Traditionally, when speaking of an organized corrections system, the most popular method of dealing with convicted criminal offenders was to essentially place them in correctional facilities which kept them away from society both in order to punish the offender and protect society as a whole. This is known as the custodial model, and is the most popular method of organizing a correctional facility today. While this is the most popular method, there are other appropriate models to be considered.
Another method which is quite practical and beneficial is the rehabilitative method, whereby the goal of the correctional process and physical facility is not the warehousing of criminals as in the custodial model, but actually to enact programs and procedures geared toward helping inmates to conquer their problems, change their behaviors, and emerge back into society not only as better, more productive people than they were before being incarcerated, but also protecting society in that prisoners are not released after years of being locked away like wild animals, but after being helped and changed while in custody.
For example, under the rehabilitative method, perhaps a chronic drug addict who stole and assaulted people in the past to finance their illicit drug habit would spend their prison sentence undergoing treatment for their addictions, learning marketable job skills, and changing their previous violent tendencies. Thus, upon release, this individual has a fair chance of being a harmless, productive member of society rather than a threat to its members. Therefore, in conclusion, the rehabilitative model also has an excellent chance of gaining more popularity, as it holds an excellent chance for a positive outcome from an incarceration.