Discussion Board #2 Response  *Stephen Noguera * Respond with 150 words and 2 references with 1 being the textbook Cullen, F. T., & Jonson, C. L. (2017). Correctional theory: Context and consequences

Discussion Board #2 Response

*Stephen Noguera *

Respond with 150 words and 2 references with 1 being the textbook

Cullen, F. T., & Jonson, C. L. (2017). Correctional theory: Context and consequences (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ISBN: 9781506306520.

Correctional theories play an important role in determining what programs to implement and are based on the key issue of effectiveness, which is often measured by the programs impact on recidivism. Correctional theories further help to identify the purpose and policies of the correctional system (Cullen & Jonson, 2017). The seven main correctional theories as described by Cullen & Jonson (2017) are; Retribution or Just Deserts, Deterrence, Incapacitation, Restorative Justice, Rehabilitation, Reentry and Early Intervention. Of these theories the one most noted as the guiding principle of corrections is the theory of rehabilitation, although other theories have gained in popularity and have increasingly guided correctional policy and practice, most notably the theories of retribution or just deserts, deterrence and incapacitation (Cullen and Jonson, 2017).

Cullen & Jonson (2017) go on to explain that theory matters because theory helps shape the purpose and structure of correctional policy and practice and that changing theoretical assumptions can influence the evolving manner in which offenders are treated and punished. As discussed by Cullen, Myer & Latessa (2009) with offender populations rising to historic levels and large state budget deficits, corrections are woefully underfinanced. In this challenging environment, scarce resources must be used wisely. There is simply no room to experiment with interventions and programs that have not been proven to be effective. With high risk offenders, moreover, there are few second chances. If evidence-based treatment is not delivered, the likelihood that they will recidivate—victimizing people and property many times over—is inordinately high.

Klingele (2016) discusses the recent surge in the popularity of techniques classified as evidence-based practices that corrections are adopting in their efforts to deliver more targeted and cost-effective services to individuals incarcerated.

As discussed by Cullen, Myer & Latessa (2009) within corrections there are many theories detached from empirical evidence which lead to many flawed programs and interventions. Often these theories are kind- hearted and well meaning, such as when the goal is to boost a prisoner’s self-esteem in the wayward belief that poor self-confidence underlies criminal conduct. Way too often, the theories embrace a crude rational choice perspective in which it is asserted that some form of threat, harsh discipline, or pain will teach that crime does not pay and straighten out offenders. Cullen e(2009) argue that these impoverished theories, which conveniently neglect the empirical literature on predictors of recidivism, have little chance of working and that by understanding the cause of the problem—an understanding rooted in empirical data—is a prerequisite for its solution.


Cullen, F. T., Myer, A. J., & Latessa, E. J. (2009). Eight Lessons fromMoneyball : The High Cost of Ignoring Evidence-Based Corrections. Victims & Offenders, 4(2), 197–213. doi: 10.1080/15564880802612631

Cullen, F. T., & Jonson, C. L. (2017). Correctional theory: context and consequences. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Klingele, C. (2016). The Promises and Perils of Evidence-Based Corrections. Notre Dame Law Review, 91(2).

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