What Works in Reducing Recidivism

Best Essays
A long-term study conducted by Bureau of Justice Statistics found that the average five-year recidivism rates of 404,638 prisoners released in 2005 is 76.6% among thirty states in America (Matthew, Alexia, & Howard, 2014, p. 1). In other words, most of the released prisoners did not escape the cycle of recidivism and were sent back to the prison after time. This indicates that the present American justice system, which focuses on punishment as Benson (2003) noted, fails to rehabilitate prisoners efficiently and is far from achieving the goal of reducing crime rates (p. 46). What is more, the recidivism of prisoners is becoming a great plague of society, because it not only imposes a threat to public safety but also places an enormous financial burden on taxpayers. According to a survey covering forty states in America, one prisoner would cost taxpayers 31,286 dollars each year on average (Henrichson & Delaney, 2012, p. 9). Thus, 76% of 404,638 prisoners, who re-offended in five years, mentioned in the study conducted by Bureau of Justice Statistics would cost approximately one billion dollars annually. Realizing the importance of rehabilitation, the Prison Fellowship International (PFI), founded by Charles Colson in 1979, provides various rehabilitation programs based on Christianity to offenders and ex-offenders in more than 125 countries all over the world (“Who we”, n.d.). This paper will evaluate and offer advice to three solutions provided by Prison Fellowship International to rehabilitate offenders: establishing communications between offenders and victims, providing offenders with re-entry program based on biblical education and visiting prisoners regularly.

Sycamore Tree project offers opportunities for offenders to c...

... middle of paper ...

..., S. (2011). Experiences of shame and empathy in violent and non-violent young offenders. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 22(4), 551-563. doi:10.1080/14789949.2011.602096

Pithers, W. D. (1999). Empathy: definition, enhancement, and relevance to the treatment of sexual abusers. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 14(3), 257-284.

Proeve, M., & Howells, K. (2002). Shame and Guilt in Child Sexual Offenders. International Journal of Offender Therapy & Comparative Criminology, 46(6), 657-667.

Roys, D. T. (1997). Empirical and theoretical considerations of empathy in sex offenders. International Journal of Offender Therapy & Comparative Criminology, 41(1), 53.

Who we are. Retrieved from

Wilkinson, R. A., & Unwin, T. (1999). Visiting in prison. Retrieved from
Get Access