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Increasing Spending On Prison Treatment And Rehabilitation Programs

1105 words - 5 pages

As of the year 2009, 743 out of every 100,000 people, in the United States, have been incarcerated in their lifetime. Among those incarcerated 67% re-offend and 52% are sent back to prison. If over half of the people who are incarcerated either re-offend or are re-incarcerated something isn’t working. Prisoners aren’t learning from their mistakes and they aren’t being rehabilitated. What can we do as a country to lower this recidivism rate? What are we doing wrong? Why is our prison system failing to stop these individuals from committing more crimes as soon as they are released? The problem is we aren’t teaching them anything. We aren’t helping them transition from incarceration back into ...view middle of the document...

In order to accommodate this type of individual treatment, we must to first start by assessing each prisoner separately. In doing this, we can utilize a variety of strategies to meet each prisoners individual educational, behavioral vocational, and job-skills needs. These strategies should include providing educational and vocation programs that continue after release. According to a study by the National Education Association nearly 80% of prisoners have not earned a high school diploma or GED. It should also include providing services to address housing, transportation, mental illness, substance abuse, and child care. According to the U.S. Department of Justice 52% of prisoners have children under the age of 18, who often depend on them for some financial support. According to a report made by CASA, 65% of prisoners in the U.S. meet medical criteria for substance abuse addiction and only 11% receive treatment. Other strategies should include creating a partnership with businesses to develop actual real job opportunities. Along with these strategies, the most important aspect should be a constant assessment through data collection and analysis to show what is working and what is not working. This will help us refine these programs in order to maximize effectiveness.
With this in mind, I will explain why increasing expenditures in programs that work is something we as a nation should consider. Prisoners, like most humans, are creatures of habit. They know what works for them and what does not. In my correctional facility, I have heard countless prisoners express to me their desire to change. I feel that many prisoners genuinely do want to change. There are the obvious sociopaths and psychos that no matter how hard you try will never change. However, I truly believe the majority of prisoners actually want to do better, but when the time comes and they walk outside those gates they begin to lose this desire to change. This is due to the fact that they have no other means to support themselves or their loved ones. They get tired of living on the streets with no job and no money. They get tired of not being able to support their families. They get tired of not being able to receive medical...

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