Essay On Recidivism

1534 Words 7 Pages
Since the mid-1970s, America’s correctional system has emphasized getting tough on crime. The focus of crime control policies has centered on theories including retribution, deterrence, and incapacitation. However, evidence fails to concisely prove the effectiveness of these theories, leading many to reconsider the system’s approach to reducing recidivism.
Evidence-based Corrections Evidence-based corrections are correctional policies, principles, interventions and treatments that are implemented because of their success during rigorous empirical testing, revealing that these techniques are likely to be effective in reducing recidivism (Cullen & Jonson, 2017). Unlike correctional quackery, evidence-based corrections do not utilize personal
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It assumes that people will seek out pleasure and attempt to avoid pain, such as the suffering of penal punishments that come as a result of committing a crime (Cullen & Jonson, 2017). Thus, punishment should decrease recidivism and scare off potential offenders. The focus of the deterrence theory is “getting tough” on offenders, especially in the form of criminal sanctions and punishment (Cullen & Jonson, 2017). However, much of the empirical evidence on deterrence theory points to its methods being either ineffective, or poorly implemented (Cullen & Jonson, 2017). Considerable evidence has shown that criminal sanctions and punishment, such as prison sentences, fail to have a specific deterrent effect. According to Gendreau et al. (2000), meta-analyses have resulted in a number of conclusions regarding the effectiveness of deterrence, including the finding that community-based programs focused on punishing and controlling offenders do not have any impact on recidivism. The evidence is also bleak for prisons, as offenders who are sentenced to longer prison sentences have higher rates of recidivism than those who receive less incarceration (Gendreau et al., 2000). It was also discovered that offenders who are sentenced to prison do not have recidivism rates that are any lower than offenders who are sentenced to community-based programs (Gendreau et al., 2000). The mounting evidence against prisons is also supported elsewhere, including in a study of 1,000 boys performed Sampson and Laub that showed prisons increased recidivism (Cullen & Jonson, 2017). Further, research performed by Spohn and Holleran on offenders in Jackson County, Mo., found that prison increased recidivism, while those who were sent to prison also more swiftly re-offended than those given probation (Cullen & Jonson, 2017).

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