Two recent BBC Future articles provide compelling evidence that long-term incarceration is counterproductive to cost-effective Rehabilitation.

Below are pertinent extracts from Texas Justice Reinvestment

"In response to this work the Texas legislature adopted, and the governor approved, a budget that included greater treatment capacity in the prison system and the expansion of diversion options in the probation and parole system. A total of 4,500 new diversion beds and 5,200 new program slots were funded.  The final budget adopted by the legislature for the 2008–2009 biennium reflected an increase of $241 million in funding for additional diversion and treatment capacity. The expansion of these programs translated into a net savings of $443.9 million in the FY 2008–09 budget by reducing funding for contracted bed space and canceling funding for the construction of the new prison units originally proposed. The initiative has stabilized the growth of the Texas prison population. The increase in treatment capacity and intermediate sanction facilities funded by the initiative has helped to increase the number of people on probation connected to services and reduce the number revoked to prison. Looking at where Texas is today in the management of its state correctional policies in comparison to California, “be more like Texas” may not be a bad thing. Unlike in California, the actions of Texas policy makers has maintained the prison system operating within capacity, and, more importantly, has led to major strengthening in the treatment and community corrections system that should serve the state well in the future in terms of reducing correctional costs and improving public safety outcomes."

Rehabilitation need to follow the Restorative Justice models successfully implemented in -
A.    Scandinavia since the late 20th century,
B.    Texas Justice Reinvestment,
C.    San Pedro prisonBolivia - a prison with no locks; and
D.    San Patrignano, Northern Italy,

in particular Improving Responses to People with Mental Illnesses with Specialist Drug & Alcohol Treatment.

A report prepared by the Justice Center for the National Institute of Corrections, U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons titled Improving Responses to People with Mental Illnesses: The Essential Elements of Specialized Probation Initiatives (Oct identified the below 10 key components found in successful initiatives to improve outcomes for people with mental illnesses under probation supervision with specific recommendations to probation and mental health policymakers and practitioners for effectively responding to the U.S. population’s complex treatment and service needs while seeking to improve public safety and health.


 1 | Collaborative Planning and Administration

 2 | Defining, Identifying, and Assessing a Target Population

 3 | Designing the Initiative and Matching Individuals to Supervision and Treatment Options

 4 | Setting Conditions of Community Supervision

 5 | Developing an Individualized Case Plan

 6 | Providing or Linking to Treatment and Services

 7 | Supporting Adherence to Conditions of Community Supervision and Case Plans

 8 | Providing Specialized Training and Cross-training

 9 | Sharing Information and Maintaining Confidentiality

10 | Conducting Evaluations and Ensuring Sustainability


SOCIETY’S RESPONSE TO THE VIOLENT OFFENDER - Australian Institute of Criminology (First published in 1989, subsequently updated) explains from page 21 that options/treatments to "REHABILITATE " violent criminals is an exceedingly complex issue which has to be tailored according to the plethora of factors that influenced the particular crime.  These "exceedingly complex issues" to "REHABILITATE " violent criminals is an argument for re-introducing Capital Punishment for Sadistic, Brutal, Premeditated, Unprovoked Murderers.

"There’s a long history of psychological evidence that it becomes more difficult to rehabilitate prisoners over the age of 25,” Jones says. “But under 25, there’s a good chance.”  Vocational training, religious counselling and physical contact with their family – these are the elements that need to be in place if younger inmates are to be diverted from radicalism. “Virtually none of that is available in SuperMax.”

"In August 2016, the South Australian government released its ambitious objective of reducing recidivism by 10% by 2020. In an effort to achieve this target, offenders are required to have management plans which focus on rehabilitation and community integration through the term of their incarceration – not only at the end of it."

Below is an extract from the conclusion of How much does prison really cost? Comparing the costs of imprisonment with community corrections  -  Australian Institute of Criminology 2018

"Comparing the costs and savings for these two cohorts showed that, in the short-term, the imprisonment cohort incurred costs to the offender, government and wider community that were more than nine times those for the community cohort (Figure 4)."6


Rehabilitation Options for Violent Criminals

Rehabilitation programs to 'fix the criminal' as NSW abolishes suspended sentences

Alternatives to imprisonment: Community views in Victoria. Melbourne: Sentencing Advisory Council - Gelb K 2011