Ex-criminals have a tough time transitioning back into society after having spent time in an offender rehabilitation facility. Firstly, not all of them have families to go back to. Time behind bars cuts communication with the family and a tremendous strain is placed on their relationship. Ours can be a very judgmental society. Because of the social stigma attached to an ex-offender rehabilitation patient, most people avoid any social dealings with them and are unwilling to offer any help.
This narrow-minded outlook towards offenders is of our own making. We lack the open-mindedness and tolerance for these individuals. When a family member commits a felony, the shame and stigma stays with him forever. We tend to be judgmental even after undergoing offender rehabilitation programs and are reluctant to give these offenders one more chance.
We probably ask ourselves, “Is rehabilitation of felony offenders possible?” Studies show that 90% or more of all offenders have previous criminal records. This clearly demonstrates that rehabilitation programs do not reduce recidivism rates. Studies indicate that failure to treat errors in their criminal thinking is the reason they don’t succeed. Criminal thinking leads to criminal behavior.
Some groups claim that rehabilitation programs for offenders are useless because these individuals have no hope of rehabilitation. It is embedded in their nature. You cannot hope to restore an individual into someone that he never was. Instead, authorities use the term habilitate rather than rehabilitate, which are different from each other. Criminal conduct is a reflection of a person’s moral fiber. An offender is habilitated by trying to change his vicious nature.
Juvenile offenders are also in danger. Rehabilitation centers and programs should take a deeper look at the rehabilitation for juvenile offenders. These young individuals stand a greater chance of being rehabilitated because of their age. They may need more specialized offender rehabilitation programs to ensure that they are able to go back and be productive members of society once more.