The public seems to support early intervention and rehabilitation, but many people are still in prison or being sent away. Why do you think rehabilitation and early intervention programs are not something that is more common in everyday correctional proceedings? What are some barriers that prevent early intervention from being more widely used?You will participate in 4 Discussion Board Forums. First, you will post a thread of 400 words or more. Two additional sources beyond the course material (i.e. textbook, readings, and presentations) are required for the thread. Then, you must reply to at least 2 peers’ threads in 150 words or more. One additional sources beyond the course material are required for each reply.The Post First feature has been activated in the Discussion Board Forums for this course. You will need to post your thread before you will be able to view and reply to other students’ threads.
February 13, 2021 11:35:05 PM EST 8 days ago
Discussion Board 4
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Whereas the public generally supports rehabilitation and early intervention efforts of incarcerated offenders, underlying problems in the criminal justice system currently exist that prevent these programs from transpiring. Or, at the very least, the existing underlying problems prevent programs from operating as they should. For example, Cullen and Jonson (2017) discuss early in their work that many people in the United States favor harsh penalties for those who break the law. They further explain that not many politicians want to be perceived as soft on crime because the general public does not enamor it. As a result, many laws are passed that contain harsh penalties. For example, drug possession laws are incredibly punitive and may often land a person in prison. Arguments have been made where possession of drugs is a victimless crime. Although this is not mainly the debate at hand, it is clear that low-level offenders are still being sent to prison based on the current laws passed, which results in mass incarceration.
Anytime a country faces mass incarceration, it is clear that resources become heavily strained. Ravena and Mahmud (2019) recently published an article explaining some of these constraints. One of the specific reasons why programs are not considered in correctional proceedings and face constant barriers is the financial impact mass incarceration has on corrections. It makes sense that if there are more people in the correctional system than what should be (or what has been budgeted for), then it becomes easy for policymakers and managers to cut out the extraneous programming not essential to their primary goal (which is generally keeping offenders secured in a facility, among other things) (Manger et al., 2018).
Another problem mass incarceration produces is the constant influx of prisoners coming and going. Transfers from overcrowded prisons to other prisons are routine, but rehabilitation programs fail because prisoners do not stay long enough to benefit from them. In current times, sickness (such as COVID-19) can raise significant barriers to these programs. Additional monies may have to be allocated from other “non-essential” areas in management’s eyes (e.g., rehabilitation programs) to address health problems. The primary problem rehabilitation and reentry programs face is mass incarceration itself. It is up to everyday people to suggest changes to the current law to prevent mass incarceration. The Holy Bible provides us hope for this effort in the book of Romans, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (King James Bible, 1769/2021, Romans 8:28).
Cullen, F. T., & Jonson, C. L. (2017). Correctional theory (2nd ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc.
King James Bible. (2021). King James Bible Online. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org (Original Work Published 1769)
Manger, T., Eikeland, O., & Asbjornsen, A. (2018). Why do not more prisoners participate in adult education? An analysis of barriers to education in Norwegian prisons. International Review of Education, 65(5), 711–733.
Ravena, D., & Mahmud, A. (2019). The implications of overcrowding for fostering prisoners in prison: Management and systems problems. Journal of Southwest Jiaotong University, 54(5).
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Discussion Board Four: Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention 2
Discussion Board Four: Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention
Helms School of Government, Liberty University
I have no known conflict of interest to disclose.
Correspondence concerning this paper should be addressed to Justin Klipstein
Discussion Board Four: Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention
Although rehabilitation and early intervention are spoken of with much confidence, such as Cullen and Jonson (2017), stating that there is now knowledge that exists as to what will and will not work to change offender behavior, they are not often used in the correctional and criminal justice setting. Although there are many reasons that this is so, the most common is the complexity of the programs themselves. Retribution, in and of itself, it’s relatively simple. Criminals are locked away and, to the general public, are mostly forgotten. Not much effort is placed on ensuring their well being with the exception of prison guards and wardens. Rehabilitation takes work and careful calculation, as do early intervention programs. Both are aimed at specific offenders and specific behaviors.
With the question of rehabilitation versus retribution, Tony Ward and Robyn Langlands (2009) found that there are three reasons that most proponents of rehabilitation often choose to not utilize the system or, if they do utilize it, often downplay its usefulness. The first is claiming that rehabilitation is an unacceptable response to crime. Essentially the same as the “nothing works” approach to corrections, this response is based on the point of view that programs, no matter if they are successful or not, do not hold criminals accountable for their crimes. The second reason holds that rehabilitation is not a priority but is a bonus in a correctional setting. This point of view aims at punishing offenders, but, if there is time and money, rehabilitating them with the positive side effect of a reduction in recidivism and the crime rate in general. The third reason is that proponents of restorative justice believe that incarcerated individuals will see the error of their ways and stop offending, thus lowering recidivism rates. This seems to eliminate the need for evidence-based programs if the outcome is the same as rehabilitation models.
When studying preventive programs, efficiency becomes the main barrier. John Carroll, Efraim Ben-Zadock, and Clifford McCue (2010), when studying the efficiency of crime prevention programs, stated that the answer to the question of efficiency “adds much needed comparative knowledge about criminal justice programs” (p. 220). The added that, due to the numerous community policing prevention programs adopted in the United States, critics often raise questions about performance and compare them to more traditional (retributive) programs. On top of efficiency, these programs not only take the knowledge of individuals specifically trained in these subjects and areas, they also take funding that needs to come from lobbying with evidence based programs and results. Given the excessive costs that it takes to incarcerate individuals rather than rehabilitate them, this seems like a revolving system, however, unless it can be shown that programs reduce crime rates, the finding will remain with incarcerating individuals for the general safety of the public.
The Bible speaks about justice prominently, often referring to evil and violence when doing so. “It is joy to the just to do judgement: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity” (King James Bible, 1769/1989, Proverbs 21:15). This shows that, even in early Christianity, people often looked for justice through glasses overshadowed with retribution and looked for violence and comeuppance with quite a festive flair. Later, in the Bible, it can be seen that justice becomes more about righteousness rather than violence. “But let judgement run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream” (King James Bible, 1769/1989, Amos 5:24). It can be seen here that God advocates a more constructive form of justice, one that advocates for justice and fairness that is like an ever-flowing stream. Justice and fairness, in a court setting, are more inclined to rehabilitation than retribution. Rather than punishing individuals it seems fairer to allow them to learn the error of their ways and become contributing citizens. The same goes for crime prevention programs. Rather than wait for criminals to commit crimes, it seems fairer to allow them the chance to learn how to control criminal impulses.
Carroll, J., Ben-Zadock, E. & McCue, C. (December 2010). Evaluation on Efficiency in Crime Control and Crime Prevention Programs. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 35(4), 219-235. DOI: 10.1007/s12103-010-9080-4.
Cullen, F. T. & Jonson, C. L. (Second Edition). (2017). Correctional Theory: Context and Consequences. Sage Publishing.
King James Bible. (1989). Thomas Nelson Publishers. (Original Work Published 1769).
Ward, T. & Langlands, R. (March 2009). Repairing the Rupture: Restorative Justice and the Rehabilitation of Offenders. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 14(3), 205-214. DOI: 10.1016/j.avb.2003.03.001.