The Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Offenders



Concern for community safety and helping offenders has led to an increased focus on the need to reintegrate offenders in the community in order to reduce reoffending. These efforts have focused on specific strategies for assisting ex-offenders as well as on specific categories of offenders. They include providing suitable accommodation, securing legal employment, identifying community and family assets, and addressing issues relating to substance abuse (Flavin, 2004). A review of different kinds of interventions in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the U.K have revealed mixed results in rehabilitation and integration efforts (Flavin, 2004). This has been attributed to various factors, which include poor design and implementation of programs and barriers to cooperation and collaboration among agencies (Deci & Ryan, 2004).


To begin with, rehabilitation and reintegration are the main ingredients for the successful reform of offenders. However, both cannot be limited to the walls of the prison. Rehabilitation involves addressing the individual criminogenic risks and needs of each offender (Deci & Ryan, 2000). However, it must also extend to improving offenders’ familial ties and ensuring their future employability. On the other hand, reintegration must involve community participation, and this starts with community awareness which aids in the acceptance of ex-offenders in the society (Deci & Ryan, 2000). The next step is ensuring that the inevitable re-entry of the ex-offender into the community is a positive one. Any correction program or initiative that aims to minimize the risk of reoffending must focus its efforts on preparing the community to receive offenders who are about to be released (Deci & Ryan, 2000). The task of offender rehabilitation and reintegration requires political support, grassroots activism, multi-agency collaboration, and active civil society involvement.


Deci, E. & Ryan, R. (2000). The “what” and “why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4), 1-6.

Flavin, J. (2004). Employment, counseling, housing assistance. . . and Aunt Yolanda?: How strengthening families’ social capital can reduce recidivism. Criminology & Public Policy, 3(2), 6-12. 

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