Is Rehabilitation Effective?

Essay by jdno7University, Bachelor'sA+, August 2004

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Is Rehabilitation Effective?

With prison recidivism rates at 60 percent, the country has long since passed the point of needing effective solutions. Enhancing community safety is a major goal of corrections. One way of attaining this goal is to adopt strategies that reduce offender recidivism. In the 1970s and 1980s there was widespread disillusionment with the effectiveness of treatment programs to reduce recidivism. Today however, recent research demonstrates that some programs can reduce the likelihood of offenders returning to crime. This paper will explore the definition of rehabilitation in the system of corrections and the effectiveness of the current practices. We will address the difficulties and goals of the programs in general. We will touch on the rights of prisoners and juvenile versus adult offenders. Finally, we will delve into the debate between rehabilitation versus punishment. We will raise the question of where should we draw the line.

There are numerous rehabilitative programs available to both inmates incarcerated in correctional institutions, and those serving their sentence under community correction programs.

Static's show the present ratio of convicted criminals serving the term of their sentence under community correction programs (i.e. probation, parole, house arrest) greatly exceed the number of convicted criminals serving the term of their convictions, incarcerated within the state/federal prison system.

Legislation has been adopted into US law, granting prisoners within the US penal system, the constitutional right to rehabilitation services. The individual states are obligated to set aside funds and resources to support, provide these services/programs, to all prisoners under their jurist diction.

The formal definition of rehabilitation is as follows:

Ø To restore to good health or useful life, as through therapy and education.

o To restore to good condition, operation, or capacity.

o To reinstate the good name of.

o To restore the former rank,