It suits the state to have the prison stand as proxy for a wide collection of political and social ills. It diverts attention from more widespread abuses perpetrated in the name of social control, while it forestalls an overall critique of criminal justice. Through the rhetoric of reform, it can offer the prison as propitiation for the injustice, inequality, and partiality which racks the criminal justice system; however, while criticism of the prison moves from the symbolic to the functional, the reformist response of the state need not make the transition. The rhetoric of reform backed up by a few examples to portray the state's commitment to reform is often enough to satisfy the broadest public concern. Even when the system's hypocrisy of reform is revealed, the ramifications are of little consequence. The prison remains, to be shored up by future periodic outbreaks of reform. Ultimately, society tolerates persistent duplicity when it involves only its outcasts, rather than purge a system of rulers adept at manipulating the forces of change so as to preserve their own bureaucratic interests. Some case examples are provided to show how the correctional system resists reform through various political machinations.