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Should jails implement more rehabilitation programs?


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Male user georgeanderson 7 posts

As a former Juvenile Probation Officer and Licensed Clinical Worker, I am a advocate for rehabilitation over punishment. In Sacramento, Ca. the County Unified School District is successfully using anger management as a part of it’s Re-entry program. I addition, the Sacramento City Unified School District has a program for one of it’s Middle Shcools that uses anger management classes in lieu of suspension for aggressive behavior.
For a list of programs that are committed to rehabilitation, click here:

Male user georgeanderson 7 posts

As a former Juvenile Probation Officer and Licensed Clinical Worker, I am a advocate for rehabilitation over punishment. In Sacramento, Ca. the County Unified School District is successfully using anger management as a part of it’s Re-entry program. I addition, the Sacramento City Unified School District has a program for one of it’s Middle Shcools that uses anger management classes in lieu of suspension for aggressive behavior.
For a list of programs that are committed to rehabilitation, click here:

Female user sue 2 posts

Absolutely, and it should begin with juvenile detention

Male user ebooksbc 3 posts

As corrections professionals, we should be careful not to become cynical. To be sure, the first hand observation of inmate failures, year after year, is enough to convince some that rehabilitation is no longer a viable goal. We’ve heard it all before, the promises to go straight, take care of family, work hard to live a legitimate life, blah, blah, blah! The fact is, making a transition from prison to the cmmunity is an up hill battle, against long odds in most cases, as parolees usually are low income, few resources and limited education.

Yes, the inmate must want to change, and must be held accountable, just as we must be held accountable. When, if we reach a point where total pessmism dictates our conduct toward those we supervise, we probably have reached a burnout and need a career change.

Male user RationalLaw 11 posts

Prison and jails should certainly implement more rehabilitation programs, as rehabilitation is an important part of reforming a criminal. But one thing we should keep in mind is that the primary function of a prison is to contain criminals who are a danger to the public (which is why they are locked up in the first place). Punishment is as important as rehabilitation as well, since while there are those who really want to reform, there are others who don’t give a crap and don’t want to change. It really depends on the inmate. With some prisoners rehabilitation works better but with others punishment is the only deterrent. It really depends on how much the prisoner wants to change. Some prisoners never want to change and others can’t change, so when rehabilitation doesn’t work containment and punishment are the only way.

Male user Wiseguy 12 posts

Iv’e been working at the same agency for 12 yrs and have seen several programs come and go. I work at a County Jail where most program funding is limited to grant money from the DoJ. The two most common programs are Basic Education (High School GED) and Chemical Dependency Program (CDP). The Basic Education program is a no brainer IMO. The CDP could be a very useful program but there is not enough accountability in our program. Basically if an inmate is court ordered they are automatically accepted to the program regardless of thier suitability. Our counselors and administrators in charge of the program are very liberal. The statistics for the successful completion of the program and recivitism don’t add up according to the offenders I see returning to custody on a regular basis. It feels like we are wasting dollars on unsuitable offenders. I don’t have the magic answer but I find it hard to expect a life long offender to be court ordered to treatment and expect it sink in. You can’t expect those offenders to accept the help offered if they don’t see anything wrong with the way they have gone through life.

100 5886 Sarge276 45 posts

Pandora, are you suggesting we rehabilitate them by buying them folexes?

Female user LadyArkin 9 posts

No. The people that are here once will never come back again. The people that are here as a side effect of their chosen lifestyle or career path won’t be helped until they want to be helped. Individual responsibility is a phrase that we don’t use often enough in our society. It isn’t society’s fault that you’ve made bad choices! Clean yourself up! Ask for help when you are ready! Ditch the friends that got you into trouble in the first place!

Flag shakey 191 posts

Very true Mick, but to add to your post about a horse, you can also bet while standing there not drinking, he’ll most likley take a piss and crap, just to show contempt of the system.

Riot helmet Mick 307 posts

To be Blunt. You can have as many programmes as you want but the inmates have to want to change. Remember the old saying " You can lead a horse to water. But you can’t make it drink".

Female user sue 2 posts

ABSOLUTELY Should be monitored, obviously, as not everyone would be successful, as one has to want to change. My bigger concern is that rehabilitation be offered at the juvenile arena more than it is. I have a son who was in the system for 7 yesers and now I teach at a juvenile detention center. Washington State just can’t seem to find the funds to help our youth. My son was in a treatment center for 7 months and it was the best thing that ever happened, as he got an education and mental health treatment. I believe that another place to address the isues is to look at WHAT we are incarcerating people for. There doesn’t seem to be a balance of consequence for crime, especially at the adult leve in our state. There is a reason that we have more people incarcerated than any other place in the world and that is very sad for an advanced couintry

Male user garythurgood 3 posts

But, if by something that you do (or did) – be that a rehabilitation program, cognitive restructuring, up-skilling or facilitating further education to increase the possibility of employment, therefore reducing the likely hood of crime – you, your family, your neighbours or friends were not victims of a crime – would you do it? I suggest your answer will be Yes – therefore when do you give up trying?

Svt FordSVT 60 posts

Your right in 98% of the cases. The criminals choose or make life choices to steal and cheat at life. Cognitive Restructuring/Thinking only goes so far. It’s all about choices. Many of our inmates suffer from FASD/ ADD / heavy drug addictions. They can’t get work with a grade 8 education either. Many don’t want to work as it’s easier to steal. The system is the safety net when they fall down. They’ve accepted this as a part of life or back up plan.

Northwest hounded police animated avatar 100x100 90714 prznboss 44 posts

Awhile back there was a study out and the result was “nothing works”. That’s the school I’m in. It’s all about choice. The inmates either choose to go straight or choose to stay a criminal/addict. I’ve seen all these college grads teaching all these screwy programs over the years thinking they’re saving the world. “Treatment” is help up as this magical elixir that will save all the inmates if we just had more of it all would be well with the world. The mental health therapists proscribe the inmates with a label justifying their existence meanwhile destroying the inmate who lives with that label over their head the rest of their lives living a life of doom. Let’s go back to making jails and prisons an unpleasant place to be instead of the video game playing country clubs they’ve become. That’s the kindest thing we could do for these inmates as it would more readily help them make the right choice.

Male user garythurgood 3 posts

Swartz, I am sorry if this seems like sales information, but I have taken it from our Ministry of Justice website as I thought it may answer your question.
CATS has been developed by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS – part of the UK Ministry of Justice) to provide a web based case management tool that can also meet all requirements for a European Social Fund audit.

CATS is already in operation throughout 98 UK prison establishments, 38 probation trusts and 5 community based organisations, but can be tailored for use internationally to reflect the particular requirements of any purchaser.


The case management process can be broken down into three phases:

• Initial – allowing the case manager to assess the offender, determine barriers to employment, levels of ambition and aspirations. From this, an action plan is completed
• Progress – the action plan is put into practice, the case reviewed and any ongoing activity is recorded
• Completion – at the end of the case management process all outcomes and achievements are recorded

The CATS main screen offers users options for managing caseloads:

• Search – allowing users to locate any case to which they have access
• Reports – all reports in the system can be pulled into one menu. More in-depth analysis can be carried out using a SQL query tool
• Information can be extracted and combined with other data to allow complex data analysis
• Movements – allows users to keep track of prisoner movements from their area of work and identify if any caseload has been moved
• Diary – allows the user to plan their work effectively without opening individual cases


The details below are relevant to the use of the system within the prison service but CATS can be adapted for other case management scenarios.

CATS links to other Ministry of Justice IT systems and allows the client to pull prisoner information including names, addresses and release dates from the central HMPS database. Data systems are synchronised overnight and additions/amendments will be reflected on CATS. This allows for the management of releases and transfers between prisons.

The case manager in the originating prison is alerted to the transfer and this enables them to contact the receiving prison. In the receiving prison, the transferee is flagged on the allocation list as an existing participant.

Release dates are automatically brought over to CATS – presented as a countdown to release. The grading (low-medium-high) changes as the prisoner gets closer to release, enabling the case manager to prioritise cases and actions.

The status of each case is indicated by the Red, Amber, Green (RAG) analysis and status bars on the screen. The Action Plan is broken down into sections corresponding with the assessment, making it simpler to track the progress of the actions.

I hope this answers your qusetion, but please let me know if you require any additional information.

Female user Swartz 14 posts

Hi Everyone
Garyarthurgood what does your CATS system entail how do you track progress or implementation via software?Sounds interesting.

Male user garythurgood 3 posts

In the UK we refer to rehabilitation programs as interventions. This includes any element of an individual that requires to be addressed to assist in reducing re-offending (recidivism) and incorporates such things as education needs; employment; drug and alcohol misuse; mental and physical health; attitudes and self-control; institutionalisation and life-skills; housing-accommodation on release; financial support and debt; and family networks.
That said – The fundamental main issue is measuring the success of this work and therefore the impact on reducing crime, but we have developed a software solution (called CATS – Case Assessment & Tracking System) for such a purpose and it will be interesting as time goes on to see what impact this works delivers. But the other key issue to any success is that the offender has to want to change their life as much as having to take part, otherwise it is a complete waste of valuable staff time, money & resources.

Svt FordSVT 60 posts

I think first we need to fine tune the programs we have now. In Canada, we have many. But we can’t force inmates to take them. Recidivism is really high now in my Province-worst rate in the country!
Staff need better preperation to deliver them.
Inmates need to take them.

Female user Swartz 14 posts

The programmes that are offered should be effective,this can be measured by the rate of recividism.The quantity of programmes is not so important in my opinion as the effectiveness of it.However I would encourage as many programmes as possible to prevent boredom and idleness.We have to accept the fact that not all offenders are interested in these programmes but this should not be a reason to show them away.One can only hope that such offenders will grasp something whilst attending.Offenders can also not be forced to participate in programmes if they dont want to this choice may however impact negatively in their consideration for parole.This gives the impression that offenders are not interested in rehabilitation or stopping their deviant behaviour.In my experience I have also experienced that the rate of recividism is much lower in offenders who have been charged with longer sentences for more serious crimes.

12517963451487469754us department of justice seal svg hi CHZBURGR 29 posts

First jmonta I would ask are you talking jails or prisons?

Second dollarwbt I disagree with you. Well at least with the way things are done here in Idaho every prisoner is required to be in a program of some sort. There are fairly harsh sanctions for those that dont.

Jmonta our state employed what we called a “what works” philosophy. Incarcerated offenders should be in programs but they should be programs that work in the population they are serving.

Male user dollarwbt 1 post

I reside in the state of Pennsylvania, I have a brother who is in the 32nd year of a life sentence for second degree arson murder. Four people died in the blaze, he was 18 years of age at the time. Three others were involved with the crime, one recieved the same sentence as my brother. Over the years I have learned the most stable inmates are those who have served long sentences. I advocate in the Commonwealth a review process for inmates who have served 25 years and reached the age of 50. The process must be merit based with education being the top priority.
Overcrowded prisons put the staff at risk, guards as well as inmates are in danger every day. Rehabilitation seems to be a forgotten practice, society has accepted prisons as punishment. Tough on crime starts with educating the individual!

Male user jmonta 43 posts

Should jails implement more rehabilitation programs?

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