Screen Employees to be Aware of Recidivism
By Russ Warner, VP Marketing –
Anyone working in law enforcement, the justice system, or in corrections knows very well the rate of recidivism. Recidivism, a term referring to criminals repeating past crimes, is all too common in the world today.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that between 40 and 50 percent of individuals released from prison are back within three years (Pew Center on the States 2011). A 2003 national study published by The Urban Institute found that 70% of males will be rearrested within the same three years, with half of them ending up in prison again.
Reasons for Recidivism
Sociologically speaking, there are plenty of reasons for recidivism.
Relationships are a key factor — criminals form relationships in prison and lose their relationships outside of prison due to the passing of time. And as things change, they find they don’t want to be without those connections they made behind bars.
Within prison, criminals may not receive the counseling, mental help, or drug rehabilitation they need to help function in the world once they’re released, so they are ill prepared to handle normal life.
Screen Employees to Know Their Past
Prisoners may be released according to sentencing dates while yet being prepared for that release. Many ex-cons simply do not know what to do with themselves outside of prison, so they commit crimes and get back to the world they know and understand. Perhaps most significantly, ex-cons have a tough time adapting to the outside world because they are often denied work, housing, benefits, food stamps, student loans, etc. To further complicate matters, others do not recognize them as trustworthy.
Recidivism affects everyone. Those closest to the criminal are affected as well as any victims of their repeated crimes, police and parole officers, and justice system employees.
As a business owner, while you cannot necessarily prevent an employee from recidivism if they have a criminal past, you can be aware. Screen employees carefully before even hiring and conduct ongoing screening as allowed by law.
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