Punishment Vs Rehabilitation: Which is Right

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What do we mean by rehabilitation? Rehabilitation is a form of care that can help restore an individual back to there original state. The objective is to reintegrate the offender back into society after they have been punished. This can relate to helping improve one’s ability in physical, mental, and cognitive needs. This is done with the hope of treating the offenders to help give them a productive life and the skills to avoid crime in the future. It is often stated that rehabilitation is an improvement in the quality of life. Rehabilitating offenders is a key feature in the UK criminal justice system. The British government passed a penitentiary act in 1779 where it made rehabilitating criminals a purpose in the prisons. The techniques of rehabilitation varies based on the nature of the offender as well as the offence they have committed. So, punishment vs rehabilitation: where the truth is?

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The methods to rehabilitate depends based on education as well as vocational training which would help the offender to implement the skills outside of prison life, this includes psychological rehabilitation. For example, dealing with issues each offender may have experienced such as drug addiction which can be treated based on their conditions in the prison. To rehabilitate an individual this can be done in a prison as well as in some cases if the offender is released on a resettlement programme. Support continues based on these circumstances by the probation services alongside other multi agencies. This is based on an early release or to ease the transition to go back into the community. It can be seen as crime and criminals are dysfunctional to live in a healthy society and are in need of treatment. The implication are that the way we solve a crime is to find ways to treat it and then treat the offender. The development of treatment approach has its roots in the Lombrosian school of positivism. This refers to ‘classical’ school of criminology, associated with the works of Beccaria. The offender is seen in a strictly legal term as a rational actor in terms of classical school. This is also to focus on deterrence and retribution in relation to criminal justice.

Apart from the entrenchment of rehabilitation in the criminal justice and social policy, the thought that prisons intentions are not to rehabilitate but rather to punish as well as protect the public to a extent. Offenders are thought to be living in improved conditions and have opportunities to rehabilitate in the prisons but thus generated complaints that the life behind the bars are to modern it is seen like a holiday camp. Many rehabilitation are taken place in prisons, many prisoners experience hardship reintegrating back into society due to the attitudes of other individuals. Rehabilitation can relate to 3 other correlation perspectives, which are generally seen as major goals of correction.

Firstly, retribution which is nonutilitarian. Rehabilitation is different to retribution but similar to deterrence and incapacitation in the sense that it has a utilitarian goal, with utility or benefit for the society to reduce the crime. it is different from the other 3 perpectives as the other goals do not attempt to change or improve the offenders. pain is inflicted as well as punishment for a reason, retribution which is to get even or deterrence to scare the individual, incapacitation places offenders in a prison which is seen as a unpleasant living condition. On the other hand, rehabilitation helps offenders and the society by them being treated this help them with there attitudes and skills to avoid crime and live a good life.

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