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The Prison Problem

An examination of prison policies and rehabilitation programs for criminal offenders that help keep them out of prison and help them transition back into society:

"'So many pieces have to come together' to set newly released prisoners on the path to a productive, stable life, says Caroline Burke ’13, a social studies concentrator who is one of Western’s research assistants. 'If someone isn’t on the right track after the first few weeks, there’s a snowball effect.'

"The few inmates who do reintegrate without much difficulty, who are best positioned to deal with the psychological effects of the transition, have the 'big three' in place: they have a job lined up or find one quickly (e.g., through a trade union they previously worked with); they have housing (often with a relative or through a social-service program); and they have access to healthcare and treatment for substance-abuse and mental-health issues as necessary. The most effective reentry programs address these factors, and Western recommends directing more resources their way."
PUBLISHED: Feb. 15, 2013
LENGTH: 17 minutes (4439 words)