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Models of Corrections

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"The history of correctional thought and practice has been marked by enthusiasm for new approaches, disillusionment with these approaches, and then substitution of yet other tactics"(Clear 59). During the mid 1900s, many changes came about for the system of corrections in America. Once a new idea goes sour, a new one replaces it. Prisons shifted their focus from the punishment of offenders to the rehabilitation of offenders, then to the reentry into society, and back to incarceration. As times and the needs of the criminal justice system changed, new prison models were organized in hopes of lowering the crime rates in America. The three major models of prisons that were developed were the medical, model, the community model, and the crime control model.

The medical model is the model of corrections based on the assumption that criminal behavior is caused by social, psychological, or biological deficiencies that require treatment (Clear 53). This model of corrections aimed at treating the illness of criminals with hopes that once released, the offender will be cured of their ailment and will not re-offend. In 1929, the idea of institutions aimed at rehabilitation as the primary purpose were introduced into America. It was thought that this would be easy to achieve because prisons already existed and the only adjustment would be to add programs to diagnose and treat patients. In theory this model seemed to be a perfect solution. Unfortunately, this program was unsuccessful in the long run because of budget problems and the lack of proper testing.

This model of corrections had an excellent goal in helping criminals to recover from whatever caused them to commit crimes. The positive side of this program is twofold. First the program would help the ill to recover and secondly it was supposed to stop the criminal from re-offending. Although this program seems to be a great idea there are also downfalls to the idea. The main problem with this program is how...

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