Hypothesis Testing of the Effectiveness of Prison GED Programs in Reducing Recidivism essay

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Prison GED Programs

Hypothesis testing of the effectiveness of prison GED programs in reducing recidivism

The effectiveness of prison GED programs in reducing recidivism

Prison GED programs

The General Education Development initialized as GED is a service program of the American Council on Education. The tests in the GED are for measuring the proficiency of the persons taking the test in science, mathematics, writing, social studies and reading (Kaprov & Kaprov, 2009). When the person passes the General Education Development, they acquire a certificate equivalent of the high school certificate credential. This gives the person the chance to enroll in a known university or college to further their skills that enable them to face the world. The tests issued measure the significant knowledge and skills a person can express Van & Salisbury, 2014). This includes the abilities of the person to evaluate, analyze and draw conclusions; and proficiently express ideas and thoughts in writing. The subjects include language arts, mathematics, social studies and science.

Prisons and other correctional facilities and systems in the country continue to evaluate means of developing systems to bring out the convicted persons as better people; equipped to reintegrate into the community. Prison Education encompasses the educational activities that take place inside a prison. These learning activities include both the vocational training and academic education. The sole objective of these educational programs is to equip and prepare the inmate for their success in the outside of the prison and consequently enhance the rehabilitative aspects of the prison. The educational programs in the prisons are managed by the prisons systems in which they reside. The funding for the programs gets their funding via the official correctional facilities budget, private organizations and families of the prisoners or the prisoners themselves (Liebling, Price & Schefer, 2008). The academic education of the prisoners mainly comes in the form of General Education Development GED and literacy classes. These engagements assist the inmate to learn to read, write and accomplish basic mathematic computations. The programs have growing popularity because most prisons consist of undereducated persons who maintain a less than 5th grade proficiency in reading and writing. The persons further have a tendency of coming from poverty, with limited skills of handling tasks and little trading experience. Therefore, the essentiality of this program for the prisons is to provide the inmates with remedial assistance to enable them advance for further educational studies. Thus, the research aims to establish the effectiveness of the GED programs in reducing recidivism.

Literature review

Recidivism is a significantly fundamental concept in the subject of criminal justice. The current correctional facilities are holding massive numbers of convicted persons (Van & Kaplan Publishing, 2009). This scenario is raising recurrent concerns as to the effectiveness of the facilities designated to correct the 'rotten' minds of the society and make them fit for integration into the society. However, the process of correction seems to face a recurrent and chronic issue of recidivism. Therefore, what constitutes this recidivism? Recidivism is the act of a person, once convicted and sentenced, then later released from the prison, relapses into committing and engaging the criminal behavior (Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010). The act of relapsing into the criminal activities often after getting sanctioned or after undergoing various intervention mechanisms and procedures for previous crimes, results in re-arresting of the person. The sanctions on the individual have the objective of restricting the person to engage in activities that are constructive and legal. The state, federal or local jurisdictions administer the correctional punitive actions such as fines, community work and/or imprisonment to help the person realize the essence of positive behavior and abiding to laws. However, the subject of recidivism raises the question of the effectiveness of the correctional activities such as the GED programs.

The national statics; however indicate that recidivism is chronic. The Bureau of Justice Statistics in the United States of America indicate that a resounding 41% of the released prisoners; end back into the prisoner within three years of release or conviction and administering of appropriate punitive measure (Sullivan, 2009). Various causes of recidivism emanate from within the context of the correctional activities on the convicted persons. Scholars of therapies and the mind attribute the cases of recidivism to the ineffectiveness of the correctional facilities and activities to address the cause of the problem the individual convicted are suffering. The prisoners often have the chance to adopt the corrective behavior. Nonetheless, those who recede into crime have their challenges, which force them into the actions they commit. To have an understanding of the theory of recidivism, it is necessary to evaluate the causes of recidivism.

To begin with, the initial and overriding factor of recidivism is the status of rehabilitation. The two concepts, rehabilitation and recidivism, have a significantly complex and close relation. The chances of relapsing are at their highest point when the chances of rehabilitation are at their lowest point. This means that, the two have an inverted relationship (Sullivan, 2009). It is emanating that the various programs of rehabilitation are not bearing the expected results. The rehabilitation process takes effect through the various initiative programs meant to emancipate the individual from their old way of thinking, and giving them the chance to adopt positive behavior. However, when this process fails, then the chances of the person relapsing into crime, once released into the society are remarkably high.

Secondly, is the issue that the prison population is growing? The state and federal correctional facilities have challenges managing this growing population of the prisoners. Consequently, this population is remarkably disproportionate, as there are fewer white convicts than there are blacks. The inequity in the prisons contributes to the growth of hatred between the two races as they struggle to survive in the limited space (Van & Salisbury, 2014). Therefore, the people find it difficult to access the correctional rehabilitation services. Consequently, the prisoners cannot access the rehabilitation programs and programs meant to equip them to adopt into the society. Thus, in effect, once the person comes out of the prison, they lack the necessary skills to adopt a change in their way of life. They always find themselves leading to their old way of life to survive and; thus, they commit the criminal act once again. They end in prison when arrested.

Additionally, the released prisoners recede into their activities of crime due to the lack of resources within the community to support them. When most of these people come out of the prisons, the community does not provide supportive supervision and reentry services. Majority of the released convicts return into their small communities; plagued by poverty, crime, unemployment and remarkably limited economic opportunities. These communal challenges and lack of support from the society forces people to fend for themselves through means that break the law; hence, they end in crime again. Lastly, the ex-offenders face significantly huge barriers. The barriers include the barrier to obtaining vocational training, gainful employment, housing, treatment for substance abuse, among other mental health services. These are key factors that contribute the former convicts going back into the crime activities; hence, recidivism. Often, the ex-offenders do not have the skills required to fit into the society and consequently acquire meaningful employment (Sullivan, 2009). This drives the person into actions that cause him or her to commit a crime in the race to earn a living. Additionally, some people are just too hard to change their thinking and a way of life. Philosophers say that a habit is more of a disease, which is remarkably high to cure. This proves to be so for some ex-offenders, as they just find the addiction to the crime act too hard to let go. Therefore, they find themselves engaging in the activity repeatedly, despite having the chance to commit to a changed behavior and activities.

These are the key factors that affect the relation between rehabilitation and recidivism. The ex-offenders find these barriers quite often in the country in their pursuit of a changed life. The subject of recidivism continues to eat into the justice department of the country, despite the various measures adopted to engage the convicted persons to help them become better-equipped persons in the society in the future. These programs of evading the convicted persons from further criminal activity after release include the prison education program (Liebling, Price & Schefer, 2008). The program developed specifically for the convicted serves two categories, vocational training and GED programs (Martz, Pearson, & Princeton Review, 2013).

The subject of the effectiveness of General Education Development in helping the inmates to avert recidivism is contextually involving. The cost of providing this education is very high within the prisons. This causes an economic impact in the correctional facilities, as they have to construct a budget from the budget allocated to it by the federal or state authority (Kim, Losen & Hewitt, 2010). The cost of this program; therefore, causes the program not to produce results as expected. The effectiveness of the program is compromised…[continue]

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