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When Jail Records Indicate Recidivism

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One of the things that jail records reveal is that individuals who have been released return; this is referred to as recidivism. Ideally, jail records would indicate that most prisoners learned their lesson and never committed another crime but instead, they indicate that at least 2/3rds of the individuals released from state or federal prisons end up going back.

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From Jail Statistics To Human Solutions

People who work with prisoners and in different types of prison systems have looked at the statistics and realized that something really needs to change. They are convinced that there has got to be a way to lower the number of prisoners who end up back in the system and have done research to determine where. Several programs are currently being introduced to state and federal programs with the hope that they will be enough to keep the inmates from breaking more laws after they have been released from prison.

two rows of inmate cellsOne of the programs that some prisons are trying out is introducing inmates to mental and emotional therapy by way of character building; a criminal's false sense of pride and accomplishment isn't lasting or fulfilling emotionally but can be wrongly associated as something positive. A majority of the people who are currently serving time come from a family that made crime a way of life by selfish choices or necessity rather than growing up with experiences that build self esteem. Prison psychologists hope that it is possible to break a cycle that evolved from a way of life and turn a person with several pages worth of "rap sheets" into a mild mannered, warm eyed, member of society.

Teaching Inmates Skills That Increase Self Worth

Skills that the inmates are going to learn to develop while they are a part of the character education program will include social skills that will make it possible for the inmate to deal with and understand others more effectively. Other personal skills that the prison psychologists are going to work on developing include:

  • anger management
  • respect
  • values
  • morals
  • how to be responsible for their actions


The actual effectiveness of the program on recidivism can only be determined by the number of repeat offenders from the groups participating; the effectiveness on each person as an individual can only be calculated by the participant but should be outwardly evidenced by an increase in his or her general quality of life. The hope is that since the program is providing societal skills to the prisoner that they didn't have previous to their arrest that they will be able to lead a full life that is free of crime in the future.

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