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This article deals with punishment and prisons, in particular, the rehabilitative role of punishment in Italian prisons. This role is herewith specified: On the one hand, by sociological considerations on punishment and prisons, based on the studies of Clemmer and Goffman; on the other hand, by international rules and the Italian legislation, dating back to the Reform of the Penitentiary Code 1975 and lastly, from a critical point of view. Generally speaking, the term rehabilitative model in this context means to restore solidarity with the socially recognized values, reconstructing the broken citizenship bond.