How Do Courses For Inmates Work To Reduce Recidivism?
Recidivism, the tendency of a convicted criminal to re-offend and return to prison, is an issue that affects us all. To combat this issue, prisons have provided educational opportunities for decades in the form of courses and programs aimed at rehabilitation. These courses are designed to help the incarcerated learn new skills, gain knowledge and develop life-long habits that will benefit them upon their reentry into society. By doing so, incarcerated individuals can become more productive members of their communities and better equipped to make positive contributions.
Some areas where these courses can have a large impact include the following:
- Developing life skills such as communication, problem-solving, and decision-making. These skills can help those incarcerated recognize and avoid criminal behavior in the future.
- Teaching career and technical skills that can help a person find employment upon release.
Helping those incarcerated understand their responsibilities to society and the importance of law-abiding behavior.
- Facilitating personal development and growth by providing support on a psychological level.
- Building stronger relationships through the development of interpersonal skills.
Signals That Programs Are Working
When educational courses in prison are properly implemented, they can significantly reduce recidivism rates. Successful initiatives often have the following features:
- Effective communication between those incarcerated and correctional staff.
- A focus on providing resources needed to transition successfully back into society.
- Engagement in meaningful activities.
- Demonstrated success within the criminal justice system, including lower rates of recidivism and more successful reentry into society.
- Dedication to helping individuals make positive changes in their lives.
- A commitment to providing the tools needed to lead successful and productive lives after release.
The overall return-to-prison rate has seen a decline in recent years. For example, one analysis found that incarcerated individuals released in 2012 were less likely to commit a crime and return to prison, as compared to the recorded rate in 2005. Part of this decrease could be aligned with implementing educational courses and programs in prisons, providing incarcerated individuals with the resources they need to make a successful transition back into society.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What Does Reentry Lifeskills Offer?
Reentry Lifeskills is an innovative program designed to help individuals reenter society after incarceration. Through the program, participants receive enhanced opportunities for personal growth and independence through individual courses that focus on the following:
- Anger Management: Learn how to recognize and manage anger in healthy ways.
- Cognitive Awareness: Understand the cognitive distortions that can lead to criminal behavior.
- Contentious Relationships: Develop the skills needed to manage complex relationships from an empowered and healthy perspective.
- Domestic Violence: Learn strategies to cope with situations and decrease the risk of domestic violence.
- Driver Responsibility: Understand the importance of safe driving, traffic laws, and regulations.
- DUI: Understand the legal and personal consequences of driving under the influence.
- Employment: Develop job-seeking skills, including resume writing and interviewing techniques.
- Offender Corrections: Understand the legal responsibility of parole, probation, and community supervision.
- Parenting: Learn effective parenting skills, including discipline and communication.
- Personal Responsibility: Understand the importance of self-responsibility in leading a successful life.
- Substance Use and Abuse: Develop healthy strategies to cope with situations that may lead to substance abuse.
- Theft/Shoplifting: Learn the legal and personal consequences of theft and shoplifting.
Reentry Lifeskills is committed to providing participants with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to successfully transition back into society. Through comprehensive courses, participants can gain the confidence, resources, and support they need to lead productive, successful lives.
Incarcerated Individuals Matter
There is an increasing trend to refer to people who are incarcerated as “incarcerated individuals” instead of “inmates” or “prisoners.” This more formal term reflects society’s changing values in recognizing the humanity of those who have been convicted and need rehabilitation. Moreover, it helps to distance the general public from negative images of being labeled an “inmate” or a “prisoner.” By providing dignity and respect to individuals as they navigate through their sentences, we can help them reenter society most positively with renewed potential for success. Ultimately, when you reframe language around incarceration this way, you create a higher standard of empathy for people who are often forgotten by society. It is essential to remember that people who have been incarcerated are still human beings with the capacity for change and redemption. This understanding is crucial for individuals to have a successful reintegration back into society.
Some tips for incorporating this approach into daily life include:
- Avoid language that is dehumanizing or degrading towards incarcerated individuals
- Show respect and understanding for the experiences of someone who has been incarcerated
- Consider the impact of your words on the well-being of an individual who has experienced incarceration
- Recognize that everyone has the potential to change and grow, regardless of their past
By recognizing the humanity of those who are incarcerated, we can help create a more compassionate society. Ultimately, the goal is to help individuals return to their communities with increased confidence and successful reintegration. Reentry Lifeskills works to help make this a reality by providing incarcerated individuals with the necessary resources and skills to break free from negative cycles and lead more productive, successful lives.
If you want to help someone who has been incarcerated or is interested in learning more about Reentry Lifeskills, please contact us today. We would be happy to provide you with more information and answer any questions. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of people who are looking to move forward successfully with their lives.