Prison Reentry And Recidivism

Prison reentry is the reintroduction of former inmates into the society. Recidivism is the return prison as a result of committing a new crime. In the contemporary society, prisoner reentry and recidivism has posed a challenge. After the reintroduction into the society, there is no guarantee that there will be no relapse. It is due to this that prison reentry and recidivism pose a challenge particularly in the United States. Statistics has it that the rate of recidivism in the United States is approximately 60%. This rate fluctuates over the years. The following are some of the ways through which communities and the government may respond to reentry and recidivism.

To begin with, some scholars have observed that policy formulators should come up with appropriate regulations. For instance, prisons’ rehabilitation programs should include programs aimed at helping inmates cope in the free society. After reentry, offenders should continue with rehabilitation programs either freely or under parole. This is something that parole committees decide at their discretion. Decisions for or against parole should not be subjective but objective.

Legal experts advise that communities where the authorities integrate former offenders should be prepared in advance. For instance, they should encourage former offenders to feel at home. This does not imply that they should not proceed with caution. It only implies that some level of acceptance must exist to help former offenders cope well in the free society. Some behaviorists have observed that reducing recidivism requires continuity from prisons programs. Consequently, it calls for the outside society to have mechanisms that complement prisons. These include programs for substance abuse treatment and a guide on employment services. It is also critical that education program goes hand in hand with other services and training as Thompson points out.

In conclusion, one may notice that prison reentry and recidivism are big challenges. Correctional facilities and the legal system spend billions of dollars to mitigate the over 60% recidivism rate in the United States. Through policy formulations, Cole and Smith claim that reentry and recidivism programs should be case specific. Others on their part assert the crucial role that communities have to play to complement prisons. The common denominator is that a majority believes that prison reentry and recidivism are costly. Therefore, there is a need to look at the issue afresh.

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