Dissertation: Efficacy of Offender Reentry Programs Targeting Recidivism in the United States

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Question Description

Application: Annotated Bibliography

As you find and read articles for your literature review, it is important to keep track of what content is in each and how it relates to your Dissertation. One way to do this is to keep a running annotated bibliography. An annotated bibliography includes a list of resources, each with a brief summary of its content and usefulness. Another way to keep track is by using a matrix to summarize articles. You can find an example of such a matrix on the Walden Writing Center web article "Literature Reviews." Click on “Organizational Tools (Matrices)” and then look at the sample matrices; there is a template there for your use in writing your annotated bibliography.

To learn about the components of annotated bibliographies, review the Writing Resources in this week’s Learning Resources.

Using the Walden Library, search for and retrieve articles to include in your literature review, which will become chapter 2 of your Dissertation.

In 4–5 pages, cite and annotate 10 articles from peer-reviewed journals that you would include in your literature review. In your annotation, be sure to include an explanation of how the articles relate to your Dissertation topic. Use APA style and format.

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1 Dissertation Topic: Efficacy of Offender Reentry Programs Targeting Recidivism in the United States Kathy Green Writing a Quality Prospectus CRJS - 8115 Walden University 11/30/2018 2 Efficacy of Offender Reentry Programs Targeting Recidivism in the United States I arrived at the above topic after an extensive search and review of the literature concerning the prison reforms, specific rates of recidivism and the reentry programs. Initially, I had made an observation and did prior research on the topic of the effectiveness of reentry programs, so I already had an idea of what I wanted to research on. Any issue concerning prisoners receives little popularity in politics, and therefore prisoners have little political power. There is no proper political constituency to pressure for the funding of prisoner’s reintegration into the society. The process of reentry even becomes more difficult for individuals with multiple jail terms. The unions of correctional officers are powerful, but they urge for increased prison time and not for improving the conditions and programs in the prisons and after the imprisonment. The primary interest in studying the topic is because of the alarmingly high levels of recidivism even with the reentry programs put in place. According to data from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 2014 67.8% of released prisoners get rearrested within three years for a new crime. The rates of recidivism for five years was 76.6 %( Muhlhausen, 2015). Around 95-97% of incarcerates citizens in the US will be released back into society. However, after release life for the ex-convict may become unbearable with no proper or effective system for re-integration into the society. The ex-convicts are released with nothing to call their own-no housing, no food, no clothing and no way to contact their relatives. Furthermore, there are other factors such as stigma, deterioration of social networks and economic distress that affect the reentry into the community. The adverse effects of such consequences of the ex-convicts with no proper reentry programs contribute to recidivism. Around the early 1990s, the Department of Justice has invested many funds into the prisoner reentry programs. However, currently, there is no adequate knowledge of the most 3 effective programs for assisting inmates to reintegrate successfully and safety into society. Furthermore, policymakers need to ensure that the evaluation of programs is based on the primary purpose for which it was established. Recidivism remains the most effective measure of assessing the impact of the programs for prisoner’s reentry. However, there is still some criticism on the use utilization of recidivism as a measure of effectiveness as compared with other factors used to assess the reintegration process (Muhlhausen, 2015). The rates of recidivism suggest a problem with the reentry programs already in place. While common measures such as housing and employment are critical, the factors are not the primary goal of reentry programs (Muhlhausen, 2015). The lack of adequate measures for the effectiveness of reentry programs targeting recidivism makes the topic worth for further studies and recommendations. There is a lack of focus for policymakers. I am placing primary importance of the recidivism rates as a measure of the effectiveness of reentry programs. Additionally, there is a need to appraise programs about their outcome on the major purpose for which they were employed. Research on the evaluation of prisoner reentry programs based on employment shows that the programs play a minimal role in reducing recidivism (Muhlhausen, 2015). The outcomes of scientifically based evaluations raise some doubt regarding the effectiveness of the involvement of the federal government in reducing the cost of reentry programs. There is a general assumption by policymakers that assisting ex-convicts to get employment has an impact on the rates of recidivism (Travis et al., 2014). The assumption of the program is that employment helps ex-convicts to desist from crime. However, the primary question is the timing of the employment for ex-convicts and not the employment opportunity itself. The author, Mulhausen (2015) states that there are theories on the relationship between 4 resistance and employment among individuals who leave the criminal-justice system. The first premises are the maturation viewpoint which states that desistance from crime happens before the acquisition of legitimate employment while the turning point theory presumes that resistance happens after the ex-convict gets employed. Assuming that the maturation theory is more accurate, then assisting prisoners to get employment before they are ready to reform is unproductive. The process of reforming a prisoner and their identity to that of a law-abiding citizen is a complicated procedure that should precede legitimate employment. For example, a prisoner has to change the mindset and realize that a crime has more harm than benefits. Although federally funded reentry programs offering employment can be sufficient evidence shows that it is vital for ex-convicts to be psychologically stable before they can be productive in the workplace. Reentry programs that offer a multifaceted approach have more positive results. There is still a gap in the research, mainly on a large scale to shed some light on what programs are effective and which ones are not (Travis et al., 2014). The topic has much significance in society due to a large number of prisoners (up to 700, 000) that are released from prison early in the United States. Studies show that ex-convicts face many challenges when reintegration back into society. Reentry programs are varied with regards to the services offered and treatment modalities to deliver the services. Among the 700000 exconvicts, about two-thirds are rearrested are reincarnated within three years. Despite the vast number of reentry programs, little is known about their effectiveness. It is important to determine whether the reentry programs are useful in the recidivism rate reduction and what factors are associated with the highest success rates. 5 Relationship of the topic to public policy and administration In 1968, H. George Frederickson developed a theory of equity in the society and advocated it as the third pillar of public administration (Toavs, n. d). The theory was concerned with how public administration was ignoring the economic and social conditions of different citizens. The assumptions are seen in the case of ex-convicts with no proper ways of evaluating what reforms are best for this group of citizens. It is important for policymakers to streamline reentry programs to suit the immediate needs of the ex-prisoners first before considering the long-term outcomes( Kendall et al ., 2018 Therefore, the public administration should promote social equity for the ex-convicts to reduce the rates of recidivism. The current post-release programs have a limited effect on the long-term outcomes and rates of recidivism. The impact of the system of prisons on society is tremendous although it is an unpopular area. The prison system is a direct reflection of the effectiveness of the rule of law but happens to have an impact on the society where the prisoners come from and return to after the jail term (Harvard Law Review, 2010). References American Psychological Association. (2010). Learning APA style. Retrieved from http://www.apastyle.org/learn/ Harvard Law Review. (March 2010). "Designing a prisoner reentry system hardwired to manage disputes", 123 Harv. L. Rev. 1339, database: Lexis. Muhlhausen, D. (2015). Studies Cast Doubt on Effectiveness of Prisoner Reentry Programs. Retrieved from https://www.heritage.org/.../studies-cast-doubt-effectiveness-prisonerreentry-program... 6 Kendall, S., Redshaw, S., Ward, S., Wayland, S., & Sullivan, E. (2018). A systematic review of qualitative evaluations of reentry programs addressing problematic drug use and mental health disorders amongst people transitioning from prison to communities. Health & Justice, 6(1), 4. Toavs, D. (n.d.). Ideas of governance. Retrieved from http://www.tikitoki.com/timeline/entry/146482/Ideas-of-Governance Travis, J., Western, B., & Redburn, F. S. (2014). The growth of incarceration in the United States: Exploring causes and consequences. The National Academies Press Useem, B. (1997). Choosing a Dissertation topic. PS: Political Science & Politics, 30(2), 213– 216. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases. ...
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