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A Significance Of Rehabilitation Criminology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Criminology
Wordcount: 5491 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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This report attempts to explore the development of Rehabilitation System in United Kingdom since its first appearance into Parliamentary Acts until nowadays. It will be presented the history of rehabilitation based on Prison reforms and its significance and relation to society. The report aims to address objectively great changes that were made according to Parliamentary Acts, Reviews and Reports of Ministry of Justice along with writings of professionals who aimed to review its concept and analyse the usefulness and impact of the Offenders Rehabilitation Programmes. Furthermore, it will be provided the cogent of offering treatment to offenders in order to reduce recidivism, which will be followed by an evaluation and recommendations upon Rehabilitation System.

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In the past, for many years it was believed that the proper punish for an offender had strictly to do with the violent attitude against him and torturing of his body, deportation or even death penalty. Nowadays, and after several prison reforms Justice comes across the term of Rehabilitation. To begin with, Michel Foucault stated in 1975 that “Rehabilitation procedure has more to do with discipline of the soul than the torturing of the body.” (Foucault and Sheridan, 1979) The word “rehabilitation” is defined as re-enabling and it has Latin roots as it comes from the term “rehabilitare”. The assumption of all these is that Justice System is not only obliged to keep the community safer by holding the offenders in prison but also preparing them, for several reasons, to re-join society, by practicing their mind, developing their skills and expanding their knowledge.

1.2 Significance of Rehabilitation

It is necessary to be mentioned the importance of Rehabilitation from either points of view, that of Justice and society and that of the prisoners. Later on, it will also be discussed the significant thesis of rehabilitation to the reduction of re-offending. Rehabilitation’s vital role is as it was mentioned above discipline of the mind. Through discipline, the offender will be able to be useful to society without being tempted to commit another crime. In addition to that, there are also going to be mentioned the programmes and techniques provided to the offenders, depending on the type of their offence and their needs. These needs can be categorized, as it has not always have to do with criminogenic factors as mental illness or any kind of addiction, but also survival into society matters as where to live or work or permanent health issues. Following the previous statement, this dissertation is going to include an exploration upon behavioural programmes, depending on the individuality of every offender.

1.3 Aims of Dissertation

Through a study upon Rehabilitation’s background from its roots since today, this dissertation aims to provide a wide briefing about rehabilitation system in United Kingdom. The sensitive correlation between society and prisoners can cause several problems to their in-between balance, and this is another issue that will be stated, by analysing the rehabilitation system’s impacts to both of them. A review upon behavioural programmes will be mentioned later on along with their significance to the offenders. They are also going to be examined the advantages and disadvantages of the current system and its development throughout years. In addition to that this dissertation aims to explore the type of the rehabilitation programme which has to be followed by any offender depending on the type of his offense, the time of his penalty, any drug or alcohol addiction who may has, his age and gender, if he or she belongs to a minority group and last but not least if he or she suffers from any mental disorder.

1.4 Overview of Content

As it was mentioned above, this dissertation tends to give a brief review of Rehabilitation System for prisoners in United Kingdom since its first appearance. A flashback to rehabilitation’s first concept and its idea of discipline will be made in order to be evaluated its importance to the Justice System. They are also going to be discussed historical figures that published their first thoughts upon Justice System, as it had to do with punishing and imprisonment. Their appearance was significant to social reforming and inclusion of Parliamentary Acts into Justice, in order to change the detention conditions of that time, along with the relation of rehabilitation to reducing crime. In addition to that it is going to be discussed the context of Rehabilitation in general and it’s aims, as it plays major role as well to the whole Justice System and several aspects of society. From the content of this dissertation they cannot be excluded the Parliamentary Acts that involved rehabilitation and their relation to the present one. As it was stated above this dissertation will include a review of the services provided depending on the needs of the prisoners, along with the types and categories of the current rehabilitation programmes, their affects and their prospects of development. A major part of the information given is provided through literature review upon reports, statistics and Acts of the Ministry of Justice, Home Office, House of Commons and the Government.

Chapter 2

History of Rehabilitation

2. History of Rehabilitation

This chapter is going to explore Rehabilitation’s System Background and History since the first appearance. It will be also examined the first Parliamentary Act which includes rehabilitation and the purposes of its concept. Finally it will be discussed the ‘Nothing Works’ debate.

2.1 Background

The state before the current concept of Rehabilitation, which has to do more with discipline of the mind, had different ways to deal with the offenders. Depending on the type of crime the prisoners were coming across tough punishment through which they could be tortured, deported or even face death penalty. It seems as if during the 17th Century the idea of discipline started to establish. It has to be mentioned that the concept of rehabilitation back then was received in order to be given to the offender a chance of fitting back to society. The purpose was to be offered a safer society as an offender could re-join it and be a useful member of it.

As it was mentioned above it was only in 1764 when Cesare Beccaria (b. 1738) expanded in his work the idea of Rehabilitation. When his book “On Crimes and Punishment” was published it was exposed a new chapter to Justice System as it had to do with the theme of imprisonment. By the time, his thoughts were mainly influenced by the new, by then, era of Enlightenment. Beccaria had several positions inside society, as he was a well-known philosopher, criminologist and jurist. It can be assumed that Cesare Beccaria was the first who gave in public the idea of rehabilitation with main purpose the discipline of mind and soul and expect as an outcome the reducing of re-offending, and offending is general, as the ex-offender could have the ability to expand his knowledge to others as well. To be more specific, the criminologist stated that “It is evident from the simple considerations already set out that the purpose of punishment is not that of tormenting or afflicting any sentient creature, nor of undoing a crime already committed. … The purpose, therefore, is nothing other than to prevent the offender from doing fresh harm to his fellows and to deter others from doing likewise.” (Beccaria, 2010)

In addition to that, a philosopher and social reformer of that time who wrote about the importance of punishment giving to the offender in accordance to the type of the crime committed was Jeremy Bentham (b. 1748). Bentham, who is also one of the founders of the theory of utilitarianism, published in 1811 his work “The rationale of punishment” through which he expressed his thoughts upon punishment. To be more specific, the philosopher stated that “…A punishment may be analogous to an offence, it is necessary that the crime should be attended with some striking characteristic circumstances, capable of being transferred upon the punishment. These characteristic circumstances will be different in different crimes.” (Beccaria, 2010)

2.2 Penitentiary Act

The philanthropist and prison reformer John Howard (b. 1726) published in 1774 his reports about the detention conditions of the offenders as he spend a year working as a sheriff and evidenced the situation himself. He also managed to visit other prisons as well in order to be sure of his findings, before the export of his reports. His findings led the justice system to include two more Acts which were dealing with the circumstances under which the offenders were held, and suggested the thesis of the State in order to provide prisons which could offer humane conditions of detention. Howard also mentioned that they had do be done changes as it had to do with the fees paid to the jailers, as in many occasions offenders were still held in prison even if they had complete their penalty because they were not able to pay them.

It was only in 1779 when the passage of Parliamentary Acts had been made and it was given the permission to begin the building of the first State Prisons, which would offer healthier living conditions to the prisoners. The above can be assumed as the first evidence of an attempt of a proper rehabilitation system in United Kingdom. Even though several actions took place after the Act, the construction of a prison was not be done until 1785, when the magistrate Sir George Onesiphorus Paul completed the first prison at Gloucester which was stated as a first prison model at that time as it was approaching every aspect of the prisoners needs. It was coming across the previous statements about a healthier environment, as it was consisted by separated cells, classification of prisoners depending on the type of their offence and it was also provided medical support.

Although the Penitentiary Act of 1779 has made a major point during the development of Justice System and Rehabilitation, as it brought massive changes to the System as they knew it by then, it is believed that it had affected it in many ways. According to the Cambridge’s Historical Journal, it was strongly believed that the basic reason of these Acts pass was the reducing of deportation. In other words, prisons had to be held, in order to keep the offenders there, without the state having the need to deport them. That statement could be valid, as after the construction of the prisons in England, several other countries followed the same path, for the same reasons.

2.3 Purposes of Rehabilitation

After the engagement of the Penitentiary Act, Justice System started to develop the concept of imprisonment as a path to rehabilitation. As it was mentioned above, imprisonment reduced deportation of offenders and that created several problems at that time to jailers, as the population of the prison started to increasing. However, the key concept of Rehabilitation was the reducing of re-offending as it was believed that by educating the offenders, they would re-join society with different habits. The main theme of Rehabilitation was at that point that it would be created a safer community, as ex-offenders would not make the same mistakes, be useful to society and stop other people as well from committing a crime. At this point it is more important to Justice to protect society rather than being easier to an offender to resettle in terms of fitting smoothly back to community.

However, as the years passing by the Justice System and Rehabilitation Services are keep developing in order to be updated to the needs of community. It has been already stated that the prison population started to increase. It seems as if that the same problem remained since today. At this point rehabilitation for prisoners in United Kingdom plays vital role, along with several changes that were made to the penalties of every offense, the system has to come up with new ways of avoiding prison overcrowding. Overpopulated prisons can be harmful to both bodies, to offenders and guards as well.

In addition to the above, the support to offenders who have complete their penalty towards community is important as in most of the cases the reason why they are committing the same crime again is strongly connected to the social exclusion they are facing. It can be difficult to some offenders to re-join society, and at this point it is a matter of great significance the rehabilitation services during imprisonment along with some time after release.

Rehabilitation Services are aiming to offer to the prisoners the appropriate support for every case individually. Apart from the Rehabilitation programmes which are being used and they will be discussed later on, they are provided to the offenders several other services in order to being able to re-join society. According to the report of “The House of Commons” for the Parliament, offenders are coming across many themes during Rehabilitation. Rehabilitation programmes are being included into the context of Rehabilitation services, as they are being part of the “Purposeful Activity” along with physical education and training, which aims to educate and train prisoners. One of the reasons why this System also targets to reduce reconviction rates is as mentioned above there is in exist the problem of overcrowding. This has a result the continuous transfer of the offenders to other prisons and that has a major affect to programmes, as the prisoners cannot receive a stable rehabilitation programme.

2.4 “Nothing Works” – “What Works?” Debate

From the background review of Rehabilitation cannot be excluded the “Nothing Works” – “What works?” debate which began in 1974 towards a Robert Martinson’s research. Even though this debate was made based upon the American Justice system it’s impact affected United Kingdom as well in terms of re-thinking its approach on that specific topic. After a long study Martinson stated that Rehabilitation System does not help in reducing re-offending. According to Martinson, they existed few programmes that were useful for the prisoners, but the overall outcome it was not the expected. The writer, who tried to give an explanation for the success in reducing recidivism stated, “Having entered this very serious caveat, I am bound to say that these data, involving over two hundred studies and hundreds of thousands of individuals as they do, are the best available and give us very little reason to hope that we have in fact found a sure way of reducing recidivism through rehabilitation. This is not to say that we found no instances of success or partial success; it is only to say that these instances have been isolated, producing no clear pattern to indicate the efficacy of any particular method or treatment.” (Lipton et al., 1975)

During the 1980s there was a significant turn of political views towards the Right and as the change of view towards the current -at the time- rehabilitation system was differentiated, there were some opinions that the system of justice should change the penalty severity according to the offence that was caused by each offender and this specific group of opinions was made renown as the “Just Desert” terminology. The application of penalties would be carried out in a way that as an example a murderer would receive the same harm as he had caused to the victim which would be death. That initiated the usage of boot camps and prison regimes in order to strike a “short, sharp shock” effect to the offenders. Martinson’s views were dictating that the majority of the funding should be focused towards the policing of communities with the use of CCTV, electronic tagging and alarms and invest less in the rehabilitation of offenders. The findings of Martinson were opposed by a number of academic staff with an example of Ross & Gendreau in 1979. Finally, Martinson pointed another important variable to the negative findings which was the poor research methodologies.

As every finding that is exhibited by a research, the findings of Martinson had a number of critics (Hollin, 1999). As the 1980s and 1990s were merged, a number of meta-analytic studies were published and started to show what actually worked in the process of reducing re-offending. These statistical techniques were utilized in order to review the results of a great number of primary studies and allowed the emergence of overall trends in the accumulated data. Such trends were analysed by A. Andrews and J. Bonta (Andrews and Bonta, 2010) who claimed that the findings of Martinson and his colleagues were inconclusive as they were rushed into publicity without thorough research. Due to this significant claim, Martinson and his colleagues were deemed unreliable. In the beginning, Andrews and Bonta claimed that negative results in the studies were accepted instantly and almost with no question. Moreover, they supported the idea that the way the research was carried out was to mainly stress any supporting researches to treatment by using pseudoscientific techniques such as “stressing the criterion problem”, “discounting the underlying theory” and “contaminating the treatment”. This group of techniques were described under the general term “Treatment Destruction” (Gottfredson, 1979 ) . Furthermore, Andrews and Banta claimed that Martinson and his colleagues modified the measurements to their advantage and as a result they published findings that were unreliable. According to Andrews and Bonta, there were also errors in the conceptualization of the research as a whole which meant that measurements were unreliable and is a possibility that it caused the absence of positive results.

To sum up, everything that was mentioned in the course of this chapter is a review upon the development of rehabilitation until the end of the 1990s. Martinson and his colleagues presented the results of their research which specified that the effects of rehabilitation are absent and dictated that the justice system should introduce a model of penalising that would treat the offenders with severity that would vary depending on their offence. On the other hand, there were a number of opposed critics that accused them for being unreliable during the process of conducting their research and modifying the variables to their advantage.

Chapter 3

Current Rehabilitation System

In the UK

3. Current rehabilitation system in the UK

In this chapter are going to be provided the modifications and additions that were made to the rehabilitation system since the beginning of the 2000s and the way they formed the system as we know it nowadays.

3.1 “Prison Rules”

The “Prison Rules” of 1999 essentially were a replacement of the rules of 1964 and conducted changes to the way of managing prisons which include the treatment of prisoners, the powers and duties of boards of visitors and the conduct of prison officers. This chapter will mainly focus on the prison rules that affect the prisoners and not the visitors or any other mentions. The new rules of 1999 are a set of changes to previous rules in order to bring them to modern standards. The prison rule 32 is an addition to the rule 29 of the 1964 rules which was made in order to provide the distance learning ability to the prisoners as the 1964 rule was only mentioning in-prison learning programmes. Additionally, under the rule 41 every inmate search should not be placed under the sight of a person of the opposite search. Moreover, the newly specified rule 51, dictated that any irregularities during a visit such as the providing of drugs and articles to the prisoners, should be punished and the term “in any way offends against good order and discipline” has been revoked. Finally, the rule 55 commanded that additional punishment shall not be added to a caution and 14 days of cellular confinement is the maximum days of a total award. Additionally, the Secretary of State has been given the power to order a specific set of guidelines for the punishment of a prisoner. To conclude, according to Iain Crow the rule 2 of the prison rules states that “At all times the treatment of prisoners shall be such as to encourage their self-respect and a sense of personal responsibility” (Crow, 2001).

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3.2 Social Exclusion Unit Report of 2002

As it was mentioned above, the target of rehabilitation is to reduce re-offending. Another report that played an important role to the modification of the justice system was the “Social Exclusion Unit Report” which was introduced in order to reduce the increasing rates of re-offending by ex-convicts and was commissioned by the Government in order to investigate what steps should be followed as to halt offending repetition. It also dictated that efforts for the rehabilitation of prisoners should be doubled in order to introduce them back to society effectively and it would be done by prison sentences not being made only to punish but also provide the convicts with the opportunity to reduce the chance of re-offending. Moreover, the Unit Report of 2002 stated that offenders are repeating offences because the prison sentences were not as effective as they should be.

A number of reasons for the increment of reconviction rates during the 1990s included the erosion to the system of support for short-term prisoners’ post-release, the changes to the prisoners’ benefit rules and the steep growth in areas that are defined by social exclusion such as inequality, child poverty and drug use. The report also introduced a series of key factors that affect the re-offending rates which are the mental and physical welfare, the education and employment of prisoners, the misuse of addictive substances (i.e. alcohol, drugs), the family networks and the life skills and financial support of prisoners.

The Social Exclusion Unit Report of 2002 not only stated the factors that cause the rise in re-offending rates but also made a number of recommendations which are the following:

A long-term National Rehabilitation Strategy should be introduced in order to approach rehabilitation and ultimately reduce re-offending.

Imprisonment should be applied only where necessary. Improvements to diversion schemes have to be made in-court in order to identify if an offender is mentally ill and specific actions should then be carried out such as mental health care. Additionally, there should be doubt over the overall value of short-term prison sentences as they might have negative effects recrudesce due to the lack of supervision after custody.

Housing and financial needs of newly released prisoners should be taken into account a national level. Furthermore, in order to further improve the accessibility to healthcare, housing, employment and education, a system for effective resettlement should be designed.

An increase in the variety of programmes that are available in the community is needed, as it will help with a number of aspects of the ex-prisoners such as mental health programmes, drug and alcohol treatment and education.

Each ex-prisoner should be treated in accordance to their circumstances and as a result if would offer a much improved effect to the rehabilitation of the ex-prisoners as each programme will be focused on their needs. These programmes will include a series of activities and support that will be devised by a case manager who will cover the entire sentence of the prisoner, during and after his or her imprisonment.

In conclusion, the Social Exclusion Unit Report of 2002 stated a lot of problems in the rehabilitation progress that was used until that time but also recommended key objectives that had to be fulfilled in order to improve the rehabilitation system and significantly reduce the re-offending rates for ex-prisoners and is best defined by “the best way of reducing re-offending is to ensure that prisoners on their release have the ability to get into work and a home to go to. In the remainder of this report, we investigate the current levels of provision of training, education and employment opportunities within prison, and of resettlement arrangements after release.” (Office, 2002)

3.3 The Carter Report of 2003

In March 2003 the Government authorized the businessman Patrick Carter in order to create an extensive review of the criminal justice system in England and Wales. The objective was to establish an effective system that would not only focus on reducing crime but also maintain the public confidence alongside being affordable.

The Carter Report was released to public in December 2003 that concluded that the increased usage of imprisonment and probation during the past decade reflected the increased severity of the sentences for specific offences rather than an increase in the overall seriousness of crimes that were brought to justice or the growth of the number of offenders being caught and sentenced -both remaining widely constant. Moreover, the Carter Report stated that while imprisonment is vital in order to protect the public, by incapacitating dangerous and persistent offenders, the increased use of imprisonment and probation has only a limited effect on offences and the evidence -which prove that the severity of sentences is a major factor for preventing crimes- are also severely limited. Another problem in the process of convicting offenders was pointed out by the report which described the process too focused on offenders with no previous sentences and failed to get to grips with highly persistent offenders. Additionally, the report stated that there were a lot systemic failures in the use of interventions in order to reduce re-offending because they were ineffectively targeted. These failures that were highlighted were the fact that short-term offenders are not staying in the same place and as a result can’t receive effective interventions which would reduce the chance of re-offending, the quality of the interventions that an offender is receiving varies greatly depending the prison establishment who is held and as the court often is not able to address the needs of the offender is being assigned with interventions that are not suited for his or her needs.

The Carter Report alongside the problems -which stated that existed in the criminal justice system- it introduced a number of new approaches that should be followed in order to deal properly with offenders with the core points being:

A National Offender Management Service (NOMS) should be established that would combine the functions of the present Prison and Probation Services and it should have two main core goals with the first being the punishment of offenders and the reduction of re-offending. It should be headed by a lone Chief Executive and based on evidence on what works in reducing re-offending and taking no account of whether the offender is sentenced with imprisonment or community service, it should be responsible for the successful management of the offender’s sentence.

A range of targeted and effective sentences should be created which will be enforced in robust way. Depending on the risk assessment of each offender, community punishments should become more intense and three levels of severity should be made available (Community Punishment, Intensive Supervision and Monitoring and Community Rehabilitation). Last but not least, community sentences for low-risk cases should be replaced with fines.

Based on sentencing guidelines, which are informed by evidence of what works in reducing re-offending and makes effective use of the existing capacity, the judiciary should take up a new role in managing probation demand and prisons and as a result ensure a better consistency of punishment practice.

As the findings of the Carter Report were very significant, the Government drew heavily on its recommendation that were focused on the improvement of the criminal justice system and the particular correctional services. As a result the Government started the implementation of the core proposals from the Carter Report into the Criminal Justice Act of 2003.

Chapter 4

Offending Behaviour Programmes (OBPs)

4. Offending Behaviour Programmes (OBPs)

A major part of Rehabilitation procedure is the establishing of Offending Behaviour Programmes that were designed in order to treat or improve the cognitive skills of the offenders and expect as an outcome the reducing of re-offending. These programmes were designed and offered to prisoners by the Prison Service during the early 90’s. This chapter will include several models of these programmes, as they are being categorized according to the type of the offence, the condition of the offender along with his psychological condition, his age or any addictions.

4.1 Psychological and Behaviour Issues

Grendon’s model is one of the most knows rehabilitation programmes in United Kingdom, as it was first established 40 years ago at the HMP of Grendon in Buckinghamshire. This programme aims to offer a treatment to offenders who suffer from psychopathy. At this point it has to be mentioned that the offenders volunteer to participate and they cannot be over 40. When the offenders are getting involved with Grendon’s system, are being divided into five groups, which are also known as ‘therapeutic communities’. Grendon’s model is still offers treatment to the offenders despite the lack of funding.

Another behaviour programme that aims to provide treatment to offenders with psychological issues is Democratic TC, which has several similarities to that of Grendon’s. This programme is designed to support offenders who suffer from either personality disorder or emotional needs. In order to address any psychological and emotional agitation, Democratic TCs offer round-the-clock ‘living-learning interventions’ for offenders whose primary criminogenic contingency factors should be targeted. In addition to the previous, it has to be stated that in several models, which are based on cognitive skills, some mentors of the interventions are offenders who have already completed the programme successfully. Such is ‘Kainos’ Rehabilitation programme, which is also known as ‘Challenge to change’. ‘Kainos’ is also a full time based model and aims to reduce criminogenic causes of offenders who have been judged as medium to high risked.

Behavioural programmes are also targeting to reduce re-offending through teaching the criminals to control themselves by improving their self-management skills. Such model is ‘Priestley One to One (Priestley OTO)’, which also aims to provide the offenders with the skill self-critic. In this case they are able to be responsible and understand the already committed crime and accept its consequences. It has to be mentioned that this programme is bounded only in community. Additionally, a widely known model is TSP, which stands for Thinking Skills Programme and works upon teach the offenders to achieve their goals without committing offences. In other words, it is based on self-management and personal coaching. Same target also has RESPOND, which is designed for prisoners who cannot work in groups, and offers the treatment individually.

4.2 Drug and Alcohol Misuse

Eighty per cent of people that are being imprisoned have significant issues that are related to either drug or alcohol. In a number of prisons, drug tests were carried out during reception and eight out of ten prisoners were found having class A drugs in their system. Drug misusers are committing a major proportion of the acquisitive crimes as, in drug tests that were carried out during reception, a good per cent of the offenders that were prosecuted for offences such as burglary and shoplifting had heroin, cocaine or other opiates in their system. The underlying problem is that most of these people have never received any help about their drug problem. The statistics stated that there is a need for programmes that will hel


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