In the face of ever-increasing crime rates, corrections has come under considerable criticism, simultaneously being called too lenient by same and too harsh by others. The historical facts clearly shrew that corrections has been a monolithic and simplistic response to one of our most complex social problems. Retributive punishment has been the single guiding objective, and incarceration has been the principal medium. That this approach has been a multi-billion dollar unmitigatedly tragic failure is evidenced by the fact that of the 90% of offenders who ultimately return to the cammunity after release from prison, an estimated 65% recidivate (U.S. Dept. of Justice, 1973) and are responsible for 80% of felonies (Clark, 1970). Because of the dehumanizing and demoralizing effects of prison life, ex-offenders are no better prepared to deal with the vicissitudes of living than they were before being sentenced. Indeed, they are less well prepared because, on release, they are angry, embittered, hostile, and vengeful because of the way they have been dealt with.

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