Speaking of people who are in a correctional facility, it is important to consider their right for a second chance. Any approach to the problem needs to bring humanity and support. Jails are not ‘warehouses’, where ‘bad’ people can be kept far from ‘good’ people outside. Society must help those people to get back to normal lives and the different sciences have made a huge progress in that field. More important is using this knowledge in every correctional facility in a proper way.
There is a variety of common opinions regarding important questions connected with correctional facilities’ issues. It is typical to hear from experienced jail staff that they know what to do in different situations and even know which mechanisms or strategies could work better in case of a particular jail. Such ideas are always a good sign, which shows that people think deeply about offenders’ lives and they do care. However, how could experience of one person be compared with long years of researchers in different fields of science? Even the most experienced professional employees can only adapt serious long-termed studies, for they could be more efficient in conditions of one jail. This work requires a special attention and an absence of risky or unconsidered decisions. The reason for this is a value of every choice in this situation. It influences on person’s future life and development, so the best way not to spoil the process is to use a reach experience of hundreds of scientists and professionals in their spheres.
That is why Evidence-Based Practices is a key to focus on the main issues in jails, issues connected with people’s psychology and people’s future. Science has gone a long way in analyzing, conducting practical researches, and finding the most powerful practices to be used in jails. Although the practical experience shows that it is obvious that each person needs to have a personal approach and there is always a chance that Evidence-Based Practices will not succeed, everyone should understand the leading position of science and long-time researches.
Studies devoted to the very important question “what should be done to avoid offenders from reoffending?” started in 90s. Sociologists, psychologists, and criminologists made an ambitious work, resulting in a clear position formulating. In particular, they supported importance of such factors: determination of high and medium groups of risk for reoffending, using individual motivation, targeting appropriate intervention, using repetitive practice of pro-social behaviors, increasing positive reinforcement and providing ongoing support. These are very important tools, which the science provides for society. However, the other conclusion has been made – even deeply analyzed scientific strategies will not show 100% result. The best we can expect is reducing reoffending by 30% to 40%.
A human factor is the one thing that is the most confusing for any science. There is always a chance that some mechanisms, which have been efficient for long time, will not work properly in some particular case. However, the scientific approach gives us the most powerful mechanisms and principles to work with people in correctional facilities. Thus, Evidence-Based Practices are the best way to achieve needed results.