The Meaning of Rehabilitation and its Impact on Parole
There and Back Again in California
This book queries the concept of rehabilitation to determine how, on a legislative and policy level, the term is defined as a goal of correctional systems. The book explores what rehabilitation is by investigating how, at different moments in time, its conceptualization has shaped, and been shaped by, shifting norms, practices, and institutions of corrections in California. The author calls for a rethinking of theoretical understandings of the corrections system, generally, and parole system, specifically, and calls for an expansion in the questions asked in reintegration studies. The book is designed for scholars seeking to better understand the relationship between correctional systems and rehabilitation and the full scope of rehabilitation as a legislative goal, and is also suitable for use as teaching tool for historical, textual, and interviewing methods.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Building a Parole Bureaucracy: Inception to 1930s
Chapter 2: The Rise of the Rehabilitative Ideal: 1940s to Mid-1970s
Chapter 3: The Fall of Rehabilitation: 1970s to 1990s
Chapter 4: Re-Emergence of Rehabilitation: 2000 to 2005
Chapter 5: Correcting Corrections: 2005 to Present
Appendix A: On Methods
Dr. Rita Shah is an Assistant Professor of Criminology at Eastern Michigan University. Her research combines textual analysis with qualitative and visual methods to understand the ways in which correctional systems are socially and legally constructed. Her work has been published in the British Journal of Criminology and Contemporary Justice Review and is supported by NEH and NSF grants. Bridging the areas of criminology and law and society, her courses focus on the social construction of crime, the relationship between law and society, and issues of social justice. She received her BA in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics and Government (CLEG) from American University and her MA in Social Ecology and PhD in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of California, Irvine. In her free time, she can be found on photographic expeditions or watching football.
Shah pushes deeper than current debates about sentencing reform. She investigates what California meant by rehabilitation, how public policy changed bureaucracy, and the work of parole officers. The Meaning of Rehabilitation is thus an important read for anyone who wants to demand more from their Department of Corrections.
—Paul Leighton, Professor, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology, Eastern Michigan University
This book sheds much needed light on the complicated relationship between ideologies around punishment and rehabilitation, and how this tension has fueled the creation and shape of parole. Dr. Shah masterfully illustrates the the complexities of rehabilitation—what it means, what we think it looks like, and how we measure it—in a pedagogically useful and accessible text.
—Kaitlyn J. Selman, Assistant Professor, Sociology Department, Framingham State University
The Meaning of Rehabilitation and Its Impact on Parole sheds much-needed light on ideological dimensions of rehabilitation. Its detailed account of legislative changes makes it an ideal text for teaching historical approaches to law and crime policy. A rich, yet accessible analysis that will appeal to scholars, students, and practitioners.
—Kate Henne, Assistant Professor & Canada Research Chair, Department of Sociology and Legal Studies, University of Waterloo