For the most part, most incarceration systems do not rehabilitate offenders. After convicting violent criminals and victimizers, we throw them in a horrible prison where they suffer while associating with other criminals. We either leave them there for life, or let them out after a certain amount of time. When we let them out, they probably come out more dangerous than before.
I support rehabilitation out of compassion, not for fiscal reasons. I have compassion both for the offenders and for potential victims. For the sake of offenders, I would rather rehabilitate offenders so that we can release them rather than make them suffer in prisons. For the sake of potential victims, I want the offenders rehabilitated so that, when they get out, they do not victimize anyone else.
Nonetheless, I assume rehabilitation would also make more sense fiscally. It costs a whole lot of money to keep people in prison for extended periods of time. Also, non-rehabilitated offenders will likely re-offend which will cost a lot of money in terms of law enforcement, court proceedings, and re-incarceration.
I see the main forms of rehabilitation as education, psycho-therapy, and psychiatric care. Most importantly, education can include vocational training as most offenders would not turn to crime if they had a good career with good pay. I bet many gang-bangers and violent criminals would want to give that up and become educated professionals if they thought it was viable.
What do you think? Do you also think that rehabilitation tends to cost less than just keeping people in prison without rehabilitating them? Do you know any studies that look into the possible fiscal advantages of rehabilitating criminals? If so, please post a comment about them! Thanks!