Effectiveness of Recidivism Recidivism refers to a person’s relapse into criminal behavior, often after receiving sanctions or undergoing Intervention for a previous crime. This term applies equally to both adults and Juvenile offenders. Nearly 650,000 people are released from the nation’s prisons every year, and about nine million more are released from Jails. Two- thirds of those who come out of prison are rearrested within three years of release (Dory, 2009). Numerous studies have been conducted In an attempt to determine what factors cause repeat offenders.

No one study has been 100% conclusive, but it seems that there are a myriad of reasons given for recidivism. One also has to evaluate the affects these offenders have on the community. Not only Is the safety of the community compromised but taxpayers are giving over more money yearly to support these offenders. Rehabilitation and re-entry programs have had some success, but not nearly what you would expect to see considering the cost and research allocated to the programs.

It has been proposed that the fault can not weigh solely on the current programs available, because this takes away the accessibility of the offender to not perform additional crimes. One of the factors that must be examined is the circumstances of the offender prior to Incarceration, Some have no jobs, no homes, minimal skills and many have mental health issues and drug addictions. Other issues affecting the chances of refunding include the length of Incarceration, prior criminal history and gang association (League, Davies, Palmer. Halberds, 2008). Juveniles have slightly different risk factors. The chances of a Juvenile being a referenda become higher depending on race, environment (rural vs.. Urban), and whether the offender lived in a single parent ‘Off with during incarceration, how can they be expected to not continue to be issues upon release? To determine the percentage of recidivism, first the percentage of people in the correctional system at any given time must be examined, as well as the percentage of people that have either been released on probation or parole.

The results from a fairly recent study were staggering. In 2008, the Pew Center on the States reported that incarceration levels had risen to a point where one in 100 American adults was behind bars. A second Pew study the following year added another disturbing dimension to the picture, revealing that one in 31 adults in the United States was either incarcerated or on probation or parole. According to the survey results, 45. 4 percent of people released from prison in 1999 and 43. Percent of those sent home in 2004 were reincarnated within three years, either for committing a new crime or for violating conditions governing their release (Pew Center, 2011) In the past decade, recidivism rates have stabilized, however, rearrested tastes have risen. Released inmates are more likely to be reincarnated (mostly for technical parole violations) than rearrested during the first 18 months after release from prison, and thereafter are significantly more likely to be rearrested.

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Programs becoming more widely available to those incarcerated include education, either in the form of a GEED or even college level learning; Job skills training, to make it easier to obtain gainful employment upon release; and even social skills to help offenders blend into the community better upon release. Corrections institutions are also seeing that inmates with more family support are doing better than those without both pre and post release. The support of family both while incarcerated and post-release will also serve to lower the funding needed for outside programs as offenders rely less on these services.

Re-entry programs include education and workforce development; access to housing, health care, mental health and addiction services; employment; and sentencing options and alternatives. And some programs offer monetary support. Some states are offering businesses a bonus for hiring a prior inmate. While these programs are having a positive effect on released inmates, there is still much improvement to be done on the programs themselves including the best use of resources and what programs are the most effective.

Not being able to obtain employment on release remains the #1 reason for refunding. Historically, many companies and even government departments have a low rate of hiring people with a criminal record. Continued research must be conducted to determine if this assistance is being effective and who is best served. It is not possible to expect every inmate to respond positively to a training or re-entry program. An inmate has to be willing to participate or the chances for success are minimal.

The failure or success of these programs do not lay solely with the offender. The community as a whole has to be willing to change as well. There is a stigma attached to an inmate, that they are not as good as those without a criminal history and that they are Just “bad” people. With this mind set, how can a reformed inmate expect to become a productive member of society. But given the research done to date, these programs can be expected to greatly reduce the frequency of refunding.

And as more research is conducted, inmate advocacy groups will begin to have more insight into what is take part in these programs, changes will occur in numerous sectors. Crime rates will fall exponentially, incarcerations will fall and the prison and Jails will begin to empty out (causing a decrease in the amount of funds needed to sustain them). As more released inmates successfully reenter the community and become productive citizens, the economy will improve. Reference Dory, C. (2009, November 11). Society Must Address Recidivism, Officials Say.


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