Recidivism Vs Incarceration

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Incarceration-many struggle personally, but all are affected, even if indirectly. The US prison system brings a sense of grief, lament, and even cynicism. Recidivism, “the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend” (Wikipedia), concentrates the pressing issues of incarceration. When felons are released back into society, their chances of recidivism are over fifty percent (Bureau of Justice Stats). jthreatens society and justice. If low-middle offenders continue to commit their crimes, the economy will worsen. Additionally, evidence shows disproportionate sentencing, which contributes to the recidivism problem. There is clearly a debate about how to deal with this dilemma. Are these individuals meant to be punished or is there a way to fix …show more content…

The 19th century brought a change in the dynamic of the prison system. Public offense and shaming gave way to penitentiary to “prepare for life as law-abiding citizens.” This change is now clearly seen as the just move, extending dignity and a second chance to most inmates. However, there would be certain drawbacks, as were witnessed in later years. As John Esperian writes, correctional thinking always “reflects the ideas and values of the societies and governments which mandated it.” In the 1700s, for example, the righteous pedestal royals were placed upon dictated the incredibly harsh and cruel punishments. Treason was repaid with unfathomable public torture. Before the 19th century, jails were used to store people prior to trial, in accordance with a system based upon the “law of retaliation.” The possibility of reformation had only begun its introduction during the end of the Enlightenment period, a time of progressive intellectual change that is somewhat mirrored today. When considering the current state of America’s prison system, it is key to examine its European roots, and those that followed with the Colonial period. The late 19th century brought about the first secure idea of penal reform- education through trade. Specified treatment according to each offender’s personality was also introduced. However, the 1960s …show more content…

Through the various “seasons” endured by the United State, such as the “Tough on Crime” period of the 1990s, prison education took its downfall through widespread bankruptcy (The Editorial Board). This period eliminated Pell Grants, and the result was a cost inefficiency. With many programs showing evidence for cost savings, educational rehabilitation is clearly the solution for this time. In a current state of increased advocacy for inmates and their treatment (Esperian), the change needed can become a reality. Pell grants offer inmates the opportunity to finish their schooling, a right and a privilege that most Americans would testify as a beneficial experience. They technically “provide resources that assist colleges in building their capacity in prisons, by covering the cost of books, tuition, and fees” (Smith). One 2016 summer program, through the implementation of Pell Grants, allowed 22,000 federal inmates to use federal funding to take college courses (WP Editorial Board). When a prisoner receives a bachelor's degree, their chances of recidivism decrease from 68 percent to 14 (WP Editorial Board). With that bachelor’s degree their possibility of joining the workforce increases along with their input into society. However, Pell Grants are limited in what they can offer, requiring release to be “within five years of enrolling” (Smith). Long-term prisoners must be addressed in

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