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Week 5 Discussion - Essay Example

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Correctional psychology aims to help offenders acquire good morals that can allow them re-integrate back into the community and to learn ways of avoiding reconviction. Determining the effectiveness of offender intervention programs can be process-based or outcome based. However,…
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Roles and Efficacy of Correctional Psychology Correctional psychology aims to help offenders acquire good morals that can allow them re-integrate back into the community and to learn ways of avoiding reconviction. Determining the effectiveness of offender intervention programs can be process-based or outcome based. However, this analysis explores effectiveness of correctional psychology based on the outcome of the program, and some of the treatment modalities that foster the realization of positive results from such a program, both in the short- and long-term durations.
Helfgot and Meloy (2013) analyze some of the major approaches effective in offender psychology, and affirm that the process has been successful in criminal psychology since its introduction in the past century. Some of these modalities include:
- Motivation Enhancement Therapy, MET, a client-centered, semi-directive method that entails use of intrinsic motivation to bring about a change in behavior through the development of discrepancy and resolving ambivalence that exist in the offender. In addition to being non-adversarial and non-confrontational, the approach is also non-judgmental, making it ideal for use in offender psychology.
- Behavioral therapy- this method focuses on the external and environmental factors that affect the behavior of the offender. It aims at enabling the offender to learn new ways of responding to such factors in a safer way, hence avoiding committing another crime. The approach employs such intervention means as systemic desensitization, operant conditioning as well as implosive therapy to induce the desired behavior change.
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy, CBT, a method that aims at enabling the offender identify the thought distortions that lead to distress, and which eventually make them elicit immoral or criminal activities.
Employing the above-mentioned methods in correctional psychology has two major objectives, preventing recidivism among offenders and laying ground for social reintegration of the offenders. The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (2012) report provides an analysis of these objectives, and explores the importance of these practices in not only changing the lives of the offenders, but also in cultivating a society with minimal if not zero levels of crime incidents.
Correctional psychology imparts a behavior change in the offenders to enable them avoid practices or set of reactions that make them commit similar offences once they are done serving their terms in correctional facilities, the process termed recidivism. Additionally, the knowledge gained forthwith is also crucial to the development of socially acceptable way of life that is in line with the norms of the society, hence making the reformed offender have easy association with the community.
Given the success record so far realized through correctional psychology, it is evident that its existence is sustainable, and ought to be intensified in all aspects. The foreseeable course of correctional psychology is creation of a larger pool of psychologists to make access of the services more available, and continued integration into behavior change treatment, especially in correctional facilities.

References
Helfgott, J. B., & Meloy, J. R. (2013). Criminal psychology. ABC-CLIO, California.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (2012). Prevention of recidivism and the social reintegration of offenders. Retrieved from http://www.unodc.org/documents/justice-and-prison-reform/crimeprevention/Introductory_Handbook_on_the_Prevention_of_Recidivism_and_the_Social_Reintegration_of_Offenders.pdf Read More
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