Essay Title: 

Criminal Justice – Corrections

March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in government, social sciences

A CLOSER LOOK AT REHABILITATION

DOES IT WORK

It is not an unusual thought for common people to ask whether criminals can truly be converted into normal ‘ beings . After all , once a crime has been committed , can it be truly be separated from the person who did it

In previous studies , it has been noted that correctional treatment programs were a failure . According to Robert Mathison , correctional programs were ineffective and that nothing works . However , recent studies have shown otherwise . It now appears that rehabilitation does work to reduce offender [banner_entry_middle]

recidivism . In other words , the idea that nothing works ‘ is clearly incorrect . Instead , the key issue is whether we can figure out why programs work and then use these principles when implementing other correctional treatment programs

Newer studies conducted by Gendreau and Ross show that successful programs targeted or focused on changing what they called criminogenic needs ‘ They noted that if interventions focused on factors that were shown to cause recidivism and that could be changed , they were likely to be effective . By implication , this meant that if interventions focused on factors that were not related to recidivism (e .g , self-esteem ) or could not be changed , they were unlikely to work . Gendreau and Ross presented evidence that the effectiveness of treatment programs can vary substantially to the extent that offenders ‘ individual differences are measured and taken into account in the delivery of services . They suggested , for example , that high-risk offenders benefited the most from treatment interventions and that offenders with low intellectual abilities would benefit more from programs in structured learning situations

After studying and analyzing the readings assigned for this , I would have to concur with the idea that we must remain open-minded in terms of strategies if our goal is to completely reduce recidivism in criminal offenders . While it is true that some strategies work and some do not , the real challenge lies in finding out what will exactly make progress in a given situation . It is important to remember the six major points summarized in the reading , to wit

There is no panacea or cure-all for crime . Any intervention with offenders is likely to experience failure . The critical question is what our best bet ‘ will be when placing offenders in correctional programs

Punishment-oriented program (deterrence , control , character building have been extensively evaluated . There is no evidence that they work and some evidence that they increase recidivism . Of course , individual offenders might benefit from a program . But across all offenders , these programs are ineffective . As a policy , they can no longer be sustained

Across all programs , rehabilitation interventions (and these studies include the punishment-oriented programs ) reduce recidivism about 10 percentage points

Programs that employ cognitive-behavioral treatments and that conform to the principles of effective intervention reduce recidivism rates 20 to 25 percentage points (maybe more

The special challenges for those advocating for rehabilitation is to transfer the what works ‘ knowledge to those in corrections (a process already under way ) and to ensure that programs based on the… [banner_entry_footer]

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