Ineffective Rehabilitation Strategies

Despite expansive research acknowledging the importance of evidence-based practices that emphasize the need to target the known predictors of crime, many practitioners continue to implement strategies that are ineffective (i.e., produce no effect) or even potentially cause greater harm to offenders than good (i.e., increase recidivism). The term correctional quackery, applied to ineffective rehabilitation strategies, describes programs developed without consideration of existing knowledge of the causes of crime or of methods of other successful programs that have positively affected offender behavior. This concept suggests that agencies dismiss evidence-based practices in favor of common sense, personal experience, and tradition when determining how to manage offenders. Furthermore, practitioners often turn to programs that target factors unrelated to recidivism (e.g., low self-esteem, lack of creativity, and dieting). This ...

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