Cjs 230 Week 8

Topics: Prison, Criminal justice, Punishment Pages: 2 (592 words) Published: August 23, 2013
Rehabilitation Past and Present

August 18, 2013

Rehabilitation Past and Present
Many years ago, rehabilitation was a priority in the prison system. After the focus shifted to punishment, it was clear to see that rehabilitation is necessary in the criminal justice system. “Rehabilitation is the result of any planned intervention that reduces an offender’s further criminal activity, whether that reduction is mediated by personality, behavior, abilities, attitudes, values, or other factors” (Foster, 2006, p.382). Prisons use rehabilitation in an attempt to retrain offenders in a way that they are no longer a threat to society, but instead, turn them into productive, law-abiding citizens. “Until the mid-1970s, rehabilitation was a key part of U.S prison policy. Prisoners were encouraged to develop occupational skills and to resolve psychological problems--such as substance abuse or aggression--that might interfere with their reintegration into society” (Benson, 2003). Once rehabilitation faded out of the picture and harsher punishments were enforced, the inmate population within prisons soared. When prisons first opened, the goal was to make the offenders regret their actions to the point that they change their ways. Once manual labor was introduced to the prison system, it was more important to implement than rehabilitation because it helped bring in revenue. The inmates also reduce the cost of labor that the prisons had to pay workers by having to perform maintenance, cooking, and any tasks the prisons saw fit. It was later discovered that many offenders suffered from some sort of mental illness or were uneducated. This lead to psychological treatment of the mentally ill and educating the offenders. These types of programs were considered a form of rehabilitation. The current rehabilitation programs consist of substance abuse treatment, thinking patterns, faith-based programs, work, and the whole-person concept (Foster, 2006, p.394-395). “The...

References: Benson, E. (2003). Rehabilitate or punish?. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org
Burk Foster. (2006). Corrections: The Fundamentals. Retrieved from Burk Foster, CJS230-Introduction to Corrections website.
National Museum of Crime & Punishment. (2008). Rehabilitative Effects of Imprisonment. Retrieved from http://www.crimemuseum.org
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