Recidivism And Addiction Essay

975 words - 4 pages

Recidivism and Addiction
Too many people are spending time in prison because of an addiction; experience and common sense also dictate that a large percent of these recidivists are addicts whose crimes stem from their addictions. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, released prisoners with the highest re-arrest rates were robbers (70.2%), burglars (74.0%), larcenist (74.6%), motor vehicle thieves (78.8%) and possessing or selling stolen property (77.4%) A conservative estimate is that some 67% of state prisoners have such a problem. In another study it was found that the number of inmates returning to state prison within three years of release has remained steady for more ...view middle of the document...

Upon release the parolee is required to report to their parole officer and submit to required drug screening. While the community does offer a number of recovery programs, pursuing them is the responsibility of the parolee. Understand that unless a parolee has strong family or community ties they have little support to help them succeed. While recovery may be the most integral piece of rebuilding the parolee’s life, this aspect is only lightly monitored or required by the state. Without a healthy support system to address the day-to-day issues of adjusting to society clean and sober, the parolees may find themselves in a state of uncertainty, slipping into depression and anxiety leading them once again to relapse. As a result of this the parolees may find themselves looking at the possibility of a return to custody solely as the result of a positive drug screen.
Upon release from prison a parolee is instructed to report to their parole officer within 24 hours. For some this does not mean returning home, as inmates are often paroled to the county in which they committed the crime. This can leave them isolated, without family or support. While being displaced in parole may be difficult, a parolee finding themselves in their home environment may be just as detrimental, if not more. In either case, the pressures to return to the old life can be immense and very attractive as the parolee struggles to find work, housing and generally re-enter society. The instinct to survive will eventually supersede rational thought and old patterns may re-emerge. Addiction is known to be cunning and befalling, a disease that never sleeps, always waiting for an opportunity to re-emerge. Programs of recovery suggest that it be fought on every front, starting with abstinence and avoiding old places where the addict used. That could include not going to bars, not going to parties or friends houses...

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