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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 April 15 th, 2017
REHABILITATION VS. PUNISHMENT 2 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. 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 in regard to offenders after release. A 56-page essay written by Obama was published in the Harvard Law Review in January of this year

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