Effectiveness of Correctional Rehabilitation Programs

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Introduction Criminologist and politicians have debated the effectiveness of correctional rehabilitation programs since the 1970’s when criminal justice scholars and policy makers throughout the United States embraced Robert Martinson’s credo of “nothing works” (Shrum, 2004). Recidivism, the rate at which released offenders return to jail or prison, has become the most accepted outcome measure in corrections. The public's desire to reduce the economic and social costs associated with crime and incarceration has resulted in an emphasis on recidivism as an outcome measure of program effectiveness. While correctional facilities continue to grow, corrections make up an increasing amount of state and federal budgets. The recidivism rate in …show more content…

1). Cognitive research is often labeled in literature as thinking, reasoning, perceiving, problem-solving, critical thinking, conflict resolution, moral reasoning, decision-making, perception and abstraction (p. 2). Cognitive-based strategies are considered therapeutic rather than educational. Discussion Research on recidivism reveals a variety of different ways to define and measure its effectiveness on the outcome. One instrument widely used in assessing offenders is the Level of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R). The LSI-R was developed with short-term offenders and community supervisees. It assesses largely risk factor for recidivism and is designed to inform parole management decisions (Manchak et al., 2008). The 54 items of the LSI-R assess ten “risk-needs” factors: criminal history, education/employment, financial, family/marital, accommodation, leisure/recreation, peers/companions, alcohol/drug problems, emotional/personal, and attitude/orientation (p. 478). Results indicate that the LSI-R moderately predicts general, but not necessarily violent recidivism (p. 477). The utility of the LSI-R in predicting community recidivism is well established for probationers and minor offenders. There are different measurement dimensions that need to be considered: the precipitating event, the element of time,

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