The U.S. may have the worst recidivism rate in the world at 76.6 percent, but that doesn’t mean the system has failed every prisoner. There are a handful of inspiring stories about some that went to jail and used their time to turn their lives around, got out, and made lasting differences in their communities.
By Catherine Prigg The ongoing national debate about whether incarcerated individuals deserve the privilege of an education is fueled by strong emotions about how unfair it is to pay for a criminal to go to school when law abiding citizens work very hard, and incur lots of debt to put themselves and their children through
By Christopher Zoukis While combating idleness and restlessness in America’s prisons is certainly necessary to avoid disruptions and violence, how this is accomplished is up for debate. Lawmakers in New York State said no to a proposal this month, during the last legislative session, made by Governor Andrew Cuomo that would allocate $1 million a
By Christopher Zoukis The Obama administration has announced plans to spend millions to address many of the facets of a life of incarceration, from mentoring at risk youth, helping families with incarcerated parents, to addressing employment and re-entry issues. Referencing several studies which demonstrate the effectiveness of education and re-entry programs at reducing recidivism, the
By Christopher Zoukis More than 650,000 prisoners are released every year in the United States, and so it’s in everyone’s best interests that they are prepared as possible to reintegrate into society. Especially if they have been incarcerated for years, or even decades. Effective inmate re-entry programs go a long way to ease the transition.
By Christopher Zoukis Most jurisdictions struggle with how to relieve overcrowded prisons and jails, but at the same time avoid releasing inmates who are most likely to re-offend. After examining the experience of Los Angeles County coping with a California state policy that transferred many low-level felons from state prisons to county and city jails,
The U.S. Sentencing Commission (USSC), an independent agency within the judicial branch that writes federal sentencing guidelines and studies federal crime and sentencing policies, on March 9 released a major new study, ‘Recidivism Among Federal Offenders: A Comprehensive Overview’. Drawing on data on more than 25,400 former inmates who were either released outright from federal
Prisoners in the state of Victoria, Australia, will be part of new plans designed to try and meet prisoners’ educational needs immediately upon entry into the system. The $78 million (AUD) program aims to dramatically improve prisoner access to instruction from a variety of universities, colleges, and institutes across the region. Of particular note is the
By Christopher Zoukis Those are the words of young Brooklynite, Vidal Chastanet, describing on Humans of New York (HONY) how his teacher, Nadia Lopez, explains the importance of education for individual and social well-being. While we generally focus on prison education initiatives on this blog, we would be remiss to not include to mention the
by Christopher Zoukis Only two of the nearly 1,500 prisoners granted early release by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) from March to October 2014 have returned to prison, notwithstanding news reports indicating that lawmakers and “several” corrections officials have not been supportive of the releases. The approximately 1,500 prisoners were granted early release due