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Former incarcerated persons attitudes and perceptions of successful reentry - Dissertation Example

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The Former Incarcerated and their Reentry [Name of the Student] [Name of the University] The Former Incarcerated and their Reentry The incarceration rates in the US are very high and there is no justification for this state of affairs. This has bestowed upon the US the dubious distinction of being the world leader among nations, when it comes to imprisoning its own inhabitants…
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Former incarcerated persons attitudes and perceptions of successful reentry
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Download file to see previous pages There has been a fourfold increase in incarceration, and parole release rates have reduced radically. At the same time, there has been a significant increase in parole supervision. This has been accompanied by a drastic increase in parole revocation, with the result that hundreds of thousands of people are forced back into prison. The policy makers have not accorded much importance to reducing recidivism and enhancing integration of the released convicts into the community (Travis, 2008). Latessa, another eminent professor in criminology claims that there is conclusive evidence, which clearly shows that treatment programs enjoy different levels of effectiveness. In fact, there should be a segregation of offenders into the low and high risk categories. Offenders belonging to the high risk category should be subjected to more intense supervision and treatment, as they tend to benefit from such measures. Services should primarily focus on the factors in offenders that lead to criminal behavior. It is now clear that programs that are properly designed and implemented have the capacity to reduce recidivism to a major extent. On the other hand, improperly designed and poorly implement programs can actually enhance recidivism (Latessa, 2008). ?American society has to envisage the onerous task of reintegrating into society, a large number of released prisoners. This number is quite significant, and was of the order of 635,000 per annum. The prison population, in the year 2002, was around 1.4 million, and 93% of these individuals would ultimately be released into society (Day, 2005, p. 346). Another disquieting feature of this state of affairs is that the average prison term does not exceed 2.5 years. In fact, some 44% of the prisoners would be released within a year of being incarcerated. Public safety is crucially affected, by prisoner reentry, which can be understood as the different activities that enable released prisoners to join the mainstream of society as responsible and law abiding members (Petersilia, 2009, p. 3). The majority of the ex – convicts suffer from social and medical problems. These individuals, in the main, tend to be uneducated, unskilled and devoid of adequate family support. In addition, they have to bear the cross of having been imprisoned, which invariably generates distrust and fear. Another, disquieting feature relates to the prevalence of substance abuse, in nearly 75% of the prisoners, and the affliction of a sixth of prisoners with mental illness. Less than a third of such prisoners are provided with treatment in prison (Holzer, Raphael, & Stoll, 2003). As revealed in a study a by Petersilia, an eminent scholar of criminal justice, the proportion of prisoners with infectious diseases is five times that of the proportion of the US population. The extent of this malaise can be gauged from the fact that around 25% of those infected with HIV or AIDS in the US transit through prison or jail. It has been stressed by experts in the area of public health that HIV will continue to increase in prisons and will eventually increase prevalence rates in the general community (Petersilia, 2009, p. 4). This will be the outcome of imprisoning and releasing a greater number of drug offenders. Furthermore, the number of prison inmates with marketable employment skills or adequate literacy to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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