Prisons and rehab centers may sound a little bit different, but they both work together into bringing back minds that are astray from the normal societal life style. A prisoner also commonly referred to as an inmate is a person who is under confinement through forceful restraint. Rehabilitation means making fit again or re-enabling by giving someone another chance to do it right. Prison rehabilitation involves preparing prisoners to join their societies once again in a useful manner and in capacities of law-abiding citizens.
The origin of prison rehabilitation dates back to the 18th century, when prisons were known to have various elements of punishments that are combined with elements of rehabilitation. According to Michael Foucault, a famous French philosopher, punishment has shifted from the act of disciplining the body to the act of disciplining the soul. Penitentiaries are places considered fit to rehabilitate offenders and bring them back to the society. Reformers believed that keeping them aside from others in the society would allow them to think about their sins (House of Commons, Home Affairs Committee, 2004).
Keeping them in solitude is a process that is supposed to provide room for complete transformation without interference of their thoughts. Prison rehabilitation has gone through various changes; from one system to another. Many believe that the Pennsylvania system is however, better as it offered solitary confinement, silent contemplation and bible study. This system is considered good as it leads to complete redemption.
The new system called the Auburn system was developed to replace Pennsylvania system. In this system, prisoners are subjected to hard work and strict discipline to enable them to reason why they chose criminal path so that they can amend their ways. Disciplinary actions included severe corporal punishments no matter any type wrongs made. At this moment, prisoners were solely responsible for their rehabilitation because it was they were considered responsible for their mistakes and for avoiding God-fearing living styles.
During the 19th century, the penitentiaries allowed reformatory procedures to be initiated. These procedures attempted to rehabilitate prisoners by use of vocational training, educational training and quasi military regimes. Classification of prisoners was done through a given system so that individual treatment would be possible. In this reformatory system, prisoners gradually progressed through various graded stages based on their performance and conduct. These programs were so individual and personal such that prisoners would be released early to enjoy their liberty rights.
Even though these reformatory measures developed a great sense of rehabilitation in prison still there was physical punishment for those who did not conform to laid-down rules. During the same century, medical model was introduced due to ineffectiveness of the earlier reforms that advocated for physical punishment and labor. This model leads to introductions of new disciplines such as; psychology, psychiatry and criminology. These new scientific disciplines suggested that crime would be brought about defects related biology, psychology and physiology of an individual.
In this model, criminals were considered products of psychological and socioeconomic forces that are beyond their control. The model viewed crime as sickness that was curable only through the offender being rehabilitated. Due to rising crimes, this model was termed too soft by critics and this lead a rise of another system put forward by Martinson. This new system advocated for tough punishments that were supposed to be harsh and bring the offenders to conformity so easily.
Prisoner rehabilitation affects prisons and the general society in various ways. Different rehabilitation regimes around the world prefer given types of intervention for rehab in their centers. However, varying levels of offenses will require various types of interventions to deal with them. Prisons around the world are always faced with problems in cases where offenders have indulged in the extreme case scenarios which may require sophisticated treatments.
Prisons lately need to consider re-evaluating their facilities as to whether they can really handle rising and ever changing cases from prisoners. The general society looks at the prisons as their sole hope of making their loved ones normal and is able to rejoin the society in a better state. Every economy depends on its citizens and the society should be cared for by authorities so that more than half of the population contributes towards the overall growth and development.
When prisoners are, released the society faces the challenge of ensuring that rehabilitated minds do not go back to their crimes. Before releasing them to the society, rehabilitation should fully equip the prisoners to avoid loose ends. Need assessments should be done so as to identify the needs of the offenders.
This will enable offenders to be classified so as to allow correct intervention to be done. Provision of basic education will be required so that prisoners get better skills that can keep them busy and fruitful to the society. Prisoners’ behavior should be challenged by use of various cognitive skills programs. This will ensure correct treatment of substance abuse. In addition, prisoners require vocational training to enable them to improve their skills and be able to get better employment (Campbell, n.d.).
Finally, rehab centers needs to develop a very dependable resettlement scheme for released prisoners. This will ensure that when they are released they do not become so desperate to indulge in crimes. Creation of employment for such released prisoners can be a challenge, but prison centers can work together with the authorities so that prisoners get adequate training for those available jobs in the society.