Criminal justice programs around the world face various challenges especially in rehabilitating the behavior of inmates within correctional facilities. The purpose of this research paper will be to assess the various issues that exist in rehabilitative programs within prison systems. Basically, rehabilitation programs are used to correct and rehabilitate criminal offenders so that they can emerge as useful members of society once they complete their prison sentences. Some of the rehabilitation programs that are commonly used to reform inmates include counseling, health and fitness programs, transcendental meditation, academic programs and religious programs. These rehabilitative programs are usually based on the assumption that criminal behavior in most suspects is caused by some contributing factor such as a history of violence, psychological or mental disorders (Barkan & Bryjak, 2009).
Such an assumption does not refute that some criminals make their own personal choices to break the law but rather it argues that these personal choices are usually caused by certain factors which contribute to criminal behavior. Rehabilitation programs are therefore based on such perspectives where the various correctional programs are designed to deal with criminal enforcing behavior. For example counseling programs could focus on the behavior that led to the criminal offender committing the offense while educational programs could focus on how to change negative behavior to positive behavior. Correctional programs in prison facilities are therefore important in reducing the recurrence of criminal behavior as well as reducing recidivism among probationers and parolees (Barkan & Bryjak, 2009).
In general, rehabilitation programs have been effective in reducing recidivism among prison convicts since they are mostly focused on treating the criminal causing behavior of prisoners by eliminating completely the factors or circumstances that drive them to commit criminal acts. Criminologists such as Martinson who conducted research on the effectiveness of rehabilitative programs such as educational, community based and transcendental programs noted that rehabilitative programs had a higher efficacy when they were oriented towards providing treatment to prison convicts so as to reduce recidivism. Martinson noted that both the educational and transcendental rehabilitative programs were designed to provide prisoners with life skills that they could use to manage their criminal causing behavior as well as equip them with technical skills that would improve the quality of their lives (Clements et al, 2008).
Rehabilitative programs that are focused on the principles of effective intervention are able to target the known factors of recidivism thereby necessitating change and also enabling the incorporation of cognitive or behavioral treatments to reinforce the behavior of the criminal offender by eliminating criminal thinking patterns. Principles of effective...