Fighting Recidivism

September 10, 2012


One of the greatest challenges a person faces once they have been released from prison is starting over and not returning to prison.  Recidivism is an issue that not only affects the inmate but it affects tax payers and communities alike.  A criminal record makes it very difficult to find a job or get a place to live and because of these barriers, many offenders find themselves returning to a life of crime out of desperation. 


As many as 24% of inmates released each year will return to prison within 3 years.  That is very high number of citizens that could be productive workers, contributing to society, rather than costly tax payers approximately $50.79 a day to house them and feed them in a Texas prison.  What can be done to help lower recidivism?  The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission believes that better coordination and focusing more on re-entry programs are key.  Texas lawmakers approved legislation that requires re-entry programs, however, there is no written plan for a re-entry program.


How do you think we could lower recidivism in our state?  Do you think we should offer more programs to help offenders get jobs and housing?  Do you think offenders are discriminated against and that we should create new laws to protect this from happening?