We suffer from an epidemic in the corrections system in America, severe overcrowding. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were nearly 7 million people under supervision of the adult correctional system with 2,220,300 adults incarcerated in 2013. In total 624,200 of those people are being supervised by Georgia’s adult correctional system. There are many factors that cause overcrowding in prisons. High recidivism rates, housing special needs inmates, and strict “one size fits all” sentencing laws have continued to financially drain the system. Many of those who are sentenced to confinement could benefit from alternatives to incarceration. By altering legislation, reforming court processes and implementing community corrections services prison overcrowding can be corrected.
One of the primary goals of corrections is to correct criminal behavior. Once a person is released, the hope is they will not relapse and continue with their previous life of crime. A high recidivism rate is a tell tale sign that the rehabilitative methods being used in our corrections system is falling short and alternatives should be considered. Once a person enters the system, there is a high probability they will return after released. Georgia releases about 20,000 convicts back into the community every year, and 2 out of 3 of those are rearrested within three years. We need to implement rehabilitation, education and job training for inmates to help them gain skills that will make them more employable when they are released. Research shows that strong community supervision programs for lower-risk, non-violent offenders not only co...
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...dressed the large jail backlog and high costs paid to counties housing state offenders. By identifying low-risk, nonviolent offenders and more effective ways to rehabilitate them, we are steering these offenders away from a life of crime and reserving our expensive prison beds for the violent offenders who pose a public safety risk." (GA.GOV) The governor is also working to remove employment, housing (Re-Entry Partnership Housing) and education barriers for Georgia 's rehabilitated offenders. Incentives and re-entry programs included in recently passed Georgia legislation are cost-effective strategies that will allow a larger number of former offenders to return to the workforce and support their families. Deal has also called on religious organization to fight recidivism rates and aid in re-entry efforts. These are a few steps in the right direction for Georgia.
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