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Criminologists\u27 Opinions On Correctional Rehabilitation

By Heather M Ouellette

Abstract

Over the last four decades, rehabilitation as a central goal of corrections has received much criticism. While opinion polls reveal the public is generally punitive, there is evidence that citizens also support the rehabilitation of offenders. It is less clear what contemporary criminologists think of rehabilitation. The current study seeks to address this gap in the literature in three ways. First, it replicates prior studies measuring public opinion on rehabilitation to assess criminologists\u27 overall support for rehabilitation. Second, it measures criminologists\u27 support for treatment in reference to a particular hypothetical offender utilizing a vignette design. Third, using a randomized experimental design, this study seeks to determine to what extent support for correctional treatment among criminologists is driven by offenders\u27 demonstrated criminogenic needs. The results of this study revealed that criminologists are highly supportive of rehabilitation as an essential component of our corrections system. An examination of both global and specific attitudes reveals this support for rehabilitation as being consistent. Furthermore, support for correctional treatment was driven by an offender\u27s demonstrated criminogenic needs in some, but not all, instances. The results of this study offer several implications for correctional programming and policy and are discussed

Topics: corrections, criminologists\u27 opinions, public opinion, rehabilitation, risk-need-responsivity (RNR) model, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Legal Studies, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Publisher: Scholar Commons
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:scholarcommons.sc.edu:etd-1614
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