Imprisonment is one of the main strategies of crime control and prevention. Yet, its specific aims and ends have generated numerous debates among philosophers, moralists, sociologists, penologists etc. These debates revealed that confinement in closed institutions is conducive to various forms of “deculturation” (Goffman, 2004) as well as to the reiteration of criminal behaviour. In the same time, imprisonment has raised vast concerns among citizens about public safety and the “humanization” of prison conditions. The current paper attempts to radiograph the attitudes, the opinions and the evaluations of the Romanian public towards prison and imprisonment and to identify solutions for optimizing its functionality.
Keywords: punishment, prison, imprisonment, public perception, human rights.