Inadequate Prison Release Programs Blamed for High Recidivism Rates

The Department of Justice's Inspector General issued a report recently that echoed one of the biggest complaints about criminal justice in America: when inmates are released, they are rarely prepared for their return home.

The watchdog identified "several weakness" with the Release Preparation Programs - RPP for short - which are supposed to reduce recidivism by ensuring an inmates smooth transition back into civil society.

The report showed that course offerings are inconsistent across Bureau of Prisons facilities - that curriculums are "limited to what is already available at the institution" - and that a "significant number" of inmates did not finish their RPP before they were released.

What do you think should be done?


cat18's picture
cat18 6 years 38 weeks ago

People need considerable help adjusting to the world outside of prison. See Friends Outside in CA, a non-profit organization which has a number of programs to help both families and former inmates as they get out of prison. Ex-prisoners often need many types of assistance including anger management, job training, simple socialization to how people behave and act outside of prison, help in finding a job, finding a place to live and much more. Programs inside prison may help (I don't have any data on that), but once outside they still need a lot of help if they are to be able to function as good citizens of our society. Funding outside agencies could help the transition and reduce recidivism, which often occurs out of desperation or anger.

Queenbeethatsme's picture
Queenbeethatsme 6 years 38 weeks ago

Kill them all. NO recidivism, no rehabilitation needed, no exhaustive stays or court appeals, no more drain on tax payers. Kill them all and great deterrent to all criminals. Problems both present and many future... solved.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 6 years 38 weeks ago

Since america has the highest prison population in the WORLD of a ~400 million population against a world population of ~6 billion there MUST be some connection there that needs to be addressed

america imprisons more people than any coutnry in the world per head of population


Queenbeethatsme's picture
Queenbeethatsme 6 years 38 weeks ago

Most recidivism is not due to frustration or anger in the outside system, it is that the inside system breeds incorrigible predators who cannot help but have hatred and contempt for all of those on the outside. the rule should be once in prison, stay there and rot or kill them all, then no recidivism and most likely less people would commit crime if the punishment was death and not simply more time.

Fred9303's picture
Fred9303 6 years 38 weeks ago

Let me guess. These RPP programs are run by contractors. I believe we should provide continuing supervision such as halfway homes and probation or parole officers that are not overworked with large caseloads. A little advice and/or supervision given promptly could mean the difference between success and failure.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 6 years 38 weeks ago

Queenbethatsme - Sorry! You represent everything that is obnoxious about america and americans

You appear to be sociopathic

You advocate KILLING

Very, very, very sad!

cccccttttt 6 years 38 weeks ago

Provide a COST INCENTIVE in contracts with private prisons to keep the return rate low.

In state and fed prisons use a bonus system for prison workers if they keep the return rate below a target level.


ron1938's picture
ron1938 6 years 38 weeks ago

The thing that bothers me immensely is the fact that after a person serves their sentence they must carry it with them the rest of their lives, current law. Society needs to stop the punishment. They need to be able to vote, apply for jobs that pay a decent wage and hopefully put the mistake behind them and become a useful member of society.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 6 years 38 weeks ago

Yeah! I agree... when you've done your time or fullfilled your punishment that should be the end of it

Why does a person have to carry the stigma and associated restrictions and predjudices?

Must be hell trying to get a job!

That would drive a person back to it!

What a damned system that is damned

Kend's picture
Kend 6 years 38 weeks ago

The best rehabilitation is a good economy. Something America doesn't provide for its less fortunate. Get rid of the estimated 30 million illegals and instantly you have jobs for them. America is the only country in the world that doesn't secure its border. Why?

IM Jussayin 6 years 38 weeks ago

@ Queenbee. If you are being serious, you should be commited.

Bgbgl's picture
Bgbgl 6 years 38 weeks ago

People should keep in mind that much of this prison industry is just that, an industry for the justice department to make money. To keep "recycling" prisoners, primarily minorities and the poor through the system, there is money to be made by attorneys and judges. The few that are really trying to help with rehabilitation are aware of this. Germany is strong on rehab but in America we apparently like the easier profit idea - crime pays - especially with the wealthier white world driving the system. Slavery post civil war and post wars in general. The poor are being used and in a have and have-not society that means more and more of us are useful.. cheap labor, war, prison system. Is this big money's idea of America's true calling?

RFord's picture
RFord 6 years 38 weeks ago

One of the biggest helps ex-prisoners could get would be having their citizenship fully restored except for firearm ownership if their crime involved a firearm or other restrictions that may relate to their crime. They should be able to vote and the felon box should be eliminated from job applications. If they need training and education to get a good job they should receive it in prison or have it available when they get out. The prison system should help with getting a good job and a decent place to stay when they get out. All this may sound expensive but it would cost less than taking care of them in prison over and over again for the rest of their lives. Ex-criminals should not be treated like criminals.

quantum's picture
quantum 6 years 38 weeks ago


You ought to be in prison as one of the thousands of people who should not be there and see how good you think your idea is then.

There are thousands of people who have landed in prison for marijuana use, not being able to pay bills and as an alternative to a psychiatric hospital(this is one of the biggest travesties of justice)

Heck, you can land in jail in ID for not having insurance on your car. So for people like that you want to throw away the key? What a sick puppy you are.

BMetcalfe's picture
BMetcalfe 6 years 38 weeks ago

EDUCATION is the key. Instead of placing emphasis on revenge punishment, how about allowing prisoners to get a GED or a college degree in something they'll be able to qualify to use after being released? And another way to help them is to STOP THE RAPES! Just because they've been convicted of a crime doesn't mean they deserve to be secually abused. That's just beyond cruel and unusual punishment. (Perhaps we should look to some of the Scandanavian countries to see how their criminals are punished... Some of them live in communities without fences and with no bars. Just being removed from their cities and families is enough punishment for some of them.) Even the worst criminals should be treated with human dignity; otherwise, when they are released, they are even more damaged than they were when they committed their crimes. Education to make a decent living one day in the future at least gives them hope and dignity. Most of them are not animals, and shouldn't be treated as such. With a decent paying job, once their time is done, would keep a lot of them from being so desperate they have to commit another crime just to eat.

tomas reyer's picture
tomas reyer 6 years 38 weeks ago

First, the system has to give rehab priority over revenge and profits.

Along with this step lots of people need to be FIRED. The ones in charge , that is.

There are no "evildoers" or "rogue individuals" when it comes to any top-down system.

As my grandpa said and still stands correct," the fish starts stinking at the head".

Let us keep this in mind- in my fifty some years on this planet this has always held true.

hal tapkins's picture
hal tapkins 6 years 38 weeks ago

Listen to one of the 88 generals defend his support for Trump--and waterboarding etc. I hope we can hear from some of the other 87!

UNC Tarheels's picture
UNC Tarheels 6 years 38 weeks ago

When a foster child turns 18 the state stops paying the foster family and the child ends up homeless. A criminal gets out of Rikers Island they get a bus ticket and $200. It is funny a lawbreaker gets that and a foster kid gets nada!

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