Change is possible for everyone. Even people in prison can change for the better and become good and productive citizens. However, doing so requires a little sacrifice and help from concerned agencies. That is why prison rehabilitation programs were created.
Many criminal rehabilitation programs for prisoners are widely available around the world. Each of these programs target groups of people with specific needs for reform and provides information about various aspects of life. This is useful for getting inmates acclimated to life outside the prison system. Here are some of the most renowned rehabilitation programs:
- Educational rehabilitation programs. Prison reform educational programs are those that involve allowing the inmates to obtain an academic degree or vocation. Any courses available in universities and colleges are also available for prisoners. With offering education in prison, these man and women are given the chance to have a better future outside of the system by becoming equipped with the necessary knowledge to go on. Aside from earning degrees, prisoners can also take simpler training courses such as cooking, repairing computers, or creating recycled crafts. Prisoners who have undergone this rehabilitation program also receive help with their job applications when they are released. They are usually given recommendation letters so that they can find work despite their criminal record.
- Religious prison rehabilitation programs. Religious rehab programs involve teaching different religious beliefs to inmates. The beliefs to be taught usually depend on the country's major religion. But most prisons allow teaching of different religions like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism to cater for every inmate's personal religious beliefs. Supporters of religious rehabilitation programs also believe that the prisoners' souls should be healed, too, after their dark past. Through having a positive perspective in their lives, the prisoners have hopes for a better life. They also tend not to abuse the chances given to them. Interestingly, some of the prisoners who take religious rehabilitation programs become religious leaders themselves.
Prison rehabilitation programs were not actually created to reduce criminal rate. Instead, these programs aim to reduce re-offences. The programs have proved to be effective since the percentage of re-offences has dropped. In the United Kingdom, for example, adult re-offences dropped to 13% while the juvenile re-offences decreased to 1.5%. Their programs' success is expected to go on. Other rehabilitation programs in other parts of the world have almost the same results.
However, not all prison rehabilitation programs are successful. Some countries did abuse their programs and made these work only to the personal advantage of some. There were also some ineffective rehabilitation programs in the US during the early 1970s. The government almost gave up providing rehabilitation programs then.
That is why the effectiveness of one program commonly relies on the administrators. Careful planning and intensive studies and training for those who will work for rehabilitation programs are needed. Above all, the genuine interest to help offenders should be there. Without this, it is almost impossible to get positive results.
It is true that prisoners can choose to change all by themselves. But giving them a hand is a lot better. Almost all prisoners who are thinking about changing don't know how to start anew. By providing prison rehabilitation programs, they will be enlightened that a brighter future still awaits them.