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A Recidivism Plan Could Decrease The U.S. Prison Population Drastically. Why Is Nothing Being Done?

Updated on February 3, 2015
Mason Shade profile image

Mason Shade has diplomas in Holistic/Western Medicine, CBD Medicine, Advocacy, Mental Health, English Language & Literature, & Social Media.

The problem.

It's ridiculous the amount of money spent to house an inmate each year. It averages between $22,000 and $40,000 to keep a single inmate incarcerated for an entire year. Even once released from jail/prison the risk of being re-incarcerated is high. In the United States, 53% of arrested males and 39% of arrested females are re-incarcerated (2003), according to Now, as a member of society you might find yourself asking how can they fix this dilemma?

The solution?

The truth is the dilemma may possibly never be fixed, however great strides in education and the incarcerated has shown a significant decrease in the risk of recidivism.

The big question.

Now comes the question of the cost of educating an inmate? Is it their responsibility to pay for it? Do societies tax dollars cover these costs? In almost all cases it is free classes to obtain ones G.E.D. Or free vocational training in some fields of local work that are offered to the inmates.

Now even with training how are they guaranteed jobs?

With proper education and training there is no guarantee that they will be hired by a company.They may not pass the security clearance, but what if on top of the educational training the United States government partnered up with a resource center that found newly trained and released inmates full time work? What would the employer get out of this? One might ask. The government could offer a tax break for the employers who volunteer their business for this program. They could even pay for a percentage of the employee's wages for a probation period. After doing some research you can find that cost of educating an inmate greatly out ways the cost of re-incarcerating an inmate.

U.S. prison stats V.S. other Countries.

The United States, with an incarcerated population of 3.3 million, has the largest prison population of any country in the world. The US spends approximately $52 billion on corrections each year, with the cost of providing a college education to an incarcerated student at $2,000 to $3,782 compared to $32,000 to $40,000 per year to incarcerate the same individual, according to

The 2 main things we need to do.

If the United States Government could come up with a way to get more free educational training from colleges, universities, apprenticeship programs and virtual training partnered along with a proper job placement program, it could possibly change America forever.

Does the prision system need to change?

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Final thoughts

Lets be honest here usually a life of crime is not something someone sets out for but in fact is a sad reality of the circumstance from which one is born into. Now, as a non or former inmate you need to ask yourself what would you rather support a judicial system that locks away people with no real regard for the their and your society outcome or a judicial system that wants to change the system, educate the undereducated and employ the unemployed in a field that they can strive and support themselves in, in order to create a better and more promising America.

© 2014 Mason Shade


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      Howard Schneider 2 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Very well stated, Mason. It is especially timely now that laws are being passed to relax past draconian non violent drug sentences and give these prisoners early release. We as a society need to educate these young offenders so that when they return to society, they are equipped to achieve. The long run decrease in recidivism will more than pay for the short term cost. It might also help to improve our education system and social safety net to help prevent these people from turning to crime. Great Hub.