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High rates of imprisonment alongside low budget

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High rates of imprisonment alongside low budget allocations in the U.S. prison system have prompted policymakers to reexamine the effectiveness of the available programs in fighting crime. On this note, Brewster and Sharp (2002) establish mixed results on the effectiveness of education programs for inmates in various U.S. prisons. Nonetheless, the effects of exposure to education while in prison are insignificant in some of the offenders such as those convicted of traffic offenses. Besides, the study reveals that extended studies were more effective in reducing recidivism because of the levels of commitment on the students towards such programs when compared to short-term courses. In reality, courses that take more than six months to complete require high levels of commitment; hence, the urge to apply the acquired skills to generate income after completing sentences. Gender plays a critical role in the efficacy of education programs for incarcerated persons. According to Brewster and Sharp (2002), the number of women in the correctional facilities in the U.S. has been on the rise in the past few years. As a result, finding effective solutions to the challenges is vital to the reduction of the high rates of recidivism. A majority
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EDUCATION 6 of the training programs available for women inmates are inclined towards maintaining the prisons, as opposed to preparing the convicts for reentry into their societies. These training programs include computer training, janitorial services, and horticultural services. As a result, they are ineffective in addressing the rates of recidivism since they are not marketable in the contemporary labor market. Changing inmates into law-abiding citizens using affordable and effective strategies is critical to the success of the American criminal justice system. However, the failure to assess the effectiveness of some evidence-based approaches such as vocational training for inmates denies the system a chance to implement effective strategies to reduce recidivism rates. Notably, high rates of reoffending are also common in other developed countries such as the UK; thus, incorporating education programs in prisons enhances the employability of ex- convicts, which, in turn, reduces the need to engage in crime. Prisons authorities should liaise with the private sector to develop marketable programs in the modern labor market (Esperian, 2010). Besides, incarceration centers should collaborate with employers to provide internship programs to ex-prisoners to improve their skills and prepare them for crime-free lives. Although a significant number of prisoners in Minnesota will reenter society, more than 33% of them will be convicted of other crimes within the first three years of their release (Duwe & Clark, 2014). Confinement is common among the young and less educated persons in all communities. As a result, finding effective means of enhancing the skills of offenders is an effective strategy of reducing the high rates of incarceration. Duwe & Clark (2014, p. 455) note, “Formerly incarcerated men are employed an average of 9 fewer weeks per year than men who have never been incarcerated” while “They also earn 11% less per hour and about 40% less per year.” In addition to reducing earnings, imprisonment history has adverse effects on upward economic mobility.
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