(The State) In South Carolina, Seeking to Break a cycle of recidivism in young prisoners

A statewide program aimed at curbing recidivism rates among youthful offenders has been producing dividends in its early years, South Carolina Department of Corrections officials report.

The department incorporated the Intensive Supervision Services as a part of the Division of Young Offender Parole and Reentry Services in 2011. The program sought to reduce the rate that youthful offenders 17 to 25 years old return to jail. That rate historically has exceeded 50 percent, marking what the SCDC considered the least successful rate of any age group under parole supervision.

So far, the program has served 1,240 youthful offenders, and of that number, 57 violated terms of their parole ”“ and went back to jail ”“ while 140 others have graduated from the program and reentered their communities. A parole violation, like the failure of a drug test, doesn’t always result in a return to jail but can result in a graduated response such as additional rehabilitation or tracking bracelets.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Police/Fire, Prison/Prison Ministry, Theology

One comment on “(The State) In South Carolina, Seeking to Break a cycle of recidivism in young prisoners

  1. Ad Orientem says:

    One of the major causes of recidivism is the brutal unemployment rate among ex-cons. Following 9-11 the Federal law that limited background checks for job applicants to seven years was repealed. Most states now have no restrictions on how far back an employer can go in criminal background checks. The United States is virtually alone in this practice which makes it extremely difficult for someone with a record, even a very old or minor one, to get a job. If you want to cut recidivism, one way to help is to stop making it harder for someone who has served their time to get a job.

    Obviously some jobs need to have detailed background checks, and certain crimes like child sexual molestation should be an open book. But it would be a great boon to society if criminal background checks for most offenses were limited to say five years.

    Locking someone up is hugely expensive, rarely running less than $35,000 per year and often a lot more. I think it’s a lot cheaper to let someone have a shot at a job without unnecessary stigmas attached.