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15 J. Offender Counseling, Services & Rehab. 1 (1990)

handle is hein.journals/wjor15 and id is 1 raw text is: 


                     Nathaniel J. Pallone


  It is likely folly to expect consistency in human perception and
behavior in any arena, so it is not surprising that inconsistencies
abound in our societal responses to criminal behavior. During the
same elections in which a Get Tough, Hang 'Em High presiden-
tial candidate who avows wider application of the death penalty is
overwhelmingly preferred over one whose posture toward prison
furloughs bespeaks at least an implicit belief in the prison as an
institution whose purpose is rehabilitation, and in which regional
and local candidates who reveal the same Get Tough posture by
endorsing mandatory custodial sentencing for all sorts of felony
crime are similarly preferred, the same electorate declines to sup-
port the issuing of public debt bonds to support the construction of
prison facilities to house those offenders who are the focus of just
such policies, let alone disdaining the increased taxes required to
support the staffing of those facilities.
  Nor are these most recent inconsistencies singular. The same era
that brought the historic Pugh v. Locke decision in Mr. Justice
Johnson's Federal District Court in Alabama (1978), which prom-
ised to reform the prisons of the nation by requiring not only hu-
mane housing and sanitary conditions but also meaningful pro-
grams staffed by qualified personnel, also yielded in the Federal
Congress the Kennedy-Thurmond Act of 1984, which effectively
eliminated parole in the Federal prison system. A decade after Pugh
v. Locke, dozens of states had been placed under Federal court or-
der respecting one or another aspect of prison operation; half a de-
         © 1990 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.  I

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