The US Bureau of prisons statistics indicates a high number of prisoners leaving prison to end up committing felonies within a year and are returned back for another conviction. Several reasons contribute to the problem. First, seeking employment after prison is like fighting a losing battle. The negative thoughts instilled in the society concerning offenders’, results in discrimination instances within the job markets. The requirement by employers for job seekers to disclose past convictions is a form of prejudice. Most employers are prudent when it comes to employing the appropriate workers to fill positions. The fear of having a staff who has past records of crimes is imminent among employers. The employers are not sure whether the offender reformed well while in prison. Even though prisons are meant to correct the bad behaviors of convicts, in some cases, the offenders learn worst traits in prison; thus jeopardizing the safety of people in case one is set free at some point. Furthermore, most prisoners after leaving prison, they are unable to find meaningful jobs, which discourages their zeal of working hard and integrating themselves into society. Some prisoners are used to the idea of receiving free things like meals while in prison, when they are set free, working to feed themselves is a problem and the fear of doing odd jobs like washing cars is not in their mind. Most of the prisons do not have enough equipment and training staffs to teach the convicts on life survival skills. Lack of a curriculum to completely reform the prisoners is a headache to the state and community at large. According to Jackson (2008), the attitude of doing what is supposed to happen is the right path for ex-offenders to use (5). To some extent, prison life makes prisoners lazy to work. The idea of eating and being confined in jail is something the ex-prisoners got used to; thus releasing them outside possess a threat to their existence. Jackson (2008) is of the opinion that laziness has made the ex-convicts to reduce working extra hard, take overtime sessions and part-time jobs to feed their families (7). Most men in prison will create fantasies of how they project life after prison. The promises they make are centered towards drawing a road map of success in the future (Jackson, 2018, p. 7). Jackson is optimistic of the future because he believes better days are coming for ex-prisoners as they will be employed irrespective of their past tainted records. The ex-convicts face the huge task of fighting for their rights after prison because of past criminal acts, the society fears interacting with such individuals.
The state government is overburdened with the menace of taking care of convicted criminals in prison. In the past years, the number of criminals has tremendously increased to a tune of more than two million, outstretching the available resources. The ex-prisoners have no life in the society is a fallacy that blinds the mind of employers who cannot employ such kind of persons. After feeling a sense of neglect, the ex-convicts may decide to engage in criminal acts to survive. In the case they are found guilty, they are charged to serve in parole or taken to jails again. Various states in the US are experiencing financial burdens of taking care of convicted persons in jail. The state’s agencies are sourcing out various techniques of ensuring the ex-convicts are accepted and initiated back into the community. The process of integrating ex-prisoners to the society involves removing all barriers that reduce the chances of people not accepting ex-criminals among themselves. Setting up programs and resources for ex-prisoners to take advantage and learn skills is reform state prisons are undertaking currently. The state is aware that several cases of ex-prisoners getting convicted again are due to poverty. Addressing the problem, the state introduced some reforms of making prisoners work in the prison activities where they earn cash and is saved by the state prisons on their behalf. Once they are released, the accumulated amount is provided and ex-prisoners are advised to start life with it and do business to recover and continue with normal life activities. The prison’s management should introduce counseling sessions where the convicts are advised on how to face life after prison. The negative attitude of refusing to work is shunned away by counselors through training and encouraging process. The other tactic of combating the issue of ex-prisoners tough life after prison is using the parole option of convicting some of the criminal cases. According to Jackson (2008), the parole option is meant to keep the prisoner within the confinement of the society by making sure they work on community works under the supervision of that community (85). By still keeping in touch with the society responsible for disciplining the convicted person, it makes easier for society to judge the individual on a basis of whether they have reformed or not. Lastly, the introduction of sport and leisure activities in prison like basketball and swimming lessons is a good starting point of equipping the ex-offenders with necessary skills of surviving in life.
Jackson, M. B. (2008). How to Do Good After Prison: A Handbook for Successful Reentry. (4th Ed). Willingboro, NJ: Joint FX Press.