Prison Rehabilitation for Men and Term Paper

  • Length: 9 pages
  • Subject: Criminal Justice
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #59669675

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Correctional Services of Canada says that these programs are the result of acknowledge the woman as "her own beset expert," and are built on the premise that "earning to make informed choices and then accepting the consequences of them will enable these women to take control of their lives." There, a Literacy and Numeracy Program created just for female inmates aims to foster skills required for basic employment and civic involvement.

The State of Florida reported in 2001 that the recidivism rate for inmates who received a GED was 29.8%, significantly lower than the 34.4% attributed to those who failed to complete the educational program. That rate of return essentially translated into 100 inmates not returning to prison of the 1,788 who received their GED. The State reported that avoiding their re-incarceration saved approximately $1.9 million dollars.

With the growth of so many gender-specific programs, the rationale for addressing incarceration causes on a sexed-base paradigm is questioned. Because the severity of the crimes committed is so diverse between the two genders, system scholars and advocates for prison change have addressed the qualifications for differential treatment. Many studies reveal a higher level of responsivity to rehabilitation for women, supportive of their higher rates of discharge and parole. Additionally, the arguments of Claren and McClellan support the distinctive features of female offenders that reveal different needs, particularly those addressing mental health and parenting skills.

A study of the New York Bedford Hills Correctional Facility indicated that women who attended college while incarcerated recidivated at a rate of about 7.7%, greatly reducing the 29.9% rate of those who did not. The Folsom Prison in California reported that none of its inmates who received a bachelor's degree while incarcerated recidivated. While educational programs further the concept of decreased manual labor programs in the female rehabilitation scheme, gender roles are reinforced - perhaps by necessity - throughout the corrections system.

The stereotypical social roles of woman as mother and homemaker are not only supported by the prison system but seemingly successfully encouraged. Women prisoners are more frequently assigned roles in laundry and kitchen duties and are encouraged in their procurement of handicraft and domestic skills. These creative skills have witnessed a new-age transformation for women in prisons, including activities as diverse as training guide dogs. Not only do these skills provide viable career skills in niche communities for female inmates after release, they are also aimed to be compatible with the familial responsibilities. Mother-Child programs further foster inmate understanding of real-world needs, but despite the wide variety of unique and seemingly pricey services for women, they tend to be less expensive to rehabilitation than men.

Gearing rehabilitation programs specifically to women is not only cost-effective, but also achieves the greater public good of lower rates of re-incarceration, a statistic indicative of successful re-absorption of an inmate into society. As such, activists call for greater awareness of the public for the specific needs of female prisoners, as Martha Stewart did during her sentence at "Camp Cupcake":

beseech you all to think about these women -- to encourage the American people to ask for reforms, both in sentencing guidelines, in length of incarceration for nonviolent first-time offenders, and for those involved in drug-taking. They would be much better served in a true rehabilitation center than in prison where there is no real help, no real programs to rehabilitate, no programs to educate, no way to be prepared for life "out there" where each person will ultimately find herself, many with no skills and no preparation for living."

Ultimately, the lower rates of recidivism for women hail the success of gender-specific programs.

With the rehabilitation of women so increasingly more accurate than that of men, the nature of their programmatic paradigms is called directly into question.

The difference is marked: women witness programs specifically geared to their needs, while men face the age-old traditions of incarceration that, tempered with their proclivity to more serious crimes, result in higher rates of re-incarceration and further brushes with the Law. However, these problems not only indicate a troubling increase in severe crimes committed by men, but solicit a reanalysis of the programs used in male prisons for rehabilitation from both cost analysis and public good perspectives.

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