Robert Martinson, a sociologist, published an article called "Nothing Works" in the spring of 1974 that had an enormous influence on the growth of the prison industrial complex.
Basically, the general takeaway from his
article was that regardless of what resources governments poured into reforming prisoners, nothing was going to turn them into law-abiding citizens. (For more information on Martinson
, see http://www.prisonpolicy.org/scans/rehab.html)