Is rehabilitation more effective than punishment?

Since then, however, rehabilitation has taken a backseat to a crime-hardening approach that considers punishment to be the primary function of prison, Haney says. The approach has created explosive growth in the prison population, while having a modest effect on crime rates. Opinions on crime and punishment differ. However, almost everyone would agree that we care about crime because of the damage it causes.

You don't need to have any particular ideological inclination to advocate an approach that reduces harm. There is evidence that rehabilitation (even within prison) reduces crime and can be cost-effective. Therefore, economic analysis reinforces the idea that punishment is not the best solution to reduce the harmful impact of crime. According to official prison policy, prisons are designed to rehabilitate offenders, but in reality, harsh prison conditions generate more aggressive behavior.

Pros and cons of rehabilitation so that you are in a better position to understand practices followed in prisons. In addition, rehabilitation is a more forward-looking option than punishment, since they have more long-term benefits. On the other hand, many countries have chosen to revise the frameworks of their justice system to make them more rehabilitative than punitive. Since then, rehabilitation has taken a backseat and “hardening with crime” has been adopted, meaning that offenders will be punished rather than rehabilitated.

Therefore, the perception of setting an example is erroneous, and young offenders should be placed in rehabilitation centers where they are exposed to professional psychologists. Rehabilitation is also necessary due to the fact that prison systems do not provide a person with the help he needs to improve. Similar is the case with prisons; the ultimate goal is to reduce the crime rate through punishment and rehabilitation. While the other party argues that more emphasis should be placed on the rehabilitation of children rather than punishing them.

While the retributive idea of justice seeks to inflict a cost or hardship on the criminal as a just response to crime, the rehabilitation model seeks to provide support that can reform the criminal. While this debate has often been presented as one between those who fully believe in punishment and those who want prison time to be completely reduced and replaced by rehabilitation programs, most people believe in both. The United States was the first country in the world to introduce the system of rehabilitation and punishment for minors. In other words, rehabilitation is the gentle processing of the criminal mind to reintegrate it back into society.

But a combination of strict sentencing guidelines, budget deficits and a punitive philosophy of corrections has made today's prisons much more unpleasant — and much less likely to rehabilitate their inhabitants — than in the past, many researchers say. A recent study that my colleagues and I conducted in England and Wales provides illustrative examples of changes in sending more people to prison (a substitute for a model that emphasizes punishment) versus community sentencing (a substitute for a more rehabilitative approach). People need to know that their actions have consequences, as if someone knows that they will only have to go through a rehabilitation program and not do physical time, they will not learn the lesson.