Recidivism and Addiction

826 Words2 Pages

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.

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