One of the more recent and much discussed objectives of criminal law is rehabilitation. One of the primary goals of penal laws is to teach an individual who has taken part in detrimental behavior that his or her actions were wrong. Rehabilitation aims at changing a dangerous criminal into someone who can benefit society.
If rehabilitation efforts are successful, then a criminal will be able to reside in a community without posing a threat to the well-being of the people around them.
Based on this philosophy, penal laws should be utilized in order to ensure that convicts are given the tools and knowledge that they need in order to avoid committing further offenses. Rehabilitation aims at providing criminals with the treatment that they need in order to return to public life as a forthright and honorable individual. The philosophy of rehabilitation has been very controversial since its inception in the 19th Century.
A very common and widespread mentality is that penal laws have been established in order to provide punishment to individuals who have disregarded the law and caused harm to other people. However, punishment does not provide convicts with the resources that they need in order to create an honest future once they are released from prison.
In many cases, individuals who are punished for their actions under penal laws through fines and imprisonment develop resentment and bitterness. These individuals may return to society as angry people and may be more likely to become repeat offenders.
Effective rehabilitation will teach criminals that their behavior was wrong and it will reincorporate them into the community as individuals who can contribute to society. Therefore, rehabilitation is perceived as more successful at decreasing the likelihood of repeat offenses than punishment and deterrence.
Tulane University has developed a program in which they practice rehabilitation on individuals who have been incarcerated or punished for violating penal laws. This program is run by individuals who have once been imprisoned for committing crimes.
It provides ex-convicts with therapy and education that will help them to acknowledge the consequences and the cruelty of their actions. It will also supply them with assistance finding employment and occupational training so that they have the tools that they need to develop a successful future.
Individuals who have a means of maintaining a steady income will not need to partake in criminal activity for their livelihood. The research that has been done about this program has found that the criminals who took part in the rehabilitation were exceedingly less likely to become repeat offenders than ex-inmates who did not take part in the project. It is true that this philosophy will not be effective on every individual who has disregarded penal laws.
Some criminals have committed themselves to a life of crime and no amount of counseling and training will help these individuals to be successfully reinstated into the community as beneficial members of society. Individuals who do not want to be helped and who do not want to change will continue to take part in criminal activity. However, many ex-convicts can benefit a great deal from rehabilitation.