Essay: Criminal Justice &amp the Prison System: Program

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This work in writing intends to examine the CRIMINAL JUSTICE and prison system in a brief program evaluation that identifies the external factors that impact the operation of a prison program geared toward the reduction of prison overcrowding and recidivism and specifically in terms of the ethics that may be involved in evaluation of the program.

Government's Role in Prisoner Re-Entry Program Should be Limited

The work of Mulhlhausen (2009) entitled: "Prisoner Reentry: A Limited Federal Government Role" in what is his testimony before the Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crimes and Drugs of the United States Senate" reports that the national government should in addressing the issue of offender recidivism "limit itself to handling tasks that fall under its constitutional powers and the state and local governments cannot perform by themselves." Mulhlhausen states that the government should do two things:

(1) Operate 'evidence-based' programs; and (2) Not assume responsibility for funding the routine operations of state and local reentry programs. (2009)

The opinion of Mulhlhausen is that while the tendency exists to search for solutions at the national level, this is "misguided and problematic..." (2009) because although offender recidivism is a problem "common to all states...the crimes committed by offenders in the state corrections systems are almost entirely and inherently local in nature and regulated by state criminal law, law enforcement and courts." (Mulhlhausen, 2009)

Offender reentry begins in the prison as inmates begin to prepare for release and is ongoing in various communities with characteristics that are individual to that specific community in terms of its public policies and other factors that serve to influence the transition of the individuals from prison and into the community. Mulhlhausen (2009) reports that additional factors that influence the individual's transition from prison to community are those of:

(1) Individual characteristics;

(2) Family and peer relationships; and (3) Community circumstances. (Mulhlhausen, 2009)

II. Rigorous and Scientific Evaluation of Programs for Re-Entry

The work of Wolk and Hartmann (1996) reports that outcome evaluations for the purpose of determining the effectiveness of prison programs are essential. Since the primary reason that re-entry programs exist is the prevention of recidivism a requirement also exists for impact evaluations that are scientifically rigorous and for two reasons:

(1) The curtailing of ineffective programs; and (2) The adoption of effective programs. (Mulhlhausen, 2009)


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Cite This Essay:

APA Format

Criminal Justice &amp the Prison System: Program.  (2010, February 5).  Retrieved November 22, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Criminal Justice &amp the Prison System: Program."  5 February 2010.  Web.  22 November 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Criminal Justice &amp the Prison System: Program."  February 5, 2010.  Accessed November 22, 2019.