Some people think that education and training are more effective ways to deal with criminals than sending them to prison. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Regarding the treatment of criminals, two approaches many sound reasonable: jail terms and rehabilitation programmes. I believe that rehabilitation programmes are more practical and effective.
Although rehabilitation programmes often involve financial costs borne by the public, imprisonment of criminals can be even more expensive. Its psychological costs are also higher if we consider the fact that it may cause offenders to have low self-esteem, while rehabilitation increases their self-confidence and self-respect.
Rehabilitation programmes can also equip offenders with skills to earn a living, which can reduce their chance of committing crimes again. In fact, education and job training not only prepare offenders for career opportunities but also make them more responsible members of society.
To some people, it may seem unfair that offenders receive tax-funded education and job training. These people tend to focus on the social problems that have been caused by criminals and the suffering that they have caused to their victims. As a form of punishment, imprisonment may make some offenders regret their actions. However, putting them in jail alone does not help them to become contributing members of society. Funding rehabilitation programmes with tax money is not so unfair if we understand that it is in everyone’s interest to help offenders to reintegrate in to social and working life.
For these reasons, I think that rehabilitation programmes are more effective than imprisonment. Through them, offenders can gain job skills and learn about the importance of socially acceptable and productive behaviour.