Masters Thesis

A Policy analysis of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's ability to correct and rehabilitate

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is one of California’s largest organizations with an important purpose-to punish individuals who break the law, and separate them from society to prevent them from committing another crime. CDCR also has one of the largest budgets compared to other organizations in California that are being funded by the state; this why this study is important and will review California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s mission, whether or not CDCR is achieving their mission, and the importance of CDCR achieving their mission. CDCR has a recidivism rate of 65.1%, this means that 65.1% of prisoners being released will return to prison. This is a significant number and is why the literature regarding crime, deterrence, recidivism, rehabilitation, incapacitation and restorative justice will be reviewed in this study. An analysis of alternatives with critiques and recommendations will also follow. Recommendations will be made for CDCR to assess all of their offenders with the Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions (COMPAS) assessment tool. Also place the offenders in treatment programs based on their assessment scores and criminogenic needs to rehabilitate them and correct those needs that have caused them to commit crime in the past. Rehabilitation programs that are based off of the COMPAS model have been proven to reduce recidivism rate from 25% and above. The amount of reduction in recidivism can make an enormous impact on the amount of crime that is committed in California, as well as, reduce the prison population and the cost that comes along with housing the 160,000+ inmates at $47,000 a year per offender.

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