The Rise & Fall of the Medical Method of Rehabilitation

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Homework 1:
The Rise & Fall of the Medical Method of Rehabilitation

Andre da Silva

January 28, 2013

Intro to Corrections

Earlier in the 20th Century big business reigned over society and many changes were in place for the nation. Although much was looking up for the young United States slums, crime, vice, and black markets loomed around every corner. With the ever growing criminal activity followed the need of rehabilitation of these offenders. In attempt to make the streets safer many methods of rehabilitation emerged have been established in order to reach this goal. The earlier method of rehabilitation well known as the medical method of rehabilitation was likened by many in the fields of medicine and mental health. Social sciences was booming at this time and many applied there work to the industry of corrections. The medical approach to rehabilitation considered criminal minds and actions to originate from biological, intellectual and social deficiencies within individuals. The shift to the medical method transitioned rehabilitation in sense from an abstract societal view to one more focused on the singular person. This approach to corrections believed that with proper diagnosis of certain mental disabilities the disabilities could then be cured through clinical and institutional means. Then once deemed cured, the individual was at that point able to be released back into society. An issue with the medical model is that it defines “normalcy” based on data; and at times that data analysis system of defining “normal” can be flawed. The perspective of a person in regards to their relation to societal aspects cannot be considered through this medicinal approach of rehabilitation. This method was new and at times patients became research subjects. This method’s popularity peaked in the 50’s. There was a large gap between the understanding of one’s health and mental status and the understanding of the effects of one’s behavior by social...
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