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Troubles With Reentering The Community After Doing Time In Prison

1253 words - 5 pages

In the time of serving their sentence, prisoners are allowed to take part in several treatment programs. The prison facility offers educational training, vocational training, psychotherapy, and counseling for any inmate that seeks the knowledge and help. When the State Psychiatric Hospitals around the nation closed, thousands of people with mental health disabilities will be sent to prison to stay off the streets and to receive help. The programs in prison offer medicine and counseling to inmates with a mental illness. The problem with these programs are whether the programs works and the programs are not available to inmates in need outside of the prison walls. There are many obstacles that prisoners face once they are released into the community; recidivism, finding a job, mental illness, social services and reuniting with children. Inmates are not prepared enough for social problems that arises in everyday life.
Reentry programs for inmates vary from state to state around the United States. Some states spend an excessive amount of money to ensure their parolees are prepared to enter back into the community. “Effective programs typically share certain features such as using behavioral and cognitive approaches occurring in the offenders’ natural environment, being multi – modal and intensive enough to be effective, encompassing rewards for pro – social behavior, targeting high – risk and high – criminogenic need individuals and matching the learning styles and abilities of the offender, (Allen)” (Listwan et al., 2006 pg 305). In these programs the instructor teaches the inmates how to have a positive outlook on life. The programs also teach inmate how to control their temper in a stressful situation. Other states that have “broken programs” give the prisoners the material to reenter the community, but never made sure the prisoners fully understood the material. “The lack of incentive coupled with the penal harm movement (see Clear, 1994) results in fewer inmates leaving prison fully equipped to handle the difficulties that will face them upon release” (Listwan et al., pg 304). “The issue of effectiveness is complicated because the reentry process involves both the assumption of productive social roles and refrain from criminal behavior” (Listwan et al., 2006 Pg. 305).

Recidivism is the biggest obstacle that a prisoner faces. “Recidivism is an invaluable measure of the performance of various sanctions and interventions with criminal offenders” (Bynum, Carter, Matson, and Onley 2001 Pg. 241). As thousands of prisoners are released back into the community, everyday life can be a hassle. Newly released prisoners face boundary issues, where once everything was enclosed in a small space; are now exposed to a big open world where a big wall is not blocking their views. The simple decisions that causes the parolee stress, are picking out clothes to wear that day or what kind of food to eat. On top of stressful situation, the lack of a support...

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