David Farabee starts off by looking at crime rates and the public’s perception of crime from the media. The media focuses on high profile cases for severe acts of crime which is not that common compared to other criminal acts. He states that the society’s reaction from the media produces an affect that the crime rate is increasing at an alarming rate. The public’s perception and voice has major influence on what happens with the criminal justice system. Society wants the policy makers to aim for rehabilitative and counselling efforts rather than locking up the criminals. They would rather see them be back on track and reintegrated into society to have a better life. What the public does not know is that these programs being offered are costing billions of dollars of their money, and in fact, are not working to help these offenders. Recidivism
Recidivism is the relapse into crime, after an offender has gotten out of the criminal justice system. Farabee goes into detail that the methods used to calculate recidivism are inaccurate and are actually much higher than we are lead to believe. Recidivism is underestimated because criminals are only being arrested for a very small portion of crimes – less than 1%. Bias in Studies
The studies that have arisen are saying that the programs are indeed beneficial. These studies have shown 6 major sources of bias that Farabee explains in detail; lack of random assignment of offenders, varying follow up periods, dropouts included in study, comparison differences, bias with aftercare programs, and low follow up interview rates. Other sources of bias include publishers feeling/being forced to produce results that show these programs are indeed working. A lot of money and time gets invested in order to do these studies; therefore, there is a lot of pressure. Also, it is much easier to produce results stating that these programs are beneficial. The results would less likely be published if they demonstrated that the programs were lacking turnover rates and a solution would have to be brought forth in order to fix the problem. The public wants to know that these programs are working and that they can feel safe knowing that these criminals are being ‘fixed’. Farabee feels as if there is no accurate research at this time but understands that it is difficult to measure change. Types of Prison Based Programs
Employment and education in prisons is given to offenders because a high number of offenders are uneducated and have a poor employment history. The reason why they offer education is because they assume that because the offenders lack education it makes them likely to be unemployed which in turn, they end up resorting to crime. They assume that it will work so they continue to use this program method, yet no studies have proven it to be an effective method to reduce recidivism. Life skills based programs are available to help offenders with the challenges they may face in society. It is supposed to be used so that once out of jail they will use these skills and not have to worry about turning to criminal acts. Although it may be helpful for some offenders because they lack these skills, it is not proven to deter them from committing these acts once released. The cognitive behavioural program seems to have different approaches at different institutions. Some may be helpful, others not so much. This strategy aims to change the way offenders think because they are seen as thinking differently than the average person. Faith based programs have research that fails to include dropouts, etc. One study shows that this program has even made criminals more likely to commit more crimes. Program Effectiveness
These programs according to Farabee are unsuccessful because they have no clear plan or stability for the criminals interested in them. They are all group orientated and the councillors are uneducated and lack the knowledge...