Effectiveness of Prisons and Jails to Rehabilitate

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On January 18, 1989, the abandonment of rehabilitation in corrections was confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. In Mistretta v. United States, the Court upheld federal "sentencing guidelines" which remove rehabilitation from serious consideration when sentencing offenders. Defendants will henceforth be sentenced strictly for the crime, with no recognition given to such factors as amenability to treatment, personal and family history, previous efforts to rehabilitate oneself, or possible alternatives to prison. The Court outlined the history of the debate: "Rehabilitation as a sound enological theory came to be questioned and, in any event, was regarded by some as an unattainable goal for most cases." The Court cited a Senate Report which "referred to the 'outmoded rehabilitation model' for federal criminal sentencing, and recognized that the efforts of the criminal justice system to achieve rehabilitation of offenders had failed." The question of whether people can be rehabilitated while incarcerated have been an re-current interest and have been on the minds of the most popular academies and criminologist for some time. Over the year’s criminologist have stated that being incarcerated has little if any rehabilitative impact. Furthermore some criminologist insists that prisons or jails might just do the opposite, instead of producing actual changes they have contributed to criminal behavior. Even some popular literature have raised some questions about the effects of imprisonment and gone as far as to denounced them and comparing them to schools for crime. Ramsey Clerk for example writes “jail and prisons in the United States today are more often than not manufacturers of crime. Of those who come to jail Undecided, capable either of criminal conduct or of lives free of crime, most are turned to crime.” The rate of re-arrest for American convicts is astoundingly high and continually growing proving that the American corrections system is failing in its...
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