How Mandatory Mediation After Prison Can Help Society

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Variables/Methods
  3. Literature Review


Everyday there are new incarcerations as well as prisoners being released into the community across the country. These prisoners being released into the communities pose a threat to society due to limited work skills, education, and respect for the community and its people. This is a recipe for recidivism and does not benefit the prisoners or the community themselves. Prisoners must be self starters in attaining goals, setting examples, and being able to prove to officials they are truly fit and ready to be a citizen in society. Some ways prisoners can show this is by educating themselves in prison classes, working for the prison in different formats, and showing respect to all individuals, especially the guards, in the prison. To be able to gain trust and respect from the guards, respect must be shown towards them. All to often people go to jail to do their time and are let out without having shown any signs of progress.

In order to leave inmates should show progress and have guards be able to help them leave so they can a good citizen in society. There are also many prison facilitated mediations across the country which has shown to help inmates progress in prison. Although this may all sound great, its once they are released where most problems start to build up again. When inmates are released into the community many find it hard to live a normal life as they don’t have many relationships that will allow them to do so. Community based mediation after an inmate leaves give them this opportunity to have healthy relationships with caring people or people who have been in their position before. Mandated community based mediation after serving a prison sentence will reduce recidivism.


For many without this mediation, prison can become a cycle of going in and coming out from prison walls. According to the United States Attorneys Office in the southern district of Alabama, they recorded nationally that around 97% of today's inmates at some point will be released back into our communities. They went on to explain that about 30% of these inmates let go beyond the walls are reincarcerated within the first six months of release. These are staggering numbers that need to be dropped. Some mediation methods found through research that allow inmates opportunity beyond the prison yard are employment, community service, scattered site housing, and family reunification. A prime example of this is The Fortune Society of New York which their mission is to support inmates re entering into society by promoting alternatives to incarceration. There are many other community based organizations available for inmates re entering into society. It is important for these inmates to be involved in these organizations so that in the future other inmates re entering into society have a chance of being a well rounded citizen in everyday life. With all the work citizens do everyday to help these inmates re entering into society, it is also imperative they begin this process while in jail.

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Literature Review

In the journal “Effectively Training Community Supervision Officers: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Impact on Offender Outcome” written by N. Chadwick, A. Deowolf, and R. Serin they explain how well trained community supervision officers greatly demonstrated a reduction of recidivism. Having trained officers in the field of community mediation will benefit the inmates being re entered into the community. Each inmate is different in the sense they commited different crimes, have different needs, come from different communities or backgrounds, and have different types of behavior. In the journal it was shown that by not having a plan for specific inmates would increase the probability of recidivism by almost 82%. There must be a foundation of services put together for each different inmate.

Each inmate whom is released into the community, based through the community supervision officers, is given a level of risk assessment which is used in helping declare the needs of the offenders. These community officers are well trained in understanding how to best reach each offender by showing different signs of respect, care, active listening, and trust. Their results they found showed that the greater the relationship with the community officer the lower the risk of recidivism. In the studies conducted it was shown, accurate of their beginning predictions, that inmates who are paired with trained community officers are much less likely to recidivate (Chadwick et al. 2005). While their study showed a promising reduction of recidivism, it also argues that having actual community officers would lower rate of recidivism while also have valuable fiscal saving. In the journal “Differential profile in partner aggressors: Prison vs. mandatory community intervention programs” explains how having aggressive partners, friends, or groups of people greatly increase the probability of recidivism. This is important for community based mediation because these inmates re entering society are much more likely to recidivate with the help of groups of aggressors. In the study J. Garcia, J. Carmen, F. Bartolome, and J. Antonio took fifty aggressive inmates being re entered into society and followed to see what was most likely making them recidivate.

The study showed that the three major probabilities where weapons, drugs, and the presence of a personality disorder. This research findings is important to focus on for the future of community intervention programs. The intervention programs will use this data to better focus on each inmate and relay the message to them of the consequences. By keeping the inmates more knowledgeable of these things, the less likely to recidivate. (Garcia et al. 2014) This journal better helps prosper other community mediation programs by giving them direct information to focus on. If the mediation and intervention programs can keep the offenders away from drugs and weapons, while focusing on their mental health, recidivism rates will likely drop.

Another journal that helps back the aftercare/mandated community mediation with inmates being released to normal civilization is “Aftercare programs for reducing recidivism among juvenile and young adult offenders: A meta-analytic review”. In this journal written by C. James, G.J. Stams, J. Asscher, A. De Roo, and P. Van Der Laan they examine the effectiveness of after programs to reduce recidivism which focused on groups with aftercare and groups without. The research showed that there was a substantial difference between the individuals being helped and not being helped. The individuals not having aftercare from the community were much more likely to recidivate, where as individuals with the after care were more likely to be contributing citizens to society. The basis of the research began because of the staggering numbers found for recidivism in America. It is claimed that around 55% of released individuals will recidivate with in a 12 month period (James et al. 2013). For individuals being released into society, especially juveniles, it is tough to change their lifestyle and all they know which is crime. Although low, the research James et al. produced was that with aftercare and community mediation there is a limited but assuring affect on the outcome of recidivism in young adults and juveniles.

In the book “What Works (and Doesn't) in Reducing Recidivism” the authors E. Latessa, S. Listwan, and D. Koetzle describe the needs of community care for individuals being released from prison. Like other journals described in this research, individuals must have specialized care due to the numerous amounts of differences. Latessa et al describe this as the persons age, gender, and crime or addictions. To have someone specialized for these certain criteria the more likely positive outcomes will be proceeding. The issues regarded in this text are aimed towards the staff and what they have to do which will help the offender. This is described as staff quality, leadership, and evaluation efforts of the staff. (Latessa et al. 2015) The search for the perfect method of reducing recidivism is still something researchers are looking for. To be able to find the best way of this is to not only mandate community mediation, but find out which ways work better for different types of offenders. In this article “Recidivism risk reduction assessment in batterer intervention programs: A key indicator for program efficacy evaluation” written by M. Lila, A. Oliver, A. Catala Minana, and R. Conchell focuses on reduction assessment and likelihood of reconviction of criminals who have committed battery. The target of the research was to evaluate the offenders relations with re offending and compile information pre treatment to summarize the likelihood they believe the individual has of re offending. Lila et al. took 212 offenders who were involved in mandated court intervention programs. From the research of these 212 offenders, it was found that there was not only a decrease in recidivism, but also an increase in assumption of their own responsibility and more knowledgeable of violence against others. (Lila et al. 2014) To summarize this, Lila et al, found that by putting a level on the probability pre mandation and mandating individuals to court intervention programs based on their criminal history will lower the risk of recidivism.

When researching the topic of mandated mediation for offenders, it is essential to be able to put different people into different categories to help resolve their risk of recidivism. For some offenders they are married and this may be the only thing that could help reduce their risk of recidivism. In this article “Applying the Creating Lasting Family Connections Marriage Enhancement Program to Marriages Affected by Prison Reentry” written by S. Shamblen, B. Arnold, P. Mckiernan, D. Colins, and T. Strader explains marriage with incarcerated individuals and how marital interventions will lower aggression rates, while enhancing social and relationship skills. These skills acquired are imperative to offenders reentering society and going back to their significant other. The results they were able to find in this was described as “comparable to a Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program adaptation for inmates”. (S. Shamblen eat al. 2012) This article in very important because by mandating marriage enhancement programs this allows the offender to become not only a better wife or husband, but a better citizen in society.

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