Criminal Minds: the Psychology of Crime

Crime Victims
Nature vs Nurture
The Criminal Mind
Spree Shooters
Law Enforcement
Death Penalty

The Criminal Mind: Is Rehabilitation Possible?

Throughout History, Some Believed A Person's'
Phrenology: Lombroso Skull Chart circa 1910
Criminal Tendencies Could Be Determined By Looking at Them

Criminal Rehabilitation

In America, the best way to treat law-breakers is largely determined by political thinking. The following is from Conservapedia--The Trustworthy Encyclopedia:

Criminal rehabilitation refers to attempts to improve criminals morally or psychologically so that they do not commit more crimes. This rehabilitation may be carried out in prisons or, subsequent to their release, in so-called "halfway houses" or while they mingle with society at large.

Liberals believe that this is an appropriate goal for society to pursue, while conservatives doubt its effectiveness. [1]

Rehabilitation is commonly the basis of the criminal justice system in Denmark and Sweden. Despite pessimism as to its effectiveness, or even a possible causal connection, Denmark and Sweden have some of the lowest crime rates in the Western World.

Mental illness is often a mitigating factor in criminal behavior. Treatment of the mentally ill within the criminal justice system is sketchy at best, and also varies from facility to facility. Such may have been the case in the following attack with a sword and a guitar:

Crime and Mental Illness
Jason Gay Attempted Murder with Sword and Guitar
Courtesy Mugshot Roundup

Effective Correctional Treatment or Correctional Rehabilitation

Other approaches are based on years of research in the field of social and criminal psycology. The Psychology of Criminal Conduct (PCC)

"emerged as the brainchild of Canadian Researcher Don Andrews in the 1980s, and is based on 7 essential criteria.

  • It is Empirical
  • It is Ethical
  • It is Practical
  • It Identifies Criminal Covariates
  • It is based on Social Learning Theory
  • It uses Explanatory Models
  • It involves Individual Differences"

The treatment of prisoners, opportunities for rehabilitation and goals of imprisonment vary on a state-by-state and county-by-county basis. Some states allow prisoners to engage in work programs where they make products which can be sold to earn a small income for the prisoner. Others have programs where dogs are trained to aid the blind or otherwise-impaired. But for the majority of prisoners, endless days of boredom, with no opportunity for meaningful contribution, much less to pay their debt to society, exists within their prison programs.

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