The article presents likely the most relevant research survey related to Slovene prison system. The survey was made as a two twelvemonth research undertaking sponsored by Ministry of Justice and carried out by Institute of Criminology in Ljubljana. Along with a longitudinal survey of societal clime in Slovene prison establishments, it evaluates the thought, pattern and consequences of so called socio-therapy as a specific attack to intervention of wrongdoers. “ Specific ” in this instance means that intervention is at the same time focused on life in prison, the wrongdoers ‘ societal environment, prison staff included. Socio-therapy began as a kind of experiment ( to set it right – a pattern ) in the thick of 1970ss and led to amazing consequence, viz. to the gap of prison establishment for about all inmates regardless the length of sentence or the offense committed. From 1980 on, every five old ages, societal clime in every Slovene prison establishment has been measured, turn outing therefore alterations of government, the degree of control or assisting captives, subject ( jurisprudence and order doctrine ) and intervention orientation. Finally, the article trades with the state of affairs after Slovene independency in 1991 and new statute law. The more democracy at that place seems to be the less possibility exists to handle wrongdoers right and by this contribute to the lessening of offense. However, the success of the experiment should promote all states that wish to cut down the immense costs of prison surveillance, inmates want, disaffection, subculture, prisonization and to do prison establishments more humane.

Keywords: Treatment of Offenders, Open Prison Institutions, Social Climate


Many articles have been published with a clear point of view, viz. a unfavorable judgment of terrible sentencing, inhumane intervention of wrongdoers and overpopulation of prison establishments. Yet really few, about none, back up the thought of transforming a closed establishment into an unfastened one. It seems possible merely when a careful pre-selection of inmates is carried out.

Our speedy reappraisal of some influential periodical from the field of poenology ( The Prison Journal, Probation Journal, International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, Punishment & A ; Society, Federal Probation ) has shown that late ( in the last few old ages ) there have been no articles that would recommend or present penological thoughts and patterns equivalent to Slovenian “ whole-prison socio-therapeutic ” attack.

There are some interesting mechanisms for the reintegration of the individual in society while functioning a prison sentence – e.g. unfastened prison government in Spain where inmates spend a few hours a twenty-four hours outside the prison, working or executing rehabilitation-related undertakings, and besides have leave at weekends ( Cid, 2005 ) . Realization of these mechanisms nevertheless depends on assortment of conditions ( for unfastened prison government captives must hold completed a one-fourth or half of the sentence and their re-education forecast must be positive ) , hence – and besides for other grounds – these mechanisms do n’t stand for our impression of opening the prisons.

In malice of the fact that the huge bulk of writers do n’t reason for educating and opening the prison governments ( particularly non in a extremist manner as we do ) , we detected some articles that support certain facets of our point of view.

In their follow-up survey Baumer, O’Donnell, Hughes ( 2009 ) found out that those captives who were on occasion allowed to venture outside ( for vocational or family-related intents ) were significantly less likely to be re-imprisoned. This is one of the clear groundss that care of captive ‘s societal capital is really of import for societal reintegration. The possible function of captives ‘ households in cut downing re-offending is explored besides in Mills and Codd ( 2008 ) . Souryal ( 2009 ) is endeavoring after mature and professional public presentation by enlightened correctional officers who would understand that the more civil the prison is, the more civil, and the less violent, its occupants will be. He rejects the traditional belief that most prison inmates detest the cosmopolitan norms of equity, self-respect, humanity, and can hence be controlled merely by force.

One ( but surely non sufficient from our point of position ) illustration of normalizing and educating the correctional establishment is presented by Duncan and Balbar ( 2008 ) who explored the results of a voluntary trial plan, concentrating on significant benefits to all included, peculiarly inmates who benefited from holding more contact with the outside universe. Hancock and Raeside ( 2009 ) found out that release from an unfastened prison environment is associated with decreased reconviction rates.

Relevant for our involvement are besides articles that investigate how persons who re-enter society from prison usage get bying schemes. Phillips and Lindsay ( 2009 ) found out that the predominant get bying scheme for covering with re-entry barriers is turning away of pull offing jobs and emotions and substance maltreatment backsliding, which culminates in recidivism.

We besides welcome articles that criticize extremely secured A»supermax prisonsA« in USA ( such as Pelican Bay ) , known for their ( production of ) stamina and force ( Hartman, 2008 ; King, Steiner, Breach, 2008 ) .

Marsh, Fox and Sarman ( 2009 ) suggest that alternate sentences with rehabilitative elements ( e.g. prison in combination with educational/vocational intercessions, prison in combination with behavioural intercessions, prison in combination with sex wrongdoer intervention, and prison in combination with drug intervention ) cut down re-offending when compared to traditional imprisonment. They reject the hypothesis that prison ( on itself ) is an effectual agencies of cut downing re-offending.

In his followup survey, Cid ( 2009 ) provides extra grounds that ( rehabilitative ) options to detention are more effectual than imprisonment in cut downing recidivism. He found out that the wrongdoers given suspended sentences had a significantly lower hazard of reconviction than those given ( criminogenic ) tutelary sentences.

We besides find the avowal of our ain findings in those articles that explain the ( appetency for ) inordinate punitiveness ( Loader, 2009 ) with characteristics of the modern-day planetary society – such as structural economic insecurity ( Costelloe, Chiricos, Gertz, 2009 ) and with emotional reactions to these characteristics ( e.g. Johnson, 2009 ) .

Last but non least, we should non bury Michael Tonry ‘s “ The Future of Imprisonment ” ( 2004 ) . His vision is limited to a “ aureate coop ” , since he advocates that “ much of a prison life could be reorganized to parallel free universe ” ( Tonry, 2004, p. 15 ) . There is no thought of opening up the prison system. However, the universe – particularly that of captives – would be so much better if a little portion of Tonry ‘s vision would come true.

But in malice of all incredulity and deficiency of experience Slovenia succeeded in gap of a once closed prison establishment. There was no pre-selection of inmates ; the lone pre-selection was that of the squad in charge to run the establishment. The experiment proved that the fright of captives is much overdone and that this illustration could and should be followed in other prison establishments. Furthermore, the recidivism of captives functioning the sentence in that establishment fell down to 20 % , while the norm in other establishments was 60 % .

Finally, it became clear that the gap of a prison establishment depends much more on forces than on inmates.

Could this be a message to prison systems all over the universe?

Get downing tolerance in juvenile correctional establishment

From 1967 to 1971 a group of experts led by Katja Vodopivec, manager of the Institute of Criminology, conducted an experiment in juvenile correctional establishment nearby Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.

The basic thought of the experiment was to turn out that it was possible to handle juvenile wrongdoers with much more tolerance as they had been treated so far. Permissiveness, moreover, does non jeopardize society more that repression does. Group guidance was one of the of import methods to turn out the hypothesis and used to further more acceptable behaviour forms among immature wrongdoers and forces as good.

The consequences after four old ages were:

The permissive attack in the intervention allowed juveniles to act more spontaneously, the figure of flights from establishment increased while the extent of offense committed during flights decreased. Juveniles were largely returning back without constabulary intercession.

Personal features of staff were more of import than formal instruction.

Group reding proved to be efficient method of work in the establishment

Social clime in the establishment improved ( Vodopivec, 1974, p. 219-220 )

The experiment was conducted as a research undertaking of the Institute of Criminology at the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana and internationally supervised by Eugene S. Jones ( Ibid. , p. 249 ) .

Experiment in the closed prison establishment

In the mid 1970ss ‘ a group of Slovene penologists within the Ministry of Justice started with an experiment that should take to the betterment of societal clime conditions in a closed prison establishment.

Theoretical get downing points

The experiment was grounded on basic rules of humanistic psychological science and poenology. While the first 1 is represented for case by Maslow and Rogers, the most of import name in the universe of humanistic poenology seems to be Norman Fenton.

Fenton ‘s work in the field of poenology and corrections ( A enchiridion on the usage of group reding in correctional establishments ) emphasizes the importance of constructive group interaction characterized by:

creative activity of an environment that provides for free treatment and the credence of the delinquent as he is ;

recognition by delinquents of the significance of emotional struggles and how it may further condemnable activity ;

betterment of the emotional clime in the establishment ;

intervention by agencies of constructive interpersonal relationships.

Experiment in action

To set it right, non all necessary conditions were fulfilled to name it an experiment. It was more introducing of specific attitude towards inmates, largely democratisation of the establishment.

In showing this thought the experiment gained political support ( Parliament, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Justice ) , media support and besides there was non resistance from public sentiment.

It was necessary to concentrate on an establishment that would carry through several conditions. First, the figure of inmates should non transcend one hundred. Furthermore, there should be no pre-selection of captives with respect to any class refering condemnable activity ( first clip wrongdoers, re-offenders, nature of offense and length of sentence ) . Besides, the forces, particularly the warden, should prefer the thought of reintegration of captives and of opening up the establishment that has so far been a closed one and with a instead terrible government. Leading forces should recommend a non-authoritarian attitude, yet being weather when make up one’s minding on debatable issues.

Bearing in head all the conditions to be fulfilled, a prison establishment with 60 inmates and 30 members of staff, situated 10 stat mis from Ljubljana the Slovene capital, was chosen.

The ends of the experiment were instead obscure on the beginning. Cipher knew precisely what alterations may happen. However, everybody expected at least an betterment of societal and emotional clime in the establishment.

Get downing with group work, harmonizing to Fenton, the inmates were divided into four groups, each one led by a healer ( a healer non in a sense of psychopathology but in a sense of an expert capable of taking a group where dynamic psychological procedures occur ) . The function of healer was given to a psychologist, two pedagogues and a societal worker, all of them holding obtained formal accomplishments through sensitiveness preparations. Groups were heterogenous ( with respect to condemnable classs ) and meetings were regular, one time a hebdomad at the same clip and in the same topographic point.

Group healer subsequently on described all kinds of fright and hurt. They were, for case, afraid of fring authorization, they feared from unexpected state of affairss and eventual aggression of the group. They were convinced that it was much easier to get by with an aggressive person compared to an aggressive group. Furthermore, they were disbelieving about their ain cognition and were cognizant of the deficiency of experience. Besides, the ends – beside the betterment of the societal clime – were non really clear and outlooks might hold been excessively high. Among other staff, non straight included in the group work, a fright from unknown appeared including feeling of a baleful lawlessness.

On the other manus, the inmates were at first rejecting the thought of work outing jobs within a group. Therefore, most of treatments were approximately house order, subject and cleansing. Subsequently on, struggle state of affairss emerged doing major jobs to the healer who was faced with unfavorable judgment on his behalf. Each healer had to accept alterations to his ain behaviour every bit good as inmates being expected to suit their aggressive behaviour. What is of import to stress is that there was no effect whatsoever for the inmates when showing their unfavorable judgment, irrespective the improper manner of behaviour at the group meetings. This was a pre-condition of making a common trust and assurance.

After a certain period of group work the subjects easy began to alter. Problems of house order were replaced by treatments about benefits, largely free leave. Groups were non in a place to make up one’s mind upon free leave but could propose it to the expert squad. The more their suggestions were accepted, the more inmates felt that they could make up one’s mind upon a important portion of their lives.

Once a hebdomad all the inmates and all forces gathered in a “ community meeting ” where some jobs that could non be solved in little groups were opened to a wide treatment before a concluding determination. In the class of clip, a system of shared decision-making procedure was being established, where inmates felt that they had power – although “ de facto ” merely and non “ de iure ” – to make up one’s mind upon of import issues sing their life in prison and exterior every bit good. Later on, when common trust increased, even conditional release was capable to an unfastened treatment.

Each community meeting was followed by an thorough treatment of adept squad ( warden, psychologist, pedagogues, societal workers, nurse, representative of guard, teachers in production units ) , where of import events during the meeting were re-examined. However, determinations that were adopted at community meetings have ne’er been changed at the experts ‘ meetings.

The first major job to be resolved was the basic misgiving sing the captives and their ability and willingness to discourse jobs objectively and to suggest rational solutions. Even major jobs were with the forces. Many of them felt a loss of authorization and traditional power over captives. All of a sudden they were faced with unfavorable judgment from captives and they had to alter many traditional autocratic behaviour forms. Some of the forces could non accept this new place and left the establishment, fortuitously merely few.

Slowly, a traditional closed establishment turned into an unfastened 1. This meant different things. First, a hierarchal theoretical account of communicating was substituted by a horizontal 1. To accomplish this it was necessary to set up a good cooperation with all services within a prison establishment – psychologists, pedagogues, physicians, guard etc. They besides shared all information sing any determination brought approximately and refering inmates. Furthermore, even more of import, it meant that within two old ages from get downing with this experiment, 90 % of inmates enjoyed the privilege of an unfastened government. They used to go forth the establishment on Friday afternoon and came back on Sunday eventide. To stress one time once more, there was no difference or whatsoever with respect to the nature of the offense committed or the length of the sentence. Besides, there were really few inmates who abused the privilege in a manner that they would non return in clip or even get away or that they would perpetrate a new offense when temporarily at big. Disciplinary countenances were out of usage for the following 15 old ages, till the beginning of the 1890ss ‘ .

A follow up undertaking has been mensurating the societal clime in the Slovene prison establishments since 1980. It shows, for case, how much of control inmates feel, how do they happen demands for order and subject, how are their personal jobs being resolved, is at that place a rehabilitation in prison, how inmates are being helped when necessary etc. A really similar enquiry is made for the forces.

In 1980, a societal clime among inmates in this prison establishment was higher compared to a clime in most Slovene penal establishments among forces! Unnecessary to advert, that it was far the highest sing the inmates in Slovene prison establishments.

The experiment proved that it is unneeded to set up prison establishments with a preponderantly terrible government. It will ever be necessary to maintain secure some captives for being unsafe, but their figure does non transcend 10 to 20 % . ( We have to acknowledge that this figure might be higher sing the addition of captives with dependence jobs, but still non every bit high as we used to believe and to respond in pattern ) .

Besides the alteration in societal clime ( inmates and staff ) , there were many practical effects, including many parts of “ society at big ” ( Centres for societal work, companies, employment bureaus every bit good as inmates ‘ households and friends ) the prison establishment succeeded to guarantee occupations for more than 80 % of inmates instantly after holding served their sentences or being conditionally released. Many of the inmates were employed in companies outside the prison establishment while functioning sentences. Some of them continued to work on a regular basis after release at the same companies.

The recidivism rate ( allow us stress, how carefully one should construe these figures without doing a simple correlativity between prison rehabilitation success and recidivism ) in this prison decreased to 20 % , while the mean figure in other Slovene prison establishments was 60 % .

The attack described was known as a socio-therapy, which means that it has avoided traditional psychiatric intercessions or medical thoughts in general. It focuses on psychodynamic procedures that occur within the little groups, larger communities ( curative community ) and involves a figure of outer factors that influence the captive after the release. Those outer factors ( household, friends, relations, companies where captives were employed before they came to prison etc. ) were included in so called “ after attention ” the really minute captives begun to function their sentence and non merely a few hebdomads before the release of a captive was expected. This was one of the most of import thoughts of socio-therapy that brought about including the “ society at big ” in the procedure of rehabilitation already when the helping of the sentence had begun.

In 1991 an of import alteration occurred. The warden who was at that place from the really beginning of the experiment ( later on, that was no more an experiment but a day-to-day pattern ) retired. She was substituted with a immature psychologist with good cognition but with a definite deficiency of personal traits necessary to run an establishment the same manner it had been run for 15 old ages. Quickly, the prison turned into a closed one, while the latest measurings of societal clime ( 2000 ) proved that it in fact could non be much worse, be it inmates or forces. The prison once more became a traditional totalitarian establishment where no maltreatment of human rights occurs but neither a reintegration of inmates to the society can be expected in the same manner and in the same extent as antecedently. ( Brinc & A ; Petrovec, 2001 )

To reason with the most of import informations associating to the experiment that has for old ages turned into penal pattern within a few Slovene correctional establishments. Three basic conditions were fulfilled beyond Fenton ‘s basic rules:

political support of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior and subsequently on Parliament following basic rules of socio-therapy as an official penological construct within offense policy

support of the mass media that contributed to understanding of rehabilitation of inmates

support of the local community particularly where captives were being included ( work, visits of households, medical intervention )

To sum up the most of import elements of the success the followers should be emphasized:

to swear in what is good in human individual and to back up it

to hold bravery to look into oneself before handling captives

to abstain from usage and maltreatment of power over inmates.

The experiment was carefully examined and revaluated, socio-therapy as political orientation and pattern included, in a research survey twenty five old ages after the beginning ( Petrovec, 1999 ) .

Some alterations in the intervention political orientation and pattern brought about by socio-therapy

The difference between “ contra legem ” and “ praeter legem ”

The consequences encouraged many alterations in the intervention of delinquents. The prison bureaucratism became familiar with the legal rules as for case, the difference between “ contra legem ” and “ praeter legem ” .

Advocates of jurisprudence and order would ever oppose the captives to be given more benefits as defined by the legislative act. If it was regulated that inmates in the unfastened government are granted two free foliages per months, it was considered to be against the jurisprudence if they would be given for illustration three. They could non accept it as a pattern “ beyond the jurisprudence ” which makes the jurisprudence more civilised and merely.

Introducing more benefits brought about apprehension of a new construct which is non against the jurisprudence but fosters new more humanist solutions “ de lege ferenda ” . Slowly, the pattern turned into new statute law, leting four free foliages per hebdomad for all captives in the unfastened government.

Slowly but steadily, some disciplinary steps disappeared from the penal armoury ( isolation, want of visits ) .

New construct of societal control

Prison establishment maps as a agency of a strong societal control. In fact, it is non but a want of those who want to command other people. Every dictatorial political system has had a batch of experience with commanding people. However, people ever behave harmonizing to what they expect. Therefore it has ever been really near to what is called a “ intervention game ” . Everybody pretends to be something different as he is. The accountant pretends non to command and people behave the manner they expect the accountant to be satisfied.

Socio-therapy leads to throwing off the masks. It demands direct communicating and just duologue. If we want to re-educate, to handle, to rede we have to acquire to cognize. If we want to acquire to cognize, we have to allow people to act freely. Therefore, if we want to cognize anything about people, they must be free.

That the important and inevitable letdown of all traditional commanding systems, being non aware that merely freedom makes the best possible control ( Petrovec, 1987 ) .

The rules of socio-therapy demand a just reaction to inappropriate behaviour. It should be ne’er treated with repression but should neither be neglected.

The function and place of the victim

In the prison intervention plans the victim was more or less neglected. In the 1890ss the construct of renewing justness opened new dimensions towards assisting victims of offense. Yet, in a narrow vision of a intervention there was no topographic point for victim compensation. Renewing justness could be interpreted as a response to the struggle between retaliatory and intervention political orientation ( BoA?njak, 1999, p. 6 ) .

However, the construct of socio-therapy offered and established a much wider attack to victim compensation. Most of captives agreed to monthly paying of a just sum of money to counterbalance victim ‘s harm. Possibly, it was a deal. Prisoners were rewarded for such behaviours largely with conditional release. However, as a side consequence, cognition has been established, measure by measure, approximately right and incorrect. Furthermore, no tribunal could enforce captives to pay as their net incomes were non capable to ictus. Therefore, the captives acted out of a free will every bit good.

Since most of the captives were given free foliages, there was a possibility that they meet and have contacts with their victims. In many instances, though non in all of them, it led to more constructive interpersonal relation.

The significance of “ socio-therapy ”

As the captives were granted free foliages it was necessary to fix non merely them but besides their societal environment to their “ come-back ” . Therapy was focused hence on their households where many struggles came from ; it was focused on the working environment with the purpose to accept the individual back to work where he or she had worked before ; furthermore, it was focused on his societal environment as a representative of a smaller portion of public sentiment. A clear message was conveyed to all parts of society: “ A captives is worth of trust if he is granted free leave or given occupation outside prison establishment or conditionally released. ” Since 80 to 90 per cent of inmates in this prison establishment were given unfastened government, this message proved out to be justified in so many instances that public sentiment in general supported offense policy as created by socio-therapy.

Vulnerability of socio-therapeutic attack

The size of a penal establishment

Group reding every bit provided for within socio-therapeutic intervention is carried out in little groups non transcending 15 individuals. Besides working in little groups, regular meetings of all captives and forces are necessary. Good communicating is possible merely in prison establishments where the entire figure of inmates does non transcend 100. Therefore, no prison establishments with 100s of inmates are suited for such a communication/treatment theoretical account.

The demand of supervising

Once established and implemented for old ages, the theoretical account still preserves breakability. The experts did non believe that after such a success and 15 twelvemonth experience of opening up the prison and maintaining it unfastened, it would travel back to the “ rock age ” of Slovenian poenology. Yet it happened. The deficiency of supervising was one of the grounds, the 2nd one, turn outing exposure was the alteration of forces. Finally, there was no any supervisor more to portion and stand for the same thoughts that led to humane prison government. Just desert doctrine swept off all enthusiastic enterprises and its ‘ advocators. ( Petrovec, 1999, p. 121 )

Susceptibility of society to socio-therapy

As the new intervention attack brought approximately so many advantages compared to “ classical poenology ” one could justifiably set a inquiry – why could non we merely “ transcript and paste ” this experiment? Actually, no hindrances exist but within ourselves who have power. That is why merely one Grendon existed in England every bit good as merely one Slovene prison establishment and so few of them all over the universe. It does non intend that it could non be multiplied. It merely proves that the province authorization tolerates merely a limited measure of freedom sing societal border. No more and no less than it could be used as a parade-horse for a boast of a purportedly democratic and civilised society. Anything, exceling this little measure would endanger the Centre of societal power.

We have experience and proofs that this theoretical account of prison and rehabilitation system works. The usage of it is free of charge, there is no “ right of first publication ” , legal protection of patent or whatsoever. It is so simple to understand, yet so hard to implement. It is non a inquiry of mind, it is a inquiry of personal or personality traits. An honest and sincere self-contemplation proves that we do non desire things to work, because in that instance we should alter at foremost, non prisoners – this is decidedly non susceptible, it looks about as a blasphemy.

Weak points of socio-therapy

Socio-therapy is non a Panacea. Some groups of delinquents are immune to it. First, it does non hold good adequate consequences with drug-addicts. Addiction is stronger than rehabilitation attempts and one time in an unfastened government, many delinquents do non abstain from drugs. More promising is intervention within infirmaries which differs from the prison one.

The 2nd group, with less success, are delinquents with serious personal upsets as for illustration some sex wrongdoers or cool-blooded liquidators. However, there ever exists a group of captives who have to be in more unafraid systems. Yet, their figure is much smaller than it is normally considered. Harmonizing to Slovenian experience it does non transcend 20 per cent.

Measuring societal clime in prison establishments

Whatever names are being given to the different intervention theoretical accounts, whatever “ therapy ” is carried out, we still barely cognize what is traveling on behind the prison walls. Measuring societal clime visible radiations up what normally remains in dark.

The first research of societal clime in Slovene prison establishments was carried out in 1980, five old ages after the beginning of experiment, and has been continued till presents, the last measurement in 2000.

There are nine classs to measure societal clime:

Involvement ( societal interaction in the day-to twenty-four hours operation of the plan )

Support ( how back uping the staff is towards inmates and inmates among themselves )

Expressiveness ( possibility of unfastened look of feelings )

Autonomy ( promoting inmates to be after activities )

Practical orientation ( fixing for release )

Personal job orientation

Order and organisation ( how of import it is and how does forces promote it )

Clarity ( how explicit the plan regulations are and if inmates know what to anticipate )

Staff control ( steps by which the staff control inmates ) . ( Wenk & A ; Moos, 1972 )

Five old ages after get downing the experiment and presenting the rules of socio-therapy the consequences were following:

Measuring of societal climes in 1980

Ig ( experimental establishment – 80 inmates )

Dob ( the largest prison establishment in Slovenia – 800 inmates )

Ljubljana ( 250 inmates )

[ Insert Table 1 ]

[ Insert Figure 1 ]

Graph 1 illustrates the difference in support as perceived by inmates in three prison establishments – the first 1 in Ig.

[ Insert Figure 2 ]

In Graph 2 there is a clear difference in fixing inmates for their life after imprisonment. It besides reflects the difference in recidivism ( 20 % in the first establishment and 60 % in the other two establishments ) .

[ Insert Figure 3 ]

Harmonizing to the inmates, those governments characterized by low degrees of staff control had better societal climes. Staff control as perceived in Ig was merely half every bit terrible as in other two establishments.

[ Insert Table 2 ]

[ Insert Figure 4 ]

[ Insert Figure 5 ]

[ Insert Figure 6 ]

The image clearly shows the lessening of the best possible pattern in penal establishment. The alterations in 1991 ( new leading in the prison establishment, jurisprudence and order orientation, retreat of intervention political orientation ) led to a prevailingly closed establishment with a societal clime that does non differ from other closed establishments in 1980. For illustration – feeling Ob being controlled is higher in Ig in 2000 ( 6.8 ) as there was in the maximal security prison ( Dob ) in 1980 ( 6.4 ) .

The evidences for diminution of socio-therapy

When we refer to the decease of intervention political orientation we should inquire ourselves – was it of all time alive?

It would be unjust to bear down Martinson with the duty for the beginning of the terminal of intervention political orientation although he is the most oft-repeated name in this connexion. His celebrated inquiry A»What works? “ , and confident answer A»NothingA« sent daze moving ridges through penal doctrine ( Martinson, 1974 ) .

Yet it seems that he simply triggered an avalanche that had been constructing up for old ages. In what was already a tense ambiance of heated public and political sentiment, all that was needed was a comparatively weak drift to turn it into a destructive force.

The unfavorable judgment of intervention political orientation was justified from several facets. Morris stressed basic human rights, significance that even in the name of protection of society we may non fall back to limitless agencies against a convicted individual as for case sentences linked to the success of intervention ( Morris, 1974, p. 83 ) .

More effectual than emphasizing the human right to personal unity, which was being eroded by medical and psychological intercessions, was Martinson ‘s referral to the inefficiency of intervention theoretical accounts. A»Nothing worksA« in world meant that in malice of all the attempts to alter the human personality, offense was turning from one twenty-four hours to the following. All those, obsessed with the efficiency, could non be handed a better statement against intervention. And for them, larning the figures of recidivism and offense in general was the last nail in the casket of rehabilitation doctrine and pattern.

But to reason that intervention is dead would be premature. Some criminologists have, with good ground, argued that, with few exclusions, it has non even been born yet. During the aureate age of intervention political orientation, Jessica Mitford made a survey of conditions in American prisons. Her four twelvemonth survey ( 1970 – 1973 ) showed that the bulk of prisons exercised complete censoring ; letters sent to captives were rejected ; breaches in subject resulted in model punishments and denouncing was rewarded ; penalty for condemnable offenses committed in prison was pronounced without judicial process ; and captives could non action anyone for harm inflicted on them in prison ( Mitford, 1974 ) . For this ground Weigend ‘s observation that there was small sincere purpose to implement the intervention thought should be taken rather earnestly ( Weigend, 1983 ) .

Yet, the state of affairs in Slovene prison establishments was different. It was proved that “ It Works ” and that rehabilitation political orientation and pattern are alive. It worked, if we take the undermentioned standards as a cogent evidence of efficiency:

The societal clime in the experimental prison establishment was more than favourable

Socio-therapy led to opening up of a once closed establishment irrespective the length of the sentence and the nature of offense committed

The recidivism rate was 20 per cent while in other establishments it kept the degree about 60 %

Public sentiment accepted new attack in intervention pattern

Socio-therapy was adopted as an official philosophy

Treatment encompassed all critical parts of society – delinquent ‘s household, friends, societal and working environment

Socio-therapy was the less expensive intervention

What went incorrectly after 1991?

Slovenia became independent, the political government changed and the times of democracy came all of a sudden. The old government sponsored and supported humanisation of prison system since 1970ss ‘ and knocking it openly by demoing aggression towards delinquents would be hazardous.

The new government brought freedom with all the side effects of it. Freedom meant largely unfastened mass media aggression towards societal border. The free market society brought approximately societal stratification and a big group of people populating in poorness. The state of affairs for unprivileged minorities ( delinquents, drug-addicts, Roma people, ex-Yugoslav citizens etc. ) became unpromising. Politicians of new government know everything about penalty and experts are purely excluded from holding any influence on making of offense policy or fixing statute law.

The effects of such apprehension of democracy and freedom were for case addition of maximal punishment in Criminal Code from 20 to 30 old ages, lessening of alternate countenances, introducing of harsher governments in penal establishments and increase in prison population for 100 per cent from 1995 to 2000.

Furthermore, the bequest of socio-therapy was overestimated. Although successful, it was easy substituted with jurisprudence and order doctrine and pattern. It looks that human inclination towards domination alternatively of cooperation is far the strongest 1.


To forestall the diminution of socio-therapy a changeless supervising of intervention oriented experts is needed ; moreover, it should be established as a chief societal philosophy. Finally, no execution of such an thought is possible unless a certain degree of civilisation within a society is being achieved.

To come to this point, we should travel “ back to the hereafter ” . There is no hereafter in what is being presented presents as offense policy. “ Today ” becomes a stone age of penalty, be it condemning or imprisonment. Is there ever a calamity needed to come out of the ruins with a new hope for humanity? No system is endangered by offense so much as it is by our response to it.

The consequences of Slovenian experiment which turned into pattern should promote all those involved in corrections. In peculiar, it should be welcomed in states as USA where state of affairs in prisons has become critical. Opening prison establishments reduces huge costs of surveillance but, on the other manus, demands a batch of specific investing – trust in what is good in human individual and establishing of good interpersonal dealingss, both cheap but really demanding.