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2009 November 15 Sunday
Most Criminals Return To Crime After Prison

A USC press release about crime starts with a depressing figure: Most criminals are not turned away from a life of crime by time in the pokie.

Nearly 650,000 people are released from the nationís prisons every year, and about nine million more are released from jails. Two-thirds of those who come out of prison are rearrested within three years of release.

What portion of the remaining third also commits more crimes but doesn't get caught for the first 3 years?

I picture the creation of a parallel society on, say, remote islands where criminals get released. The more dangerous get released together in some islands. Other islands get progressively less dangerous people. Why put ourselves at risk to these people?

Here's the kicker: If criminals remain as criminals then the system has failed them.

Federal, state, community and faith-based leaders say these statistics indicate the individuals are not getting the services they need to ensure a successful transition back into their communities.

Services! I say put them on an island with jobs doing light manufacturing. Choose a few industries to protect from foreign competition and let those industries set up factories on, say, the Aleutian islands. Instead of making prisons on the island make safe areas where managers live behind protective walls. The managers could interact with the workers in adjacent factories with guards present.

See any red flags?

Eighty percent of federal prisoners report a history of drug or alcohol abuse, two-thirds of offenders do not have a high school diploma or equivalency degree, up to 16 percent have at least one serious mental disorder and 10 percent of those entering jail are homeless in the months before incarceration.

Some people belong in mental institutions. Letting mentally ill people live on the street is a bad idea.

By Randall Parker    2009 November 15 09:36 PM Entry Permalink | Comments (26)
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