CJUS 650 Liberty University 2

Please respond to the following discussion post from two of my classmates with 150 words EACH, 2 references EACH and a biblical viewpoint.

the original post is: Topic: The Second Chance Act

Thread: It is often difficult for offenders to adjust after incarceration. The Second Chance Act rejects the notion that recidivism reduction is best achieved through deterrent threats alone. Explain the Second Chance Act, and defend your views on how recidivism reduction can best be achieved.

Replies: Assume that you fully support the Second Chance Act when responding to two of your classmates.

1) Neill- The Second Chance Act was created to aid offenders with reentry into society after incarceration. This Act “supports state, local, and tribal governments and nonprofit organizations in their work to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for people returning from state and federal prisons, local jails, and juvenile facilities” (NRRC, 2020). While relief funds were allocated to help provide access to services, I believe the real issue lies within society’s mindset towards deviancy and incarceration.

Our society has a bad habit of judging others, placing damaging labels onto others who have a different lifestyle or culture than them. Turning on the television at any point during the day will give anyone a good understanding on how this country thinks. The government can give money to help offenders enroll in therapy, drug rehab and group meetings to attempt to deter them from offending again, but not much action has been taken to fix the offender’s society. Now, I am not condoning criminal behavior, but I do believe everyone deserves forgiveness. If an offender responds to the other deterrents (incarceration, court ordered services, etc), he could still be set up for failure within his community. We tend to write off those who have been incarcerated, deciding they will forever be a criminal and will never change.

There are a few ways how we can reduce recidivism. One suggestion is to provide educational progression while incarcerated. Studies have shown that “inmates who took part in educational programs while incarcerated had a 43 percent lower chance of recidivism than inmates that did not participate in educational programs” (Jackson, 2020). Incarceration does not only effect those who are behind bars, but their families and the next generation. Children raised in a home where their parents or primary family members have been incarcerated are forced into another perspective and lifestyle than most of their peers. Studies have shown that “socioeconomic disadvantage, crime, and incarceration in the current generation undermine the stability of family life and material support for children. As adults, these children will be at greater risk of diminished life chances and criminal involvement, and at greater risk of incarceration as a result” (Western & Pettit, 2010).

Our country should seek to lower crime and incarceration, not seek for more. We should turn our focus and our money towards methods designed to reduce crime, decrease incarceration, and increase rehabilitation. Many people who commit crimes are labeled by society as black sheep, and destined for their lives to circle around chaos and crime. Instead, we should try to help them move forward and achieve their goals.

Resources:

Jackson, S. (2020, April). 4 Proven Ways to Reduce Recidivism. Retrieved May 21, 2021, from https://www.trendwyoming.org/articles/proven-ways-…

NRRC. (2020). Second Chance Act. Retrieved May 21, 2021, from https://nationalreentryresourcecenter.org/second-c…

Western, B., & Pettit, B. (2020). Incarceration & social inequality. Retrieved May 21, 2021, from https://www.amacad.org/publication/incarceration-s…

2) Stone- In 2004, President George W. Bush said, “America is the land of the second chance, and when the gates of the prison open, that path ahead should lead to a better life,” this led to The Second Chance Act. The Second Chance Act was a bipartisan act of 2007 that expanded reentry services for periople that are leaving prison and return to society, (Gideon and Sung, 2011). This act is the first piece of legislation that attempted to address the multitude of problems that offenders face during and after incarceration. Once The Second Chance Act passed, it provided millions of dollars into rehabilitation, reentry, and reintegration programs for prisoners. The Second Chance Act also had the potential to save taxpayers millions of dollars. It would do this by reducing recidivism rates and lowers arrest and incarceration rates. The act also encouraged collaboration of the criminal justice, public health, and social service systems. (Gideon and Sung, 2011). When it comes down to it, the Second Chance Act, provided different support outlets for prisoners who were being reintroduced into society. This included jobs, education, and drug treatment. The Second Chance Act aimed to improve society in a whole.

I believe the best way to reduce recidivism, is by proper rehabilitation. I am someone who firmly believes that rehabilitation is possible for a lot of prisoners, but the prison system needs to focus on it. There are some prisons that do a great job at this. There are prisons that work on rehabilitating the prisoners, and teaching them a trade. This often helps them when there are released. However, not all prisons do this. We need to look into the mental health of prisoners, and their dependency on drugs and alcohol as well. Mental health is something that needs taken seriously and support needs given to prisoners while they are in prison and reintroduced into society. At the same time, there are prisons that do not offer programs for prisoners who abuse drugs and alcohol. If prisons offered them the support that they needed during their time, and were given the support during reentry, it would help reduce recidivism rates.

References:

Gideon, L., & Sung, H. (2011). Rethinking Corrections Rehabilitation, Reentry, and Reintegration. Sage

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