Prison and Rehabilitation

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Idrees Ahmed

CJS 230

June 9, 2012

Ray Delaney Jr


The good in rehabilitation is when it works. “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make them drink”. The same principal is at work with rehabilitation. The programs can be made mandatory, but that doesn’t mean the inmate will adapt their behavior to accept the programs. Rehabilitation comes from inside a person. The person must want to change his behavior and make use of the programs available to them. Intentions of rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is specific programs applied within a prison setting intended to bring about the end of criminal behavior called desistance, meaning to cease or stop. It is supposed to be a simple formula: prisoner classification X appropriate programming X positive participation = probability of desistance. Get the inmate into the right program, keep him in there long enough to complete successfully, and put the inmate into the community to test their non-criminal behavior. These kinds of programs should come with a warning label “human behavior cannot be formulated”.

The dictionary definition of rehabilitation “to restore to a previous condition”. What prisons found was the inmate’s previous condition was not good. They were under educated, little or no skills, substance abuse, anti-social misfits who would not be making major contributions to society were they came from. The inmates needed to be raised beyond their previous condition; the need for transformation was called for. History of rehabilitation


Rehabilitation is a fairly recent idea in prison, born of the increasing influence of social work and behavioral sciences in corrections during the last half of the twentieth century. Some believe rehabilitation was emphasized first for juveniles being monitored by the court, and then the concept gradually moved through probation and parole alternatives and...