In our prison system today, the recidivism rates are out of control. Meaning that the amount of criminals that are locked up time and time again is crazy. We see this kind of behavior in drug users especially. An individual will get arrested and serve their time and then commits another crime and is put back in prison. This happens so often that the term “rotating door” has come to light. Much like a rotating door at a restaurant, drug users are caught in a circle of using, getting arrested, being released, and using again. The rotation never stops which has shown us how retribution isn’t working as much as rehabilitation can. The entire reason harsher drug sentencing has come to light is to deter individuals from using drugs. Since these individual’s sentences haven’t deterred them from future drug use, I believe rehabilitation is key.
Using prison treatment programs would be immensely effective in lowering recidivism rates in our nation. Lowering recidivism rates would also help lower prison overcrowding and racial disparities we are currently facing. Prison treatment programs are programs within the prison that help drug users deal with their addiction. These types of treatments are over 60% effective in lowering the amount of drug users return to prison. One type of program being used is called Therapeutic Communities (TC). TC is a group of inmates that are secluded from the general public in prisons. They spend their days dealing with their addictions together. This is done by having AA type meetings, and having people trained in counseling come support the inmates. Inmates have described this process as the most difficult and beneficial experience they have gone through. The only problem we face with treatment programs is that they are only offered in a select few prisons today. By implementing these in every prison, I believe the results would be astonishing.
Comment below what you think of the rotating prison door and prison treatment programs!