Rehabilitation

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Walker cites the National Academy of Sciences stating that rehabilitation is “any planned intervention that reduces an offender’s further criminal activity (Walker 251).” Walker breaks down rehabilitation models into two groups, the new and the old groups. The new groups that Walker suggests may have some positive hope are reentry programs, and drug courts. The old groups include probation, parole, and other reintegration programs. Worrall has a similar definition of rehabilitation, stating that “rehabilitation consist of a planned intervention intended to change behavior (Worrall 40). He similarly assesses several of these programs and reaches similar conclusions as Walker.

Drug courts are specialized courts that focus on substance abuse. Generally offenders are offered the chance at skipping prison or jail sentences if they successfully complete a substance abuse treatment program (Walker 275). Walker assesses drug courts, when they are well managed and designed carefully, as being promising as possibly lowering recidivism (Walker 277). Worrall reached similar conclusions, stating that while much of the research into the effectiveness of drug courts has suffered from design limitations, they have shown reductions in recidivism (Worrall 168). Reentry programs try and take a fresh look at sending prisoners back into society after revamped educational and counseling programs (Walker 363). Unfortunately there is not a lot of evidence that these programs reduce recidivism rates (Walker 363) Walker concludes that the evidence is inconclusive, programs are in their early stages, and more research is necessary due to the current crisis of so many prisoners being released (Walker 363).

Probation is where offenders receive supervision and treatment in the community rather than in a correctional setting (Walker 255). Walker assesses probation as necessary and appropriate for many offenders. However he also state that most probation programs fail, and that there is no evidence that one probation program is more effective than another (Walker 257). This is due to several reasons, first probationers largely receive no treatment, only supervision, and even this supervision is often very intermittent, and there are quality control issues with both treatments and supervision (Walker 256).

Parole is the most classic example of a reintegration program, and it involves releasing a prisoner early back into the community, usually under some type of treatment and supervision, similar to probation (Walker 257). Besides trying to rehabilitate offenders, parole also serves several other purposes, such as giving prisoners an incentive to behave well, giving the corrections system a tool to control prisoners, and serves as a way to deal with prison overcrowding (Walker 257).
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