Can Prisons Rehabilitate Criminals?


For most of the 20th century, society put more emphasis on rehabilitating criminals than on punishing them. But in the mid-1970s, with mounting public concern about the threat of crime and growing skepticism about the effectiveness of rehabilitation, Americans began to focus on two other purposes of prison—retribution and public safety. Now, however, prisons have become severely overcrowded, and policy makers are taking another look at rehabilitation and alternative corrections programs.

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