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Offender Rehabilitation: Examining Changes in Inmate Treatment Characteristics, Program Participation, and Institutional Behavior

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 29 Issue: 2 Dated: April 2012 Pages: 183-228
Alyssa Whitby Chamberlain
Date Published
April 2012
46 pages
This paper examines the criminogenic needs of offenders and how those needs have changed over time.
The efficacy of offender rehabilitation has been a topic of much debate over the past few decades. While much of the corrections literature has focused on program effectiveness, less attention has been placed on the expansion and delivery of services to incarcerated offenders, and whether the advances that have been made with regard to rehabilitation have changed the nature of treatment delivery to inmates. Using data from three time points collected as part of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) survey of State inmates, this paper examines the criminogenic needs of offenders and how those needs have changed over time, the role inmate needs play in driving participation in institutional programs, and whether inmates with unmet treatment needs commit a disproportionate number of institutional infractions. The results suggest that inmate needs have changed substantially over the past decade, with the most extensive needs concentrated in a small proportion of inmates. Consequently, correctional institutions are not always been able to match offenders to the appropriate services, which may have a direct impact on institutional safety. (Published Abstract)