Criminal Rehabilitation

3452 Words14 Pages
Prison is just a place where criminals get a good spanking and endless lectures on behavior until they can learn how to be righteous. In colonial America, criminals were treated in much the same way as they were in England at that time, with punishments ranging from lashings, confinement in stocks, and public brandings for minor offenses to hanging for more serious crimes-including theft (Wright, 2007). Many people are surprised to learn that the use of prisons as a form of punishment and rehabilitation was an American innovation (Farabee, 2005). On average, incarceration costs about $22,000 per year: to lock someone away for ten years costs, on average, about $220, 000; a shorter sentence with emphasis on re-education and…show more content…
Rehabilitation for the benefit of communities Rehabilitation is often characterized as a “liberal idea” because it endorses “going easy” on offenders, and yet the public supports it; Americans favor a balanced approach, one that exacts a measure of justice, protects the public against serious offenders, and makes every effort to change offenders while they are within the grasp of the state (Fleisher, 1995; Irwin, 1970). State-obligated rehabilitation is based on the rights that offenders share with other citizens even after they have offended; communitarian approaches to rehabilitation recognize that offenders mostly belong to communities, and that their memberships and affiliations need to continue, or to be repaired, if they are to be reintegrated into normal membership of communities (Garland, 2001). Such approaches are associated particularly with advocates of restorative justice who believe that re-integrative processes can help offenders to atone for or make reparation for their offenses at the same time as helping offenders and victims to acknowledge the wrong and to learn something of each other (Braithwaite, 1989). A related approach to rehabilitation is also emerging, known as a ‘strengths-based’ approach which justifies rehabilitation on the basis of the contribution the rehabilitated offender can make to the community, and the community’s need for this contribution; ‘strengths-based and restorative approaches ask not what a person’s deficits
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