Recidivism In American Prisons

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Introduction Since the innovation of the prison system in the nineteenth century, crowding has consistently been a feature of American prisons (Mullen 31). In the past couple of decades, crowding has gone unnoticed and become more problematic in the United States. Prisons are essentially storage lockers for inmates to punish them and keep them from criminal activity, yet the more prisoners that are stored, the more conflict that arises. Joan Mullen, a former vice president and manager of the Law and Justice Area of Abt Associates, Inc., and sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, evaluates how prisons fail to meet standards of human decency when there is crowding (Mullen 33). A lack of privacy, harmful mental and physical conditions,…show more content…
According to the National Institute of Justice, “Recidivism refers to a person 's relapse into criminal behavior, often after the person receives sanctions or undergoes intervention for a previous crime,” (Recidivism). A study conducted in 2005 by the Bureau of Justice Statistics about recidivism revealed “about two-thirds (67.8%) of released prisoners were arrested for a new crime within 3 years” upon release (Cooper). These high rates are influenced by a number of factors both while in prison, and following release. For instance, drug offenders “underestimate their vulnerability post-incarceration,” especially because many often return to neighborhoods that are associated with pre-incarceration drug use. Not to mention, they need proper housing and employment to readjust into society, but they lack access because they are labeled in society (Chandler). Additionally, those who experience overcrowding and do not receive treatment are more likely to reoffend. Research has uncovered that carefully targeted programs significantly reduces recidivism…show more content…
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