Otago Daily Times 23/07/2009
Jennifer E. Walsh is a professor of political science at Azusa Pacific University in Los Angeles County, California. She was recently in New Zealand as a guest of Sensible Sentencing Trust and Family First NZ.
If you do the crime, you must do the time and such policies are paying off in the United States….in the first part of the 20th century, many state lawmakers embraced the “medical model” of crime by replacing punishment with treatment, changing the name of prisons to “correctional facilities”, and referring to offenders as “clients” instead of “inmates”. Such humane treatment was heralded by academics, practitioners, and liberal policymakers who had long decried the punitive nature of the American penal system.
However, after much analysis, researchers made a startling discovery about the rehabilitation approach: it did not work. Crime actually increased during the rehabilitation era, and offenders who had been treated and released were often the first to reoffend. Not surprisingly, the policy pendulum in many states soon began to swing the other way.