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Recidivism in the Criminal Justice – Prison System of America

The position of people continuously returning to prisons in the United States is alarming due to their high rates and the absence of effective mechanisms for integration in society. According to recent statistics, two out of three individuals are incarcerated within three years after their failure to meet basic needs, which means an additional tax burden (Benecchi, 2021). Therefore, the suggested study is valuable for the academic community as it can shed light on possible changes for decreasing the number of recidivists and thereby improving the economic wellbeing of the whole population.

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Initiating shifts in both the environment and the affected persons’ overall conditions is an optimal solution to the described problem. The former implies the development of inmate organization for integration into society, and the latter means paying attention to individuals’ health status. Hence, examining internal and external factors leading to recidivism in the criminal justice/prison system in the United States is beneficial for developing a response to this economic challenge.

The first reason why this suggestion is feasible is the increasing number of incarcerated people in the country, which can worsen the already complicated situation. In 2020, there were 1.8 million prisoners, and it means that this indicator tripled since the 1960s (Benecchi, 2021). Since there is no efficient way to address recidivism, the elaboration of new measures is desirable. The second circumstance contributing to the necessity to investigate the subject is the neglect of physical and mental health of this population group.

According to Wallace & Wang (2020), it results in the impossibility for them to find employment and abstain from further crimes, and this issue adds to the reasonability of assessing potential interventions. The third condition explaining the need for the study is the lack of connection between correctional authorities and these individuals, as the former’s efforts are not aimed at rehabilitation (Kreager & Kruttschnitt, 2018). Thus, the proposed improvements are possible to achieve only when relying on comprehensive findings of this study.

Flores (2018)

The article written by Flores (2018) presents a variety of factors contributing to mass incarceration and recidivism. The scholar claims that crime policies, which are believed to be controversial alongside the existence of racism, are accompanied by the lack of employment and education (Flores, 2018). These internal and external circumstances determine the impossibility for prisoners to integrate into society and explain the increasing rates of people returning to prisons within a relatively short time.

The relevance of this source to the designed research is conditional upon the attention to both environmental conditions and individual situations preventing the affected persons from active participation in community life. In this case, the consideration of race, as well as socioeconomic disparities, seems advantageous for addressing these separate issues and incorporating them in modified policies. Thus, it is valuable for supporting the development of further measures with regard to the above obstacles.

Harding, Morenoff, Nguyen, & Bushway (2017)

The article, published by Harding et al. (2020), narrates about the cause-and-effect relationships between the initial imprisonment and the consequent recidivism. The scholars argue that the former circumstance increases the chances for prison readmissions (Harding et al., 2020). They also claim that probation is less harmful in this respect than long-term stays (Harding et al., 2020). In the end, the authors conclude on the role of stringent supervision and punishment of low-level crimes for their reoccurrence.

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This piece is relevant to the study’s objective to provide a theoretical basis for changes in the criminal justice system in the United States. It presents evidence of the necessity to develop preventive measures in order to avoid further worsening of problems for inmates. They are connected to the fact that insignificant crimes, when severely punished, lead to more serious offenses. Therefore, the value of this article for the research is conditional upon the need for supporting modifications in approaching this category of prisoners.

Kreager & Kruttschnitt (2018)

In the article written by Kreager & Kruttschnitt (2018), the challenge of shifting measures to inmate society organization is described. This review proves that the majority of previous studies in this area emphasize the significance of network approaches for avoiding adverse outcomes for former prisoners (Kreager & Kruttschnitt, 2018). The findings imply the role of correctional authorities in preventing recidivism in the criminal justice system by focusing on rehabilitation programs based on ethnographic data.

This publication is particularly valuable for the study because it highlights the need for making a change at the governmental level by changing the existing initiatives. In other words, it can be used to underpin the suggestion to introduce similar solutions nationwide while paying attention to the personal characteristics of individuals. The further claims of their facilitated integration through enhanced social interactions and shared cultural practices are to be formulated on the grounds of this evidence.

Wallace & Wang (2020)

The article presented by Wallace & Wang (2020) provides a perspective on the significance of mental and physical health in the matter. By analyzing the data regarding these issues in formerly incarcerated individuals, the authors confirm that these factors positively correlate with their failed integration into society (Wallace & Wang, 2020). As for mental wellbeing, it is highlighted as a circumstance equally important as the physical aspect implying the necessity to readjust the prison system.

This source is critical for including the considerations of people’s conditions of varying nature in the study. It is valuable for supporting the requirement of making corrections in this respect in order to reduce the number of cases of recidivism among the recently released people. In addition, this piece can serve as the basis for future efforts on altering the health check procedures in and out of prison.

Zgoba, Reeves, Tamburello, & Debilio (2020)

The study conducted by Zgoba et al. (2020) is oriented on the clinical aspect of recidivism. It specifically examines the critical role of mental health and substance abuse for the cases of recidivism, relying on the data about inmates in New Jersey (Zgoba et al., 2020). In this article, the authors prove that there is a positive correlation between the presence of the mentioned problems in these individuals and their repeated imprisonment (Zgoba et al., 2020). Also, they confirm the dominant importance of substance use disorders compared to other conditions of this nature (Zgoba et al., 2020). In this way, the findings suggest that this population group, inmates suffering from the above conditions, should be addressed in the first place.

This article is relevant to the study as it complements the information from the piece written by Wallace & Wang (2020). More specifically, it clarifies the meaning of some challenges concerning healthcare that are more detrimental than others. Its inclusion in the research will be beneficial for claiming the need for addressing particular issues rather than focusing on the mental health of the population in general. Thus, it will allow making priorities in designing further policies.

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Benecchi, L. (2021). Recidivism imprisons American progress. Web.

Flores, N. E. (2018). Contributing factors to mass incarceration and recidivism. Themis: Research Journal of Justice Studies and Forensic Science, 6, 56-69. Web.

Harding, D. J., Morenoff, J. D., Nguyen, A. P., & Bushway, S. D. (2017). Short-and long-term effects of imprisonment on future felony convictions and prison admissions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(42), 11103-11108. Web.

Kreager, D. A., & Kruttschnitt, C. (2018). Inmate society in the era of mass incarceration. Annual Review of Criminology, 1, 261-283. Web.

Wallace, D., & Wang, X. (2020). Does in-prison physical and mental health impact recidivism? SSM – Population Health, 11, 1-16. Web.

Zgoba, K. M., Reeves, R., Tamburello, A., & Debilio, L. (2020). Criminal recidivism in inmates with mental illness and substance use disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 48(2). Web.

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