Which Criminals Can Be Rehabilitated?
Imprisoning convicted criminals serves two primary purposes: (1) to increase the safety of the public by quarantining unlawful offenders, and (2) to rehabilitate those who are incarcerated through punishment. Point 1 is fairly straightforward, but point 2 may be food for thought. Recidivism rates in America have been trending upward, from around 63% in 1983 to around 77% now.
This presents a peculiar contrast to the 40% decrease since 1983 in overall crime. Unfortunately, I haven’t a clue what the correlation is in these statistics (my best guess is that the fringe wrongdoers have “turned things around” while the hard-core offenders remain unmoved). We will, however, examine which criminals are more likely to fly right and which ones are, as far as our justice system is concerned, beyond rehabilitation.