Prison Life and Recidivism Essay

Pages: 8 (2550 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice

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S. president. The authors in this case also note that in the past, crime studies have demonstrated that those individuals having a religious orientation are highly unlikely to be caught engaging in criminal activities. Hence when it comes to the use of religious programs as rehabilitative programs in the prison setting, the objective is to convince inmates to change their ways of living. Currently, religious programs in prison are largely voluntary. This voluntarily nature of involvement in this case is based on past court rulings deeming involvement into religious programs at the compulsory level as a violation of the First Amendment. However, it is important to note that all inmates, and not only those on special programs, have equal access to religious programs. This is seen to be in line with the right to belief and practice as enshrined and guaranteed under the first amendment.

Other rehabilitative programs in prisons which I have also identified as being widely used in efforts to bring down the rate of recidivism include but are not limited to substance abuse programs and vocational or educational programs.

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TOPIC: Essay on Prison Life and Recidivism Generally, Assignment

Basically, re-entry or re-introduction programs help inmates released from prison to have a smooth transition and integration back to the community. In most cases, these programs include but again are not limited to a wide range of assistance services in relation to getting a job or housing as well as accessing a variety of community services. It is important to note that most states have their own re-entry or re-introduction programs. For instance, in Wisconsin, there are well-formulated prisoner re-introduction programs which are availed to inmates mainly through the Corrections Department. However, in general terms, the main re-introduction programs availed to inmates include employment training and readiness, anger management courses and house placements. In a way, these programs are critical for the successful integration of the inmate back to the community.

Protecting the Public upon a Prisoner's Release: Current Approaches

According to Reid (2011), approximately two thirds of inmates released are re-arrested for the commission of additional offenses within a period of three years after their release date. With this in mind, the relevance of protecting the public upon the release of prisoners cannot be overstated. In an effort to protect the public given the high proportion of offenders likely to go back to jail for the commission of additional crimes, there are a number of approaches which are largely considered effective. To begin with, Reid (2011) notes that some states have effectively reviewed parole conditions with others abolishing parole boards altogether. The author notes that a number of people have already fallen victim to crimes perpetrated by individuals released through parole. A total of 15 states had already abolished parole boards by 1999 (Reid 2011).

Another approach taken so as to protect the public according to Reid (2011) is the registration of sex offenders. In some States i.e. New Jersey, law enforcement officers must be kept up-to-date on the location of a released sex offender i.e. where the said offender plans to live upon release. Though the statutes calling for the registration of released or known sexual offenders vary from state to state, most of them require that residents be notified of the presence of a released or known sexual offender in their neighborhood (Reid, 2011).

Further, it can also be noted that there have been continuous and enhanced improvements on the way released inmates are supervised upon release from prison. In this case, various stakeholders work together to improve the management of risk presented by such individuals. Further, efforts have been taken to ensure that the prison service, law enforcement officers and other relevant parties work closely in the supervision of released offenders.

New Proposals Relating to Public Protection and Reduction of Recidivism

When an inmate is released, among those he or she relates to at close quarters are members of his or her family. In that regard, it does make great sense to ensure that individuals comprising of this group are protected at every instance from the offender. This is where the need for a domestic violence programs comes in. Most particularly, this program is most appropriate for individuals who have in the past shown patterns of abuse towards a family member or spouse.

Next, in an attempt to bring down recidivism levels and protect the public, it should be made compulsory for particular inmates to attend anger management courses prior to their release. Offenders targeted by such courses should include those who have shown violent inclinations in the past. This could be critical in seeking to reduce the physical as well as verbal aggression of affected individuals.

Lastly, still in an attempt to protect the public and bring down recidivism rates, sexual offenders should join treatment initiatives on a compulsory basis. Further, treatment of sexual offenders should be divided into two i.e. short-term and long-term. In this case, short-term treatment initiatives should be undertaken for a short time period i.e. A couple of months while long-term treatment approaches should cover a significant range of time most of which should be based on behavioral analysis.

Conclusion

It can be noted that when it comes to the criminal justice system, prisons should be more rehabilitative other than punitive. Indeed, this is the only way to ensure that the system does not end up producing worse individuals than it took in. Therefore, towards that end, there is an existing need to reinforce the current rehabilitative programs in prisons. This will be a critical step towards bringing down the rates of recidivism and enhancing public safety.

References

Barkan, S.E. & Bryjak, G.J. (2011). Fundamentals of Criminal Justice: A Sociological View. Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Clear, T.R., Cole, G.F. & Reisig, M.D. (2010). American Corrections. Cengage Learning.

Human Rights Watch (2011). Prison and Detention Conditions. Retrieved November 22nd from: http://www.hrw.org/united-states/us-program/prison-and-detention-conditions

Osher, F.C. (2007). Short-term Strategies to Improve Re-entry of jail Populations: Expanding and Implementing the APIC Model. American Jails. 9 -- 18. Retrieved from http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/pdf/APIC_Model.pdf

Reid, S.T. (2011). Criminal Justice Essentials. John Wiley and Sons. [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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