On the Other Side: Creating a New Life After Serving Time.
(ThyBlackMan.com) Over half a million people every year will leave prison and return to society. The majority of them will be rearrested in the first year while over half will go back in three years, followed by nearly three fourths within the next five years. There are ways to avoid these pitfalls and remain outside of bars. The nation’s recidivism is a problem that starts during the prison sentence. It is up to our prisoners through their own will, determination and outside support to be able to stay out of prison.
Facing the Problem
A majority of the 2 million plus behind bars today do not have a high school degree. During their time in state custody they do not have the ability to enter into schooling that prepares them for life after prison. Instead they are usually given a bus pass, their belongings, and a small amount of pocket money.
These prisoners who return back into civilization are not equipped to deal with finding work, housing, or other basic necessities to live and work. It is almost destined for them to fail after leaving prison.
Policymakers have saw that this is a problem and want to reform the criminal justice system by helping those entering into prison. The tough on crime policies from the previous decades have done more harm than help for our society in many cases. Some of these things to help them, have to do with reducing sentences and the repealing mandatory minimums.
Role of Education & Re-Entry Programs
Many of the problems faced in the system is the lack of actual rehabilitation that should be worked on, more than just limiting sentences as the possibility of them turning back to a life of crime and going back to prison is prevalent. Different types of education like technical training, prison and re-entry programs will not only alleviate the trouble of reintegration but also save nearly $80 billion a year in regards to cost of incarceration.
These programs have already been proven to work as they have found that around half of prisoners are less likely to go back to prison after be involved. These are the most effective programs that begin in prison and can be a way for prisoners to create a new life after getting out.
Some additions to these programs support them after their release and help them gain housing assistance to navigate the new working world. Only a small percentage of them will ever run into trouble with the law again. If they do and believe It is unnecessary or profiling then they can call upon their own criminal defense lawyer.
Lack of Programs
The hard reality of the matter is that most of these prisons do not offer these programs or anything closely resembling them. Most of the inmates don’t show up to classes at they are perceived as worthless or the classes are simply not doing a good enough job of educating the prisoners.
The past few years there have begun a national conversation on what can be done with criminal justice reform. Most people don’t think prisoners should have a right to an education, but that only perpetuates the cycle even further leading to no progress. Instead more emphasis needs to be given on the fixing the current education in the prison system.
The lack of programs has been an ever-constant issue with people debating this in the early 20th century. There is historical precedent for something like this to not only work but also thrive.
Creating A New Life With Education
The takeaway from all of this is that education inside the prison system is what leads to more options when finally entering back into the world. It is essential that the bar be raised for those currently behind bars.
The criminal justice reform system is slowly becoming an important issue as it affects communities across the country. If you’ve made it out of prison, there are some key things you need to do even if a system of education has not been put into place yet.
These include focusing on any programs or plans out there that currently set up prisoners after they are released. These halfway houses and continued education plans are ways to get out and becoming a productive member of society. The government has begun to shift its policies to support these endeavors so that a higher quality of life can be met and prison can be a permanent thing of the past.
Staff Writer; Earl Browne