Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Prison life and strategies to decrease recidivism upon an inmates Essay

Prison life and strategies to decrease recidivism upon an inmates release from prison - Essay Example In the US, the rate of recidivism is estimated to be approximately two-thirds of all released inmates (Andrews & Bonta, 1994). This means that at least two-thirds of prisoners released will ultimately be re-imprisoned within a period of three years. High recidivism rates impose immense costs with regard to public safety, as well as tax dollars utilized in arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning re-offenders. Due to these high costs, programs for inmates, as well as released prisoners, which reduce recidivism, can prove cost effective, even in the event of modest success (Perkinson, 2010). This paper will consider the US prison system, describing its aspects such as prison life, the existence and effectiveness of programs that reduce recidivism and programs aimed at reintroducing released prisoners into society. Purpose for Prisons in the US As an institution, the prison plays a critical role in the society. The US justice system bestows on prisons various roles. The first essential ro le is rehabilitation; prisons provide convicts with second chances to appreciate and learn from their misconducts and change. In essence, prisons help inmates reflect on their lives and search for ways through which they can coexist peacefully within the society. In addition, prisons offer inmates with learning environments in which they acquire new skills essential in enabling them earn decent livelihoods after their release (Armitage, 2002). Another critical role of prisons is deterrence and punishment aimed at discouraging inmates and others within the society from committing similar crimes. Forms of punishment vary contingent on the crimes committed, ranging from hard labor to the death penalty. Such punishment deters others in the society from committing crimes, thus ensuring peace and harmony within the society (Andrews & Bonta, 1994). Moreover, prisons provide justice to victims of crimes. Because law centers on justice and equity, victims of crimes receive justice through th e incarceration of those that harmed them. The incarceration of a wrongdoer provides closure to the victim of the crime. Lastly, prisons in the US protect the public from threats to security and safety as incarceration deters criminals such as serial killers and rapists from committing crimes within the society. Current conditions in US prisons The present condition of US prisons is less than ideal. Prisoners presently live in deplorable conditions characterized by extreme overcrowding. The situation in US prisons provides a viable environment for crime to thrive within prison boundaries. Perkinson (2010) poises that the California and Texas prisons, which are the biggest in the US, have, in the last thirty years, experienced an eight fold increase in the number of prisoners incarcerated. Despite the growing number of inmates, funding for prisons has barely increased, making it difficult to meet the needs of prisoners (Armitage, 2002). Inadequate funding makes it difficult for priso ns to teach prisoners effective skills to enhance their re-introduction into society. Although the US encompasses 5% of the global population, its prisons encompass 25% of the global prisoner population; this indicates the enormity of the issue. Increased congestion in US prisons is also attributable to increased levels of crime and recidivism in the US. This congestion diminishes the rehabilitative role of prisons as congestion makes it difficult

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