It is clear that the United States government is not neglecting its responsibility to its citizens because it has many programs to address high recidivism rates of offenders. However, recidivism is clearly present in many states and still has the potential to increase even while corrections facilities and organizations run many rehabilitation programs to address these issues. One strategy to reduce recidivism is for the US justice system to focus more on the rehabilitation of prisoners rather than their punishment.
The United Kingdom has lower recidivism rates because their incarceration programs focus on rehabilitation rather than the punishment and the isolation of prisoners from the community. The US can employ the same strategy in handling inmates to reduce its extraordinarily high recidivism rate (Van Benschoten Bennett, 1970, p. 14). Another issue that needs to be addressed in the US prison system is the condition of its correction facilities. Many prisons in the country house more inmates than they are made for, making inmates unnecessarily close to each other.
In some corrections facilities, prisoners are forced to sleep in bunk beds arranged side by side in huge gymnasiums. This setup increases the risk of prisoner-to-prisoner violence (Van Benschoten Bennett, 1970, p. 13). Violence among prisoners is also rampant because of the improper classification of inmates. Prisoners are housed together without regard for the types of crimes they commit, increasing the potential for violence among them. Some fall victim to prisoner rape and gang violence because of such incorrect administrative practices.
The US government should work more closely with corrections facilities around the country to address these issues, making the prison environment and community safer for all people concerned. References: Travis, J. and Visher, C. A. (2005). Prisoner Reentry and Crime in America. Cambridge University Press. Van Benschoten Bennett, J. (1970). I Chose Prison. University of Michigan. O’Connor, T. P. and Pallone, N. J. (2003). Religion, the Community, and the Rehabilitation of Criminal Offenders. Haworth Press. Whitfield, R. , D. Whitfield and Howard League for Penal Reform. (1991). The State of the Prisons – 200 Years On. Routledge.