Rehabilitation of Prisoners

Archive Report

Growth of Prison Work Release Plans

New Federal Interest in Prisoner Rehabilitation

Changes in state and federal laws may give penologists better opportunities than they have had so far to practice what they have long preached—that society should rehabilitate as well as punish the criminal. It is in society's interest to do so, for “Today it is a frequent occurrence for men, women, and youngsters to leave correctional institutions not only unrehabilitated but more bitter, cynical, and anti-social than when they entered.”1 Advocates of rehabilitation contend that the prisoner who receives educational, vocational and psychiatric help is unlikely to resume a criminal career after release from confinement.

Despite all the arguments in its favor, rehabilitation has remained an empty concept at most American penal institutions. One reason ...

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