Deterrence Essay, Research Paper

Deterrence is a view that is used in hope that it will discourage other from committing illegal acts. The idea is that rehabilitation is intended to restore offenders to a constructive role in society. Many prison throughout the United States have been experiencing the problem of over crowdedness. Developments such as probation, parole and indeterminate sentencing are provided to help in deterrence. The programs must aim to change those who want to change. This kind of program would provide skills and replace the sense of hopelessness that many inmates have. However evidenced shows that rehabilitation program do not substantially reduce recidivism.

Almost all Judges sentence in the hope that the offender will be rehabilitated, when rehabilitation programs are at a minimal or none existent. The problem is trying to determined weather intensive pre-release planning, housing, employment, or aftercare program effect the offender adjustment back into society. Some believe that if we want to rehabilitate criminals we must do more than just send them to prison; for instance, we could give them a chance to acquire job skills; which will improve the chances that inmates will become productive citizens upon release. The problem is trying to determine under what condition do pre release programs work if they work at all.


This study will analyze whether intensive prerelease planning for housing or employment affect the ex-convict to adjustment back into society. This study has been design to measure four hypotheses:

The higher pre-release-planning programs the more likely the ex-convict will find placement for housing and employment.

The more intensive prerelease housing and employment the more likely ex-cons will adjust to society.

Those who serve less time have prerelease training, and participation in aftercare program, are less likely to re offend.

The more time the inmate’s serve with no prerelease training the less likely they are to adjust to society and find housing and employment.

The argument against those who serve less time, have prerelease training, and participate in after care programs are more likely to adjust to society is a strong argument.

Griffith and Hiller measure the effectiveness of in prison treatments follow by residential after care in reducing recidivism and improving parole out comes. Griffith study was extended to community based programs and Griffith & Hiller’s Hypotheses are: (a) individuals who completed both prison and community based components of treatment (b) completed prison based treatment but did not complete aftercare and (c) belonged to an untreated match comparison group. (Griffith 355) All Griffith analysis is based on a three-year program. Griffith & Hiller ’s hypothesis is very close to my hypotheses which states: Those who serve less time, have prerelease training, and participation in after care programs a more likely to adjust.

There are a number of methods that Griffith & Hiller used to help parolees. After the parolees meet a certain set of qualifications they are monitored for three months in residential aftercare. Gender, age education level, criminal history and recidivism risk are variables used to measure the cost effectiveness these variables are used to help determine how much it will cost to house offenders.

One fact I forget to measure was the cost of providing housing and employment for offenders after release. In my design I did not include any of these factors. Griffith included: Personnel, rent, utilities, contracts, administrative overhead, food, health care, and state paid benefits like insurance (Griffith 358). The researcher included resources that the program provides court services supervision counseling and referrals to education vocational and employment services.

As a result those who did not receive in prison treatment or after care is less costly and less likely to adjust (Griffith 361). However high risk parolees are more like to adjust after completing the programs, against those who do not enter the program and those low risk offender who do not complete the program.

Conversely, those who were married and employed, arrest deterred subsequent violence (Smith 1992 p. 685) In contrast to the article stated above, Berk, Campbell, Klap, and Western researched and examined the same topic, using the same data. In the Milwaukee and Dade county experiments, there are suspects who are “good risks” and suspects who are “bad risks.” An arrest may benefit victims of good risks and harm victims of bad risks (Berk 1992, p.699). The findings in each of the regions studied suggest that individuals subject to informal social controls are “good risks” and individuals not subject to such control are “bad risks.” Good risks seem to be deterred by arrest, while bad risks are more likely to repeat offend. The key “risk” indicators are employment status and marital status (Berk 1992 pp. 700-702).

“The more intensive prerelease housing and employment the more likely ex-cons will adjust to society” A second Hypothesis developed from the idea that some people are socially acceptable or do not they take part in society. Employment status and marital status are indicators, and do not directly measure the strength of social attachments.

.Munden Tewksbury & Grossi Purpose of the article ” Intermediate sanction and the halfway back program in Kentucky” is to be concern with regards to the recidivism rates of offenders in the community and the development of intermediate sanctions. The goal of the Half Back Program is to help Provide a second alternative for non-violent Inmates. Munden Tewksbury & Grossi Hypothesis claims those who complete the pre release programs are no more likely to adjust than those who do not complete the program. The article also suggest that the failure ” of these demographic and criminal history variables as predictor of a successful program completion point, there is a need to reconsider the criteria that are used to select offenders for placement in such programs.” (Munden Tewksbury & Grossi 444.)This hypothesis contradicts my thought towards pre release programs I stated that the more intensive prerelease housing and employment the more likely ex-cons would adjust to society.

Munden Tewksbury & Grossi Method is used to determine if there is a relationship between offenders who successfully completed the halfway program and those who don’t. Some independent variables Munden Tewksbury & Grossi used were from different aspects of probations and parole. He measured demographics, criminal conviction, criminal history, race, age, education level, employment status, and marital status. (Munden Tewksbury & Grossi 438-439) Munden also measured length of sentencing prior conviction, in my study I don’t see the importance of marital status; however I do measures age, race, gender, employment length of sentencing and training. “The average age of paroled male 34.1 ranging from 22-62. 68% non- white and 67% never employed 66 had completed high school or received an GED, 44% married and 25% divorced 31% were married or cohabitating (Munden Tewksbury & Grossi 439).

The Demographic and education variables did not influence the program completion rate. The age and number of parole seem to influence the programs; there is a need to re-consider the selection process in which an inmate is selected for the program. In my study I felt a need to measure demographic and education in helping to determine if there is a correlation between education and demographic status. However, Munden Tewksbury & Grossi article shows no correlation between education and demographic.

Yeboah’s article “The evaluation of New Zealand’s Habilitation Centre’s Pilot Programme” was very similar to my stated hypothesis: the more intensive prerelease housing and employment the more likely ex-cons will adjust to society.

The Purpose of the program was brought to New Zealand in 1995.The habilitation Centre’s pilot programme programs are structured to provide residential programs to help gave the offenders some since of community acceptances. Broadhurst (1991) and Motiuk (1995) suggest ” the need for supportive family and other social environments”, and how negative family variables can be significantly associated with return to prison and role violation. Yeboah’s Hypothesis is: The greater amount of family support and the grater amount of time spent in the program the higher the success for rehabilitation.

Some requirements used by Yeboah were; Eligible inmates must be serving a year or more. Yeboah uses methods such as face-to-face interviews and telephone interviews, his outstanding variables are; age, length of prison, residency s and participation. Yeboah uses all the same variables that I felt were important when designed my research. ” I believe that the more intensive training the more likely for the adjustment. (Hartman 1994) provided evidence that there is a like between pre-release programs and recidivism rates.

Yeboah’s evaluation produce mixes results. The youngest was 21 and the oldest was 43, with the largest groups being of the age 25-34. “Most resident stated clearly that the program was assisting them to reintegrate into the community after a term of imprisonment.” The rate of recidivism was 77%, but if you drop out those who spent less than 3 months the rate drooped to 55% which mean s the rate of recidivism is lower for those who successfully completer the program. This study shows the there is a link between rehabilitation programs and recidivism.

Unlike what Yeboah said Jernigan & Kronick studies makes the point that the more you watch the more you catch. This idea is supports my third hypothesis: The more time the in-mates serve with prereleases training, and do not receive aftercare the less likely they are to adjust to society and find housing and employment. In The article

“Intensive parole the more you watch the more you catch” Jernigan & Kronick helps to determine what the probability of success intensive parole supervision might have as an alternative to further incarceration.

55 people participated in this study over a six-month period. All 55 were placed on parole. 26 of the people were new paroled, 24 were already on parole. During the study the parolee received community housing and mission residences. Some variables with in my hypothesis measures the length of time, weather or not the inmate receive some type of training, housing or employment. Jernigan & Kronick use similar dependent variables such as: the number of employed parolees those who has received a warrant while on parole, and those who commit a new crime. (Jernigan & Kronick 71)

During Jernigan & Kronick studied there was only one variable the showed an effect between the study groups was what type of parole violation occurred. After the analyzing of ISP groups it was indicated that the programs do affect the rate of repeat offenders but can easily be influenced. The actions of the parole officer can change the measurements by what they do and do not report. AA meetings do show a higher rate of adjustments and lower rate of recidivism when completed the program.

The last hypothesis that developed out of the study is weather: The more time the inmate’s serve with no prerelease training the less likely they are to adjust to society and housing. Hanlon, Nurco, Bateman & O’Grady, studied the response of drug abuser parolee to a combination of treatment and intensive supervision. This study measured the amount of treatment and the amount of time the parolee remained employed. Hanlon, Nurco, Bateman & O’Grady questioned the fact of weather drug use has effects of the rate of recidivism. I did not think to ask about my subject’s drug uses and I did not originally factor those possibilities into my design. Hanlon, Nurco, Bateman & O’Grady (1991) cited work, “which involved the post incarceration behavior of 355 addicts who had an average addiction career of 13 years. For these individuals 78% of 318 incarceration episodes of 1 month or longer were followed by re-addiction within 1 month and 88% by re-addiction within a year. (Hanlon, Nurco, Bateman & O’Grady 32).

Participant in this program are between 18 and 60. The variables the Hanlon, Nurco, Bateman & O’Grady use were the same as the variables I’m using to create my design. They looked at demographics, ethnicity, background, education, family background, martial and employment status, and drug history. Most participants between the ages of 24-28 had some type of problematic background, came form families that were dysfunctional, 64% were on welfare, 44% had a drinking and or drug problem 52% had at least one member who was involved in criminal activity and 25% ran away form home. 88% were African American 12% were white and 79% men and 21% female. (Hanlon, Nurco, Bateman & O’Grady 35)

The success rate of this study show there is a higher success rate among the older participants and more female success than failures. However the study was inconclusive because of the false self-reports. Participants tend to report a high rate of employment, steady housing, and no drug usage; after urinalysis the success rates drop from 58%success to 82% failures. (Hanlon, Nurco, Bateman & O’Grady 37) But the also relates back to Jernigan & Kronick article state that the more you watch the more you catch.

A forth hypothesis suggests that: The higher pre-release-planning programs the more likely the ex-convict will find placement for housing and employment.

MacKenzie, Browning, Skroban, Smith article; “The impact of probation on the criminal activities of offenders focuses on the self-reporting and the declined of criminal activity”. The design is to examine changes in a criminal over a period of time. An evaluation claimed the ISP was associated the reduction in most criminal activities. ” the primary objective of the research was to examine the impact of probation on the criminal activities of offenders and the relationship between these activities and technical violation, conditions of probation and the knowledge and actions of the probation officers.” (MacKenzie, Browning, Skroban, Smith426)

One hundred and twenty six offenders participated in the sample. All of the offenders had been convicted of felonies. These participates were not group at all, all there ages varied, no one was provided with community housing or employment, the only requirement was to report to their assigned parole officers. This report contradicted my hypothesis; the article suggested that all the rates could differ depending whether the estimates were based on rates during the time that the offenders were on probation or when they were not, or if they are reported. Only 107 participants could be contacted a year later, this was due to the lack of contact through mail and phone. This may indicate that the parolee’s do not have a stable home or cannot afford a phone. This will cause the number of offenders who may be on probation may be much lower than before. However MacKenzie, Browning & Skroban, Smith do suggest that probation do helps depending on what type of probation and the relationship between the parole officer and the parolee.

A Corbett Jr. and Petersilia article ” Up to speed” discusses the intensive rehabilitation of supervision. These programs lighten the caseloads for the probation officers. This program contradicts the ISP program that deals with a lot of home confinement, electronic monitoring, and drug testing. The rehabilitation program will allow the offenders to suffer fear of punishment. . Meaning the offender will less likely violation probation or parole since the monitoring is less frequent and the chance of violating is less. This is because the offender could be “scared straight”. This study shows that punishment is effective in suppressing behavior under a limited set of conditions.

(Corbett Jr, Petersilia 73). However for punishments to be effective it must be immediate, at maximum intensity and always contingent upon the disapproved behavior, states Corbett Jr and Petersilia 73).

The results of this study show that treatment will more likely be effective when successfully match with the level of risk of the offenders. Although some programs prove to be successful the problem remain in identifying which offenders are helped by intensive rehabilitation programs.

Berk-Richard-A; 1992 The deterrent effect of arrest in incidents of domestic violence: a Bayesian

analysis of four field experiments American-Sociological-Review, 57, (5), pp. 698-708..

David P. Munden, Richard Tewksbury, Wlizabeth L. Grossi (1982) Intermediate sanction and the halfway back program in Kentucky. CJPR vol. 9 no 3&4 P. 431-449

David Yeboah; The evaluation of New Zealand’s Habilitation Centre’s Pilot Programme (May/Jun 2000) Journal of Criminal Justice; New York p.227-235

D.E. Jernigan R.F. Kronick; Intensive parole the more you watch the more you catch Journal of offender rehabilitations, 1992vol.17 (314), pp.65-76

Doris Layton Mackenzie Katharine Browning Stacy Skroban Douglas smith: The impact of probation on the criminal activities of offenders November 1999; Journal of research in crime and delinquency vol 36 no.4 p 423-453

James D. Griffith, Matthew L. Hiller Kevin Knight Dwayne Simpson (1999) A Cost Effectiveness analysis of in-prison therapeutic community treatment and risk classification. The Prison Journal Vol. 79 NO.3 P 352-368

Nancy J Tombs, Brent Benda, Robert Flynn Corwyn; recidivism among Arkansas boot camps graduates after 12 months. Journal of offender rehabilitation vol 26 1997 pp.141-160

Smith-Douglas-: Sherman-Lawrence-W 1992 A Crime, punishment, and stake in conformity: legal and informal control of domestic violence American-Sociological-Review, 57, (5), pp. 680-690.

Thomas Ellsworth Ralph a Weisheit June 1997; The supervision and treatment of offenders on probation understanding rural and urban differences. The prison Journal vol 77 pp. 208-228

Thomas Hanlon, Richard Bateman, Kevin O’Grady, 1998;The response of drug abuser parolees to a combination of treatment and intensive supervision, The prison journal vol 78 no 1 March pp31.44

William R Smith D. Randall smith the consequences of error1998: recidivism prediction and civil – libertarian ratios Journal of criminal justice Vol 26 no.6 pp. 481-502

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