This paper presents comparative review of various rehabilitation programs that are being administered in United States. In this rehabilitation paper, various aspects of our prisons are discussed and compared with the form of punishments that are given. It further analyses various recommendations that can help to better conditions of the prisons.
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Rehabilitation in prisons
Prisoner rehabilitation refers to procedures that are put in place to reform the character of the prisoner or prevent them from committing the same offence. The procedures are executed differently in various prisons and in accordance to the type of offence. Rehabilitation helps the prisoner to acknowledge their mistakes and reform to reduce crime rates and fit well in the society after release. Applying social education and behavior modification principles are the few recommendations of improvement for the current rehabilitation procedures. Prisons are full of aggressive behaviors and people learn through seeing or association, if behaviors are restrained then rehabilitation will be successful in prisons (McKinney, 2006).
Parole refers to conditional liberation of a prisoner after serving part of the sentence; the prisoner is allowed to live in the community under surveillance for the parole duration. Mandatory release is a period release system whereby after the prisoner finishes the term they must be released, whereas parole is a conditional release system where a criminal is legible for release after a considerable behavior change. Current parole process allow a prisoner to apply for the parole after serving two third of the sentence. The process of determination and approval of parole lies in the hands of commissioner or board of committee, and these procedures can be subjected to abuse if not well monitored (Pierre, 2004).
Probation is a sentence issued by a judge as a substitute of serving a term in prison or besides the term in jail. The convicted person is able to stay or live in the community for a particular period under surveillance of probation officer, depending on the gravity of the offence and the circumstances. Probation applies to less serious crimes because it allows the convict to intermingle with the society. Unlike other forms of punishment, probation allows the convict to serve the sentence without getting into the prison. Current probation systems are well structured; however, as crime rate increases, some inputs or changes may be made to cater for the changing situations.
Community correction programs offer a range of substitute punishments for nonviolent offenders. This mode of punishment helps to reduce overcrowding in prisons and reduce expenses of maintaining the prisoners. They assist the lawbreakers in the rehabilitation process thus help them fit well in the community. Community correction applies to minor offenders and assists them to rehabilitate faster as compared to other forms of punishments. It is more effective for nonviolent offenders (Nieto, 1996).
Prison systems in most of the countries are determined by the beliefs and community settings. Correction procedures are almost the same except some countries administer severe punishment, such as capital penalty. There is a public resentment in some nations for rehabilitation programs, since they take the prisons as solely to punish and protect public from law offenders. Some argue that the conditions in prisons have become like a holiday camp, not a punishment facility. If United State adopts another country's prison system, it would be faced with resentment, and this may affect the society's approach to rehabilitation. That would increase crime rates (Howard, 1993).
Every crime should receive corresponding punishment. Rehabilitation cannot be effected on all criminals, violent or dangerous criminals should be given stern punishment. Parole or probation should be administered to the deserving cases. The punishment forms should be reviewed periodically as recommended.