use to buy privileges) and get privileges taken away for bad behaviour. However, life doesn't work like that outside of prison, which may lead to feelings of inadequacy once the prisoners are released as they aren't getting rewarded every time they do something good. No matter the reason for not rehabilitating prisoners, it leads to an increased likelihood of repeat offending. One way that prison does achieve social control, is through it acting as a deterrent. It is advertised as a terrible place that people want to avoid going to, it takes away peoples rights and keeps people locked up with other prisoners. This leads to people being afraid of prison and wanting to avoid it at all costs. Due to the desire to avoid prison, many people will not commit crimes and will therefore conform and uphold social control.


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