Essay Role of Prisons in Reducing Recidivism

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Role of Prisons in Reducing Recidivism

The role of prisons and prison wardens in reducing recidivism is a major concern today. With programs initialized in the prison systems, recidivism rates still have stayed about the same for forty years. Almost two-thirds of prisoners will be arrested after their release, and of those, half will return to prison for a new crime. The obstacle faced by professionals to change behavior is a multi-layered complex problem that needs to be addressed in our society today. Different views and opinions are given, and they do not lesson the impact of each other, but a multi-dimensional program should be utilized to achieve the goal of recidivism.

Professor Alex Holsinger of the University of Missouri
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These ways of obtaining statistics are easy to obtain because new arrests statistics for any crime are available. Professor Holsinger also states that a person serving a long time for a crime, (12-15 years), should not be included in a study as a success because they are still in prison. He disagrees with Jack Cowely, a retired prison warden, that the warden is personally responsible. Holsingers believes that the warden is responsible for administrative procedures only and that prison wardens should utilize social service agencies to implement programs. Changing criminal behavior in a person who has had behavior reinforced for many, many years is a difficult problem when the prisoner is only in the penal system for a few years proves to be the greatest obstacle. What Holsinger believes would reduce recidivism would be to implement more resources into cognitive behavior curriculum that specifically addresses anti-social thinking, anti-social thoughts and attitudes, and drug and alcohol use and abuse.

Professor Holsinger views about recidivism seem quite impressive but increasing resources for prison systems seem non-existent at the present time because of all of the other social aid our government is obligated to. Also, Professor Holsinger did not state anything about the cost effectiveness of all these programs and what the outcome would be if they were utilized. He did not mention the time it would take reduce recidivism for offenders. The belief in pouring
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