1. In regards to how this introduction helped to point out some of the differences that can be found within the correctional system between just a prison sentence and an alternative correctional policy. I am interested to learn over the next few weeks about just how our justice system has evolved in this manner and the steps that are being taken towards rehabilitation and restorative justice rather than simply retributive and restitutional justice. Let me pose this question to the class: do you feel that any criminal, no matter their crime, can be helped and rehabilitated through the use of therapy in the correctional system?
2. Employment and substance abuse are the two most significant predictors of recidivism. A good support system also can make a big difference. But, if an offender does not have good family/social supports, how can he or she develop a better network?
3. Many young people need a mentor. Offenders getting out of prison need someone to help them make the difficult changes that they must make to succeed. Who can help them?
4. Some states are beginning to reevaluate their punishment strategies. For example, does it make sense to send drug offenders, even minor drug offenders to prison, when what they need most of all is treatment?
5. No matter how high the quality of our programs, if an offender does not want to change, he or she will not change. Part of our challenge in corrections is to try and convince offenders of the need to change. For example, if someone repeatedly gets in trouble because of drug use, how would you try to convince this person that getting off and staying off of drugs can lead to a better life?
6. regarding the evolution from the penal system to what we now know as the corrections system. In the corrections system, as we have discovered in our text from this chapter, the goal of corrections is not simply to punish offenders. The goals have shifted and changed over the years as we have gained more insight and knowledge into the minds of offenders and developed a more in depth perspective of what society needs on a whole. That being said, the new, or rather updated, goals of corrections seems to focus more on the rehabilitation side of the spectrum. Class, what do you think of this change? Do you agree with this view?
7. Even if a young offender steals a car, is prison the best option? Why?
8. Punishment was the first mission of corrections. This has evolved over time to include rehabilitation. Recidivism has been a problem for a long time. Some states have rates at or near 50%, which means that half of all released prisoners are back in prison within three years after their release. In fact, recidivism is one of the greatest contributors to continued high prison populations. What can corrections do to address this problem?