Recidivism And The Criminal Justice System

1686 Words Oct 29th, 2014 7 Pages
Currently there are 2.4 million inmates in state and federal prisons across the United States. (Cullen, 2011) Each year, more than 700,000 individuals are released from state and federal prisons. Statistics indicate that more than two-thirds of state prisoners are rearrested within three years of their release and half are reincarcerated. High rates of recidivism mean more crime, more victims and more pressure on an already overburdened criminal justice system. A topic of much discussion is what happens when the inmates are released back into society? Are they prepared for the “outside” world? Has the institution done enough to prevent recidivism? It can be said that prison based education is a means of rehabilitating and re-direction. If someone is released with only the same knowledge, skills, and abilities they entered prison with, then they are likely to become involved in the same activities as prior to being incarcerated. This action is known in the criminal justice community as recidivism. Recidivism is a tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior. (Merriam-Webster, 2014) Recidivism is the largest concern for prison system professionals. The goal of most prisons is to rehabilitate the offender, not to punish per say. If the inmate is to return to free society, prison officials need to attempt to reduce or eliminate the possibility of committing criminal offenses upon release. Currently prisons provide various forms of education to…
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