Why Are People Determined To Go Back To Prison?

David Kipre

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Far be it from us to put everyone in the same basket, but it is good to note that the majority of prison systems function like a loop, at least for some individuals. Once out, it doesn’t take long for the inmate to fall back into the vice that brought him to prison. But what causes this?

I-Difference between re-incarceration and recidivism in prisons.

At first glance, these terms seem to be the same, but there is a difference. According to studies done by Eric Maes, “re-incarceration can follow recidivism, but in some cases it can be the cause of something else”.

Indeed, understanding this fact allows us to know the actual cause of the return to prison. Still with the research of Eric Maes, we can take as an example people who returned to prison following a revocation of an anticipated modality, which can be confused with recidivism in the sense of having committed new crimes.

II- The phenomenon of re-incarceration in prisons.

As the “Datagueule” would say, prison is like an antibiotic, it is not automatic. In most countries, an increase in laws would allow a return to prison.

For a person fresh out of prison, we would say that getting up to date on the laws is not really a top priority. 61% of those leaving prison are re-incarcerated within a few years, but how is that possible? It is actually quite simple. For the majority of these prisoners, no care or support is provided.

As we said above, a person coming out of prison does not really need to know what is going on in the penal code right away, he has to think about reintegrating into society. But doing it alone is often not the right thing to do. Like Marc Sluse says Marcus, 20 years behind bars for robbery “because you’re not prepared for it, except for those who have families”.

Of those who get out of prison, maybe two out of ten are expected to.” Not to mention the addictions and psychological problems that prisoners face. Indeed, 36% of the people incarcerated for more than 6 months suffer from drug addiction, 40% from depressive syndrome and 21% from psychotic disorders. All these people need to be followed up.

III-Follow-ups in prisons.

Often in the shadows, they constitute a part that is not well known by the general public. Their role is just as important and allows, in our case, to manage and allow a progressive insertion of ex-prisoners in society, but not only.

They also take in charge the incarcerated persons waiting for trial or the persons already convicted. You will therefore agree that in order to have a total care, means must be allocated to allow a follow-up, unfortunately in some countries such as France or the USA, this is not really the case yet.

Indeed, many people have rebelled against the lack of means allocated for this work. This is notably the case in May 2016 when prison counselors mobilized for 3 days to express their difficulties and make their claim heard in the USA, in an article entitled: “The USA spends billions to lock people up but very little to free them“, where the question of where the support comes from becomes problematic in the face of the billions made available for the prison system.

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