Corrections: From Rehabilitation to a More Punitive Model Essay

1594 Words Feb 12th, 2015 7 Pages
Sameer Noori
24 November 2014

Corrections Paper
What changes led corrections away from rehabilitation and toward a more punitive model?

Since World War II through the 1970s, many changes occurred in the United States correctional systems. Rehabilitation Model is a treatment program that was designed to reform the inmates. According to www.copower.org, “This model is similar to the medical model; it regards the person with a disability as in need of services from a rehabilitation professional who can provide training, therapy, counseling or other services to make up for the deficiency caused by the disability. Historically, it gained acceptance after World War II when many disabled veterans needed to be re-introduced into society. The
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Ultimately, the involvement of federal courts in prisoners’ rights may have had the most significant role in the shaping of penal practices.
Moreover, as the criminal justice system came under careful scrutiny, it was often seen as part of the problem, as doing too much, too little, or the wrong thing in general. To conservatives, it was apparent that the correctional system, under the rehabilitation method, was teaching that “crime pays.” They believed that criminals were being coddled. Dangerous offenders were getting as simple sentencing as probation, and predators were being prematurely released from prisons. This led to a push in toughening sentences, making them longer, in order to deter the criminals. For liberals, rehabilitation was a source of injustice and coercion. They believed that it taught an important lesson that government officials could not be trusted. Liberals also believed that this was a way to victimize offenders. Thus, liberals and conservatives alike opposed rehabilitation, even though it was for different reasons.

How did the change toward a more punitive model affect sentencing practices then and now?

Evidence suggests that we are more punitive when it comes to crimes relating to property and drugs, but not far from the norm when it comes to violent crimes. In the United States there is an unusually high incarceration rate, this is partly because
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