Punishment Versus Rehabilitation

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Punishment vs. Rehabilitation
Brenda A. Dove
AJS/502 Version I
September 10, 2012
John V. Baiamonte, Jr. Ph.D.

Punishment vs. Rehabilitation Punishment versus Rehabilitation, there has been many debates on the effectiveness of punishment compared to the effectiveness of rehabilitation of convicted offenders in prison and under community supervision. If an individual commits a crime serious enough to warrant incarceration, then the individual is sent to prison as a form of punishment.
While incarcerated the individual may have the opportunity to receive rehabilitation. Does it mean that the individual will be rehabilitated? One can only imagine. This is a debatable issue. Is punishment or rehabilitation more effective in combating crime?
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The nuances of his findings were lost, and the research was presented as showing that correctional treatment programs did not work at rehabilitating criminal offenders. The infamous sound bite that emerged from this was that “Nothing Works” when it comes to rehabilitation (para.3).
In fact, the actual results said no one approach works with everybody. Despite the fact that the sound bite was an exaggeration, the message carried great influence in legislative and public policy debates and actions. The Nothing Works message swept the political and public policy arenas and correctional programs and practice. Rehabilitation programs and services were greatly reduced from the correctional landscape (para.4).
This belief indicated that if offenders could not be rehabilitated then they should be punished and it was time to get tough on crime. Within a relatively short time parole was attacked and the individual approach of indeterminate sentencing, or release by the authority of a parole board was abolished in 16 states (Rhine, Smith, and Jackson, 1991) and some form of determinate sentencing was adopted in all 50 states (Mackenzie, 2000)].
According to Department of Corrections, (n.d.), [However, not all hope was lost. A small number of vocal critics of the ‘nothing works’ doctrine actively challenged the assumptions and empirical evidence presented by Martinson
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