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Running head: REHABILITATION VS. PUNISHMENT 1 Rehabilitation vs. Punishment in the Criminal Justice System Shauna Frierson Crime and Criminal Behavior- CRJ 105- Professor Winborne May 28 th, 2017
REHABILITATION VS. PUNISHMENT 2 Abstract Rehabilitation vs. punishment within correctional facilities has been a hot topic issue for many years. Those in favor of harsh punishment tend to feel that rehabilitation is a luxury that should not be provided to criminals. However, research shows that there is a connection between rehabilitation within prisons and jails and lower recidivism rates among offenders. This research paper discusses that connection as well as the role that for-profit, private prisons play in higher recidivism rates. Because private prisons aim to gain profit, there is little interest in providing rehabilitation to offenders. Some rehabilitation programs even prove to be more cost efficient than imprisonment of an offender and can save tax payers money.
REHABILITATION VS. PUNISHMENT 3 Rehabilitation vs. Punishment in the Criminal Justice System The main objectives of any correctional facility should be to remove an offender from society for public safety as well as to rehabilitate the offender prior to releasing them back into that society, in hopes of lowering their recidivism chances. Recidivism is the act of re-engaging in criminal offending despite having been punished. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, as of Dec 2015 there were 1,526,800 prisoners incarcerated with State and Federal institutions, with 1,476,800 inmates sentenced to more than one year. Based on a study of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (2016) it was concluded that inmates released from state prisons have a five- year recidivism rate of 76.6%, the highest recidivism rate in the world (Carson & Anderson 2016). The U.S. Sentencing Commission (USSC), using the information from the BOJS study, determined that inmates released from federal prisons have a recidivism rate of 44.7% after five years. These staggering percentages are enough to recognize that there is something missing from our correctional institutions (Zoukis 2016). The topic of rehabilitation over punishment has been a topic that politicians, scholars, and activists have been discussing for many years, yet little has been done to tackle criminal justice reform. Prior to the end of his administration, President Barack Obama acknowledged the need for criminal justice reform, within institutions and regarding offenders after release. A 56-page essay written by Obama was published in the Harvard Law Review in January of this year outlining what his administration has done and what other administrations in the future could do to assist in the battle of criminal justice reform (Dickey 2017).
REHABILITATION VS. PUNISHMENT 4 Rehabilitation and Restorative Justice Perspectives Due to the complexity of the criminal justice system, there is no surprise that throughout the years several different perspectives have emerged. Although slightly different, the rehabilitation perspective and the restorative justice perspective tend to go hand in hand. The

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