Reducing Prisoner Recidivism Essay

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Ginny Davis English 112 041c Professor Miller 9 April 2012 Criminal Rehabilitation: The Results Are Worth the Costs to Taxpayers Introduction Rehabilitating criminals is a commonly disputed topic throughout the United States. The country’s prison system has tried to solve the problem of what is effective to prisoner rehabilitation for years. For decades, the United States Corrections division has been hoping to bring about positive change for its citizens through effective means of prisoner rehabilitation. During the 1970s, the nation’s correctional system made rehabilitation a first priority. Because the majority of incarcerated criminals are repeat offenders, and the costs associated with offender recidivism has skyrocketed since then, research to find appropriate and effective means to reducing criminal recidivism continues to be a priority (Gross et all 144-145.) Currently, law enforcement and prisoner confinement exhaust the two largest portions of the United States Department of Justice budget (USDJ.) In 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice requested $6.8 billion for prisoner detention, which reflects an increase of $136,000,000 from the previous year. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, approximately twenty-five years ago, a career criminal cost taxpayers a conservative estimate of $1,500,000. The costs to detain the same career criminal has increased by approximately $4,000,000 as reported in a 2009 study (Gross et all 144.) Although it may sound ridiculous to increase spending on rehabilitative services for correctional facilities, spending more money on proven rehabilitative programs for offenders could decrease overall recidivism costs (Gross et all 146.) Thesis: The United States Department of Corrections should use funds allocated to prisoner recidivism more wisely by integrating proven strategies for prison management programs
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