The goals of correction include punishment, rehabilitation, deterrence of crime, supervision of criminals and preparing offenders for re-entry into society. Correction also aims at preventing recidivism or relapse of criminal behavior as well as reducing delinquency and violence in the community.
Corrections aim at protecting the community from the criminal activities of offenders and ensuring that criminals are accountable to those they offend. Correction systems punish offenders through imprisonment and supervise them through parole and probation. Low-level offenders are often supervised within the community because they pose little threat.
Correctional institutions rehabilitate offenders by providing them with educational and treatment opportunities. Rehabilitative programs within correctional institutions include mental health services, religious services, behavioral and substance abuse treatment, and religious services. Rehabilitation empowers offenders to lead productive and successful lives through and education and training of various skills. Within correctional facilities, offenders are evaluated to determine their needs, mental health and level of education in order to plan individualized rehabilitation programs. They also teach offenders work ethics and the importance of respect and discipline.
The re-entry services offered within correctional facilities include behavioral therapy, family reunification, vocational education and substance abuse treatment. These services are offered depending on the willingness of offenders to participate, according to the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Correctional policies are effective when they are fair and consistent in providing offenders with opportunities to change, as explained by the National Conference of State Legislatures.