What is the term recividism… what does it mean and why is it important in our community?
RECIVIDISM is the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after they have either experienced negative consequences of that behavior, or have been treated or trained to extinguish that behavior. It is also known as the percentage of former prisoners who are rearrested.
One of the main reasons why they find themselves back in jail is because it is difficult for the individual to fit back in with ‘normal’ life. They have to reestablish ties with their family, return to high-risk places and secure formal identification; they often have a poor work history and now have a criminal record to deal with. Many prisoners report being anxious about their release; they are excited about how their life will be different “this time” which does not always end up being the case.
Assisting these individuals with seeking out and obtaining gainful employment proves to be one of the best ways that we as a community can reduce the rates of recividism. “Professionals who work with ex-offenders say that jobs are the key to reducing recidivism. The New York Department of Labor found that 83% of offenders who violated probation or parole were unemployed at the time. Steady employment provides much more than a paycheck. It bolsters ex-offendersâ€™ work experience and teaches much-needed skills, as well as keeping them from returning to a life of crime.” (Dave Anderson JIST Publishing 2008).
In doing so, this benefits our community as a whole. It not only saves us money, it makes for a safer living environment for everyone, and it can reduce the rates of crime overall. “It is smart to prepare offenders to return to society as law-abiding citizens. If they do not, we all pay, either directly as victims or indirectly as taxpayers,” (Dennehy, 2006, December).
The Ridge House Workforce Development department’s main focus is to work with the ex-offender on Career Skills and LIfe Skills training, Case Management, and Job Search and Placement. Our entire goal is to work with the individuals on re-entry into society and obtaining the jobs necessary to do so effectively and successfully.