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Changing Prison Into a Therapeutic Milieu: Evidence From the Israeli National Rehabilitation Center for Prisoners

NCJ Number
Prison Journal Volume: 90 Issue: 2 Dated: June 2010 Pages: 179-202
Lior Gideon; Efrat Shoham; David L. Weisburd
Date Published
June 2010
24 pages
This study examined changes in the moral and ethical codes of prisoners and staff in an Israeli National Rehabilitation Center.
This study examined how a change in prison milieu affected both inmate and staff experiences of treatment within a regular correctional facility. Specifically, the study seeks to demonstrate how a change in prison milieu brought change on inmates and staff behavior and perception. Data were gathered using semistructured interviews with inmates and prison staff, and narratives were later analyzed. Results suggest that the therapeutic milieu inside the Sharon prison was significantly different from other prison-based therapeutic modalities and that this difference may be responsible for improved treatment retention and compliance as well as lowering recidivism rates. Potential explanations for these findings are discussed, and their implications for prison-based treatment and rehabilitation programs are explored. Figure, notes, and references (Published Abstract)