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Recidivism

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NEWS
November 5, 2007
RE THE Oct. 29 letter by Robert Stewart, "Too Many Con-cerns": The writer seems to advocate making it more difficult for ex-offenders to find gainful employment, despite the other obstacles ex-offenders now confront. Stewart's writing reflects his prejudice when dealing with ex-offenders who have paid their debt to society and wish to enter the mainstream and rebuild their lives. It's attitudes like Stewart's that, knowingly or unknowingly, contribute to the recidivism rate in America.
NEWS
February 26, 2011
The editorial "The prison industry" (Monday) rightfully identifies the issue of growing corrections costs, but does not take the important next step of offering specific solutions that will both slow our rate of incarceration and enhance public safety. The key is to invest in programs that are shown by research to reduce recidivism. Although these investments will cost money, far more taxpayer dollars will be saved once these programs are implemented. Texas has effectively slowed the rate of its prison population growth by expanding intensive drug- and alcohol-treatment programs and creating secure residential facilities for nonviolent offenders.
NEWS
March 5, 2013 | By Amy Worden, INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's prisons chief told lawmakers Monday that a new study shows "shockingly high" rates of offenders being rearrested or jailed again, but said his department was employing an array of strategies to address the problem. Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, speaking at a Senate Budget Committee hearing, said two-thirds of state inmates are either arrested again or sent back to prison after being released. Philadelphia, along with Delaware and Montgomery Counties, has the highest rate of arrests of the 67 counties, but it is not in the top 10 counties for the number of released inmates sent back to prison, according to the study by Wetzel's department.
NEWS
March 6, 2013 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's prisons chief told lawmakers Monday that a new study shows "shockingly high" rates of offenders being rearrested or jailed again, but said his department was employing an array of strategies to address the problem. Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, speaking at a Senate Budget Committee hearing, said two-thirds of state inmates are either arrested again or sent back to prison after being released. Philadelphia, along with Delaware and Montgomery Counties, has the highest rate of arrests of the 67 counties, but it is not in the top 10 counties for the number of released inmates sent back to prison, according to the study by Wetzel's department.
NEWS
April 13, 2011 | By MENSAH M. DEAN, deanm@phillynews.com 215-854-5949
Although Pennsylvania's rate of ex-convicts being sent back to prison is not as high as in other states, recidivism here has gotten slightly worse, according to a new study released today. Nearly 40 percent of the state's inmates who were released in 2004 were rearrested, convicted and back behind bars within three years, according to the study released by the Pew Center on the States. That's about 3 percentage points higher than the recidivism rate of inmates released in 1999. Nationwide, more than 43 percent of inmates released in 2004 were imprisoned in 2007, the study found.
NEWS
January 12, 2007 | By ED SCHWARTZ
One of the most serious problems with the current debate over crime in Philadelphia is our failure to focus attention on who is committing most of it - and how we might get them to stop. According to the Philadelphia Police Department, of the 187 people arrested for homicide last year, 155 (or 83 percent) had criminal records, including felony convictions, drug-dealing and violations of the Uniform Firearms Code. There's nothing new here. A recent Urban Institute study of the city's prisons from 1996 to 2003 indicates that of the 240,000 people who were incarcerated during that period, 106,000 served at least two terms and 53,621 were imprisoned three times or more.
NEWS
March 29, 2013
Pennsylvania's prison halfway houses are a failure. More felons who spent time in halfway houses return to jail than among those released directly from prison to the streets. That stunning conclusion comes from Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, who gets points for having the vision to look for the system's flaws and try to fix them. Wetzel ordered an in-house study, which showed that 67 percent of inmates released from halfway houses wound up back in jail within three years, compared with 60 percent of inmates released directly from prisons.
NEWS
March 24, 2009
ELMER SMITH'S recent column ("The high cost of prison and what we don't get for it") said that inmates and legislators have no idea what it cost to keep prisoners. Eighty percent of the Corrections budget is spent on employee salaries and facility maintenance. Prisoners receive a minuscule portion of that money. If the fastest-growing criminal categories in Pennsylvania are parole violators and nonviolent offenders and the same old way of dealing with this segment of society is costing the state huge sums of money, with the same results, why not try another approach to solving this problem?
NEWS
July 18, 2011
MENSAH DEAN addressed an important issue - the extraordinarily high recidivism rate in Pennsylvania - in his July 5 article, "Half of Pa.'s inmates are rejailed within 5 years. " While the article focused on barriers that drive inmates back to incarceration, including a lack of job training, the rarely told story is the effect that recidivism has on children of the incarcerated. Throughout my legal career, I've seen firsthand the trauma that accompanies the incarceration of a parent.
NEWS
March 29, 2013
HALFWAY houses have been part of the landscape of the state-prison system for so long, we tend to take them for granted. We shouldn't. They aren't cheap to operate. It costs taxpayers $108 million a year to place offenders in 51 so-called community corrections centers around the state. This year, there will be 4,700 men and women released from state prisons to spend time in these halfway houses, at a cost of about $23,000 per inmate. Halfway houses are supposed to ease the transition from prison to the streets, providing job training and substance-abuse treatment for soon-to-be-ex-prisoners.
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NEWS
May 21, 2016
By Bob Casey A bipartisan movement has emerged to make our criminal justice system fairer and more effective. The broad consensus is that our system should be better structured to deter crimes without giving up on everyone who commits them, and should better balance resources to hold violent criminals fully accountable without imposing unnecessarily harsh sentences on nonviolent offenders. In short, our system should be deeply grounded in America's belief in fairness, public safety, and redemption.
NEWS
March 29, 2013
HALFWAY houses have been part of the landscape of the state-prison system for so long, we tend to take them for granted. We shouldn't. They aren't cheap to operate. It costs taxpayers $108 million a year to place offenders in 51 so-called community corrections centers around the state. This year, there will be 4,700 men and women released from state prisons to spend time in these halfway houses, at a cost of about $23,000 per inmate. Halfway houses are supposed to ease the transition from prison to the streets, providing job training and substance-abuse treatment for soon-to-be-ex-prisoners.
NEWS
March 29, 2013
Pennsylvania's prison halfway houses are a failure. More felons who spent time in halfway houses return to jail than among those released directly from prison to the streets. That stunning conclusion comes from Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, who gets points for having the vision to look for the system's flaws and try to fix them. Wetzel ordered an in-house study, which showed that 67 percent of inmates released from halfway houses wound up back in jail within three years, compared with 60 percent of inmates released directly from prisons.
NEWS
March 14, 2013 | By Karen Heller, Inquirer Columnist
During the last three decades, the Commonwealth's prison population exploded by 500 percent to 51,000. Consequently, more Pennsylvanians live behind bars than reside in Harrisburg or Altoona. One in 200 adults is locked up, a number that makes no one happy. Gov. Corbett and other officials want to shrink the nonviolent population. Still, while the funding for other departments was slashed, the corrections budget keeps growing, to almost $2 billion. Like college tuition, prison costs never go down.
NEWS
March 6, 2013 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's prisons chief told lawmakers Monday that a new study shows "shockingly high" rates of offenders being rearrested or jailed again, but said his department was employing an array of strategies to address the problem. Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, speaking at a Senate Budget Committee hearing, said two-thirds of state inmates are either arrested again or sent back to prison after being released. Philadelphia, along with Delaware and Montgomery Counties, has the highest rate of arrests of the 67 counties, but it is not in the top 10 counties for the number of released inmates sent back to prison, according to the study by Wetzel's department.
NEWS
March 5, 2013 | By Amy Worden, INQUIRER HARRISBURG BUREAU
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's prisons chief told lawmakers Monday that a new study shows "shockingly high" rates of offenders being rearrested or jailed again, but said his department was employing an array of strategies to address the problem. Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, speaking at a Senate Budget Committee hearing, said two-thirds of state inmates are either arrested again or sent back to prison after being released. Philadelphia, along with Delaware and Montgomery Counties, has the highest rate of arrests of the 67 counties, but it is not in the top 10 counties for the number of released inmates sent back to prison, according to the study by Wetzel's department.
NEWS
August 1, 2011 | By MICHAEL HINKELMAN, hinkelm@phillynews.com 215-854-2656
WHEN THE U.S. Sentencing Commission voted June 30 to give retroactive effect for an amendment to the sentencing guidelines, it meant that some federal inmates sentenced for crack-cocaine offenses would receive reduced prison terms. The commission estimates that 18 crack offenders sentenced in federal court in Philadelphia would be eligible for immediate release when the amendment goes into effect on Nov. 1, and that 15 others could be released by Nov. 1, 2012. An estimated 153 federal crack-offense inmates might be eligible for reduced sentences.
NEWS
July 18, 2011
MENSAH DEAN addressed an important issue - the extraordinarily high recidivism rate in Pennsylvania - in his July 5 article, "Half of Pa.'s inmates are rejailed within 5 years. " While the article focused on barriers that drive inmates back to incarceration, including a lack of job training, the rarely told story is the effect that recidivism has on children of the incarcerated. Throughout my legal career, I've seen firsthand the trauma that accompanies the incarceration of a parent.
NEWS
July 6, 2011 | By BOB FISHMAN
MY FRIEND Bryant tells me it's not always easy to do the right thing. But it helps to have a community that's counting on him, and, more important, a community that believes in him. That's why he smiles every Friday when I say: "See you Monday. " "Sometimes, honestly, that's what gets me through some tough time - I know I've got to see Bob on Monday," Bryant said. Bryant had little hope for a decent life outside prison after he'd served time for assault and drug possession.
NEWS
April 13, 2011 | By MENSAH M. DEAN, deanm@phillynews.com 215-854-5949
Although Pennsylvania's rate of ex-convicts being sent back to prison is not as high as in other states, recidivism here has gotten slightly worse, according to a new study released today. Nearly 40 percent of the state's inmates who were released in 2004 were rearrested, convicted and back behind bars within three years, according to the study released by the Pew Center on the States. That's about 3 percentage points higher than the recidivism rate of inmates released in 1999. Nationwide, more than 43 percent of inmates released in 2004 were imprisoned in 2007, the study found.
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