Recidivism External and Internal Factors essay

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Areas that have minority groups like African America and Hispanics are known to have high incidences of gang related crimes than the other all white neighborhood (Rice 1975).Gang crime is deeply rooted in such neighborhoods, making it very easy for the residents, especially the young people to fall prey to gang related crimes. People living in such areas have a high tendency of recidivism than other areas, because once they are out of jail or any other corrective facility, they still come back to the same old way of life making them prone to committing the crimes again.

Unemployment rate is also a major factor leading to high rates of recidivism in America. Once released from prison, most ex-offenders find it very difficult to secure a good job. This is partly due to the unwillingness of the employer, to give an "ex-con," a job in his firm. Resultantly, this prompts the 'ex offender' to look for alternative means of survival and exposes him to the easier way of earning a living through crime. The criminal record of the ex-offenders blocks their chance of getting a job that is to their expectations. This scenario causes a lot of frustration towards the society and it may increase the chances of the person to result to crime as a way of getting back at the society, which he sees as if it is against him in many aspects.


This refers to frequent brushes with law, often leading to imprisonment, albeit because of a misdemeanor. It is deeply rooted in lack of a personality that stems from n endemic distrust and hostility towards official authority. It is further catalyzed by a constant relationship between guards and inmates and generally, and the harsh prison life. Individuals with such a characteristic are more predisposed to be re-incarcerated. Subconsciously, they are more comfortable with a restricted prison life because they find it hard to exercise control on their own and they find it hard to live in a sane society. This effect has mostly been felt by the African-American and Hispanic community who have a big percentage perceive the law of the land to be against them. For most of the people in this category, they are mostly society delinquents who lack proper housing or a proper job.

The major internal factor affecting the rate of recidivism is based on the individual and the true character and personality of a person (Mbuba, 2005). Psychopathic prisoners have a 2.4 higher chance of being released from prison than normal prisoners, even though their chances of recidivating area higher. According to Mbuba (2005), through research, it has been shown that incarceration or other behavior modification techniques, do not improve the behavior of a person. Psychopathic people have been known to hide their true personality very effectively and they are good at manipulating other people to get what they want (Kristen, 2007). A person with psychopathic tendencies might pretend to be very remorseful of his crimes, only to go back again to his former ways once released. He may be able to hide his ulterior motives through his own creation of a veil of honesty and goodwill as portrayed by him. They possess a distorted sense of potential consequences of their actions and do not deeply recognize the risk of being caught as a result their actions. They are generally considered untreatable and incurable and are predisposed to going back to their social vices (Kristen, 2007).

Shorter jail term

Research has shown that those people incarcerated for a shorter period of time have a low chance of going back to crime, than those that are put in jail for longer periods of time (Marna et al., 2009)..A prison can have a negative effect on an inmate, by making him or her to be hardened and repulsive to the expected societal virtues, being incarcerated for a long time, especially for a minor offence, can create a monster out of a person, partly due to the harsh prison realities and the stigma associated with having a criminal record. The Government should look for alternative ways like supervised probation for corrective purposes, as opposed to longer jail terms. According to Marna et al. (2009), Research has shown that prisoners who are under the rehabilitation of probation have a lower chance of going back to crime than their counterparts who are incarcerated for long periods of time (Sutherland 2010).This method however, is restricted to minor crimes which constitutionally do not elicit very tough sentences. Petty and first time offenders can be cut some slack in their sentencing so as to avoid the problem of recidivism (Sutherland 2010)

Post incarceration education and counseling should effectively be used as a forum for preparing the' ex-offenders' to join the mainstream society. The 'ex offenders' should be incorporated in the daily societal endeavors, devoid of the prejudice attached to them for being ex-cons. (Willy, 1975). It should be the role of the government to make sure that the ex-offenders are fully rehabilitated and incorporated in the society as citizens, just like the rest of the citizenry, without tagging a long the title of being criminals. According to, United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute

(2009) report, careful and intensive counseling, the ex-offenders can be made to understand that the whole process of incarceration is a rehabilitative measure, that is aimed at making them to be productive members of the society. The counseling should also include the family members, workmates and other persons in whom the offender will have close contact with, once his term is over. In effect, this will prepare the "outside "people to embrace the ex-offender and to work with the person for the common good. Counseling and education would be most effective if initiated a few weeks before the offenders term is over (Willy, 1975).

Sound Residential care. Once out of prison, the ex-offender should be embraced by his former society and seen as a changed person (David, 2002). This would go a long way in helping the ex-offender to incorporate himself in the mainstream society and become an independent person. The society plays a crucial role in determining whether the person will go back to crime or not. Through research, workable models can be built to encourage the ex0ffender to feel that he is part of the society, devoid of any preconceived ideas of him. The model should include a rewarding scheme that will be used to motivate a person and to give him enough reason to be a straight person in society. (David, 2002).

The issue of recidivism should be approached in a holistic manner. This is because there are other factors that are in play in regard to incidences or relapses of crime. More research should be done so as to understand the factors that influence a person to go back to crime, after serving a sentence. The society should not generalize or come to a conclusion that, one is a criminal, just because he had been previously convicted of a crime. it's the role of the society to embrace the ex-offenders, and to help them in the transitional journey to blend well in the society. Accorded enough respect, the ex-offenders can blend become productive members of the society and even serve as role models for other offenders.


Bailey, Kristen (2007). "The Causes of Recidivism in the Criminal Justice System and Why it Is

Worth the Cost to Address Them." Nashville Bar Journal. Retrieved May 15, 2012

Connecticut Office of Policy & Management, Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division;

Research, Analysis and Evaluation Unit. (2009). 2009 Connecticut Recidivism Study:

2004 Release Cohort. Retrieved December 15, 2009 from udy.pdf

Drake, Elizabeth and Aos, Steve and Miller, Marna. (2009). Evidence-Based Public Policy

Options to Reduce Crime and Criminal Justice Costs: Implications in Washington State.

Olympia, WA: Washington State Institute for Public Policy. Retrieved December 15,

2009 from

Florida Department of Corrections. (2003). Recidivism Report: Inmates Released from Florida

Prisons July 1995 to June 2001. Retrieved December 15, 2009 from

Giovanni Torrente, United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute

(2009).Punishment and Recidivism: The Italian Case Issue 88 of United Nations

Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, Interregional Crime and Justice

Research Institute Issue 88 of UNICRI publication. Turin, Italy: PublisherUnited

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Jospeter M. Mbuba, (2005). "A refutation of racial differentials in the juvenile recidivism rate hypothesis." African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies 1 (2). ISSN 1554-3897.

Langan, Patrick a. And Levin, David J. (2002). Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994.

Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved December 15, 2009 from

Stacy Ramdhan, Lisa Bissessar ( 2011).Recidivism Volume 2 of Criminology and Criminal

Justice. GRIN Verlag

Sutherland J. F (2010)Recidivism: Habitual Criminality, and Habitual Petty Delinquency: a Problem in Sociology, Psycho-pathology and Criminology. Gale Willy E. Rice (1975). Recidivism: a multivariate explanation of the length of time recidivists remained free before returning to prison incarcerations. University…[continue]

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