Corrections: From Rehabilitation to a More Punitive Model Essay

Words: 1579
Pages: 7

Sameer Noori
24 November 2014

Corrections Paper
What changes led corrections away from rehabilitation and toward a more punitive model?

Since World War II through the 1970s, many changes occurred in the United States correctional systems. Rehabilitation Model is a treatment program that was designed to reform the inmates. According to, “This model is similar to the medical model; it regards the person with a disability as in need of services from a rehabilitation professional who can provide training, therapy, counseling or other services to make up for the deficiency caused by the disability. Historically, it gained acceptance after World War II when many disabled veterans needed to be re-introduced into society. The
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It is clear that the change toward a more punitive model has made sentences far more punishing than the rehabilitation approach was capable of. The goal of sentencing now is to make the punishment equal to the crime, so it is often a more severe approach than it had been in the past. This approach does not relate to revenge; however, as it relates only to wrong-doing and is not in any way personal. The view now is that if the guilty are not punished, justice has not been served. Because it is believed that punishment not only deters crime, but also changes behavior, this approach is ideal. Sentencing has changed in other ways, aside from a tougher punishment, since the punitive model has been adopted. When approaching a crime, we now look at establishing blame rather than focusing on problem solving, which was the approach during the rehabilitation era. Another key difference is that offenders are now peripheral to the process, rather than being the center of the process of crime solving, as they had been in the rehabilitation era, as well.
According to the, “Beginning in the mid-1970s, states began to question indeterminate sentencing and call for sentencing in which judicial and parole board discretion was eliminated or, in the least, curtailed. About thirty states still retain some form of indeterminate sentencing, but this is down from a time when every state had this practice.” (p4) Every state over the last 30 years have passed mandatory