Rehabilitation

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  • The process and the goal of rehabilitating a criminal offender to become a law-abiding, productive citizen, one of the goals of the criminal justice system. Rehabilitation is a correctional perspective that emphasizes diagnosis, treatment, education, programming, and therapies rather than retribution and harsh punishment. Rehabilitationists believe that punishment should be used to transform people for the better, not harm them. The justification for this approach is utilitarian. A reformed person is believed to be a valuable and desirable outcome not only for the offender but also for society, as recidivism will be less likely and the community safer. Rehabilitation is a forward-looking, consequentialist philosophy in that it focuses on the future and the consequences of punish ment.

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