Once a person is involved in the justice system and the prison system, it is very difficult to get out.we have a America’s Dangerously High Recidivism Ratewhich is the percentage of prisoners who return to prison after release.
The rules we have for ex-prisoners are extremely difficult to follow when someone gets out of prison. In addition to being law-abiding and drug-free, you must have a job and housing, and must pay a monthly fee while on parole.
This sounds easy, but is actually very difficult for many ex-prisoners. This brings us to today’s topic: Why do prisoners return to prison?
In this blog post, I’ll cover the following topics:
- What are the conditions of parole for inmates when they are released from prison?
- Are prisoners ready to reintegrate into society?
- Who has the power to send you back to prison if you violate the terms of your parole?
What are the conditions of parole for inmates when they are released from prison?
Most states—and the federal government—will release a parole prisoner before the maximum period. Prisoners serve a percentage of their sentence, are released, and serve the remainder of their sentence on the street, rather than staying in jail until the last day of their sentence.
However, while on parole/probation, there are some rules you must follow. If you break any of these, you’ll find yourself back in prison.
The main rules of parole are as follows: Obey all laws, avoid all illegal drugs, pay your parole monthly fee, visit your parole officer as directed, complete any assigned treatment programs, find a job, and find a place to live.
You will also need to keep your parole officer up-to-date on where you live and work. You must tell them immediately if there are any changes. If you don’t, you could end up breaking the rules and going back to jail.
Each of these rules can be difficult, depending on the prisoner’s support system. If they don’t have friends or family they can live with after release, prisoners must go to a halfway house or some sort of housing program so they have a place to stay.
Prisoners can rent out their own apartment, but finding a landlord willing to rent to you can be difficult, as landlords may refuse to house you due to a criminal record.
The same thing applies when prisoners try to find work. Many job applications will ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime and ask you to check “yes” or “no.” If you select “Yes,” it usually means the app went straight to the trash without even thinking about it.
I’ve also had experiences getting interviews and job offers because the application didn’t ask about previous felonies. However, a background check caused the employer to rescind the offer.
If you don’t have a place to live or a job to earn enough to support yourself, you may be tempted to return to a life of crime. That’s why most people end up going back to prison. If you break any of the rules that are a condition of your release, you’re in big trouble.
The fastest way to go back to prison is to commit another crime. Unfortunately, this can happen a lot without the proper tools, education, and support systems in place.
Are prisoners ready to reintegrate into society?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is usually “no”. Many prisoners are non-violent offenders with drug addiction problems, and incarceration is not the answer. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University estimates that only 11 percent of all incarcerated people with substance abuse problems who need treatment actually receive it while behind bars.
Mental illness and recovery should be the focus, not punishment for crimes. The War on Drugs is a massive failure, and instead of keeping people in cages, it makes more sense to decriminalize or legalize drugs and get people the help they need, rather than opening a revolving door in our prisons.
One of the worst parts of incarceration is when non-violent drug offenders find themselves next to real violent offenders. There is a running joke in prisons that people go to prison and learn to be criminals.
When someone first goes to prison, they are likely to be associated with an extremely limited social circle of amateur criminals. In prison, they encounter a network of career criminals that can lead them down the wrong path.
Who has the power to send you back to prison if you violate the terms of your parole?
When you violate your parole — whether it’s something as simple as a missed appointment or a missed monthly payment — your parole officer notifies the judge to handle your case.
This usually means that you will have to appear in court again, and if the judge thinks it is necessary, he or she will send you back to prison to complete your sentence.
Your parole officer is sort of like your guardian, they hold you accountable when you “walk the papers” (prison slang for successfully completing your parole on the street). Any parole violations will go through the PO first and then back before a judge – unless you are arrested again.
If this is the case, your PO will find out and meet you in court before you return to prison.
Why do you think the recidivism rate in the United States is so high? Let us know in the comments below.