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The Oxford Textbook on Criminology

The Oxford Textbook on Criminology (2nd edn)

Steve Case, Phil Johnson, David Manlow, Roger Smith, and Kate Williams
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date: 24 May 2024

p. 862p. 86329. Rehabilitation of offenderslocked

p. 862p. 86329. Rehabilitation of offenderslocked

  • Steve Case,
  • Phil Johnson,
  • David Manlow,
  • Roger Smith
  •  and Kate Williams


This chapter examines the rehabilitation of offenders. Much discussion of crime and criminality focuses on the culpability of the offender, the management and control of crime, and the nature and legitimacy of punishment. However, there is another strand of criminological inquiry (and practice) which is more concerned with understanding offenders, appreciating ‘what makes them tick’, and seeking out tools and methods for reintegrating them into society as conventional law-abiding citizens. In effect, such approaches are concerned with identifying the causes and consequences of criminal behaviour and developing interventions which will enable offenders to change their behaviours and thought processes to enable them to take advantage of legitimate opportunities and to live decent lives. The chapter explores some of the beliefs and assumptions which underlie this kind of approach to crime and criminality. It considers some of the implications in terms of criminal justice practices and evaluates the outcomes of rehabilitative approaches. Finally, the chapter reflects on some of the limitations of this perspective on crime, both empirically and theoretically.

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