Argumentative Essay On Recidivism

Published: 2021-06-22 00:26:08
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Category: Education, Criminal Justice, Crime

Type of paper: Essay

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Recidivism is where a person repeats or continues to commit a crime or seems unable to stop even after being punished. The word is also used to refer to number of released prisoners who have been rearrested. In 2002, over 600,000 people were released from prison, however, within three years seven out of ten had been rearrested for breaching the conditions of their discharge or for committing a fresh offense or for repeating the same crimes. This is a clear indication that a person’s transition from prison back to the community is difficult. With a cost of 19,830.45 dollars per prisoner, recidivism is taking a toll on the taxpayer’s money and can no longer be ignored. Since the introduction of prisons, prisoners have been faced with risks and opportunities intrinsic with rejoining the free world (Visher & Travis 89-92).
The causes of recidivism lie in the fact that prison conditions tend to alienate, and dehumanize the inmate to the extent that after being released from prison, he finds it difficult to conform to the rules and constructs of society. This results to a population of persons ill-equipped to deal with the strictures of a non-penal society, therefore, ending up in the periphery of the community and are likely to reoffend. There are two leading causes; prison violence and rape, and insufficient participation in prison educational programs. The incidence of rape and assault in male and female prisons is so widespread that it is almost probable. Prison rape occurs in prisons throughout the country, and it has severe effects on both the victimizers and the victim. Women in prisons suffer sexual assault not only in the hands of the inmates but at the hand of the guard, as well. These result not only to the transmission of sexual related illness but also to psychological effects. The victim harbors so much anger that upon he places less value on the lives and dignity of others thus the likelihood of re-offense. The other cause is the lack of education a typical offender is uneducated and unemployed, and; therefore, education plays a prominent role in successful rehabilitation of a prisoner. If educational programs are unavailable to inmates during their time in prison or the inmates fail to take advantage of education opportunities provided, they are released into the society uneducated and unskilled as before they went to prison. This, therefore, makes released inmates likely to fall back into the behaviors that made them end up in prison (Bailey 15-16).
While rehabilitation is the most effective method of criminal justice, it needs an immense deal of planning and an awareness of the causes behind recidivism. Increased attention should be paid towards stemming the tide of sexual abuse and violence in the prisons. Prisoners should be encouraged to participate in educational and vocational programming. This ensures that, upon release, the inmate has gained skills that are marketable in the workplace and they also enjoy increased self esteem at the prospect of contributing as a valuable member of society. The society these inmates are released into should also be more accepting and willing to offer them jobs. This ensures that the released inmates do not return to the life of crime as a means of earning a living (Bailey 17).
In prisons, better education facilities are needed to cater for the prisoners needs. Additionally, counseling should be offered to rape victims in prisons. Recidivism is a countrywide problem, and it shows lack of rehabilitation facilities in prisons. A prison system aiming at rehabilitating inmates’ lowers the rate of recidivism and in turn a safer and productive community.
Works Cited
Bailey, Kristen. “The Causes of Recidivism in the Criminal Justice System and Why It Is Worth
the Cost to Address Them”. Nashville Bar Journal, 2007, page 15-19. Web. 1st May 2012.
Visher, Christy & Travis, Jeremy. “Transitions From Prison To Community: Understanding
Individual Pathways”. The Urban Institute, Justice Policy Center, District of Columbia Washington, 2003, page 89-92. Web. 1st May 2012.

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