New ways to combat the high recidivism rate of blacks

Key points

  • The United States has one of the highest imprisonment rates in the world, with the largest number of black men.
  • Repeat offenders have always been a problem, especially in this group of people.
  • A holistic approach to intervention is needed to solve the core problem.

There has been a large number of imprisonment in the United States for a long time, especially since the 1980s, the prison population has increased sharply. Even when the crime rate is declining, the number of people sentenced to jail is increasing. In addition to these consistently high numbers, there is a very obvious racial difference, because blacks make up about one-third of the adult incarcerated population, even though they make up less than one-sixth of the total adult population in the United States.

In addition, the recidivism rate (re-prison for additional charges or crimes) among the black population is also higher.A study by Florida Atlantic University was published in Journal of Prison Education and Re-entry Try to better understand this unfortunate reality and study some ways to help reverse the situation.

Racial differences


Statistics show that, compared with whites, black men have a higher rate of arrest and prosecution and longer sentences. Although they are more likely to participate in rehabilitation programs, they deal with more recidivists.

As far as the current situation is concerned, a large part of the detainees may be arrested again within three years. This is a huge failure of a system that ostensibly aims to rehabilitate the detainees.

Impact on the community

Imprisonment deeply affected the black community. In addition to causing trauma to individuals and separating families, it also supports the stigmatization of prisoners, which ultimately reduces the individual’s ability to find and obtain paid work.

Regardless of race, crime-ridden communities are often associated with low-income communities; it has become commonplace for companies and organizations to ask questions about criminal background, thereby supporting discriminatory practices that fuel poverty and the cycle of crime in the first place. Although the repeat offenders of the detainees have caused difficulties and the country in which they are detained has paid the price, the rate is still high.

Researchers attribute the regularity of negative interactions with the police and the systematic racism experienced by blacks and individuals to these skewed recidivism rates as the main factors.

The lead author of the FAU study, Dr. Precious Skinner-Osei, said: “Many factors contribute to the high recidivism rate among African American men, but how their environment sees them plays an important role. Therefore, in contrast, they respond differently to the environment. To their non-African American counterparts.”

Skinner-Osei said that the re-entry plan must take into account the oppressive factors faced by many blacks, including past traumas, especially those related to the prison system. “Institutions involved in the criminal justice system must be part of the solution to change the hostile environment these people experience,” she said.

Renee Skaider, LPC

By using a holistic perspective, we can treat people as a whole, rather than simply breaking them down into multiple parts; in turn, we provide them with space and potential hope to challenge them to themselves, their lives, and others the opinion of.

— Renee Skedel, LPC

A more comprehensive approach

The FAU research reanalyzed the 2018 study of black fathers’ struggles for return, recidivism, and reunification. This new study takes into account the documented changes in race-based policing, criminal justice reform efforts, and recent mental health initiatives.

The study included black male participants from the Southeast Florida Rehabilitation Program, aged between 23 and 56 years old, who had been in prison at least once and participated in at least three re-entry programs.

The study shows that the true success of rehabilitation programs for individuals involved in justice depends on overall and culturally competent methods. Renee Skedel, a mental health expert at the LPC and Ohio Justice Center, supports this approach and said: “When a person thinks about the whole person – instead of just focusing on a certain part (such as sexual orientation or race) – it is more effective. Passed Using a holistic view, we allow ourselves to see people as a complete system, rather than simply breaking them into multiple parts; in turn, we give them space and potential hope to challenge them to themselves, their lives, and other.”

Skedel emphasized the need to consider all the strengths, weaknesses, skills, and experience of a person. “These interventions are more effective because people may feel seen or really heard, and be able to treat themselves more sincerely; this allows them to accept an experience beyond the norm, challenging their perspective, reality, and ability to access them Abilities. Strengths and needs,” she said.

Improve access to society

The first part of the study included a 13-question demographic questionnaire, and the second part included open-ended questions in the form of interviews. The researchers used the topics in the participants’ responses to develop a reentry plan model that can reduce the recidivism rate.

In the initial research, the author discovered five main themes: trauma, self-identification, reentry, reunification, and recidivism. These include sub-themes such as stress, institutionalization, resources, post-release environment, intergenerational abuse and abandonment, and housing.

In the reanalysis of the data, the researchers discovered four new themes: psychological profile, cognitive behavior, emotions and environment. The new analysis also covers sub-themes such as post-traumatic stress, peer pressure, and emotional insecurity.

The research results encourage the use of CARE methods to re-enter programming:

  • Cooperation: Researchers find useful methods that emphasize cognition, behavior, and social learning skills, as well as personal interpersonal relationships to help strengthen positive information transmission.
  • Amendment: Researchers firmly believe that the overall policy needs to be changed in order for individuals to flourish after incarceration. Politics can also contribute to social stigma, and these factors will change access to resources while maintaining stable housing and employment.
  • Reintegration into society: The study cites projects such as Volunteer in the United States (VOA), which allows people involved in justice to connect with potential employers in the future, gain and demonstrate their work skills, and may reduce past violations caused by shame Behavioral concerns.
  • Empowerment: All of the above factors will reduce the community and personal impact related to violations, and ultimately increase the participation of justice-related individuals in the community and their quality of life.

What this means to you

The continuing problem of black male incarceration and reoffending is complex and multi-layered. Although there is no single solution due to its origins in systemic racism, this research supports a holistic approach to judicial reform and re-entry services and programs.

In order to truly participate in cultural change and eliminate stigma, in addition to treating the affected individuals as complete selves, it is also necessary to change policies and provide resources.


New ways to combat the high recidivism rate of blacks
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