Costs of Incarceration Introduction to Corrections Incarceration Costs Money is a huge issue with problems in America and in America the costs for corrections is going up every year. Some may argue that this is because of more people getting in trouble, Jails are too full, or others may argue that the programs are not working to cut down recidivism rates. Regardless of what argument one makes this research paper shows results on how worth a program is based on money and recidivism rates and whether or not incarceration should be an option to reduce recidivism.
In 2009, the United States Department of Justice (JUDOS) requested $6. 8 lion for prisoner detention, which is an increase of from 2008 (JUDOS, 2008). Concurrently, a conservative estimate of the cost for one career criminal a decade ago was $1 (Cohen, 1998) and has now substantially increased to between $2,600,000 to (Cohen & Pique, 2009). Similarly, the direct cost of incarceration is approximately $20,000 to $40,000 per offender (Seaplane, 2009). Tax payers, who financially support the Justice system, are forced into an economic and social bind.
Money like this is the reason why research is being done to see whether or not the tax payers’ dollars are really worth the spending on incarceration or other options. If the average cost of incarceration is $20,000 to $40,000 per offender then imagine separate programs that the prisoner’s will go through to cut their time down. The biggest issue here is not wasting the money on prisoner’s to Just lower sentencing, but rather help fix the offender and get him/her back on the streets a better person and to not come back. In other words try and cut down recidivism rates.
RAN The principal that the correctional system is set up to follow in order to help offenders is on a risk-need-responsibility or RAN principal (Andrews et al. , AAA). The purpose of the study was to determine whether or not programs that adhered to the RAN principal were more expensive or not. Researched showed that programs based on RAN were not much more significantly expensive than programs that did not use RAN principals (Andrews et al. , AAA). The reason why one should push towards the use of programs that hold true to the RAN principal is because of the reduction in recidivism rates (Andrews et al. , AAA).
There are many programs out there that are significantly much more expensive and people are paying for it with done that includes the risk, need, and responsibility principal. Recidivism RAN The article “Treating Criminal Behavior” also, speaks about inappropriate corrections, unspecified corrections, and appropriate corrections. Inappropriate corrections include psychosocial interventions that did not adhere to principals of RAN (Marion, 2002). Unspecified correctional services included interventions that, after a review, were ambiguous and lacked specificity regarding adherence to principles of RAN (Marion, 2002).
Appropriate correctional services included interventions that did adhere to principles of RAN (Marion, 2002). All experimental groups were compared o a control group that received a traditional punishment. As predicted, the research found that appropriate correctional services significantly reduced recidivism by, on average, 30% when compared to correction services as usual. Inappropriate correctional services did not significantly reduce recidivism, and unspecified correctional services were more effective than receiving no services.
Cost Effectiveness of RAN Programs Costs effectiveness is something that research finds very hard to measure, but it is one of the biggest issues pertaining to corrections. There are two ways of measuring cost effectiveness and the two ways are tangible costs and intangible costs (Marion, 2002). Tangible costs are all the costs that have monetary value. Whereas, intangible costs are emotional and have no monetary value but they are still very significant. Researchers do not think it is possible to effectively determine costs differences because one has to measure both tangible costs and intangible costs.
It seems reasonable to suggest, however, that society has more severe sanctions for crimes with higher intangible costs. Consequently, crimes with higher intangible costs also have a higher cost to tax payers. Although cost analyses have been conducted on the general offending population, efforts have been primarily focused on specific offender types such as Juvenile, drug, and sex offenders and have been focused on tangible savings. For example, one state saved $187,100,000 and reduced recidivism by diverting offenders from prison to a community based corrections program (Marion, 2002).
Another state accrued a savings of $21 by diverting offenders to community based programs (Ghana, Roberts, & Callahan, 2006). This savings occurred regardless of whether or not offenders completed the community based orgasm suggesting the initial diversion was cost-effective in and of itself. Research on Juvenile offenders has yielded similar results, indicating a savings of $1 ,435 per offender over 18 months by providing intensive outpatient cognitive-behavioral therapy. Social Costs In prison, prisoners, lose more than Just money and freedom.
This also, can affect the rates of recidivism and has to be included in programs to try and help walk a prisoner through. Many prisoners and prisoner’s families suffer from a ton of social costs and effects. First, former prisoners do worse economically than if they had ever been incarcerated (Western, 2013). The second important effect of imprisonment falls not on ex-inmates but on their families (Western, 2013). About half of all prison and Jail inmates are parent’s with children under 18 (Western, 2013). By 2008 about 2. Million children had a parent in prison or Jail (Western, 2013). By age 17, one in four African-American youth has a father who has been sent to prison are less able to contribute financially to their families. Incarceration strains marital relations, those fathers are also less involved as parent’s (Western, 2013). Compared o otherwise similar kids whose parent’s haven’t been behind bars, the children of incarcerated parent’s are more likely to be depressed, behave aggressively, and drop out of high school. These problems appear to be more common for boys than girls.
Incarceration, it seems, is weakening the bonds between fathers and sons considering that most of the time it is the boys who are affected the most by it (Western, 2013). The third important effect of incarceration is cultural, shaping how the institutions of law and order are viewed in high-crime/high-incarceration neighborhoods (Western, 2013). The prison population is drawn overwhelmingly from owe-income inner-city areas whose residents come to associate police and the courts with the surrounding social problems of violence and poverty (Western, 2013).
Police are viewed as unhelpful, and often unaccountable, contributing to what the Harvard sociologist Robert Sampson calls “legal cynicism” in troubled, crime-ridden neighborhoods. Reasons Incarceration does not work Incarceration has become a commonplace, especially for low income areas in America, the righteousness of the police is no longer assumed and a prison record is not distinctive (Western, 2013). The authority of the criminal Justice system has been earned upside down, and the institutions charged with maintaining safety become objects of suspicion.
The negative effects of incarceration reduce the penal system’s capacity to control crime (Western, 2013). Drug dealing and other illegal activities are more attractive to people with prison records, which have few legitimate prospects. Children of incarcerated parent’s, without a secure and predictable home life, are at risk of delinquency and school failure. A community, soured on a suspicious and unaccountable police force, is less likely to call for help or assist in investigations (Western, 2013). The mounting social costs of incarceration, the benefits of prison have reached a point of diminishing returns.
Sixty percent of state inmates are re- arrested within three years of being released from prison (Western, 2013). Recidivism rates have not fallen despite a fourfold increase in incarceration rates since the sass. Many Americans have little care about the Job prospects of ex-cons. Americans may not even care much about their children or neighborhoods, but if the social costs of imprisonment grow without limit along with the prison population, mass incarceration becomes a self-defeating strategy for crime control (Western, 013).
Reducing these social costs is an urgent priority. In an article based on a study out of Australia some researchers did a survey based over the phone asking 1883 individuals whether or not the residents of Australia would prefer to pay extra to reduce criminal activity or not. The results came back almost even and showed that a little over half of the individuals said that incarceration was the preferred choice and a little under half said that rehabilitation programs was the way to go Cones, Weatherboard, 2011).
In reality this study done here in Australia does not really show that people want “Just incarceration or Just obliteration” it really Just depends on who you ask and what the crime was. The only thing that this article says about incarceration is that it does not work as well as what many may think. The recidivism rate of prisoners who were incarcerated for shows good recidivism rates for rehab programs and makes for a bigger push of rehab programs instead of incarceration Cones, Weatherboard, 2011). A study was also done in New Zealand to see what would cut down recidivism rates the most.
The researchers found that rehabilitation programs that were specific, structured, and consistent cut down recidivism rates the most (Animists, 003). The biggest issue was the limitations of each program. Meaning the programs could only focus on certain areas and did not touch on all of the criminal’s areas that needed to be worked through. The best practice in correctional programming entails the application of a structured cognitive-behavioral approach that focuses on addressing risk factors for criminal recidivism (Animists, 2003).
The ultimate goal for the New Zealand Department of Corrections is to improve the effectiveness of, and to maximize the reductions in recidivism achieved by, correctional programs (Animists, 2003). Oregano’s Costs of Crime The principal goal of the current sentencing guidelines in Oregon is to ensure that offenders who commit similar crimes and have similar criminal histories receive equivalent sentences (Wilson, 2010). Sentences are determined by the seriousness of the offense and by the criminal record of the offender.
Oregon has become much stricter though and they are incarcerating more often to see if recidivism rates will fall. The growth in incarceration in Oregon is due in large part to the increase in sentence length for crimes against people. In 2008, at any given time, about 69 recent of offenders in the Department of Corrections (DOC) custody were incarcerated for crimes against people (Wilson, 2010). Property offenders made up 18 percent, drug offenders made up 7 percent and the remaining offenders were classified as statute or other (Wilson, 2010).
Although, person crimes made up only 7 percent of total index crimes reported to police in 2008, those convicted of such crimes go to prison more often and for a longer time than property or drug offenders (Wilson, 2010). Oregano’s incarceration rates for all property and violent offenders increased from 1998 to 2008, with the incarceration rate for property offenders increasing the fastest at nearly 81 percent (Wilson, 2010). The incarceration rate for drug offenders remained flat. Although, drug convictions are the most common type of felony conviction, relatively few drug offenders are incarcerated (Wilson, 2010).
Of felony drug convictions in 2008, only 8 percent went to the DOC, 10 percent were under local control (in county Jails) and the remainder was sentenced to probation (Wilson, 2010). Cost Effectiveness It is hard to say what are the most cost effective rehabilitation programs or incarceration. Incarceration is many of ways cheaper at first glance, but rehabilitation programs if done right and puts the prisoner back into the community is by far the cheapest route in the end (Weatherboard, 2011).
These programs are expensive to run, but if they can show promising lowered recidivism results then rehab is definitely the direction to go (Weatherboard and Jones, 2011). Incarceration as shown in the research done above does show that it does help recidivism rate when done really strict like in Oregon, but in most other research rehab programs came back with better recidivism rates than incarceration Cones, 2011). Although, it does also, depend on where the researcher from the start gathered all his or her information other.
For example, a lot of the research was biased. To the extent that some of the data that would probably show the same results in both, and in many cases the article only gave the results of rehab. Rehabilitation is one the best correctional services to try and push for according to much of the research, but it is a risky chance to let criminals back out on the street. That is why the programs that the Justice System uses needs to have good recidivism rates. The rates will never be perfect, but he rates need to be as high as possible.
Conclusion Incarceration really does work to cut down recidivism rates, but has a ton of factors that can affect the results and can push an ex-con back into a path of re-offending. Rehabilitation programs have good recidivism rates, but are a little more expensive and in some cases a lot more expensive. Rehab pays off in the long run more often because it looks to deter crime and push criminals away from re-offending after they serve their time. More research needs to be done in the area of the programs and only the programs that meet the RAN and are cognitive behavioral based should be allowed to be up and running.
The reason why is simply because of the cost effectiveness. America is not sitting good financially like they once was and spending the American tax dollars correctly and efficiently is something that always needs to happen. Incarceration is taking $20,000 to $40,000 dollars a year for each prisoner and then the prisoner is re-offending and Americans are paying that $20,000 to $40,000 dollars all over again. Whereas, Rehab programs are expensive starting out, but if the offender does not re-offend then America is saving money at the end of the day.