Enabling Reinvention

The Answer to the Recidivism Problem

by Robert Wood, Social Media Advisor – Prison Scholar Fund

Recidivism is the act of returning to incarceration for the perpetuation of criminal acts. Those acts are usually done in pursuit of monetary gain or due to an abundance of time and negative energy which in many instances leads to negative thoughts and actions that cross into the realm of criminal activity.

Is there way to avoid recidivism?

The short simple answer is no. However, as is the case with cancer or other treatable illnesses this is a societal ill which can be effectively controlled with the proper treatment. The correct prescription in this case is education, opportunity, and the motivation of becoming a viable and contributory part of a society which believes you can change and offers you the chance to do so. Only by embracing the chance to educate America’s incarcerated population and put them in a situation to gain job and/or career skills which lead to the opportunity to participate fully in society  can America expect to see the recidivism rates decrease on a national basis.

Education is the first test. The fact that they gravitate towards it tells you those individuals want to learn and are willing to make the effort to do so. As a society we have a prima facie moral obligation to constantly upgrade humankind and that includes the incarcerated population. Recidivism reduction is crime reduction. Recidivism reduction is broken family reduction. Recidivism reduction is poverty reduction. Recidivism reduction is the reduction of multiple societal ills all at once and it’s a great goal which includes honoring many other great goals at the same time.

At this point in time America has an opportunity to decrease these overbearing societal ills through the education and training of America’s incarcerated population. As legislation is debated to address these urgent issues it is imperative that we not let the inaction represented by debate in lieu of action become our own inaction. Please assist in the reduction of recidivism through involvement, via funding or volunteer services, to educate America’s incarcerated population. To get involved and find out what you can do to help, visit us at prisonscholars.org.

Thank you.


Robert Wood, our Social Media Advisor, is a volunteer for the PSF. His Tweets can be found on Twitter @prisonscholars under the hashtag #RLW_PSF. He can be reached via any of our social media outlets or emailed at the following address: rlw@prisonscholars.org.

If you’d like to hear more from PSF, please sign up for our quarterly newsletter, where Robert is a valued contributor. Just submit your name and email address. If you’d like to get involved with the PSF in a volunteer capacity, please email us volunteer@prisonscholars.org.

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