Nathan A Walker
Robin Marmon

In the United Sates, the correctional system oversees over 7 million people all together, while all 7 million are not in prison a majority of them are on probation, parole etc. The correctional system has a hard job watching over so many felons at once. Since the start of the prison system in the early 1800's the number one goal has been to punish those who have committed crimes. At the same time trying to rehabilitate the same people so they stay out of the system and go on to live the life of a functioning human being or as someone that is not a felon would say "Live the American dream." Certain time's the rehabilitation process has seen positive results, but like everything it is not perfect. The method of rehabilitation is comparable to medical methods, like if someone is sick you figure out what's wrong with them and you treat them with the necessary medicine. The same practice is done within the corrections system which is why rehabilitation is also considered to be treatment. Until the mid-70's rehabilitation was a key policy of the corrections system the prison system would focus on substance abuse issues and psychological problems that the offenders had so when their time was up they could reintegrate back into society with no problems, since then the corrections system has focused its energy on a "get tough on crime" approach that focuses more on punishment than rehabilitation. The results have been stunning and has seen an increase in prisoner population since.
The first major goal of rehabilitation is retribution, if someone commits a crime there must be a punishment so that the offender is paying back society and the scales of justice are then balanced. What happens when that offender has served his time and gets out early? Usually the offender is put on parole and put out into society. The effects on the public can be horrific if an inmate gets out on parole and has not been rehabilitated, the offender gets out on the streets and has no plan. With no plan, the offender usually goes back to what got them there in the first place, crime. With the costs of programs going up and the budget going down in the prison system more and more rehabilitation programs are being cut and offenders are left out to dry. Not only does the offender pay the price but the public pays the ultimate price in the end. Inside the prisons the inmates get aggravated by programs being cut. Imagine being locked up for 10 years, the first 3 years you are mad and angry at society, you want to blame everybody but yourself for being locked up. After the long 3 years of being mad and angry you finally start to see the bigger picture and you want to turn your life around. The first thing you do to better yourself is enroll in as many programs as possible, you start feeling better about yourself then the programs that were supposed to rehabilitate you are cut, and now you are stuck back in the same situation as before feeling hopeless and angry again. Rehabilitation programs in my opinion are the most important aspect of the prison system. Unless you want these offenders in the revolving door of criminal justice programs are important. Another factor inside the prisons is if the programs go away that leaves way for the gags to fill the void and that leads nowhere.
Parole is a conditional release program that is aimed towards inmates getting out early for good behavior and the looks at what have they done to better themselves in prison? Once out on the condition of parole the offender is assigned a parole officer and given lots of rules that they must abide by and if a rule is broken the offender will go back to prison to serve his or her remaining time on their sentence.
Mandatory release is when the offender is given a date to be released and then put on parole. Things like good time served are taken into this equation to determine when that date will be. After being released the offender