Rehabilitation Programs

1572 Words Mar 13th, 2012 7 Pages
Rehabilitation: Does it Work?
The idea that more effort should be made to reform offenders is a theme that that been persistent throughout the history of American corrections. Rehabilitative ideals have helped lead the way in the renovation of the correctional system. Implementations of intermediate sentencing, parole, probation, and a separate juvenile justice system were all part of the process. While the rehabilitation process seems like the perfect plan to transform the incarcerated, can prisoners truly be rehabilitated, or should punishment merely be retributive in nature? Looking at Robert Matinson 's theories in What Works? Questions and Answers About Prison Reform while comparing it to other scholars with help to answer this
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First, there is discussion over theoretical issues- most importantly, the assumptions and propositions behind rehabilitation. Second, there remains considerable controversy over program-oriented matters surrounding the ways in which rehabilitation is designed, implemented, and evaluated” (Welch, 2011). Although it is a subject that has caused much debate, many feel that rehabilitation should be available to all those who are in need of it. Rehabilitation of prisoners should be a matter of high importance in the sentencing when it comes to imprisonment. Prisons which are established to keep the prisoners during the sentencing period should have an appropriate mechanism to rehabilitate them with an effective system. Experts have even argued that offenders can actually change for the better and become a contributing member of society in a positive way.
With that being said, the rehabilitation processes has been tested for effectiveness on many levels. One of the most dominant methods used for this testing the process is the examination of program evaluation reports. Many of the reports showed that it was not the program that was flawed; it was actually the evaluation research. “Indeed, buried deep in Martinson 's (1974) article was his exposure of the regrettable fact that many researchers had failed to follow rigorous scientific procedures while evaluating these programs” (Welch, 2011). The three outcomes include the program being seen as
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