Criminals Should Be Rehabilitated Not Punished

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Criminals should be rehabilitated not punished. Punishment doesn’t help the prisoner at all, it only teaches them that they shouldn’t get caught next time. This forces them to get more creative at the crime they commit. Whereas, rehabilitation is about preparing a person for a productive life after prison. Prisoners get the option to further their education, learn a trade, and even seek help for an addiction they might have. Rehabilitation is more cost effective, and better at lowering the rate of reincarceration in comparison with punishment. When comparing the two it’s not hard to see why prisoners should avoid being punished, and instead be focused on being rehabilitated. Scientific research shows that treatment can help many drug using offenders change their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors; avoid relapse; and successfully remove themselves from a life of substance use and crime. Treatment can cut drug use in half, decrease criminal activity, and reduce arrests. It is true that legal pressure might be needed to get a person into treatment and help them stay there. Once in a treatment program, however, even those who are not initially motivated to change can become engaged in a continuing treatment process. In fact, research suggests that mandated treatment can be just as effective as voluntary admission to rehab centers. By rehabilitating prisoners we are expanding their knowledge, and giving them the opportunity to receive an education they might not have had the
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