Recidivism and Addiction Too many people are spending time in prison because of an addiction; experience and common sense also dictate that a large percent of these recidivists are addicts whose crimes stem from their addictions. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, released prisoners with the highest re-arrest rates were robbers (70.2%), burglars (74.0%), larcenist (74.6%), motor vehicle thieves (78.8%) and possessing or selling stolen property (77.4%) A conservative estimate is that some 67% of state prisoners have such a problem. In another study it was found that the number of inmates returning to state prison within three years of release has remained steady for more than a decade. Strong indicators that prison systems are failing to deter criminals from re-offending. Watching a family member or loved one struggle with addiction can be very difficult, however watching that same person spend the majority of their life in and out of prison because of their addiction can be heart breaking and tragic for both them and all connected to them. Recidivism, the return rate to prison with or with out a new criminal charge or conviction, is highly impacted by drug and alcohol addiction and the crimes associated with it. Some points to consider might also be, the lack of effective treatment while incarcerated and upon release, being paroled to the original environment, and over coming the stigmatism held by the parole officer, society, and the parolees that they have little chance to recover and become productive members of society. Attending recovery classes while incarcerated is limited and generally looked upon as an escape from a prison cell. Most inmates use recovery programs while incarcerated as a distractio... ... middle of paper ... ...rime adds to the ever-enclosing dark cloud that can surround one who is struggling with addiction and past behaviors. Possibly leading to a return to those very habits and eventually a return to prison. Watching anyone struggle with addiction is indeed difficult, and being connected personally may be even more so. Loosing family or loved ones, and friends to addiction and eventually jail or possibly death can be devastating. The effects are wide spread and touch many lives often felt very deeply for a long time, some for a lifetime. What can be done to help these people, to assist the families and society is ever evolving. This group of addicted offenders should be targeted for intensive and rigorous treatment. Courts and prosecutors have increasingly been making an effort to identify such addicts, and to induce them to enter into criminal justice based treatment.
Within our society, there is a gleaming stigma against the drug addicted. We have been taught to believe that if someone uses drugs and commits a crime they should be locked away and shunned for their lifetime. Their past continues to haunt them, even if they have changed their old addictive ways. Everyone deserves a second chance at life, so why do we outcast someone who struggles with this horrible disease? Drug addiction and crime can destroy lives and rip apart families. Drug courts give individuals an opportunity to repair the wreckage of their past and mend what was once lost. Throughout this paper, I will demonstrate why drug courts are more beneficial to an addict than lengthy prison sentences.
Once these individuals in rehab serve there sentence the majority of them, won’t look straight to the next opportunity to get high, but the next opportunity for a better future after being encouraged in rehab to accomplish something in life, compared to someone’s attitude coming out of prison. One story involved a man named Richard with his wife Marcia. She was an addict who was often jailed for it, but Anthony believed like many others that “addiction can be overcome with proper help. He believed that the solution was to get her into a mental hospital [and] get her whatever she needs – Xanax, morphine, to get her chemical imbalance right. Show her some respect. (114)” Give her some working skills, so once she gets out she is capable of being successful but instead she kept getting “kicked down the steps” by the criminal justice system. The jailing and torture of addicts is routine to people serving cases for drug related offenses, who are often not built to endure prison, let alone jail. “The Justice Department estimates that 216,000 people are raped in these prisons every year. (This is the number of rapes, not the number of rapes – that is much higher.) (109)” This is ultimately shows the simple fact that many people are not built to endure
This research study will address the on-going issues of reducing recidivism, and the need to help ex-offenders succeed in society post incarceration. While literature pertaining to this topic of reducing recidivism is available, such literature tends to be written by elites and/or individuals who have never been incarcerated. Our study will provide first hand authentic answers regarding how to reduce recidivism.
Visher is the Principal Research Associate at The Urban Institute, a Washington DC-based think tank that conducts policy research and offers solutions. In the article, Visher begins by asserting that the United States’ criminal justice policies swing from “tough on crime” to “rehabilitation.” The problem of prisoner reentry no longer focuses on just the offender and his/her circumstances, but the broader approach to find new evidence-based solutions. Policy makers are now extremely aware of the prison situation and is now a topic of interest. Although a larger number of prisoners have been released since the 1980s and 1990s, most of them come back. The admission rate of prisoners is higher than that of releasing them. Prisoner reentry is a main policy concern at the state, local and federal level for several reasons. First and foremost is the public safety problem. The recidivism rate has not changed in the past decade or two. One-third of all prison admissions nationwide, are offenders who are being returned to prison for new crimes or technical violations. The second reason is the fiscal implications the prisoner reentry phenomenon has on society. Expenditures on the correctional system has increased six fold in just 25 years. As a result, policy and political attention in the United States has grown, that councils have passed resolutions to deal with the crisis. Some examples of new legislation include the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI)
A study by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2010 found that almost sixty-eight percent of released prisoners were rearrested within the first three years of freedom, while almost seventy-seven percent of released prisoners were rearrested within the first five years of freedom (Durose). These numbers are staggeringly high. When first learning of these statistics I wondered about what is being done to reduce this percentage and increase the success rate of one-time offenders. This led me to my research on Montana based programs dedicated to inmate rehabilitation. While more needs to be done in the form of inmate rehabilitation, Montana does have quite a few programs established to reduce recidivism
As drug addiction becomes an increasing problem, we are posed with the question of what to do with these addicts. Is it better to send them to prison where they can attempt to get better, or to a rehabilitation facility where they can be treated by professionals? I personally believe that drug addicts should be placed into a rehabilitation program rather than being placed in prison due to the reduced risk of post incarceration syndrome, the reduced cost, and the overall benefits of support they receive in a program afterwards.
It has become one of the major social problems of our day, leaving a great number of families and communities within our country devastated and without hope of recuperation for any of their afflicted members and loved ones. Growing to become a big social challenge affecting all aspects of the American society, addiction rates have escalated to enormous proportions within the country as reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Addiction has been described as a chronic brain disorder,” resulting from adaptations in the brain that leads to changes in behavior”, according to Dr. Nora Volkow, who also assert that it can be treated (NIDA 2006).
The first step in ending the issue of drug use and abuse in our country is to cure the drug users from their addiction in a safe, controlled manner. As confirmed in an article from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Drug addiction is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive, or uncontrollable, drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences and changes in the brain, which can be long lasting.” (“Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction”) The addiction of drugs is an actual disease, and cannot be brushed off as something that can be stopped at any point in time. Drug addiction is just as serious as any other diagnosed disease and must be cured accordingly. Prison will not benefit those addicted to drugs because it is a disease that must be treated, just as any other illness is. In an attempt to end an addiction without help in a safe environment, dangerous consequences could result.
The demographics were a mix of age groups from 22 to 55, a mix of African American (41) and Caucasians (15). There were 28 males and 28 females. All of the fifty-six graduates had one or more felony convictions prior to entry into Drug Court. For the purpose of the study that was conducted, recidivism is a conviction of an offense, within three years after entry into Drug Court, which can be punished by incarceration (Hammond & Shaw, 2012, p.3). This study was on graduates who completed the entire program. It was found that twelve out of the fifty-six participants were convicted of new offenses that can be punished by incarceration. The crimes that the participants committed and were convicted of were larceny, possession of narcotics, Driving Under the Influence, Failure to appear, Prostitution, Trespass, Identity Fraud, Driving without Authority, and Driving After Habitual Offender Adjudication. There were no violent offenses or burglary. Only two of the twelve participants were convicted of narcotic offenses. However, it is known the crimes that participants were convicted of are often drug or substance abuse related (Shaw & Hammond, 2012). Again, these numbers indicate participants who completed the entire program. The average number of graduates from the program per year when this study was conducted was fourteen. At any given time, there is anywhere from fifteen to thirty
For the extensive amount of information collected Bourgeois and Schonberg’s research was as detailed as it could be. This study is perfect for many educators, hospital and clinic staff, community members and for anyone that has compassion for righteous dopefiends. Punishing those that struggle with a disease will not rehabilitate on their own. Therefore, these issues affect society as a whole and the wellbeing of the addicted population should no longer be ostracized.
Substance abuse is a national problem. Prisons are overcrowded with these types of offenders. People will do anything to get these drugs ranging from petty theft to murder. People with substance abuse problems know no boundaries. All they think about is how they are going to get that drug for that day. Substance abusers do not care who they hurt or why they hurt them. A lot of people that are addicted hurt the people they love the most like children and parents. People in the prison system that has been convicted of violent crimes most of them say that they were under the influence of some type of drug or alcohol.
In his article, “We can’t afford to ignore drug addiction in prison,” David Sack states, “Addiction is a chronic illness that needs long term care… Prison just buys a little time before the addict relapses and re-offends, perpetuating the cycle and hurting himself along with the rest of us. It’s a good incentive to look beyond incarceration for solutions to society’s ills…Let’s…make a real commitment to seeing how much we can accomplish with effective addiction treatment.” Sack establishes that addiction is a medical condition that causes addicts to be more likely to recidivate. People should be welcoming ex-prisoners as returning members of society instead of ignoring them, allowing them to commit another crime, and be reincarcerated- only to repeat the cycle. Sack proposes the simple solution of actively supporting prison treatments for addicts. RDAP is the perfect program to be supported, because it provides the necessary treatment to prevent prisoners from relapsing once they are released. By supporting RDAP, the recidivism rate lowers as inmates are given the opportunity to return as citizens who are healthy and able to contribute to
Recidivism refers to the tendency of reversion to criminal activities of the released inmates. It is measured by the frequency with which released offenders return to incarceration for new crimes. The rates reflect on the effectiveness of instituted programs that focus on integrating the released offenders into the society (Schmalleger, 2007). When the rates are healthy, it means that the programs in place are doing well in helping the offender restrain from criminal activities. The importance of correctional programs cannot be downplayed for any reason. The programs whether in the prison or out are effective in saving the nation a huge amount in providing public safety and taxes (Pollock, 2004).
Drug addiction is a very big problem in today’s society. Many people have had their lives ruined due to drug addiction. The people that use the drugs don’t even realize that they have an addiction. They continue to use the drug not even realizing that their whole world is crashing down around them. Drug addicts normally lose their family and friends due to drug addiction.