chapter  1
The Rise and Fall of the Rehabilitative Ideal
ByRonen Ziv
Pages 19

Chapter 1 provides an overview of the emergence and impact of the rehabilitative ideal on the U.S. correctional system in three historical periods. First, during the 1800s, the rehabilitative ideal was discovered and built through a broad consensus that the correctional system had the capacity to reform offenders through a sincere and honest human intention. Second, for seven decades in the 1900s, the rehabilitative ideal became the dominant correctional ideology, shaping the development of the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems and being consolidated with the rise of modern “corrections.” Third, during the late 1970, the rehabilitative ideal came under withering attack, which resulted in a common idea that “nothing works” to change offenders. Fourth, over the final two decades of the 20th century, a countermovement slowly developed to reaffirm rehabilitation through the compilation of empirical evidence demonstrating that correctional programs were effective in reducing recidivism.