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Philosophy of the Rehabilitation in Society

The underlying philosophy of the programme is entrenched within the field of cognitive-behavioural theories which have provided much insight into explaining individual criminal behaviour and also helped in the design of interventions aimed at addressing offending behaviour. In summary, it is being believed that one’s behaviour influences one’s cognitions that at the same time determines behaviour, with cognitive activities influencing the environment and the environment shaping in turn the cognitive make up. Ultimately, the environmental influence would be a reflection of the person’s core belief system since humans tend to function on a confirmatory bias. Here one confirms one’s innermost salient beliefs by perceiving or paying attention only to the information in the environment that fits with one’s world view. For example an offender who regards himself as a criminal shall only attend to information in his environment that confirms his identity of a criminal thus reinforcing his belief system. It is this vary belief system that shall be challenged in the programme in order to ensure lasting changes in the individual‘s personality.

It is envisaged that the programme shall try to equip the person with problem focused coping strategies as most individuals who will be enrolled in the programme will most probably tend to resort to emotional styles of coping with life stressors. This shall be done by challenging the cognitive appraisal system and they shall be coached in thinking effectively about their life situation and the problems that they are facing (active cognitive strategies) and they shall be encouraged to take specific concrete actions in order to improve their life (active behavioural strategies). Throughout their stay within the programme individuals shall not only be challenged and confronted on their negative styles of adjusting to life situations but they shall also be encouraged to cultivate self-efficacy, which is deemed to be essential in dealing with stress and difficult life circumstances. It is also envisaged that this self-efficacy is increased through the proposed structure. Each offender selected to undergo the programme shall have a tailor made individual care plan where the formulation shall identify the main features sustaining the criminal behaviour. The programme through the interventions of different professionals shall provide the necessary therapeutic input.