WHAT ARE THE ORIGINS OF PRISONER REHABILITATION.
Despite its barbaric origins in the medieval dungeon and torture chamber, since the late 18th century prisons have combined elements of punishment with elements of rehabilitation. [ As the French philosopher Michel Foucault put it, punishment shifted over time from the disciplining of the body to the disciplining of the "soul".
In 1779 the British Government passed the Penitentiary Act, which
made the rehabilitation of criminals a function of all prisons. Since then, while imprisonment has remained the central form of punishment in the criminal justice system, the emphasis on correction rather than punishment has steadily increased.
Rehabilitation techniques vary according to the nature of the offender, the type of offence committed, and the institution in question.
Techniques vary from educational and vocational training to help the offender learn a skill for use outside the prison, to psychological rehabilitation, dealing with various problems the individual offender may experience. Drug-addicted prisoners can also receive treatment for their condition in some prisons.
Rehabilitation takes place both inside prison, and in some cases, once an offender has been released, on Resettlement Programmes. Help continues to be provided in these circumstances by the Probation Service and other agencies, either as a condition of their early release, or to ease the transition into the community.
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