Recidivism In Corrections

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By definition, corrections are the variety of programs, services, facilities, and organizations responsible for the management of individuals who have been accused or convicted of criminal offenses (Clear 11). Yet, looking at what prisons are giving inmates today, it seems that this definition is not being upheld. There has been a lack of funding towards new programs that could prevent inmates from returning to prison, and the result is an increase in recidivism in prisons all over the United States. Since World War II through the 1970s, many changes have occurred in the United States correctional systems. During these years, the correctional system has transformed from the rehabilitation model to a more punitive model. During the 1950s…show more content…
During the 70s, the public was upset that some violent offenders were given the opportunity to be released from prison and commit further crimes. The fear over increasing crime rates and the failure to reform offenders led to the federal government to pass the Comprehensive Crime Control Act. In 1984, the U.S. Congress passed the Comprehensive Crime Control Act. The Sentencing Reform Act was included in the initial Crime Control Act. The sentencing reform made changes to federal sentencing and parole policies by replacing unspecified sentences with defined terms of imprisonment. Early releases through parole were abolished and replaced with supervised release. The determinate sentencing structure of the sentencing guidelines rejects the rehabilitative model’s notion that the rehabilitative capacity of offenders should determine sentence lengths. (Maulhausen, 2010) This change from reform to punitive required offenders to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence with the possibility of early release based on good behavior for the remaining 15 percent of the sentence. During the time of rehabilitation, offenders only served, on average, 58 percent of their prison sentences. (Maulhausen, 2010) Since the United State is using a get tough on crime approach, punishment is now a prisons main function. As a result, the punitive model has caused an explosion in prison…show more content…
In creating a balanced system, different types of criminals need to be sentenced to a specific program that fits both the personality of the offender and the crime they committed. “Poorly implemented programs, delivered by untrained personnel, where offenders spend only a minimal amount of time in the program, can hardly be expected to successfully reduce recidivism.” (Mackenzie, p.26) The prisons of the 21st century need to be very different from the unsuccessful prison systems and beliefs of the 20th century. The biggest change in correctional beliefs needs to be that prisons should only house violent criminals. Non-violent criminals are more of a threat to themselves than to society and can be punished using community-based corrections. It is necessary to keep non-violent criminals separate from violent criminals, as to keep non-violent criminals from escalating to the commission of violent crimes once they are released from prison. The elimination of all drug felons from the prison system will allow prisons to function more smoothly and create programs focused toward the rehabilitation of violent criminals. Another benefit of using community-based corrections are that the prisons will become extremely less populated, and the money used to finance prisons can be put toward hiring

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