Do treatment programs reduce recidivism?
|Pappy516 1 post||
For the nearly 20 years in law enforcement and related organizations and members, I think the programs are only 20% successful when it comes to reducing recidivism of most crimes. There are certain crimes and criminal offenders which any program will never work, such as in the case with most sexual predator offenders, career criminals with 2 or more convictions, serial killers and most habitual thefts of all levels starting at the petty level and up! However, with that said, I do believe that first time offenders of most non violent crimes can be rehabilitated through a Boot Camp environment, which most have never lived in a properly disciplined environment before. Then once broken, like they do in the military, and retrained in proper societal protocols and a useful trade job (not a college education because they need to re-earn their place in society and civilization) they can be placed in a learn and earn program, support themselves and their families in a controlled setting (such as construction battalions, office pools, medical attendance and assistance operations, etc) doing public and private sector activities to recondition the reality of life as it should be, responsibility for your actions and well being and earning you way back to society. It is all about reconditioning those who are not yet fully criminalized. They will have to want to change their lives just like a smoker wants to quit smoking for the right reasons, not because someone says you should.
|GeorgeBooth 14 posts||
Just like all statistics, they are manipulated to prove or disprove the point of any author. I for one find any statistics regarding recividism as inherently flawed, unless the convict is dead and can’t re-offend.
A better question is how we measure success; five years till he/she re-offends, 10 years, 20? I suppose I’m fairly jaded having worked for a small County facility about 15 years ago with a population of around 350. I saw the same names in and out, in and out, in and out. Some folks would re-offend just so they could spend the winter inside with 3 hots and a cot. In my humble opinion, and I stress this is simply an opinion, jails are not a deterrent anymore.
Commissary, law libraries, conjugal visits and things of this nature do nothing more than coddle and reaffirm the victim status of inmates. Jail is no different than many inner city street corners. You have your small cramped apartment (cell), corner meeting place (yard), and the gang you run with while you are working on your hussle. Nothing has changed except the scenery. How many COs have invested time and emotion into an inmate thinking and hoping they could break through to them, only to find a year later that inmate back serving out their sentence? There comes a point in which a person is gone in my opinion. You can’t undo decades of mental and or physical abuse from their upbringing, you can’t undo their life experiences. What you can do is make prison less comfortable so the offender realizes the crime isn’t worth the time.
Please note this opinion is personal and does not reflect that of my company. (Sorry don’t need my own lawyers riding my ass.)
|StuckinOZ 13 posts||
I think it depends on the crime. I work with both men, women, and adolescents. Most of the crimes the women are convicted of are fraud, identity theft, and of course, the ever popular drug possession. We have a lot of guys who are there for multiple DUI, possession, assault, and dealing. For some crimes, I think programming does help the inmates, but dealing is just too dang lucrative. Family criminal history is another factor that should be considered when thinking about recidivism.
|Mick 307 posts||
To quote one convict I had a discussion with one day (Quote) “Go straight? Why should I? I can earn more money in a week selling drugs than you can in a year slogging your guts out. I can do what I like when I like. Why should I be a slave to the government by paying taxes.”(End Quote). And this the reason that most reform programmes are a total failure. Remember the Old Saying.“You can bring a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.”
|sajeh 1 post||
this is a proposal from a convict with whom i have been corresponding with. he wished me to try to get it out into some forums.
The U.S. has averaged roughly 30 million reported crimes per year over the past decade and that would be a conservative estimate due to the large number of unreported crimes. According to Justice Department studies, as many as 50% of the crimes committed in this country are committed by ex convicts or prior felons. The entire prison population has exploded over the past 15 years and the recidivism rate is approximately 70% on a national level. The prisons in which these convicts are being held, and from which the vast majority will eventually be released, make no pretense of any actual rehabilitation. These prisons routinely accept a 70% recidivism rate as an expected result. The only rational conclusion that can be drawn from these realities is that society will suffer ever increasing victimization at the hands of an ever expanding stream of unregenerate ex-convicts. This must be deemed as unacceptable.
If we view corrections form along range perspective, it should be clear that the status quo will not long prevail. That becomes especially clear in the light of our states present economical crunch. We simply cannot afford to close our eyes, or our hearts, to what has ultimately become an epidemic problem. What then are the next steps that will be required to cope with the ever growing victimization of society? The current incapacitation policies assume that there is a finite number of criminals and we will eventually have all of the “bad guys” salted away with an incapacitating terminal life sentence. In view of the fact that only a very small percentage of criminals convicted are actually sent of to prison, and considering the rates of probation and parole violations, it should be abundantly clear that it is totally unrealistic to assume that we can confine all of the bad guys at one time.
While nearly all would agree that effectively reforming criminals would result in a mass reduction of recidivistic crime—most would also quickly point out that we are presently without a comprehensive and reliable means of reforming criminals. While the corrections goal of protecting society must remain first and foremost, it is ludicrous to say that this goal is being accomplished when 50% of the crimes committed in the U.S. are committed by ex-felons who were previously released without an effort being made to reform them. If we’re going to protect society it is essential that CORRECTIONS live up to its name. the concepts of protecting society and criminal reform will become intrinsic in the ethos of those who pioneer the new era in corrections. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that there is a single, comprehensive and reliable method of protecting society, to take the steps necessary to accomplish the goal. Before we get into the specific details it must be pointed out that while reforming criminals is an important part of the correctional system, protecting society is vastly more important. However, both can perfectly be accomplished by the same means.
To reform criminals we must first understand what causes them to be criminal. People commit crimes purely, simply, and universally because they just don’t care. What’s fascinating about this fact is that while we al know it to be true on some level, we haven’t really done anything with that knowledge. The simple fact of the matter is, to effectively reform criminals and to protect society in the process, we must expose and develop the capacity to care. Our task then is to transform the least caring members of our communities into the most caring members of our communities once they are returned. Being that care is so vital to this discussion, it might be helpful to reflect for a moment on the true nature of care. While human beings have the capacity to care, care is not an inherent quality. Care is a learned response. Care is a habit. Care is a choice. PLEASE! STOP! Take a moment and seriously consider what happens to anyone, anywhere when they deeply and sincerely begin to care about themselves and others.
REHABILITATION: MYTH vs. REALITY
While the rehabilitation riddle is, indeed, a Gordian knot, the answer, as Alexander demonstrated, lies in slicing through the shared conceptions of what is possible. The key to unlocking the rehabilitation riddle can be discovered by determining how to properly utilize the “force.” Apply the fore directly, i.e. attempting to force convicts to accept rehabilitation fails because it pits the system power to compel against the convicts power to resist. It sets up an “us against them” confrontation. To properly utilize the force we must apply it indirectly, that is, we must give each convict the choice of accepting, or rejecting, their rehabilitation opportunity, thereby forcing each convict to assume responsibility for the choices they make. Applying the force in this manner forces the convict to fight him/herself, when necessary, rather than the system. What convicts are most in need of is proper motivation. Our correctional system must be programmed to help convicts find the motivation they need to sincerely accept rehabilitation.
The inherent societal right to be protected from the ravages of unregenerate criminals demands that we embrace a sentencing strategy that arms society with the absolute, legally guaranteed right, to restrain (forever, if necessary) those criminals who refuse to accept rehabilitation. Our sentencing strategy must also provide the system with the sanctions required to render each prison safe, secure, and orderly for staff and convicts. Lastly, it must be capable of position, as well as motivating, convicts to accept rehabilitation. The only sentencing strategy that will lend the system the tools it requires to achieve each of these objectives is a fully indeterminate, “one year to life” sentence for every felony conviction.
INCARCERATION PRISION STRUCTURE:
REHABILITAITON PRISON STRUCTURE:
The convicts daily schedule must, in essence, be a care/citizenship training and testing ground. A typical daily schedule should consist of approximately 6-8 hours of self-supporting labor, 3-4 hours of community service activities, and 3-4 hours of lay group counseling and/or individual counseling, as required. Conditions in the Care Prison should be Spartan, with as few possessions or distractions as possible. On the other hand, the Care Prison should be as community like as possible within the constraints of an institutional setting. A convict should be required to pay for food, lodging, clothing, basic services, and elective medical services via a token system or what might be termed a care exchange.
To adequately evaluate convicts they must be observed throughout the majority of their waking hours. Volunteers would be used extensively in the community service activities, with the ratio ideally being 1:1 in this area. Volunteers would also operate the lay group counseling program. Each group would be limited to no more than 9 members, 6 convicts to 3 volunteers. These two areas provide 6-8 hours of extremely close observation/evaluation opportunities. Volunteers would also be used on labor assignments, as aides to paid staff, and in other lesser areas within the functions of a Care Prison. Staff and volunteers would “grade” convicts on their performance throughout every day, as a convict strives t earn the required credits towards their “Care Degree.” Grading would be based on all the standard attributes and aspects of constructive, productive, and caring citizenship.
|allblue 1 post||
Statistics for treatment programs are for the most part, are given out on a controlled basic. There are both good and bad. However, only the good part gets out. Programs only work when if the offender wants to change, other wise that individual will game the system. Correctional officers are not human services workers, although they are being told to function as one, which is not right, as inmates can twist stories around very good.
|paroletroll 2 posts||
In my Service there have been encouraging reductions to the rates of recidivism across offence types. Aiming for a 16% reduction in recidivism over the next 3 years. Programs can work as long as they are intensive, focused on addressing the criminogenic factors which impact on offending behaviour and are designed for specific offender classifications. Jeez i sound like my boss.
|dpdpar5 6 posts||
The most obvious agents of change, the people in the trenches working every day and all day with offenders are co’s. These practitioners have the greatest potential for facilitating rehabilitation as they have the most contact with offenders. Yet, they are so poorly trained and unprepared for the overwhelming job of dealing with an inmate population, most of which are dealing with some form of mental dysfunction. No wonder burnout, absenteeism and personal problems are experienced by staff.
Daniel Downen M.S. AJ/S
|dpdpar5 6 posts||
The real and more compelling question for me is, do we as a correctional profession really dedicate ourselves to the concept of rehabilitation or is our efforts perfunctory?
|jmonta 43 posts||
Are there statistics available that prove that treatment programs are successful in reducing recidivism rates?
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