Reintegration of Prisoners – Is it possible?
The reintegration of prisoners back into “normal” everyday living is a difficult and seemingly impossible task. The challenges offenders on probation or parole face are great in number and size. Each criminal faces different hurdles based on their demographic, gender, length of stay, individual background, racial background, offense history, and the strength of their support system upon release. I believe that reentry is a realistic expectation; however, we must consider each case and focus on the support provided the offender as they enter back into a society that has shunned them. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics over 4.9 million adult men and women were under Federal, State, or local probation or parole in 2005. Approximately 4,162,500 of those were on probation and 784,400 on parole, an annual 0.6 percent increase for 2005 [Bureau of Statistics, 2005]. These numbers are staggering. The goal of reintegration is for prisoners to safely return to the community as law-abiding citizens.[Rosenthal and Wolf, 1] With so many prisoners attempting to reenter society it is certain that not all of them will, but can any of them at all? I believe that reintegration is possible and that the rate of successful reentry will improve with more attention paid to the support system provided those attempting life on the outside. Also, probation and parole officers must take into account all the differing factors of each case. For instance, the length of the offenders stays in prison or jail - the longer an offender spends behind bars, the more difficult it may be for them to reintegrate successfully. Of those on parole in 2005, 94% had been incarcerated for more than one year [Bureau of Statistics, 2005]. A popular movie, The Shawshank Redemption, showcases the difficulties of reintegration for one prisoner. The prisoner was released after a fifty year sentence. Unable to cope, he commits suicide. Other factors like...
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