Prison and Recidivism

8 August 2016

One issue that has created controversy and influenced correctional policy over the past twenty-five years is correctional treatment programs. Although the public supports the concept of rehabilitation and treatment programs, there is an expectation that such programs reduce recidivism. In New York City, the recidivism rate in the jail system is as high as 65%. Out of 340,000 males, 200,000 black males are arrested yearly by the NYPD out of a population of 1,200,000 black males.

Rehabilitation is a programmed effort to alter the attitudes and behaviors of inmates and improve their likelihood of becoming law-abiding citizens. It focus is on preventing future crimes and return someone to a prior state. An offender who completes their criminal punishment (i. e. sentence to X amount of years in prison, rehabilitation, etc…) and continue to commit crimes, committed Recidivism. Correctional officials try to reduce recidivism and rehabilitation in many ways. First, correctional programs aim at trying to reduce offenders’ motivation to commit further crimes.

Prison and Recidivism Essay Example

Second, correctional agencies offer psychological counseling to help offenders understand the factors that trigger certain behaviors, anger management, etc… Finally, correctional programs may simply have a goal of improving offenders’ decision making. The term Recidivism is frequently used for substance abuse or criminal behavior. No person or program can force offenders to change their behavior or to make good decisions to avoid crime, especially months after they leave the supervision of correctional officials. There are a few isolated relationships between a treatment program and a reduction in recidivism.

Also, there are no consistent findings that any single treatment program significantly reduced recidivism. Care for rehabilitation decreased after the early 1970, by Martinson and his colleagues’ review of the usage of correctional treatment. There are many methodological concerns about the early work of Martinson and the ability to actually evaluate correctional treatment programs based on recidivism. One concern is that many question the power of using recidivism as a measure of the use of correctional programs, considering it unfair to expect correctional treatment to have a long-term effect by reducing recidivism.

Another concern is that social science research designs often have difficulty controlling for the many external and internal factors that can affect recidivism rates. In a 1975 analysis of the studies reviewed by Martinson, Palmer noted that 48 percent of the studies cited found a positive effect on recidivism. And in 1990, Andrews and colleagues found that of the better-controlled studies, 40 percent found that treatment had a positive effect. Meta-analysis has identified positive effect of correctional treatment programs in reducing recidivism as well.

Meta-analysis is a statistical measure of the average effect an intervention has on recidivism across all studies, while identifying and controlling for various study conditions. In a 1993 analysis of the effect of correctional treatment, Lipsey and Wilson reviewed ten meta-analyses and identified 25 percent reduction of recidivism by psychological, educational, and behavioral correctional treatment programs. And, in 1995, Losel reviewed thirteen meta-analyses and found that the average effect from the treatment intervention would result in a recidivism rate of 45 percent for the treatment group and 55 percent for the control group.

In 2005, the Washington legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to find evidence-based options that could reduce recidivism and avoid the need for expensive prison construction. Boot camps are expensive to operate because they require a high staff to inmate ratio, and they are especially expensive compared to minimum-security prisons, where most of the boot camp offenders would otherwise be incarcerated. Daily per-inmate costs for operating boot camps in thirty-one states and the federal system in 2000 were $67. 85, even higher than the average cost for all prisons during 2001 of $62. 22.

Several recent findings have been very critical of the impact of boot camps on reducing recidivism. A review by the U. S. General Accounting Office (GAO) reported that boot camps only marginally reduce recidivism, and difference between boot camp and non-boot camp offenders diminish over time. GOA study found that the impact on recidivism to be best negligible. As a result of the negative findings, several states are questioning their usefulness and reconsidering the idea, and New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Arizona have all closed their boot camp operations. In The Pew Report One in 31 notes, “Recidivism rates are discouragingly high.

Every state is focusing on ways to improve the programming and transition for inmates coming out of prison, hoping to reduce recidivism and thereby reduce the costs for incarceration. Governor Doyle believes that additional focus on reentry, community treatment, and diversion programs will reduce recidivism and the number of offenders. Intermediate sanctions should reduce the level of recidivism for offenders are one of the goals of Intermediate sanctions. Recidivism is not significantly affected by simple community surveillance unless it is combined with participation in treatment programs.

Petersilia, in reviewing studies of intermediate sanctions, concluded, “The empirical evidence regarding intermediate sanctions is decisive: without a rehabilitation component, reductions in recidivism are elusive. ” When the two components are combined in a quality fashion, intermediate sanctions have proved effective in reducing recidivism. There are identifying programs that show evidence of success in reducing recidivism and funding those for intermediate sanctions in the past decades. There are mixed results concerning the effect of correctional education on post-release recidivism.

Several studies have indicated a positive relationship between participating in prison education programs and lower recidivism. A study of post-release recidivism of inmates released from Texas prisons during 1991 and 1992 found that inmates at the lowest levels of educational achievement benefited most from participation in academic programs as indicated by lower recidivism rates. Vito and Tewksbury evaluated a program in Kentucky to increase the literacy levels of state and local inmates and to reduce recidivism; wasn’t much of an affect.

Study show that Vocational training is shown to be effective in reducing recidivism. Vocational training is specific training in a trade area to prepare students to work in that area. Saylor and Gaes found that those who participated in either vocational or education training were 33 percent less likely to recidivate through the observation period. Lattimore and colleagues also found a reduction in recidivism rates by vocational training participants in too North Carolina prisons for young offenders. Female inmates have a link between their criminality and substance abuse, unlike male inmates.

Recidivism rates for female offenders are high, yet thought to be less than recidivism rates for comparable male offenders. Murderers have very low rates of recidivism. Inmates who have committed murder and then had their death sentences commuted indicate that offenders who commit murder have a very low rate of recidivism, and less than 1 percent later committed another murder. Several programs have been found effective in improving the success of prisoner reentry and reducing recidivism. Work release programs are effective in reducing recidivism and improving job readiness skills for ex-offenders.

Recidivism of releasees from a private prison is lower than those released from public prisons, and of those who reoffended; the crimes were less serious for the private prison releasees. Sex offenders are difficult group to rehabilitate. Recidivism rates generally attributed to sex offenders are not as high. Sex offenders’ inmates in state prisons in 1991 who were recidivists are 24 percent of those serving time for rape and 19 percent of those serving time for sexual assault; had been on probation or parole at the time of the offense for which they were incarcerated.

In the study of Bureau of Justice Statistics of recidivism by probationers, rapists on probation were found to have a lower rate of rearrest for new felonies (19. 5 percent) than other violent probationers (41 percent). (“Recidivism,”). Lower rearrest, reconviction, and reincarceration rates for ex-inmates who had served a sentence for rape or sexual assault than for those who served a sentence for all violent offenses. Management and treatment of sex offenders are difficult and often unsuccessful, even though offenders convicted of rape and sexual assault have lower recidivism rates than other violent offenders.

Almost two of every five offenders are returned to prison. Intensive treatment and monitoring in the community, often lead to revoking supervision as a preventive approach to avoid further criminality. A Supreme Court case that deals with recidivism: 10/2003-Ohio Prison: Inmate Gets Death Sentence In Strangling An Ohio prisoner convicted of strangling his cellmate will be executed. The prisoner, Timothy Hancock, 33, initially got a life sentence for the November 2000 slaying.

However, Warren County prosecutors appealed to demand stiffer punishment, and a new sentencing was ordered. Hancock’s death sentence will be automatically appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, which is required in capital cases. Hancock was convicted two years ago of killing Jason Wagner, 25, of Lancaster. They shared a cell at Warren Correctional Institution near Lebanon. Hancock was serving a life term for a 1990 murder. Recidivism is the state of relapse that occurs when offenders complete their criminal punishment and then continue to commit crimes.

When an offender committed a crime and has paid for the punishment, it is more likely that the offender will commit the crime again in the future. Correctional treatment programs are effective, but don’t work on all offenders; cannot change their thinking pattern. Although the recidivism rate is decreasing, the correctional treatment programs needs to improve their programs and come up with other methods and strategies. No matter how much we improve our programs, we can never know the mind of every criminal; therefore, recidivism will always exist.

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