Correctional Education and its Impacts on Recidivism

Correctional Education and its Impacts on Recidivism. In the world today, the criminal justice system together with the community sentencing both serves the purpose of punishing and rehabilitating lawbreakers. However, these two systems are seldom effective in transforming criminal attributes and anti-social behaviors of the offenders into reduced levels which would enhance sustainable personal development. Effective sentencing can help maintain good order in the society where offenders are appropriately dealt with and consequently, the public would refrain from taking matters into their own hands.

Due to the rising incompetence of both the Criminal Justice system and community sentencing, a fresher approach has been developed which better addresses an effective way of managing the behaviors of offenders. The development and rehabilitation program, which is called the “Chrysalis Programme”, seeks to change and transform as well as equip the offenders with skills that would enable them to secure sustainable employment. The Chrysalis Programme concentrates on the motivating factors which compel offenders to break the law, tries to understand the offenders’ behaviors and habits, focuses on transforming the individuals to good and law-abiding citizens, and equips them with real and practical skills which would help them fit and co-exist with other members of the society in peace. The participants of this program are exposed to the learning modules where they are taught, challenged and mentored over a 12-month period. The outcome of this learning process is individuals who know themselves well and with improved literacy, interpersonal and communication skills. In addition to good citizenship, these individuals also acquire career-related skills which expose them to employment opportunities.

Correctional Education and its Impacts on Recidivism

Does Correctional Education Reduce Recidivism? Correctional education (CE) is a program which focuses on ways of reducing recidivism for offenders after their release from prison. In an attempt to understand the ineffectiveness of the CE programs, one research pointed out two possibilities; where one- the CE had little impacts on the subsequent actions and behaviors of the ex-offenders and second- it is extremely difficult to transform an individual’s tendencies to commit a crime.

 The current CE evaluation model does not provide clear evidence on how its implementation has helped reduce recidivism. This model is designed in an experimental way, with one treatment and one control group. Upon the release of individuals from prison, they are monitored over a period of 3 years and the results are used to determine their rate of recidivism. The model, however, lacks merit due to its violation of some key probability sampling assumptions and its inability to analyze the micro-level variables such as race which may also be cause for recidivism. While researching why CE methods fail to replicate findings, there are a number of factors to consider. First, the ambiguity surrounding the effective means of assessing the impacts of CE may partly be contributed by the lack of a clear definition for recidivism. These variations in the definition for recidivism have made it difficult for researchers to compare data obtained from one study to another, even though both cases measured some form of recidivism. Second, it is important to consider how effectively the instructors deliver education and training at the correctional facility. The level of quality brought in the classroom may differ from one state to another depending on the competence of the individuals hired to administer the program. Third, according to an educational theory, individuals perceive and process information differently based on heredity, upbringing, and current environmental demands.

From the above analysis, many researchers have found the traditional CE model ineffective through its methodology of measuring recidivism. A new research model has been suggested whose adoption would provide a broader analysis of the effects of the CE programs. The new Medical model does not only focus on the impacts of CE on the former inmates but also on their families and their communities. A reformed former offender with added knowledge and skills would successfully fit and offer an improvement in the community’s quality of life.

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