4 Apr 2022


Correctional Rehabilitation Programs

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Academic level: College

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Imprisonment continues to be the main way through which the society punishes those who have committed criminal acts. The assumption is that imprisonment my prevent people from future criminal behaviors. However, studies demonstrate that the characteristics of imprisonment, such as loss of freedom due to the sentence, reduced living and social conditions or stigma connected with convict status are insufficient deterrents for many inmates (McGuire, 2002). Studies have also demonstrated that the period of imprisonment that focuses on punishment, and are void of rehabilitation interventions also appear to have a negative impact on the successful community reintegration of the inmates. Resultantly, states have moved away from subscribing exclusively to a punishment model; instead, the past two decades have seen various kind of correctional rehabilitation programs implemented. Using an analysis of the assignment from the commissioner, the report will recommend on approaches for successful reentry of inmates into the society. To achieve this objective, the report in dived into three section of the assignment. The first assignment recommend an outline of the instructional programs for offenders before the parole. The second part will examine the future trends in the correctional system and recommend changes that need to be considered in order for a corrective system system to be effective. Finally, the report abstract features from the traditional rehabilitation program and recommend a new program using these features.

First Assignment

Preparation for reentry begins when the inmate arrives at the correction facility. The inmates should go through an immediate classification process when they enter the prison. This initial classification determines emergency conditions, like suicidal tendencies, health problems, and whether the inmates are suspects in another trial (Thebodo & Marx, 2005). The classification will also determine what basic services the inmates would receive while in the prison. Based on this assessment, the inmates have an in-service plan developed for them that includes a diagnosis for various services that they may need. These services consist of health care, substance abuse counseling, education programs, and job training programs (Thebodo & Marx, 2005). With the correct assessment and access to quality services at the prison, inmates begin to prepare for correction process.

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The correctional process should be a step-down process: inmates face progressively less supervision as they get closer to the end of their sentence. Two primary rationales exist for this kind of strategy. First, less supervision is a benefit that prison officials can use as a carrot for inmates. Increasing privileges offered an incentive for inmates and may even contribute to social control in the prison. Second, decreasing supervision allows inmates to begin a normalization process while they are still technically incarcerated. While in prison, inmates are subjected to rules and procedures that the prison creates and enforces. When inmates return to their communities, they will be faced with societal rules and expected norms, but have few institutional rules that govern their lives. Therefore, decreasing supervision is an attempt by the prison to get inmates used to living in a less structured environment that begin to approximate life in their community. With the step-down notion in mind, prison officials should organize prison to reflect a gradual reduction of supervision. After the initial intake, inmates begin their time at in building 2. At this building, inmates meet with a case manager to discuss what services are available and what service they would like to take advantage of while in prison. The time the inmates spend in building 2 has a significant impact on their future trajectory within the prison. If the inmates seek service and attempt to spend his time in prison focusing on self-improvement while maintaining good behavior, they will begin a path that leads towards less supervisor, increased privileges, and time taken off of their sentence. If they do not take these steps, they will progress through stages at the prison, but will not have the same opportunities and privileges, decisions on whether or not to graduate inmates to a new level at the prison should be made every three months by a committees and depends on the recommendation of the inmates’ case manager and a review of the inmates’ records that reflects the extent of which they are using available services. After graduating from the building 2, the inmates should progress to building 3. Spatially, the inmates move in a clockwise direction through the various building within the prison, until they eventually come full circle. After moving through four levels in building 3, inmates move to building 4, where there are four more levels. By the time that inmates reach building 4, they spend the majority of their time outside of their cells. In both building 3 and 4, inmates can attend GED course. However, building 3 has more formal services available than building 4. Inmates can also attend a substance abuse, anger management, and domestic violence counseling to prepare them for reentry. Specifically, this largely consists of groups and peer counseling. At building 4, there is also a split among the inmates. For inmates that have made positive steps towards self-improvement and have been cooperative with prison officials, they may be chosen to begin the community work program. Other inmates simply stay in building 4 until their parole.

Second assignment

While the incarceration rates are high, prisons are expensive and politicians find themselves caught between conflicting goals of reducing expenses by cutting prison population on the one hand, and responding to popular pressure for harsher treatment of offenders by building more prisons on the other hand (McMurran, & McCulloch, 2007). Besides, the economic cost of incarcerating offenders, there are incalculable human costs to those persons who have their lives disrupted by being removed from the society. Fortunately, there has been a change in attitude in recent years from nothing works to the concept that progress can be made with appropriate treatment. Consequently, incarceration is now being viewed as an expensive and overused response to many crimes. The direction of the next millennium should be community integration to prevent crime and to deal with offenders. It will take a concerted effort from all segments of society to reach that goal (McMurran, & McCulloch, 2007). While there are real political pressures for significant reform of the existing criminal justice system, there is also great potential dangers for distortion if politicians yield to the temptation to sacrifice justice for short-term electoral gains.

Attempts at rehabilitation should be based upon Travis Hirsch’s control theory which seeks to restore offenders’ bonds to society by building character, instilling a sense of maturity and responsibility, and promoting a positive self-image for inmates so they can return to society as law-abiding citizens (McMurran, & McCulloch, 2007). This approach employs societal responsibility theory to criminal justice which is based, in part, on a positive view of the offender. Individual offenders are not seen as outlaws, but members of the society which the law intends to protect. The offender may also be seen as the victims of circumstance over which they have no control. Social responsibility guidelines suggest that the criminal justice system should reduce the harm done to any person as the result of a crime (McMurran, & McCulloch, 2007). Therefore, any violence within the system is unacceptable. Whether our jails remain overcrowded or not, we need to develop enforceable punishment, short of jail. Besides, we need to develop strategies for social control, short of jail. To pursue these objectives, we need political courage, program financing, and quality research aimed as much as at program process as at program impact. Success will ultimately depend on upon the development of a full spectrum of the credible alternative sentence which persecutors will use systematically in cases now bound for jail or prison.

Third Assignment

Three traditional correctional programs to be replicated in the new institution will include drug abuse interventions, violence prevention interventions, and family violence prevention interventions (Mullin, & Simpson, 2007). These programs are prescribed to incarcerated inmates, coming from both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal origins. The selection of these programs is determined by the level of actuarial risk of an inmate, as calculated by the use of various risk assessment measures that attach specific statistical weighting to different offenders’ variables, in conjunction with offenders’ needs. The main aim of including these traditional rehabilitation programs is to a reduction in re-offending. Examination of the curriculum suggests that reduction in recidivism is targeted by focusing on improvement in planning, self-management, goal setting, problem-solving, consequence awareness, self-monitoring, and communication, assertiveness, understanding the link between thoughts and actions, and criminal attitudes, beliefs, and association (Mullin, & Simpson, 2007). These skills are often referred as cognitive skills and should be included in the new program. Targeting this group of skills originated from the tenets laid out by the cognitive skills program coined nearly three decades ago. The overarching goal is to increase prosocial thoughts and actions to reduce recidivism. The implied assumption is that improving the skills above will eventually decrease criminal behavior. For instance, impulsivity in the traditional program could be eliminated by inducing consequential reasoning, and rigid reasoning could be reduced by teaching inmates creative reasoning skills to avail them with prosocial alternatives in responding to interpersonal problems.

For these correctional programming, there are multiple levels of program intensity available (such as high, moderate, and maintenance). As can be gleaned, high intensity refers to programs that are longer in duration and meet more frequently, compared to moderate intensity programs; whereas, maintenance programs act as one to four sessions booster when high or moderate intensity programs have previously been completed. Assigned program intensity is primarily determined by the inmate’s level of risk, with increased risk resulting in assignment to a higher intensity of the program, when an inmate displays multiple needs, high-intensity programs take priority (Mullin, & Simpson, 2007). An offender can be assigned to only high-intensity program, but where multiple needs are identified, an inmate can be assigned additional programs, but at a lower intensity. Therefore, within correctional facilities, moderate intensity programs appear to be the most prevalent and frequent.


McGuire, J. (2002). Offender Rehabilitation and Treatment: Effective Programmes and Policies to Reduce Re-offending . Chichester, UK: Wiley.

McMurran, M., & McCulloch, A. (2007). Why don't offenders complete treatment? Prisoners' reasons for non-completion of a cognitive skills programme. Psychology, Crime & Law, 13 , 345– 354.

Mullin, S. & Simpson, J. (2007). Does executive functioning predict improvement in offenders' behaviour following enhanced thinking skills training? An exploratory study with implications for rehabilitation. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 12 , 117-131.

Thebodo, S., & Marx, L. (2005). Predeparture Orientation and Reentry Programming. In Brockington, J., Hoffa, W., & Martin, P. (Eds.) NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad. (3rd ed.). Washington, D.C.: NAFSA.

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