Rehab and Education Programs

Educational and Rehab Programs
Chapter 10 Paper

In this paper I will be discussing the argument for and against state correctional institutions offering educational and rehabilitation programs to inmates, as well as what the Constitution has to say in regard to the rights of these programs, and a few court cases that are relevant to each topic.
First I will be discussing the topic of rehabilitation programs in the prison, how they are viewed in general, and the rights that inmates have when it comes to them. Rehabilitation programs are encouraged by most state constitutions and statutes regarding prisoners because these programs help in preventing inmates from committing more crimes once they are released. Not only do these programs help the prisoner and their family, it also saves society from criminal acts, saves taxpayer money, and cuts down on prison overcrowding. Two noteworthy quotes from the textbook encouraging rehabilitative programs come from the American Correctional Association and President Lyndon Johnson. The American Correctional Association said, "prison serves most effectively for the protection of society against crime when its major emphasis is on rehabilitation." Lyndon Johnson also had this to say, "rehabilitation of offenders to prevent their return to crime is, in general, the most promising way to achieve this end."
So with rehabilitation being so highly regarded, is it an absolute Constitutional right? No, it is not. Take, for example, the case of Padgett v. Stein. Prisoners in this case fought that meaningful rehabilitative treatment should be a constitutional right, and the lack of this was cruel and unusual punishment. The court disagreed, and said that this 'social policy question; would be better handled by other branches of government (legislative and executive). However, the case of Holt v. Sarver brought this issue to the district court's attention, and made it a requirement that a treatment and rehabilitation program be...