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Recidivism Case Study

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The rehabilitation program that has proven to be effective across multiple studies is Cognitive Behavioral therapy, or CBT. The treatment targets not only the cognitive directions of the offender, but also the behaviors associated. As Lipsey, Chapman, & Landenberger (2001) reviewed, the therapy focuses on cognitive restructuring to lead the offender to have more adaptive reasoning once they are released from prison. The therapy takes place while the offender is imprisoned and works heavily to change the factors that lead to recidivism. The goal is to get the offender prepared to reenter the world and to be more pro-social than they were prior to incarceration (Landenberger & Lipsey, 2005). For the best program of CBT, the treatment works better…show more content…
This form of treatment is very practical and is used to prevent high-risk characteristics that lead to recidivism. Ward, Mesler, & Yates (2007) break down the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) model into it’s three components in order to better understand how the treatment works. The model identifies who should be targeted for treatment, what factors that reduce recidivism should be focused on, and how each individual offender responds to the program (Ward et al., 2007). Though it has been empirically proven to work, the program must utilize all three factors in order to lessen the likelihood of recidivism. However, there are always areas for improvement in each form of rehabilitation. As Ward et al. (2007) point out, the RNR model focuses solely on changing the risk characteristics and less on the actually individual in treatment. Like Cognitive Behavioral therapy, RNR has been frequently used to assess offenders and prevent recidivism. Both programs work while the offender is imprisoned, so that they can be more prepared for reentry. Even though RNR has been working, there are some studies that call for a better form of treatment. Including the complaints for the RNR model, Ward, Mann, & Gannon (2007) analyzed the Good Lives model, which is a better version of the RNR model. The Good Lives model includes the RNR model, but adds some characteristics that enable it to work…show more content…
Though there are previous cases of imprisonment not curing offending, I believe there is room for the prisons to adapt to the changes in society. The actual idea of imprisonment curing offending is possible, but I feel that ‘cure’ is too strong a word for the rehabilitative nature of the treatment an offender receives. The foundation of prison life has changed from focusing purely on punishment to more rehabilitative functions. Instead of using an “iron fist” ideology, prisons need to be about reformation and changing of wrongdoing. Funding has changed from educational programs to focus on more rehabilitative programs. Education will always be important, but adjusting to life after prison is just as important for the offender. I believe that if imprisonment were to cure offending, then effective forms of treatment need to be available to the offenders. Rehabilitative programming that has a background of being effective should be placed as a baseline in all prisons. From the groundwork on rehabilitative programs, better programs can be formed just like the Good Lives model was created from the Risk-Need-Responsivity model. The prison system has to equally enforce punishment while also encouraging restructuring of the individual. Imprisonment can dissuade offending, but it will take more research and programs for it to fully cure
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