Ex-Offenders: The Struggle Outside of Prison

Topics: Prison, Crime, Convict Pages: 13 (3152 words) Published: December 3, 2013
Janine Genvo

Spring 2013

Color of Crime

May 3, 2013

The Struggle Outside of Prison

Offenders are constantly told and believe that if they can change, society will finally start to

accept them. When ex-convicts first get out of prison they've paid their debt to society they. They’ve

paid their time, and the fines, yet many former criminals are now struggling with issues in the outside

world. Whether it’s socially, looking for employment, housing, or even in terms of voting, they are

treated with almost little to no respect and are discriminated due to their past crimes. They can even

face little to almost no support even from friends and family. This can become hard for ex-convicts to

start a new chapter in their life, and can even cause them to recur past crimes. Perception can be a huge

barrier block for ex-convicts, because often they are grouped together in the minds of others that they

themselves are evil. Former criminals face many problems, even more than people can anticipate. In jail,

or outside of jail they may endure many psychological problems due to the ill treatment as well as living

conditions they have experienced while behind bars. These issues, and the struggles they face can lead

them back into incarceration countless of times.If the goal is to move offenders from criminal activity to

a minimum, the proliferation of occupational restrictions serves the wrong purpose.

The United States has more than 2 million inmates and is rated as number 1 in terms of having

more convicts than any other nation in the world. Every year 100’s of thousands of inmates are released

back into society, with those whose prison time ranging from less than a year to over 30. Prisons

come in multiple shapes and sizes which house specific categories of prisoners. Others are in
compounds where all offenders are held together, irrespective of age and crime. Most felon’s that get

out of prison could be less than a year to over 30 years, and normally when they first get out they don’t

expect that they’ll generally come back in. However statistics show that most former convicts get

rearrested after being released out of prison: 30 percent within six months, 44 percent within a year, 59

percent within two years and 67 percent by the end of three years. “The study findings are based upon

the prison and criminal records of an estimated 272,111 discharged prisoners in 15 states who were

tracked through which they had served time and other states to which they traveled.” (Returning into

Incarceration, Crime In America) Within the past 3 years of the study, 52% of the 272, 111 of the

released prisoners were sent back to prison for either they had violated their parole or they have

committed a new crime. The problem with this is because upon release to their communities ex-convicts

the standard approach has allowed them to fend for themselves with little or no guidance.

Society stigmatizes ex-convicts, and there isn’t much they can do to change that. A lot of comments by ex-convicts say even sometimes enjoy being in prison. This is because they don’t have to worry unlike when they are in the outside world, they know how everything works, they are fed, clothed, and accepted within the prison walls by many of it’s inhabitants. A main issue with ex-convicts being released from jail is returning home after years of being gone. An example of this is Rudy Hardon who after his release of being in 12 years in prison says "It’s still weird coming back here.” Growing up Rudy Hardon was just like any other boy who roughed housed with his friends, and even sang in the Boys Choir of Harlem. In years turn, his passion for choir soon became replaced with gunplay and fist fights, most of his unlucky friends ended up dead. Most of his others that were soon alive ended up in prison or on the streets. (Returning...
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