Offenders Reentry Programs
This section of the paper provides an overview of the prison population in the nation in a general sense. It states the need for a program that can ensure that released prisoners are able to smoothly join the community and avoid re-arrest through good behavior. The philosophy being defended is also identified as education, job training and employment.
Factors in support of the philosophy:
Here, all the supporting evidence for the identified philosophy is discussed.
Elements of the crime triangle addressed by the philosophy
Here, the key elements of the crime cycle of arrest, release and re-arrest is identified and an explanation on how the chosen philosophy will address the cycle is given.
Statistical support: Statistical evidence is given to show the strength of this philosophy.
Impact of societal factors on the program/Philosophy:
The effect of certain societal factors on the philosophy is explained.
Technological advance and the philosophy: Future prospects
Under this, the future of the philosophy is predicted based on expected technological advancement.
The whole paper is given in a brief form.
Offenders Reentry Program
Education, Job Training and Employment as a Reentry Philosophy.
With a high number of offenders or prisoners in the prisons of the United States, it is a clear fact that a huge amount of resources are required in taking care of the people in correctional facilities. The circulation of this prison population is in such a way that one half of these prisoners or more are released each year under the various prisoner release procedures such as probation and parole and at the same time, nearly an equal number of new and old prisoners are brought into the prison (Visher & Travis,2003,p 89). The chances of some of the offenders being rearrested and taken back to prison are very high. The end result of this kind of phenomenon is that it keeps on stressing the federal and state budgets and the larger community feels the pain of crime. This has necessitated the devising of a number of programs that are geared towards the structured reentry of prisoners back into the community.
Education, job training and employment comes out as the best philosophy of dealing with released former prisoners. It is the most applicable philosophy that crime prevention consumer can adopt and witness the positive impact within a short time. What makes this philosophy of education, job training and employment the best method of dealing with offenders who have been released and are headed back to the community?
A number of points can be argued in support of this philosophy. The first point of support is that the released prisoners need to be informed of the structures of society, the implications of incarceration such as stigma and time wastage as well as the effects of some of the things that they used to engage in and ended up bringing them into a collision course with law enforcement agencies. Some of the people being released may have been sex offenders, drug abusers or robbers and thieves. The ex-thieves need to be given information on the negatives of engaging in this type of behavior .It is possible that some of them may have lost a sense of reason due to long periods in prison and therefore giving them this kind of information is important. The drug addicts as well as the other types of offenders who have been released need to be given information on the dangers of engaging in the acts that took them to prison. All these need to be done and the best way to do this is to give it to these people in an organized educational setting. It is only through education that these people can fully understand the dangers of some of their acts and therefore learn to avoid them in future.
Education can also be a means of securing jobs for some of these people. Most of the people in prison in the United States of America have very low academic or educational qualifications. This means that they are not able to secure jobs easily and to some degree, this makes them more likely to commit crime and end up in prison. If this kind of people are given education that can enable them get jobs, then it means that the chances of such people failing to fit in society, committing crime and going back to prison are very minimal. The simple explanation here is that the time they used to have due to lack of jobs that was a consequence of lack of education will have been eliminated.
Another angle of education and the ability to get jobs comes in through self reliance. The connection between lack of education and lack of employment and the resulting lack of a means to meet one’s financial obligations is clear and direct. Most people who commit crimes such as robbery are driven mainly by their inability to get jobs and get their own financial resources that they can use to purchase their day to day requirements. And this lack of jobs has its roots in lack of education.Therefore, giving education to the uneducated released prisoners will give them the ability to get jobs and therefore have the ability to provide for themselves and thus avoid engaging in crime as a way of meeting their needs.
The philosophy of education, job training and employment also has the element of training the released prisoners on ways of integrating with the rest of the society. This is abroad area that covers a broad spectrum of offenders. Whether educated or not, life after prison can be confusing and it is therefore necessary to have the released prisoners being given guidance on how best to live with the rest the members of the society without committing crimes that can result in rearrest.Ways of avoiding conflicts with the law are also given to the released prisoners under this philosophy and this definitely enables them to transition smoothly into the society.
The philosophy of education, job training and employment has another perspective a part from education. This perspective is job training. It is possible that some of the prisoners who are about to be released to society have gone to school to some level but do not have the ability to do some duties. In this philosophy, such people are trained on how to do certain types of jobs and this area can be expanded so that each person is able to choose an area of his liking. Ability to undertake the training and complete successfully is of course key and guidance services must be there in the process of these people picking the areas where they want to be trained in. After receiving this job training, they can either be given jobs within this program or they can be allowed to get to the wider society and look for jobs in their areas of specialization. Of course this has to happen under the watchful eye of the community or the authorities so as to ensure that the releasee is completely harmless to the rest of society. This is especially true for violent criminals who are more likely to relapse and commit crime. Securing jobs after job training solves the problems discussed earlier such as idleness and the inability to provide for themselves.
The other section of this philosophy that is quite crucial is employment. With the increasing economic problems, the number of people who have gone to school to a reasonable degree but are still not able to get jobs are quite many. This can also be true for released prisoners. It is possible to find some people who successfully finished their studies and decided to engage in crime as a way of meeting their needs simply because they were not able to secure jobs that would assist them raise some income to meet their needs (Krannich,2008,p2-3). This is where the area of job placement or employment comes in handy. In this part of the philosophy, the educated prisoners who have the ability to do some work are given a chance to work in under a well organized setting where they slowly get used to working with the rest of the community. They are paid for their effort and therefore given a chance to earn their living. They are later shifted to new job areas or allowed to look for other jobs depending on the stability of their character.
Crime Triangle Elements Targeted or Addressed by Education, Job Training and Employment
The crime triangle has a unique cycle. It involves a member of the society committing a certain crime because of a certain reason and the consequent arrest of the person by the authorities. This is followed by the long process of court determination of the case and then the person is imprisoned when found guilty of the offense. Depending on the nature of the crime committed, the prison sentence can be a long one or a short one. Serious crimes such as robbery with violence have long sentences while petty crimes or offenses have short sentences. As a continuation of the crime triangle, the person serves his or her term and gets released upon completion or clemency/pardon. Once the person is in the community, the chances of going to steal to get a means of meeting his or her needs are very high if this particular person is not educated and committed the first crime because of the reason that he or she was not able to access day to day needs like food and clothing.So, once again the authorities come in and the person is rearrested and taken back to prison. The triangle goes on and on. The other side of this triangle is whereby the person is able to get married and get children who end up missing education since their parents are not properly equipped with resources to take them to school. The children therefore grow up to meet the same challenges the parents met and in most cases get to the same crimes that the parents got into. This philosophy of education, job training and employment seeks to cut off links in this triangle.
Upon the release of a prisoner, he or she is equipped with skills and assisted to get a job and this reduces chances of the person being rearrested again as a result of a repeat offense. And even when they move forward to have families, they are in a position to provide for the children and can take them to school thus giving them a chance of having a better shot at life without getting into crime. Whichever way, this philosophy breaks the elements of going back to prison after the first or second arrest depending on when the program is administered as well as the vulnerability of the children of offenders due to poor economic standards that are brought about by lack of education and training.
Strength of the philosophy of education, job training and employment…
The available statistics show that this philosophy is very successful as far as prisoner rehabilitation is concerned. The United States Department of Justice has found that the education levels of inmates are low compared to the general population (Harlow, 2003). They have also been able to discover that as the released ex-offenders are given more education and job training and assisted to find jobs, the chances of getting back to crime become slim. Manpower Demonstration Research has also been able to confirm through research that released prisoners who are placed on jobs within three months after being given their freedom are less likely to get back to crime. This conclusion was drawn after researching on the Center for Employment Opportunities in New York (Hendrickson, 2009, para 9).
The effectiveness of the philosophy of education, job training and employment: critical Analysis
The philosophy of education, job training and employment is a working one. Education has proved to be a powerful tool in society. It enables people to secure jobs as well as learn to live with others. Most prisoners get into problems either because they lack a means of getting their needs met since they are uneducated and thus unemployable or they are uneducated and therefore not able to understand some of the things to avoid as a way of living peacefully with the rest of the community. If this element of education is availed to these prisoners, then it means they will be able to not only live peacefully with the rest of society but also find a means of providing for themselves since getting a job after getting educated is not such a big problem. The extended idea of job training that goes to both the educated but untrained as well as the ones educated within this project caters for the people whose only reason for unemployment is lack of specific skills for carrying out certain duties. Job placement or employment is the end of this philosophy and it is meant for both those who had gotten education and job training from elsewhere as well as those who have gotten their education and job training within the system. But does that mean that this philosophy is completely functional without any loophole? Definitely no. It is important to remember that not every person who goes to prison is arrested as a result of theft due to lack of a means of providing for themselves. Prisoners carry people who have means and ways of getting their daily bread and more. There are also other types of offenders such as sex offenders who may not function well under this philosophy. It is not very clear whether emphasis on character education for these types of offenders can make a difference. This philosophy is more likely to help releasees who have a crime history that is closely connected to poverty that comes with lack of a job. The lack of jobs as noted earlier is mainly as a result of lack of education(Antonio,2002,p 154).
Impact of Societal factors on the program
Like all the other initiatives that have been devised to handle the transition of ex-prisoners into the general population this philosophy is also affected by a number of societal factors. It is common knowledge that the wider community is never impressed when their neighborhood is full of crime. They feel unsafe when there is a violent robber in their midst and all they do is to always keep an eye on both their moves and their belongings. When a philosophy or program that is meant to rehabilitate criminals in the community is initiated, such communities feel happy and quickly develop positive attitudes towards the persons undergoing rehabilitation, job training or job placement. This positive attitude is more likely to promote the recovery of the released prisoner and his or her subsequent transformation into a law abiding citizen who can comfortably relate with the rest of the society.
Another key factor in the society that affects this program is the aspect of jobs. It is possible that the program may not be able to get jobs for all the people it is training and educating. Society again comes in here in a positive way by serving as a source of some of the jobs that these people will be able to do after undergoing job training. In the presence of jobs from the immediate community or society, the program gets more support and hence easily succeeds in rehabilitating the ex-offenders.
Leaving the above a side, the provision of the facilities that are required for the provision of education to these people is another key factor within society that affects this program. It should also be noted that educational assistance to the program from society can go beyond facilties.Aspects such as trainers in education and jobs can be volunteers from society who can work for free or for minimal gain, simply because they want to see order restored in their community. This comes in as a big boost to the program and therefore increases the chances of the program working.
Technological advancement and the philosophy of education, job training and employment.
Technology is ever changing and it gets more advanced with each passing day. The philosophy of education, job training and employment is likely to benefit in a big way with new technological advances. The provision of education will definitely be made simple with the coming up of new teaching devices. The same will definitely apply in job training and this will boost chances of the trained persons getting employment. All these point in the direction of success of the program.
For consumers of crime prevention, the philosophy that works is education, job training and employment. The ability to secure jobs by therelased prisoners and the subsequent economic stability are key arguments in support of this program. The empowerment of the released prisoners through education and jobs cuts the crime triangle of going back to prison through repeat offenses. The available statistics support it as a strong philosophy and the community factors such as positive attitude and support in the program through jobs and even facilities is a big boost to the program. Advances in technology are likely to make it even more effective given the easy with which these people will be educated through the new advanced technology. It is therefore evident that it is a strong program that is worthy implementing in the rehabilitation of ex-offenders who are being released to the society.