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Jail and Prison Overcrowding and Rehabilitative Justice Programs

Palermo, George B.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2011) International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 55(6) 843–845

“Perhaps motivated by the lack of success of drastic punishment for most offenders in the judicial system, over the past few years, an increase in the use of more balanced treatment programs has been noticed. These programs have the added purpose of attempting to decrease the rate of recidivism. Undoubtedly, they have also been stimu- lated by the overcrowding in jails and prisons and in the judicial system itself. It is worthy of notice that the overcrowding is present in spite of the frequent use of plea bargaining. Many ways have thus far been tried to expedite offender reentry, for exam- ple, various therapeutic programs that address offender anger and lack of education, shame groups, and forms of psychotherapy, most frequently behavioral in type. Nev- ertheless, even as crime goes through its own fluctuations, recidivism rates continue to be high. Drug courts and mental health courts have been created in some areas with the purpose of offering better assessment and care to illicit substance users and to those mentally ill offenders who have not committed serious crimes. The latter may help to overcome the consequences of the criminalization of people driven to criminal actions by their mental disorders but whose disorders do not reach the level of insanity.”(Excerpt)


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