Timothy O. McCalep

Recidivism shows some problems with the criminal justice system

The criminal justice system in the United States is broken in some ways. One of these ways is that it does little to help people rehabilitate as part of their sentence and focuses on punishment instead. This increases the chance that the person will reoffend and end up right back in the criminal justice system.

Recidivism is a huge problem because the offenses that people are charged with on subsequent trips through the criminal justice system get worse than the initial one. This is because they might learn some tactics and get more hardened while they are incarcerated. When this happens, there are some major issues that need to be addressed.

The rate of recidivism typically considers three years after the most recent release from prison. In one study that was done, the rate was around two-thirds of those released. If you increase that time period to five years, the rate shoots up to around three-fourths of the individuals released.

It is interesting to note that people who are arrested for property crimes have the highest rate of recidivism. The rate for those individuals is higher than the one for drug offenders, people who violated public orders or those who were convicted of a violent crime.

The criminal justice system isn't likely going to change overnight, but the implementation of drug courts and similar programs that work to address the underlying issues for crimes could help to reduce the recidivism rate. Taking the time to find ways to help individuals recently released from prison might also be beneficial in the fight against recidivism.

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