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NCJ Number: 220746 Find in a Library
Title: Make Rehabilitation Corrections' Guiding Paradigm
Journal: Criminology & Public Policy  Volume:6  Issue:4  Dated:November 2007  Pages:717-728
Author(s): Francis T. Cullen
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 12
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis; Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper offers five reasons why criminologists should reaffirm rehabilitation as the guiding paradigm for correctional policy and practice.
Abstract: First, the "justice" model that emerged in the wake of research that showed the minimal effects of treatment programs failed to incorporate ways to prevent crime other than to incapacitate offenders in jails and prisons. Rehabilitation must be brought back as a central component of correctional policy. A second reason for reaffirming rehabilitation as the guiding paradigm for correctional policy and practice is that punishment does not work. Beyond incapacitation, the punishment paradigm has no proven effect on changing offenders' criminal behavior. In fact, there is increasing evidence that imprisonment is related to higher levels of reoffending after release. A third reason for reaffirming rehabilitation in correctional policy is that meta-analyses of evaluations of rehabilitation programs show that they do achieve significant reductions in reoffending when treatment methods are tailored to offender needs and the factors underlying their criminal behavior. The challenge is to bring evaluation findings into correctional policy and the development, modification, and maintenance of proven treatment methods matched to offenders who have been accurately diagnosed. A fourth reason for reaffirming the rehabilitation paradigm in corrections is that the public supports rehabilitation provided it can be shown to work in preventing reoffending. The public not only wants protection from dangerous offenders by placing them in secure confinement, but also by changing offenders' criminal behavior so that their risk of reoffending upon release is reduced. The fifth reason for reaffirming rehabilitation is that it shows a moral commitment to the belief that humans are capable of changing their negative behaviors and adopting positive behaviors in response to appropriate therapeutic conditions. 56 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Corrections effectiveness; Corrections policies; Effects of imprisonment; Research uses in policymaking; Treatment effectiveness
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