While some might hold the belief that recidivism means breaking the law and getting arrested for a new crime, many americans (let’s call them the grossly uninformed), believe that returning to prison for any reason, even violating parole, falls under recidivism. With that closed mindset, yes, recidivism rates would alarm even the most liberal of us.
As most of us have come to realize, however, many parole violations wouldn’t even be considered a misdemeanor in most states. Some not even worthy of a ticket.
I‘ve included a couple charts, courtesy of the Department of Criminology, Law and Society, University of California, Irvine. While the statistics are several years old, they undeniably show that we as a whole are striving to make new lives for ourselves, striving to earn an honest living, striving to be the people society and ourselves want us to be.
If we could get Americans to study the statistics, actually dig through them and cut through all the hype, we could get them to see that column up there, the one with the lowest figures, the one that reads “New Crime”. If we could just get them to do that, more programs would become available for us, more americans would hire us, and less of us would go back. It’s ironic that the more that society fears felons and closes down opportunities, the more society will fulfill their own prophecy as more and more out of work and homeless felons return to prison.