Criminal rehabilitation involves restoring an individual to useful life through education, and therapy. The rehabilitation assumption is that individuals are never permanently criminals. As a result, it is possible to reinstate a criminal to useful life where they positively contribute to the society and to themselves. The main aim of criminal rehabilitation is the prevention of habitual offending or criminal recidivism. Criminal rehabilitation seeks to bring an offender into a normal state of mind.
Through rehabilitation, a criminal can have a changed attitude that is helpful to the society, rather than punishing the harm from a criminal (Bartol, 1980). Rehabilitating criminals is a highly debated issue throughout the U. S. The correctional institutions in US have made criminal rehabilitation a top priority. This is because, majority of the offenders are repeat offenders. Several programs in the US have been developed to help in rehabilitating criminals. However, in the last twenty years, research has shown some criminal programs to be effective as compared to others.
Research conducted by Palmer (2003) finds that the criminal rehabilitation programs that are effective in the U. S include the following: Vocational education, Academic education, Moral Recognition Therapy, Reasoning and rehabilitation, and the Cognitive restructuring programs. The other rehabilitation programs are Cognitive behavioural treatment of sex offenders, Multi-systemic therapy for juveniles, Incarceration based drug treatment and Drug treatment in the community. Vocational and academic education criminal rehabilitation programs are intended to equip the criminals with knowledge and skills.
Sending criminals to prison alone is not adequate in rehabilitating criminals. As a result, the offenders should be given a chance in acquiring job skills and knowledge. This will improve the chances of the offenders becoming productive citizens upon leaving prison. The criminal rehabilitation programs aims to change the offenders who are willing to change. They are taught on producing useful products and be productive to the society. Through the criminal rehabilitation programs, criminals or offenders will develop self-esteem vital for a normal and integrated personality.
These programs provide skills, knowledge and habits that replace the feeling of hopelessness common among several inmates (Meltsner, Caplan & Lane, 2009). Moral recognition therapies programs involve counselling programs. Counselling is a vital technique applied in rehabilitating criminals. The counselling programs are divided into individual, general and group counselling. Usually, individual counselling is more costly as compared to group counselling. The purpose of group counselling, in criminal rehabilitation programs, is the development of positive peer pressure in influencing its members.
Group problem solving and counselling has explicit advantages over individual counselling and problem solving. Cognitive restructuring programs are used in rehabilitating criminals focussing on their attitudes, beliefs, thinking patterns, values, expectations and the related cognitive forms in maintaining their antisocial behaviours. According to Bartol (1980), key cause of delinquency is often differential association. Differential association theory underline that individuals are likely to develop criminal tendencies if the individuals with the greatest influence on them are criminals.
This implies that some individuals learn their habits from the undesirable persons they come into association. As a result, the association warps and corrupts their social attitudes and thoughts. The restructuring programs also involve group counselling, interaction, and other forms of group activities that provide corrective positive experiences. This is vital in offsetting the delinquent association among the offenders. However, cognitive restructuring programs do little in destroying the power of labelling. The criminal rehabilitation places in the U.
S are the halfway houses. These halfway houses are often located in suburban communities and they have the sole aim of keeping the offenders in the society. The name originates from the reality that they halfway amid the prison and the community. The logic behind halfway houses is often that criminal activities originate in the community. Hence, communities have the responsibility of trying to correct the individuals. Also, sending an individual with deviant criminal behaviour to prison will worsen the problem.
As a result, the appropriate place for such treatment is the community where this will prevents an individual from breaking the constructive social ties. The programs in the halfway houses often involve work or study release and group sessions for counselling and therapy. Most programs for criminal rehabilitation vary depending on the administrators and their rehabilitation skills and experiences (Palmer, 2003). Generally, the aim of the halfway houses is to integrate the members back to the society. Usually, there are three systems employed in programs and processes of rehabilitation places.
These are change by compliance, change by credibility and the client centred change. The compliance model of rehabilitation is designed to create good work habits. Client centred models focus on a deep understanding of an individual, while the credibility rehabilitation model emphasizes on making decisions and coming back to the community (Meltsner, Caplan & Lane, 2009). In conclusion, several correctional institutions and facilities in U. S lack the capability and programs in rehabilitating criminals.
However, the federal government has invested resources to improve criminal rehabilitation facilities and programs. Development in job training, counselling, therapy and halfway houses for criminal rehabilitation should be brought to the front by citizens. As a result, this will improve the criminal rehabilitation process and help in reducing crime rates and recidivism (Palmer, 2003).
Bartol, C. R. (1980). Criminal Behaviour – A Psychosocial Approach. Washington D. C: Prentice Hall. Retrieved on December 7, 2012 from https://www. ncjrs. gov/App/Publications/abstract. spx? ID=63172 Palmer, J. (2003). Offending behaviour: Moral reasoning, criminal conduct and the rehabilitation of offenders. Devon: Willan Publishing. Retrieved on December 7, 2012 from http://psycnet. apa. org/psycinfo/2004-00015-000 Meltsner, M. , Caplan, M. , and Lane, W. (2009). Act to Promote the Rehabilitation of Criminal Offenders in the State of New York. New York: Oxford University Press. Retrieved on December 7, 2012 from http://heinonline. org/HOL/ LandingPage? collection =journals&handle=hein. journals/syrlr24&div=43&id=&page=