ESSAY

Topics: Vocational education, Prison, Higher education Pages: 7 (2070 words) Published: April 18, 2015
Sean Leslie
Mary West-Smith
4/16/15
CRJ: Corrections Term Paper

When a person is sent to prison almost every single one of them, male or female, all look forward to the date their sentence is terminated and are told they are okay to be released back into society. As many people would think the process of going to prison would have little to no effect on a person, it’s actually the complete opposite. As stated more than 95% of persons who go to prison are released from prison. What’s not well known is the problems these individuals will face which include, but are not limited to, work/financial troubles, family support, and finally leaving what got you in trouble in the first place behind. The term is “barriers to successful reentry” but should be called, “barriers to maybe reentry.” It is not a guarantee that most individuals who are released from prison will remain that way. In fact the sad truth is most people end up going back multiple times. All of this is due to the barriers/struggles fresh released inmates face that force them back to what got them there in the first place. It is important to recognize and acknowledge this from a criminal justice aspect because like us prisoners are human beings, only difference is they are someone who made a mistake and was caught. Mistakes are a human trait you must remember. Due to that fact alone we should not set aside someone based on their past, but rather look to successfully reenter them so they can be an asset to society instead of a liability. Don’t get that mixed up with all prisoners. If they aren’t being released back into society there is probably a good reason why.

The biggest barrier that all inmates will all face after being released from prison is the financial/work aspect. While they may have been deemed okay by the judicial system to get back into society and contribute, the biggest reality is that the majority will not be accepted due to their previous housing arrangements. Imagine you had just served a 3.5 year term for a crime committed when you were 20. The crime was none violent and while you were incarcerated completed many programs including getting a degree. As this sounds promising while locked away, when you get released it essentially doesn’t mean squat. Money makes the world go around, and in order to get that you must have a job or some source of income. Unfortunately many companies across the United States are reluctant to hire a person who was locked up. As a prisoner in a movie clip stated, “Why hire us when they have 22 year olds who are fresh out of college and have nothing but an underage drinking ticket to their name?” This may seem biased and discriminating to the reentered person, but most states actually allow employers to deny jobs to those who have been arrested but not convicted of crimes. Also along those lines a company reserves the right to allow employers to deny jobs to anyone with a criminal record, regardless of how long ago the crime occurred, despite work history or personal circumstances. This leaves the newly released prisoner in quite the jam. They need the money to pay for the hundreds (not exaggerated) of debts they acquired along the judicial process, but ironically they cannot pay those until they get the money to do so. This is where we see most prisoners return to prison because they simply didn’t have the means or financial stability to stay on the outside. Financial ability and work force hiring has been an ever going battle between officials. Some say it should be handled a certain way, while others lean towards a completely different path. Each side believes they have the correct solution to fix this problem. One thing has been done and agreed by officials however, and it involves setting up programs in prison that gives the prisoner a unique set of skills that will hopefully will increase their hiring stock. Not all prisoners struggle finding financial income after being released is an important thing...
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