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Let's Be Real About Recidivism - Prison Inmate Search

Let’s Be Real About Recidivism

Recidivism is a 10-letter word. When you first hear the word, it sounds like a disease. We know it is not a medical term, but it is a disease affecting our society. Dictionary.com defines recidivism as “repeated or habitual relapse, as into crime.”

A 2011 study released by the Pew Center on the United States concluded the nation’s recidivism rate had only marginally improved, even as spending on corrections facilities has increased to about $52 billion a year from about $30 billion a decade ago. More than 40 percent of former inmates commit crimes within three years of their release and are incarcerated again, according to this study.

Every few years there are a number of articles published moaning about our high recidivism rate. Government officials will run around in circles and then announce that committees will be formed to study the problem again. It is not rocket science. Prisons need the tools to rehabilitate and prepare returning citizens so that they do not become part of the annual recidivism rate. The prisons and jails need to treat the inmates as human beings and not as warehouse storage. Inmates cleaning streets will not reduce recidivism. There is a desperate need for practical education–How to find a job and how to interview for employment.

Those who argue that prisons are like private country clubs, are obviously uneducated about our prisons and jails or just like to believe in myths. Many prisons and jails are dangerous, overcrowded, and deteriorating. If we continue to side with the hardliners who believe only in punishment, then we will always have a high recidivism rate, overcrowded prisons, more crime victims, and an unhealthy society.

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5 Responses to Let’s Be Real About Recidivism

  1. Gerald N. Unger September 30, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    Once an individual is captured and labeled, escaping the boundaries of perception become even more difficult. Incarceration is big business. In fact the arrest of one individual creates more jobs that any other stimulus program. From the contractor that builds the facility to the truck driver that delivers the “seconds” to the commissary, everyone makes a “buck.” Upon release the individual is forever disenfranchised, we have to stop with the “I am a felon,” the individual is not a felon, s/he has a felony on their record, but first and foremost they are an individual.

  2. PrisonPath October 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    Lets Be Real About Recidivism

    I read your article and have to agree with you on the majority of the points you made. Being formerly incarcerated for several years I can identify. That is why I have been for 18 years working and volunteering to aid those “Returning Citizens” (which is a term I have been identifying those returning to society from prison for many years) need structure, true worth instilled and show them they do matter and have value as an individual. The largest percentage of them need a “Hand up and not a hand out.”

    This is why I volunteer to educate society in general just how important it is to at least give individuals an opportunity to prove their worthiness and positive impact they can have as “Returning Citizens.” Trying to get society to realize this is going to take many, many cases and people like us to get the message across to them and for them to realize this concept. Many of them do know this but do not want to take the “chance” on the ones that may fail in reentry. With anything in life there are successes and there are failures. Families, businesses and even churches. Nothing nor no one is perfect on the face of this earth. There will be successes and there will be failures. That’s just the history of the human race in general.

    You will be able to see the work I am trying to do and the goals I am trying to accomplish on my website at http://www.philemonministries.webs.com

    May you and yours have a blessed day!

    Rev. Don Disharoon
    Philemon Ministries of Delaware
    By Rev. Don Disharoon

  3. Teresa October 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    Agreed Rev. Don – Having been incarcerated myself – not once, but twice – I understand the system and the need for organizations and ministries to assist the prisoner in the transition. But the rehabilitation must begin way before they are ever released (if they ever are). As Bradley says, the prisons need the tools, and that is when these organizations and ministries step in where the government leaves off. In fact, the government has been eliminating many of these “tools” for years. NC prisons no longer have the opportunity to go to college as it was when I was there. Purpose in Prison Projects (PiPP) was founded to help the prisoner find worth and purpose by giving back to society while still inside. Their value should not be dependent on their freedom. All of these wonderful ministries and organizations will make a difference as we continue to work together to decrease the sad statistic of recidivism. Be blessed.

  4. PrisonPath October 2, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    As you can see on my website, the ones incarcerated do need to be met with anywhere from 6 months to a year before release to establish a working relationship well ahead of time. This way there is a more solid foundation and the knowledge of an individual’s actual needs before hand. I must agree that the prisons are getting worse and worse and are offering less and less. This is where we in the ministry or NPO can step in and fill that necessary void the state(s) have created. You would like to think they realize the real “needs” for those being released and would increase these “life’s skills” and resources for those prior to release. But let’s face it….prison is a big business and actually makes the state(s) money. If not, then why are there private groups that run and manage some prisons? Must be a profitable venture. Have a blessed day Teresa!

    Rev. Don

  5. PrisonPath October 2, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    I believe that good Re-Entry programs in the community can be very vital to reducing the rate of Recidivism. We don’t need anymore Flop House, Prison Ministries, and Re-Entry Programs, they need to be solid.
    By Clarence

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