The Effects of Incarceration on Recidivism

Tahtia K. Smalling, Governors State University
Jagan R. Lingamneni, Governors State University

The penal industry's paradox of recidivism raises the issue of whether or not institutionalized rehabilitation is successful in correcting deviant behaviors. This paper combines information from first-hand interviews, the data analysis of collective survey responses from two chosen populations, and pre-existing research materials to understand the effects an extended experience behind bars can have upon future conduct. By identifying factors, circumstances, and influences that play a major role in the mental state and overall status of the individual upon release, it became apparent why many feel compelled to recidivate. In contrast, the research shares the value of utilizing existing "Life after Prison" organizations/programs, and presents innovative suggestions to help increase the level of rehabilitated behavior by the individual upon return to the community.

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Updated 05/20/2006