Corrections Rehabilitation the Limits of Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

While its goals may be commendable, restorative justice is nevertheless a disaggregated model. Uniting relational justice, participative or consensual justice and changing or improvement justice, restorative justice has become a concept that has something for everyone (Wilson, 2012).

The Case for Rehabilitation

The Attack on the Rehabilitative Ideal

A premise that has endured all through the history of American corrections is that labors should be put forth to reform those who commit crimes. At the start of the 1900's, the rehabilitative model was eagerly broadcast and aided to direct the overhaul of the correctional system with the achievement of undetermined sentencing, parole, probation and a detached juvenile justice system. Over the next several years, offender treatment ruled as the established correctional attitude. Then, in the early 1970's, rehabilitation went through a steep turn of fate. The greater disturbances in American civilization in this period encouraged a universal evaluation of the state run criminal justice system. Rehabilitation was promoted by liberals for permitting the state to act coercively against criminals, and was blamed by conservatives for permitting the state to act compassionately toward criminals (Cullen & Gilbert, 1982).

Although judgments may vary about exactly how far support for rehabilitative theories of penal treatment has eroded, the decline of the rehabilitative model is clearly considerable and steep. Some support this turn down out of frustration with the occurrence of crime and an ensuing desire to punish and incapacitate offenders. The more accountable and rational attacks against the rehabilitative model, though, have rested on three principal propositions: the rehabilitative model comprises a threat to the political values of free societies, the rehabilitative ideal has exposed itself in practice to be susceptible to debasement and the serving of unintentional and pent-up social ends and either because of scientific lack of knowledge or institutional incapacities, a rehabilitative method is lacking. Still, the decline of the rehabilitative model cannot be entirely explained as the result of the rational cases displayed against it. The variety of the attacks on the rehabilitative model, their contradictory assumptions and motivations, and the abruptness of the decline suggest that broader social and cultural influences are concerned. The present social climate manifests a reduced faith in positive behavioral alteration, predominantly through correctional institutions. Pessimism and controversy surround the values and competence of all correctional institutions conventionally looked to as the perpetrators of the consensus of moral values in society (Cullen & Gilbert, 1982).

Empirical Evidence on the Effectiveness of Offender Treatment

In theory, straight away sanction programs are meant to divert offenders from prison, while providing a bigger level of offender accountability and surveillance than would be provided by conventional probation supervision. The end consequence, thus, would be less penal control imposed on individual offenders and less expense to the taxpayer, without any concession to public safety. So far, however, the degree to which intermediate sanctions have satisfied their recognized goals of dropping prison populations and protecting public safety has yet to be recognized. In spite of the absence of empirical proof regarding the usefulness of intervention programs, this approach is likely to become a national advance for managing high-risk criminals in the community (Padgett, Bales & Blomberg, 2006).

This difference in program success has led to a hunt for those principles that differentiate successful treatment interventions from unsuccessful ones. There is theoretical and empirical support for the termination that the rehabilitation programs that attain the most decrease in recidivism use cognitive-behavioral treatments, mark known predictors of crime for alteration, and interfere mostly with high-risk criminals. Multi-systemic treatment is a tangible case of an successful program that mainly conforms to these principles (Cullen,

Pealer, Fisher, Applegate and Santana, 2002).

According to Braithwaite (2012) there is a growing faction among criminologists to do their part in determining the principles of successful interference and in figuring out which interventions work. Consequently, policymakers and corrections leaders can stop supporting treatments that cannot be effectual and instead seek out the up-and-coming information on best bets for intervening with criminals. In so doing, crime-fighting money will be better spent to rehabilitate criminals and keep the public safe. Evidence-based practice supports the idea that society is doing their best to hold up public safety by better getting criminals ready to go back into society and decreasing recidivism. Good correctional programs target things related to offending, and that can be altered and distorted. These self-motivated factors are commonly known as criminogenic needs.

Research indicates that offender treatment programs that perform thorough and objective evaluations of criminals and use the evaluation information to tell that treatment planning choices have much better outcomes than programs that do not do such an evaluation. Appraisal allows programs to use their treatment resources like personnel, money, and time in a more cost effective manner by using them where they will produce the best outcomes, rather than wasting them on criminals who will get little from it (Braithwaite, 2012).

Risk evaluation provides a gauge of the risk principle, which says that high risk criminals will, likely reoffend if they are not treated, and that low risk criminals are not likely to reoffend even if they don't get treatment. Treatment, particularly rigorous should be kept for higher risk criminals as treatment can make a difference for them. Lower risk criminals should get very little, if any, intervention, as treatment would be wasted on them. The risk principle is enormously well discussed in the research literature (Braithwaite, 2012).

The Theory of Effective Correctional Intervention

The risk is that the whole thing will transfer into a matter of inattentive empiricism, of scouring the data for important associations without any comprehension as to why fundamentals of successful programs should be interconnected. The principles of effective intervention have been shown to be very valid.

The first principle is that interventions should seek out the known predictors of crime and recidivism for change. This principle starts with the supposition that correctional treatments must be founded on criminological information. There are two kinds of predictors that place people at risk for crime: static predictors such as a person's criminal history which cannot be altered and energetic predictors, such as troublesome values that can potentially be altered (Gendreau, 2012).

The second principle is that treatment services should be behavioral in temperament. Generally, behavioral interventions are successful in altering an array of human behavior. With regard to crime, they are well-matched to changing the criminogenic needs, antisocial attitudes, cognitions, personality orientations, and relations that motivate recidivism (Gendreau, 2012).

The third principle is that treatment interventions should be utilized predominantly with higher risk criminals, targeting their criminogenic needs for alteration. In contrast to customary wisdom, higher risk criminals are competent of change. The most considerable savings in recidivism are obtaining by providing them with treatment services. In addition, less tough or lower risk criminals typically do not necessitate intervention for the reason that they are questionable to recidivate. Subjecting them to planned, all-encompassing interventions is an irresponsible use of scarce resources and, under certain situations, may augment recidivism (Gendreau, 2012).

The last principle is that a collection of other considerations, if addressed, will augment treatment effectiveness. These include, among others, carrying out interventions in the community as opposed to in an institutional setting; making sure that the program uses staff who are well qualified, are interpersonally receptive, are monitored, and know how to deliver the treatment service; and subsequent offenders after they have finished the program and giving them planned relapse prevention (Gendreau, 2012).

Public Support for Rehabilitation

According to Cullen, Pealer, Fisher, Applegate & Santana (2002) research carried out over the past two decades reveals steady support for rehabilitation as a correctional objective. It seems that support for rehabilitation as the overriding goal of corrections declined between the latter part of the 1960's and the 1980's. Even with the decrease in support for rehabilitation, offender treatment lingered a sensibly popular goal of prisons. Public support for the rehabilitation of juveniles is predominantly strong. In the present study, Survey Sampling, Inc. provided a secure national sample of households in fifty States and the District of Columbia. Results showed that the sample showed apparent support for the punishment of criminals. Seventy-four percent preferred the death penalty and fifty four percent felt that the courts in the area did not deal ruthlessly enough with criminals. The respondents were mostly White males with a mean age of fifty five years old. Over fifty five percent of the sample agreed that rehabilitation should be the major stress of prisons. Eight out of ten respondents chose rehabilitation as the chief goal of juvenile prisons. Support for early intervention programs was even higher, with the public supporting a variety of programs and favoring prevention over imprisonment as a strategy of dropping crime. There are three possible causes for the determination of the rehabilitative ideal. First, compared to most other Western industrial nations, the United States is a religious country. Second, even though Americans support the idea of individual rights and distrust government power, they also are…

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