Recidivism in the United States Criminal Justice System

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Recidivism in the United States Criminal Justice System An ongoing and increasingly evident issue in the criminal justice system is how convicted individuals reenter society with little or no gradual process. These individuals often resort back to criminal activity in an act termed recidivism. According to the National institute of Justice(NIJ), recidivism “refers to a person’s relapse into criminal behavior, often after the person receives sanctions or undergoes intervention for a previous crime” (National Institute of Justice, 2012). This process often involves individuals committing more serious criminal offenses than in their prior offenses. Is there any way in which the criminal justice system can be altered so as to either limit or eliminate recidivism? The first suggestion is to create separate facilities for individuals who commit differing crimes. A second proposal is to alter the way in which correctional facilities themselves are managed. A third recommendation is to make adjustments to how post-prison activities of convicted individuals are surveilled. One of the most apparent issues in today’s criminal justice system is how individuals are transformed during prison sentences and how they are thrown back into society after said sentences. All too often, individuals who are sent to prison are released from their sentences more criminalized than they were previously. This is often seen when individuals are criminally charged for smaller delinquent behavior and sentenced to prison time. Over their time spent in a correctional facility the light offenders are subjected to interaction with more serious offenders. Upon release from their imprisonment, the light offenders often become repeat offenders of equa... ... middle of paper ... ...izing an integrated system of the second and third suggestions. By combining the method of changing the way correctional facilities are managed with altering the system of post-release monitoring, there would be a positive effect on the recidivism rates of correctional facilities in the United States. References: Henslin, James. (2009) Essentials of sociology: a down-to-earth approach 8th ed., Pearson Publishing: New Jersey. Henslin, James. (2009) Essentials of sociology: a down-to-earth approach 8th ed., Pearson Publishing: New Jersey. Figure 6.3. Langan, P. A., & Levin, D. J. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Special Reports. (1994). Recidivism of prisoners released in 1994 (NCJ 193427). National Institute of Justice. (2012, May 12). Recidivism. Retrieved from http://www.nij.gov/ topics/corrections/recidivism/Pages/welcome.aspx
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