Goals of Corrections the Objective Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Just as clearly no individual who is logical would consider Charles Manson or Theodore Bundy as eligible profiles for the restorative justice program or even for rehabilitation program or indeed of any other than imprisonment or death by execution There are however, very potentially productive, useful, and worthy individuals who are shuffled into the correction system due to their inability to hire a lawyer or lack of knowledge concerning their rights to having representation appointed to them that with education and knowledge or skills acquisition can be successfully rehabilitation or restored to society and within the community. Recently there has been documented an additional strategy in criminal justice corrections which is described as a 'transformational' process and is a cognitive-behavioral approach in treatment.


Cognitive behavioral approaches are being used in transforming the dysfunctional thinking of the individual. The work of Mahoney and Lyddon (1988) relate approximately 20 various types of cognitive behavioral therapies, which generally are either:

1) Moral reasoning theories; or 2) Information processing theories.

MacKenzie and Hickman (1998) state:

In terms of criminal behavior, the cognitive-behavioral tradition suggests that criminals think differently than noncriminals, either because of a lack of moral reasoning or through dysfunctional information processing. Thus, cognitive-behavioral rehabilitation programs in a correctional setting should focus on changing these problematic thought processes, which are contributing to criminal behavior. Research has shown that improved reasoning and pro-social thinking skills are related to reduced recidivism (Gendreau & Ross, 1981). Specific therapies based on these concepts, such as Moral Reconation Therapy and Reasoning & Rehabilitation, have been developed and implemented for correctional populations (Ross & Fabiano, 1985; Little & Robinson, 1988)."

Moral Reconation Therapy is stated to be effective in the recidivism of offenders. Reasoning and Rehabilitation are also stated to be effective in the reduction of recidivism of offenders. The work entitled: "Ending the Culture of Street Crime" states that there has been an "...almost pathological resistance to meaning-fully addressing the moral, cultural, socioeconomic, and political realities that operate to sustain and instigate criminal deviance. Notwithstanding racism and economic factors, it can be reasonably argued that a high rate of crime in wealthy industrialized nations is symptomatic of a society suffering from moral malnutrition. Criminals on every level of society become addicted to the psychological sweets derived from engaging in antisocial behavior. Much of the crime and violence in society can be directly linked to the inculcation of socio-psychological behavioral responses to feelings of anger, fear, shame, deprivation, entitlement, and greed." (World Criminology & Prison Journal, 2005) This work states as well the reality that the street culture leadership is a hierarchy of gang leadership in which leaders of the gangs maintain control over the members of the gang and the activities of the gang. The 'economic factor' is related as the gang operates in the 'fast money' street culture. The second factor noted is the 'psychological factor' in which the self-image of the individual is affected by the "...distorted misconceptions..." (World Criminology and Prison Journal, 2005) Further stated in this work is the fact that: "Most attempts to increase public safety have been directed mainly at the individual perpetrator through programs, punishment, or incarceration. However, little effort has been made to directly confront the very culture from which the problem emanates. To break the cycle, a comprehensive strategy must be developed that is directed simultaneously at the three main target populations perpetuating the cycle." (Ending the Culture of Street Crime, World Criminology and Prison Journal, 2005)


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Van Ness, DW (nd) Restorative Justice in Prisons. Session 204: The Practice of Restorative Justice in Prison Reform. PFI Centre for Justice and Reconciliation. Prison Fellowship International. Online available at http://www.restorativejustice.org/editions/2005/july05/2005-06-21.9036003387.

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