At this point I am going to advance a proposition. It is an analytic proposition, not an empirical statement, and relates to what characteristics a society must possess in order to maintain a flourishing rehabilitative ideal. Then I shall try to test that proposition by looking at two very different societies in which the rehabilitative ideal flourished. Finally, I shall ask whether those conditions are satisfied in modem America. My proposition is in two parts. First, you cannot have a flourishing rehabilitative ideal unless the society as a whole has a strong faith in the malleability of human behavior and human character. The second proposition is that there must be a sufficient consensus of values to permit practical agreement on what it means to be rehabilitated.
Francis A. Allen,
The Decline of the Rehabilitative Ideal in American Criminal Justice,
27 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol27/iss2/3