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senate Bill S. 449

Are Re-Integration Programs The Solution To Recidivism?

Argument in favor

Integrating ex-prisoners back into civilian live with substance abuse counseling and assistance finding jobs and housing is the best way to bring those people back into becoming productive members of society again.

BananaNeil's Opinion
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03/22/2015
We need to find a way to prevent the vicious cycle of the prison system. This sounds like a step in the right direction.
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JohnTowler's Opinion
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03/13/2015
I work in the criminal justice system and see this revolving door in action every day. As a society, we need to do more to lift up those who have fallen and try to restore them.
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Laylah's Opinion
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03/11/2015
The "nays" want to know why the tax payers should foot the bill to integrate prisoners back into society. The tax payers pay a heck of a lot more on incarceration!
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Argument opposed

Even with a solid reintegration program, there’s no telling how or why an ex-prisoner may relapse into criminal activity — not to mention, why should taxpayers have to foot the bill to bring ex-cons back into society?

Tomblue01's Opinion
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04/11/2015
Criminals are a burden to society and the tax payer. Make them work off their debt and repay society rather than tax society even more. Hard work has always been the best method of reformation.
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Pappa's Opinion
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03/13/2015
I have worked in behavioral health, and I don't agree with this bill. I think tracking these individuals by their parole officers, and making the parole officers more responsible would be a better solution. There are programs in place now that should help with this issue.
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Loraki's Opinion
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01/08/2017
I TOTALLY AGREE WITH WHAT COUNTABLE MEMBER CTConservative SAID: "How about we accept those in prison as what they are and instead focus on our youth? Has anyone noticed that our kids are not being instilled with a proper moral compass and strong convictions since Christian teachings and principles were banned from schools? We can still teach the core values instilled taught by Christianity without pushing the doctrine itself (though that really isn't a bad idea). I understand that we have become a very diverse nation, and I respect others beliefs. I do not, however, appreciate or agree with the complete absence of decency being taught in schools today. Fix our youth and the prison overcrowding and recidivism issues will resolve themselves in time." CONSIDERING HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO GET A CONSENSUS ON WHAT CONSTITUTES RIGHT AND WRONG, PEOPLE NEED TO LOOK TO THE WORD OF GOD AS THE DECIDING FACTOR! THIS IS THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE THE FOUNDING FATHERS HAD IN MIND, BECAUSE IT DOESN'T FAVOR ANY PARTICULAR CHURCH! AND IT IS THE EPITOME OF FAIRNESS, BECAUSE GOD CANNOT BE CORRUPTED! THE BIBLE CAN BE UNDERSTOOD AND INTERPRETED USING THE SAME RULES THAT WE USE TO UNDERSTAND AND INTERPRET ANY DOCUMENT: 1. Don't take things out of context; 2. Make sure the command applies to you; 3. Take it literally, unless it makes no sense to do so; 4. Don't add to it or subtract from it or change it. 5. Bind what God binds and loosen what God loosens. “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” ‭(‭I Corinthians‬ ‭14:33‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)
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What is Senate Bill S. 449?

This bill would bring together non-profit organizations and criminal justice experts to identify the most effective civilian re-entry programs for people leaving prison. 


Bringing together nonprofit organizations and criminal justice experts at the federal, state, and local levels, this legislation requires that chosen specialists consult and determine which re-entry programs would be most effective. After this process, the agreed-upon programs would be implemented (as demonstration projects) in selected Federal judicial districts. 


Projects would include re-entry review teams working closely with each prisoner to help them address their specific needs. Projects would also have access to community correctional facilities, the fixings to implement regular drug tests, and the resources to offer rehabilitation treatment to those with histories of substance abuse. Helping former prisoners find health care, jobs, mental health treatment, and vocational/educational training (among other things) would also be goals behind each project. 


Five years after enactment, an evaluation and study of the effects of the programs, and their impacts on recidivism would be assigned to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts and the Attorney General. 

Impact

People in prison, people leaving prison, their families, non-profit organizations and criminal justice experts focused on recidivism, prisons and correctional facilities, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the Department of Justice.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 449

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth:

Sen. Rob Portman has been involved with similar bills to this one, including the Recidivism Reduction and Public Safety Act of 2014, which also addressed ex-inmates returning to prison, drug treatment, and mental health services for people in prisons.


Of Note:

Recidivism is a broad term that defines any relapse into criminal behavior after a prisoner has been released. A study from the National Institute of Justice found:

  • "Within three years of release, about two-thirds (67.8 percent) of released prisoners were rearrested.

  • Within five years of release, about three-quarters (76.6 percent) of released prisoners were rearrested.

  • Of those prisoners who were rearrested, more than half (56.7 percent) were arrested by the end of the first year.

  • Property offenders were the most likely to be rearrested, with 82.1 percent of released property offenders arrested for a new crime compared with 76.9 percent of drug offenders, 73.6 percent of public order offenders and 71.3 percent of violent offenders.”


Media:

Sponsoring Sen. Rob Portman On Reducing Recidivism (Similar Legislation)


Justice Policy Institute (In Support)


National Journal (Similar Legislation)

(Photo Credit: Flickr user x1klima

Official Title

A bill to reduce recidivism and increase public safety.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedFebruary 11th, 2015
    We need to find a way to prevent the vicious cycle of the prison system. This sounds like a step in the right direction.
    Like (22)
    Follow
    Share
    Criminals are a burden to society and the tax payer. Make them work off their debt and repay society rather than tax society even more. Hard work has always been the best method of reformation.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    I work in the criminal justice system and see this revolving door in action every day. As a society, we need to do more to lift up those who have fallen and try to restore them.
    Like (13)
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    Along with job assistance, efforts at preventing Recidivism are also being made for through technology. In our blog post, we mentioned that Code. 7370 is training incarcerated individuals on the basics of coding. http://www.t4a.org/code_7370/
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    The "nays" want to know why the tax payers should foot the bill to integrate prisoners back into society. The tax payers pay a heck of a lot more on incarceration!
    Like (9)
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    Once a person has paid his or her debt to society (via fines, probation &/or incarceration), we should not further punish them by denying benefits, work, housing, the right to vote or assistance to make them functioning & productive members of society. We expect this class of alienated people to properly reintegrate into society & live by a different code without being shown or taught "how to succeed," let alone how to live in a society. If we, as Americans, ever want to effectively lower prison populations & refocus these people into productive members of society, we need to supply them with the rules we expect people to live by, the tools to succeed & the chance(s) to do so.
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    I have worked in behavioral health, and I don't agree with this bill. I think tracking these individuals by their parole officers, and making the parole officers more responsible would be a better solution. There are programs in place now that should help with this issue.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    I TOTALLY AGREE WITH WHAT COUNTABLE MEMBER CTConservative SAID: "How about we accept those in prison as what they are and instead focus on our youth? Has anyone noticed that our kids are not being instilled with a proper moral compass and strong convictions since Christian teachings and principles were banned from schools? We can still teach the core values instilled taught by Christianity without pushing the doctrine itself (though that really isn't a bad idea). I understand that we have become a very diverse nation, and I respect others beliefs. I do not, however, appreciate or agree with the complete absence of decency being taught in schools today. Fix our youth and the prison overcrowding and recidivism issues will resolve themselves in time." CONSIDERING HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO GET A CONSENSUS ON WHAT CONSTITUTES RIGHT AND WRONG, PEOPLE NEED TO LOOK TO THE WORD OF GOD AS THE DECIDING FACTOR! THIS IS THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE THE FOUNDING FATHERS HAD IN MIND, BECAUSE IT DOESN'T FAVOR ANY PARTICULAR CHURCH! AND IT IS THE EPITOME OF FAIRNESS, BECAUSE GOD CANNOT BE CORRUPTED! THE BIBLE CAN BE UNDERSTOOD AND INTERPRETED USING THE SAME RULES THAT WE USE TO UNDERSTAND AND INTERPRET ANY DOCUMENT: 1. Don't take things out of context; 2. Make sure the command applies to you; 3. Take it literally, unless it makes no sense to do so; 4. Don't add to it or subtract from it or change it. 5. Bind what God binds and loosen what God loosens. “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” ‭(‭I Corinthians‬ ‭14:33‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)
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    Saves money in the long run.
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    This is too much of a burden to taxpayers. Have them pay back into the system what we pay to bring justice. We shouldn't have to pay to have them jailed and then pay again for their freedom.
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    Criminals should perform works of service that benefit the community and pay for their counseling, etc. We, who have not broken the law, are not responsible for paying for this criminal. We should always be open and accepting to ex-convicts, but a mandatory financial contribution is not the way to do this.
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    How about instead, we just don't lock people up for petty crimes and reduce the amount of prisoners?
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    Crime is a complicated problem that current solutions aren't completely solving. We need to try new ideas, and this brings together many promising avenues.
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    The US should obtain an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and dump all repeat offenders and violent offenders there. Let them deal with each other and try to survive. Worked for Australia!
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    Cheaper than more or bigger prisons.
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    There's a significant body of research showing that difficulty re-integrating is a huge factor in recidivism. It costs less to re-integrate an ex-offender than to jail them over and over.
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    Our prisons are already over filled. Preventing people from going back should be a priority. The cost to expand the prison industry should be compared to the cost of removing people from it. Some of these costs are immeasurable; they are called human lives.
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    Help them become productive.. Training in prison for success on the outside .. Pays off tenfold.
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    We must do all we can to help those attempting to better themselves. Those who have served their time deserve a real shot at a good and fair life. If we would focus more tax income into these areas of rehabilitation, then we would not have nearly as many return inmates. However, return inmates are huge profit sources for prisons and police, so seeing any real change will be very hard to come by, but we must fight for real justice reform.
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    What we know: Without a functional reintegration program, convicted criminals are extremely likely to end up back in the "system." The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. We have the largest, almost 1/4 of the world's, prison population on earth -- with our total population comprising only about 4% of the world's total. Something has to change. Functional reintegration may work to break this cycle. It's fiscally responsible. It's also just plain humane.
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