The Problem Of Recidivism Essay

1716 words - 7 pages

In 1994 fifteen states participated in a study on released prisoners. The study was to show the recidivism rates. “Recidivism is a tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior; especially: relapse into criminal behavior”, according to Webster’s dictionary. Recidivism is one of the main causes of people being in prison now. In a study by the Pew Center, it was shown that there has been minimum improvement on the recidivism rates in the United States. Even though the rates vary from state to state, the rates of recidivism have been pretty steady in the Unites States, but “dropping for the past three consecutive years”, as reported to CBSNews in 2013 by Brian ...view middle of the document...

Glenn E. Martin, a vice president of the Fortune Society, a New York based organization that helps formerly incarcerated people and their families, said, “It is really easy to commit a crime when you persuade yourself that no one else out there is convinced of your rehabilitation.”, and in most cases, simply to survive. The reasons vary from person to person. Some may reoffend out of pleasure while others out of feeling like that is what they need to do to stay afloat.
While in prison a little while before their release, I feel that the inmates should have resources to prepare them for the “outside world”. There should be available health insurance, housing, food stamps, clothing assistance, grants for school and employment for convicted felons. In addition to that, I feel that there should be options for them to sign up for these things before being released from prison. Of course, there should be stipulations, but minor. In this case, these resources should at least available to first time offenders. I feel like there should also be free counselors and therapist also available before and after release to assist the individuals with coping outside of prison. I think some people may just need an extra word of encouragement or someone to believe in them. Speaking from experience, it is extremely difficult to find a job, let alone a good paying job, after being released from prison. It is not such an easy task readapting to the “outside world”, especially after being in prison for years.
Under some conditions like the Early Release programs and parole, they have to have somewhere to live before they are released. If they do not have anywhere to live, the state is required to hold them or find somewhere for them to live. On the other hand, if they have completed their entire sentence, upon their release date, they are simply put out onto the street and most with nowhere to go. This unfortunately happens because the inmate no longer “belongs” to the state so they do not care where they live. I feel that a good resource that can be used to help lower recidivism rates due to stealing would be a temporary shelter for those just released from prison. I think that in each state for the number of prisons in that state, there should be 2 shelters, one for men and one for women.
As a result of these people being homeless, they do not have food to eat, clothes to wear, or money for personal hygiene products. Then they may feel like they are “forced” to steal and rob, which then, of course, lands them back behind bars. In addition to going back to prison, they are harming our communities. I think the difficulties for a convicted felon getting a job are very high. I think the second biggest thing, just under the employers trusting, is the nature of the crimes committed. Many of what may have to do with certain job positions. For this, there should be temporary jobs for just released felons. These jobs should last a certain amount of time and to include...

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