Rehabilitation programs reduce recidivism

Most people don’t think twice about what happens to convicts once they are released. In reality, state jails barely ever have effective rehabilitation programs and proper counseling services.

There are many mentally ill people who are facing time in prison. These people, who require proper counseling and medication, are for the most part not receiving either of these things.

The Stanford Prison Experiment showed how quick mentally healthy people could turn sadistic and depressed when put in a prison-like simulation. One can assume that being in an actual prison also affects the mentally ill.

For many people, prisons have become de facto mental institutions, but they are not equipped to do this. When these prisoners are released without proper counseling and medication, they end up back in jail.

Seventy-five percent of released inmates are re-incarcerated within five years, according to the National Institute of Justice. Focusing on rehabilitation programs, such as educational, vocational and drug treatment, has been proven to lower the re-offending rate.

For example, inmates who participate in work-release programs are 17 percent less likely to be sent back to prison. With data such as this, even people who lack knowledge in this subject cannot deny the effectiveness of rehabilitation.

Some say that rehabilitation programs cost money to implement. While this is true, they end up saving money for taxpayers when fewer people are populating the jails.

Rehabilitation works and there are mountains of evidence to back this claim. While it is important to get criminals off the street, it is more important to give them the tools they need to become productive and provide for themselves and their families.

Precious Wheeler


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