Dorothea Dix: The Role Of Prison Reform In America

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Prison reform has been an ongoing topic in the history of America, and has gone through many changes in America's past. Mixed feelings have been persevered on the status of implementing these prison reform programs, with little getting done, and whether it is the right thing to do to help those who have committed a crime. Many criminal justice experts have viewed imprisonment as a way to improve oneself and maintain that people in prison come out changed for the better (, 2007). In the colonial days, American prisons were utilized to brutally punish individuals, creating a gruesome experience for the prisoners in an attempt to make them rectify their behavior and fear a return to prison (, 2007). This practice may have worked 200 years ago, but as the world has grown more complex, time has proven that fear alone does not prevent recidivism. In the 19th century, Dorothea Dix, a women reformer and American activist, began lobbying for some of the first prison reform movements. …show more content…

She believed that people, no matter their crime, had the ability to change if they were provided the proper programs. (, 2016). Today many prisons that are offering programs to help rehabilitate and provide services to the prisoners are finding that more are enjoying successful outcomes upon release. One such program, the Reentry Court program in Louisiana, is offering training to inmates in trades such as plumbing and welding, providing them with valuable job skills which makes for an easier acclimation once they have served their time. (Ferner, 2015). Offering successful prison reform programs, like those of the past, will lead to a successful future for prison reform and help not just those with mental disabilities but all people acclimate to

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