Recidivism In Delaware: 8 in 10 Released Inmates Back in Prison
Why is Delaware so shocked about their high recidivism rate? Two past national reports revealed that two-thirds of the inmates in their studies were rearrested within three years of their release from incarceration. It is recognized that recidivism varies from state to state, but nationally the high recidivism rate from the two studies has not changed much. Delaware’s recidivism rate is higher than the national rate, but many of the state’s recidivism rates are disgraceful. The Delaware study was conducted in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the state’s correctional system. The Delaware study included the programs available to prisoners while incarcerated and programs available to inmates after their release from prison.
As a former inmate, I can state that the problem is not “Rocket Science.” The programs in many prisons are inadequate. The support to released inmates is abysmal. A number of states have recognized the problem and the solutions. Michigan and Kansas have experienced lower recidivism rates after focusing on Re-entry for former inmates. Money was allocated for local housing and even to subsidize jobs.
As for programs in prison for inmates, so much more can be done to prepare inmates for a successful Re-entry. Unfortunately, many of our prisons lack any effective rehabilitation programs that would lead to employment for released inmates. Do we really think inmates picking up garbage on highways will lead to their future employment. My pre-release unit did not have any program to teach inmates how to find a job or how to interview for a job. Another inmate, a successful businessman, with my help, created a simple program to help inmates find employment. We volunteered to teach small classes for no extra credit or pay. The program was praised, but died a slow administrative death. The program was never implemented, despite the demand from other inmates for education about finding employment and interviewing for a job.
Delaware can save their money trying to analyze the causes and the solutions for the State’s record recidivism rate. Delaware should focus on three solutions. First, the prisons should provide effective programs that will lead to employment for inmates upon their release. Second, the state should work with the local community to provide decent housing for former inmates. Third, the state should help provide jobs by subsidizing employment for former inmates. The cost for the solutions is small in comparison to the high price of crime and the continual damage to our society.
Then they should address the reason why this is so by creating the appropriate strategies,to address this recidivism challenge, both from the inside of the prison and outside.Our organization developed a program called Tackling Crime and Violence Youth preventive program.I refer you to my profile and request you to click on it and read through that presentation made by one of Youth coordinator and it was designed to break the cycle of going in and out of Prison
Only way for them to stay out is if they are willing to live like God wants them to.
Rev. Shalom; I thank you for all the work you are doing and I couldn’t agree with you more. In my state, the “system” gives the men being released no more than the basic “information” they need to survive and not information on what will be able to keep them from returning to prison. They need MORE than just the BASICS. They’ve always had the BASICS and that’s partially what has led them to commit crimes and to become”statistics of our prison system. Out state has always led society to believe that the recidivism rate was no more than 50%… Read more »
Are you able to give us a reference for the Delaware prison study please.
The following is the link to the study–
Delaware Criminal Justice Council
Statistical Analysis Center
Did they have the support in the Community? Housing..job/Voluntary work..Mentor all this matters when you are released from prison
I too am a former inmate and drug addict.I agree with you. I am blessed to have had support from my family and a spiritual awakening which led to my successful reentry into society. I graduated college last year, hold a full time job, am a licensed minister and have just entered the MA program. Most of the friends I grew up with and did time with are back in prison or have been in and out over the years. If a person can not find a place to live and a place to work, they will inevitably revert back… Read more »
Amen Hank….I’m walking, living proof.
By Rev. Don
By John— Does Delaware not offer reintegration programs? Are they being utilized within the system…at the prison level as well as at the halfway house? What is the legislative arena look like in that state…I thought they were fairly progressive? Perhaps they manner in which reintegration is being addressed does not impact the population and therefore one would have to question what curriculum is being taught and by who. If the process of reintegration is merely a component of the prison system, being conducted by prison personnel the issue could lie within that realm…as they really don’t have the incentive… Read more »
I have a son in Washington State who recently relapsed (he said too much pressure on the outside/unsupportive parole officer…but he knows it was his own choice that landed him back. I have heard that it is “about money,” …that they receive an allotted amount per inmate, and want them to return. Any ideas on this?
From Rev. Don, Hi, John, I am in Delaware and was once incarcerated. The statistics shows what “effective” programs that Delaware has. Men are given just the basics which is probably not much more than what they initially went in with. I am endeavoring to aid in changing some of that with the help of many others. See my website at http://www.philemonministries.webs.com and you will understand even much more. There are many, many other “Returning Citizens” (former offenders) that are also working towards the same goal(s). As with all things, it takes funds, volunteers and devotion to make anything become… Read more »
By Andrew– I work in a very successful reentry program here in PA. We place an emphasis on using community resources, which are often times better equipped to address the criminogenic needs of returning citizens than the prisons are. Our goal is to provide all of the things an individual may need coming out of prison, BEFORE they get out of prison. That seems to make the transition much smoother. Once they’re released the focus is on employment and case management for the clients. Our recidivism rate is 29% for those who enter our program, as opposed to 80% for… Read more »
Meg– This discussion reminds me of two things – Justice Reinvestment, and a new program we are delivering ‘Sentenced to a Job’. Most people in our prison system have never had a job so there will be a greater focus on assisting inmates to become employable, finding them jobs, and working with other agencies in terms of re-entry/reintegration.
[…] cent recidivism rate, but that is really not saying much. Last week, PrisonPath discussed in “Recidivism In Delaware: 8 in 10 Released Inmates Back in Prison,” what Delaware should do to reduce their atrocious high rate of recidivism. First, the […]
Marlene– Real success back into the community, can only start from with in.
It is true and I couldn’t agree with you more that “real” success comes from within. The only problem is that most of those returning to society have not been given the tools and/or the faith that is needed to accomplish this. That is why many others such as myself are endeavoring to help show the Way that leads to true success. Have a blessed day!
By Rev. Don
I have been helping prisoners here in Texas for more than 35 years. Recently I opened up the first aquaponic farm in downtown Fort Worth. My company hires ex-offenders and teaches then the art and science behind aquaponics. In less than a year, of 16 people employed, 13 went back to drugs or drinking, and were sent back or are on their way. Only 3 of those 16 went on to be successful and there’s very little chance of them going back. I got out of prison 35 years ago, no one ever gave me a job except day labor.… Read more »
Esteban; I must say I have to agree with you on practically all that you stated. The DOC and the states only give a person the “bare” essentials. In most cases that is practically nothing. It is up to the individual to want to make a change first a foremost and to capitalize on just what is available while incarcerated. Being incarcerated in the past myself, I totally understand the availability and the barriers. Practically most things that are faith based, the state wants nothing to do with except provide us with a list of those returning back to society… Read more »
It’s vital that we understand, “You can’t put a band aid on a heart condition–it’s only a band aid. Eventually it will fall off and one will still be left with the same heart condition.
The way to fix the heart, thereby providing a long term solution to recidivism is through programs that teach character and self-worth. Once a person is empowered to see themselves differently, then they will do different things; things that will not only empower them to stay out of prison but to be successful in life.
Don’t miss this.