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Rehabilitation of First Degree Murderer

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This section will be divided into sub-sections of background of study, problem statement, research objectives, and research questions, overview of the design of the research, significance of the study, and limitation of the study as well as chapters outline

1.1 Background to the Study

This area will focus on the rehabilitation programs for the first-degree murderers, which have become the centre of interest among many nations of the world. These programs have gone a long way in helping first degree murderers cope with the psychological problems associated with tier cases.  Many scholars in criminology have questioned the effectiveness of these programs with respect to reducing re-offending cases amongst first-degree murderers. The need to ensure that these murderers do not commit more murders in prisons has become inevitable. While many people think first-degree murderers are violent, committing a murder does not necessarily mean that one is violent.

Many inmates convicted as first-degree murderers have not committed more than one murder. There are possibilities that the murder committed was as a result of temper or other states of mind that threw these persons off balance. Domestic violence has been attributed to numerous murders in the U.S. and the rest parts of the globe. Drug abuse and temporary insanity have also been ranked among causes of murders reported in many parts of the world.

Despite many programs aimed at rehabilitating first-degree murderers and lots of campaigns that have been made, nothing has changed in so far as helping first degree murderers to accept their fate and embrace a more sober state of mind. This was caused by infective management  of these programs and centres. Lack of enough skilled personnel has also undermined the efforts to have first-degree murderers rehabilitated. This does not, however, means that efforts to rehabilitate first-degree murderers have abated. There is a lot that can be done to ensure that these programs are beefed up.

However, as mentioned earlier, the criteria for naming a first degree murderer is dependent upon the statute of the particular state’s prosecutions. A first-degree murderer is different from other classifications of murderers, since there is absolute premeditation attached to the murder committed. The distinguishing factor is that first-degree murderers act out of malice and unknown reasons unlike manslaughter and others, which in some cases tend to act in defence of against one self.

The absolute diversity among effective programs in the U.S. lies in twixt of wealthy and poor states. Wealthy states have better programs than those in developing nations, which are suffocated by challenges ranging from managerial to skilled labour. Notably, in less developed countries, there are apparently little efforts and capital channelled towards improving the sorry state of these rehabilitation centres. This is due to the ignorance and short sightedness in seeing the need for this requirement. More to it is that, there is a poverty belt that is seemingly tight around the economy of these states.

First-degree murderer’s rehabilitation centres are generally ineffective. Despite the fact that this condition is limiting the rehabilitation programs, the program initiators are working around the clock to see that they are able to beat this challenge. However, not all poor states lack the rehabilitation processes, some of them have welcomed the idea of beefing up these programs. There is, however, the quest from effective programs, which nation-states must go round. Lack of adequate cash to run the programs, negative attitude towards first degree murderers, adequate skilled personnel and poor management are some of these challenges.

1.2 Problem Statement

This part will briefly state the key focus of the study in the form of a statement of the problem. The statement will be as follows: Ineffective programs in the rehabilitation of first-degree murderer.

1.3 Research Objectives and Research Questions

This section will split the problem statement into various autonomous sub-parts, which will form the background of the study, including the questionnaire formulation and incorporation of the distinct facets. The prime objectives of the study will be;

  • The rehabilitation programs for the first-degree murderers.
  • The comparisons of rehabilitation programs in the develop and developing nations.
  • Factors hindering the rehabilitation program

The research questions will seek to achieve the following;

  • What is the fate of programs in the rehabilitation of first-degree murderer?
  • What is the ineffectiveness of rehabilitation centres for first-degree murderers?
  • What ways can improve the rehabilitation programs? The answers to these questions will be obtained after the data is collected and analyzed, predominantly, in the methodology.

1.4 Research Overview and Design

This section will lay out the tools that will be employed by this study. The primary data will chiefly comes from the questionnaires tactically formulated and presented to ten or more rehabilitation centres, which have dealt with cases of the first-degree murderer. The secondary data will come from the peer-reviewed journals, books, academic articles and other scientific publications accessible via the internet and in academic libraries. The information on this data will consist of the previous studies conducted in line with the programs of rehabilitation for the first-degree murderer and impacts of these programs among other comparable studies.

1.5 Significance of the Study

This research is ultimately significant. While many studies have been channelled towards the general sense of the ineffectiveness of rehabilitation centres for first-degree murderers, little attention has been channelled towards unravelling the intricate nature of the ineffectiveness and how it can be corrected. The recent researches in this area have only been successful in designing programs deemed effective for rehabilitating first-degree murderers. Due to lack of enough data to inform the designs on the complex but practical nature of rehabilitating first-degree murderers, these designs have also failed to solve the inherent ineffectiveness. Provision of reliable data and literature on this area is still overdue.

1.6 Limitations of the Study

The research anticipates the following limitations, which may inconvenience the outcome of the results;

  • Due to its digested survey, criteria the research might fail to reveal the aggregate nature of all rehabilitation centers for first-degree murderers.
  • The methodology incorporated in the sampling might be biased as there is a preselected section that the survey will be generated from and the findings may, therefore, be biased.

1.7 Chapter Overview

This part will briefly introduce other chapters in the document, including the literature review chapter, methodology chapter, analysis chapter, and the conclusion chapter respectively.

2.0 Literature Review

This chapter will briefly look into the very scanty literature exists in the field of rehabilitation centres for first-degree murderers. However, from as early as the 18th century, the governments saw the need to curb cases of murder many of them have been reluctant to give a second chance to first-degree murderers. First-degree murderers have been regarded as a danger to the society and people with psychological problems that overwhelm modern problem solving tools. A number of scholars have made some comments in various academic publications that this research will find useful.

Though successful to some people, the rehabilitation does not entirely help everyone (Shover, 2004). Some of the murderers are ‘born-murderers’ and hence the ability of rehabilitation to this inborn trait can bring little or no effect thus eluding change. Murder, like any action, can lead to addiction thus developing a passion for murder. When a murderer commits murder for fun, rehabilitating him/her may not yield desired fruits. In such a case, rehabilitation is rendered useless and a mere wastage of time and money. Experts in these programs should be able to classify murderers in terms of candid motives for murder (Shover, 2004).

Some of the murderers, as Friedrichs (1999) studied, tend to make the rehabilitation programs difficult to carry out; this is as a result of some of them are so used to the killings that they are unable to cease the behaviour. Lack of proper handling skills of the murderers is one factor that is limiting the efficiency of outcome of this crucial rehabilitation. This is due to the lack of the required skilled personnel in the handling of the victims could also act as an untimely brake into the motion of the important deed. Some states do not recommend such rehabilitation actions since the acts are not disciplinary in nature. In turn, they opt for actions, which they claim to be disciplinary to the murderer like hanging, and thus the victim ends up facing the dying lieu of being rehabilitated. This, according to Friedrichs (1999), completely shows that the rehabilitation is not important and thus instead of its spread and development, it is, unfortunately, rendered stagnant or fully retrogressive.

Some murderers tend to pose fake identity that makes rehabilitators think that they are reformed and ready to be released (Felson, 2005). On release, they re-offend swatting at the progress thought to have been made during rehabilitation. Moreover, other rehabilitators tend to let go of the victims before they are fully through their recovery process, this act is undoubtedly premature as the person in question has not passed through all the required metamorphosis of the structure of the program. These two latter inter-related matters only end up in major drawbacks and turmoil to the rehabilitation work as it is seen to be null and void, unnecessary and ineffective.

Feins (2008) states that, negligence on the part of rehabilitators is also evident in the developing countries. Professionals charged with helping murderers do not act their part, thus the anticipated outcomes of reformed criminals are not attained. The rehabilitation period is, therefore, prolonged or fails to take place at all. The causes for these challenges mainly emanate from the lackadaisical manner that government handles rehabilitation centres. Governments do not work hand in hand with the rehabilitation centres so as to help change the citizens of its country. In this context, the governments have been found wanting and below par of their expectations in matters so crucial in nation building.

Researches conducted over the years by Carr (2009) and Fennelly (2001) have provided the information that some of the first degree murderers are either insane or undertake their killing under the influence of drugs. This has been contributed by inhuman actions done or committed by any human. This factor poses a major challenge to the rehabilitation in a way that the staffs working in them have to face two problems at a time; the insanity and the drug addiction problem.

Most of rehabilitated murderers carry aspects of violence and reoffending tendencies making whole reformation process more complicated. Some fight amongst themselves due to little misunderstandings or the malice thing that keeps them on their toes. This behavior from the victims can pose a major challenge as the people involved in the reforming agenda are expected to find new ways of coping with the problem lest the program fails to achieve its set objectives (Shover, 2004).

Developing countries may have negligence to their rehabilitees; this is either for the lack of apt concentration by the rehabilitators, this might be due to lack of motivation from the government or due to poor pay or no wages at all to the people working to rehabilitate the murderers. Lack of well-trained rehabilitation practitioners is also another challenging vice that keeps the programs stagnant; the rehabilitants need to be well educated to know ones characters and physiological moods. This aspect will help them know whether some murderers act out of anger or fear, for instance (Samaha, 2000).

Management is an essential part of any program in that if an initiative does not have sound leadership and management; it is likely to miss the objectives.  Strategic managers motivate employees to work hard and provide a good standard and quality by providing the much needed leadership and guidance.  Good managers are aware that if they want their programs to be given a high priority and attain good standards, they have to portray an exceptional behaviour, so that others can copy from them (Siegel, 2004). They will always strive to establish principles concerning treatment of employees and the approach to achieving the organizational goals. They also seek to establish high performance and excellence standards.

In the case of programs in the rehabilitation of first degree murderer, participative management in the programs including government, murderers, experts and other interested parties is deemed to work for the better. Participative management has been described as an open type of management where the experts and those being rehabilitated have a strong say in the decision-making function. Managers who are actively seeking a strong cooperative relationship with their employees and subordinates have developed it. Participative management is one of the new approaches and best practices in managing the diverse programs especially in psychology and criminology, (Project Management Institute, 2004).

Given that participative management makes experts more responsible and highly accountable since they left to make all decisions regarding their jobs, there is an imminent danger of experts making costly decisions to the rehabilitation program (Project Management Institute, 2004). The problem of management for first degree murderers’ rehabilitation becomes more complicated if a greater percentage of personnel is not well informed and educated on the nature of rehabilitating this special group of inmates.  Research by Fry & Raadschelders (2008) observes that many rehabilitation centres have failed to help patients due to their inherent use of the rigid old system of public administration. The state, therefore, is the sole decision maker and the general public, to which services are intended, remains passive in management. There is a need, as Fry & Raadschelders (2008) further explain, to come up with a more welfare-oriented system of management in rehabilitation programs.

Fry & Raadschelders (2008) give six fundamentals that are the core to the success of rehabilitation programs for inmates irrespective of the crimes committed. First of the fundamentals is the existence of a catalytic government that propels and ensures successful implementation of therapeutic approaches to inmates. Under this fundamental, say Fry & Raadschelders (2008), it is good to understand that the main driver of a successful rehabilitation program is not the basic value of managing a center’s current programs but the room to allow for newer approaches to a particular managerial situation. The second fundamental is community based welfare that seeks to ensure that the general public is empowered to sustain itself instead of the mere emphasis of ensuring that community needs are met. Thirdly, the program management style upholds the need for competitive systems across various rehabilitation centres. Governments need to put rehabilitation practitioners in a competing mode in order to ensure that quality and efficiency in service delivery is gauged on a yardstick, Project Management Institute, 2004).

3.0 Research Methodology

In this chapter, the actual tools of research will clearly be laid down. The study will deeply be rooted on quantitative methodology and composed of several sections. Some of these sections will include method of data collection through questionnaire method, sampling, presets, and methods of data collection as well as analysis. Essentially, the case studies will be critically analyzed in the secondary sources, in order to identify various factors that led to ineffective programs in the rehabilitation center for first degree murders. The study will further aim to show how lack of enough personnel’s has aggravated this problem in various rehabilitations centers across the world. Primary data is obtained through the use of questionnaires, which will be randomly distributed to the sampled respondents. This chapter will also look at the ethical considerations, as well as the limitations of the study.

3.1 Questionnaire Design

In most of the Meta analysis, structured-undistinguished questionnaires are mostly used. The questionnaires consist of questions, having similar wording as well as written in the similar order, to all of the intended respondents. In addition, the responses along with the questions are often standardized. The main factor for standardizing these questions as well as the responses is to ensure that all of the intended respondents offers their responses to the same question. The questionnaire will consists of the dichotomous questions, the multichotomous questions, and some will be designed to scales. When the questions contain fixed alternatives, indeed they can be considered to be either multichotomous, dichotomous, or scales. Multichotomous question can be defined as a fixed alternative question, where the respondents are given the chance to select among the numerous alternatives, which have provided a response that most closely matches to their view of the subject under discussion. On the other hand, dichotomous questions are also considered to have fixed alternatives, though they only have two alternatives from where the respondents are expected to provide their views. Scale questions are mostly used to determine the frequency of a happening and determining how much the respondent will either agree or disagree with the type or question being asked. However, it is worth noting that the scales measures can be easily applied when the type of alternatives provided are identical in numerous questions. The questionnaire will be designed basically with the help of some questions sourced from the existing studies. Generally, for this study  major aim of the questionnaires will be to determine the efficiency of the current systems of rehabilitating first degree murderers in terms of programming, identification of needs, and formulation of strategies, implementation and evaluation of the effectiveness.

3.2 Sampling

When designing the sample to be used in the study, it is crucial to specify the sample size, the sample selection process, and the sample frame. The sample frame is mainly considered as the inventory of the population elements, which will be applied in creating the entire sample. Further, it is crucial to bear in mind that the entire sample selection process demands that the sample form be clearly specified. In this study, the sample will be obtained from several rehabilitation centres, where murderers of first degree are held. The targeted population to be surveyed was basically the management as well as the employees working in the rehabilitation centres. Generally, in this study the researcher will be interested in finding out if rehabilitation programs are decided by government officials or murderer needs are also considered.

3.3 Data Collection Method

There are numerous methods, which have been provided by various authors that could be applied in collecting quantitative data. These include e-mail survey, telephone interviews, mail survey, web surveys, and personal interviews among many other forms. The use of interviews as a method of collecting primary data for this study will be rejected because of timing as well as the associated cost factors. In this study, data will be collected by the use of questionnaires. This is due to the fact that they are reliable, economical as well as offer the respondents with adequate time to provide the required information. The reason as to why this study preferred to use mail questionnaires was due to the fact that they are reliable and at the same time. The data collection process will be expected to take about one and a half months, after that data was analyzed to find out whether the research questions had actually been answered or not. Further, pretesting was also done, in order to identify the ambiguous questions as well as determine if the order of the questions was right.

3.4 Pretesting

Pretesting is done to ensure that the researcher’s aims and expectations, with regard to the information that will be collected from all the application of the questionnaires, are actually attained. It is notable that assert that in this study, the respondents will be composed of a large proportion of the sample population, and will be comparable to those that will be applied in the real study.

3.5 Measurement Scales

It is crucial noting that the summated scales are mostly made from the statements, which are found within the questionnaire. However, for this study, both the factors as well as the reliability analysis are applied in confirming the measurement scales. The reliability of the measurement scales highlighted by the literature will first be analyzed. This will be followed by the factor analysis, in order to ensure that the same thing is being measured. However, the measurement scales, which were supposed to measure certain aspects such as uncertainty and levels of specialization, contained suspicious reliability.

3.6 Data Analysis

The data will be collected through the use of questionnaires that will be coded into the Statistical Analysis Program (SPSS). This will consists of several distinct statistical tests as well as analyses. The descriptive analyses will first conduct, in order to offer a description of the data. The measurement constructs factors that have led to infective programs in the rehabilitation of first degree murders will be shown.

3.7 Regression Model for Testing the Hypotheses

Regression analysis is mostly used to test the hypotheses, in order to determine which independent variable justifies the dependent variable, which is assessing factors resulting to infective programs in the rehabilitation of first degree murders. In this part various hypothesis will be formulated.

3.8 Ethical Considerations

There are several ethical issues, which will be considered while designing and conducting this research study. Some of them will include the freedom for each participant to take part in this study, a full disclosure of the type of the study, associated risks, as well as benefits will be provided to all the participants just to ensure their decisions in taking part in the study was justified. Privacy as well as confidentiality of the participants will be ensured

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