Sociology and Anthropology
Corrections; Rehabilitation; Criminal Justice; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; Family Life Courses; Employment Courses
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Rehabilitation has been a staple of the prison system in the United States since the 1700s. The idea that a criminal could be resocialized into a functioning individual in society has been the basis of the prison systems since they first began. Rehabilitation is always evolving in the criminal justice system and being improved to have more impact on recidivism rates. In this project, I examine the cultural and structural explanations for different forms of rehabilitation over time. I found that rehabilitation at various points has been influenced by religious, medical, psychiatric, and sociological understandings of crime.
Currently, rehabilitation combines both psychiatric and sociological concepts while implementing programs. I researched common practices, in both the community and prison setting, to understand why and how they are effective. To compliment the academic research, I sought out practioners’ expertise on rehabilitation. I interviewed key personnel who work with rehabilitation programs in Rhode Island’s Department of Corrections, to obtain a professional understanding of rehabilitation. Based on research and interviews, I propose a hypothetical program utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy and parenting programs to effectively reduce recidivism rates.