A critique and qualified defense of "correctional quackery"
Correctional programs that do not have a discernible effect on recidivism have been dismissed as "correctional quackery" by some scholars. We argue that labeling programs and practices as "quackery" has certain limitations given the state of our theory and research, and we explore why some programs might be worthwhile for reasons beyond their effect, or noneffect, on recidivism. Our discussion is framed around the need to balance the goals of relying on existing evidence to guide correctional programming, while remaining open to new advances in our understanding of human behavior. We highlight the need to question existing assumptions about reductions in recidivism as the only program goal worthy of pursuit, and we discuss the potential value of a range of nontraditional treatments in correctional settings. We end with four recommendations regarding research on programming in corrections.
Criminology and Criminal Justice
correctional quackery, metatheory, program outcomes, recidivism, rehabilitation
Lee, Lynette C., and Mary K. Stohr. "A critique and qualified defense of 'correctional quackery'." Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 28, no. 1 (2012): 96-112.
Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice