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Is Recidivism Inevitable?

Prisons are intended not only to hold prisoners, but, also to rehabilitate them and turn them into productive members of society. Though it seems prisons are not doing their job correctly, most prisons, either due to budget constraints or corrupt officers, do not try to rehabilitate them. They serve their time and then are thrown back into the world worse criminals than before. The prison system, in its current form, is flawed. It is nearly impossible to truly rehabilitate someone after prison time.

The prison system, as it is now, has existed for a long time. Only recently has it has it become flawed. Recidivism, or the tendency to relapse into a previous undesirable type of behavior, especially crime, rates are at their highest. Recidivism is as common as person going to jail the first time. Crime has been on the rise but because of our crowding and violence within the system prisoners are not learning what they should or getting the help they need. Then when they are released they will usually keep committing crimes and end up right back in the place that was supposed to keep them from doing it again.

Violence is a serious problem in most traditional prisons. Many people go into prison for small offences but to survive they must harden themselves and live a way of life that is tougher than they ever imagined. Many prisoners are willing to kill, trade drugs and other offences. Because of the worsening conditions in the prisons the almost non-existent rehabilitation programs are counteracted. Worse than the prisoner violence is the complete disregard of the prisoners by the guards and staff.

Once a prisoner has left prison one would think they would be given help to re-enter society. That is not the case. “Ninety-five pe...

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...bilitated. If the prison system stays in its current state we as a country will be worse off. How can we say we are the greatest country in the world if we do not try to help all of our citizens succeed?

Works Cited

Falk, Julie. “Fiscal Lockdown.” Dollars & Sense. July-Aug. 2003: 19+. SIRS Researcher. Web. 24 Mar. 2011.

Johnson, Kevin. “Solitary Confinement Doesn’t Pay.” USA TODAY. 14 June 2010: A1. SIRS Researcher. Web. 23 Mar. 2011.

Lawrence, Alison. “Exit Strategy for parolees.” State Legislatures. June 2010: 20. SIRS Researcher. Web. 21 Mar. 2011.

Sterngold, James. “Worst of the Worst.” Mother Jones. July-Aug. 2008: 48-53. Sirs Researcher. Web. 24 Mar. 2011.

Wood, Graeme. “Prison Without Walls.” Atlantic Montly. Sept. 2010: 86-96. SIRS Researcher. Web. 21 Mar. 2011.

Benson, Etienne. “rehabilitate or Punish.” Moniter. july 2003: 46 web. 17 April 2011.
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