Many people who are released from prison are often put back in within 5 years. This study examines the variables of the type of crimes committed, and how they affect the variable of being but back in prison after being released. The dependent variable, percentage of people put back in prison within 5 years of being released, is determined by independent variable of violent crimes, property crimes, drug crimes and public crimes. The most important independent variable in this relationship is drug crimes because people who commit these crimes often have problems with addiction and have extreme difficulty stopping their drug use.
Definition of Variables
The dependent variable is whether a person is reincarcerated within 5 years of being released. Prison capacities are steadily growing and the government is always considering appropriate ways of reducing this. However, when people are released they often come back. Studies show that 3 in 4 people released from prison are reincarcerated within 5 years (Broadhurst & Mailer, 1990), and so looking at the statistics of those put back in prison can be helpful for deciding how to approach the prison capacity issue.
In the United States, there is a large variety of illegal drugs, and since most of them are extremely addictive, people who use them are often arrested. Being found with, making, or selling drugs is enough to put a person in jail and the punishment is harsher for drugs such as opiates and amphetamines. These are also some of the most addictive and harmful illegal drugs being used. There are many different things that can factor into drug addiction causing it can be so hard to overcome. Some of these important determinates involving drug addiction are finding and keeping a job, using health care systems, and the determination to recover (Jason et al., 2007). Keeping away from negative social influences may be the most difficult thing to accomplish for people trying to overcome drug addiction (Falkon & Strauss, 2003). Because of all of these difficulties in overcoming drug addiction, and the large amount of illegal and addictive drugs available, drug crimes are an important determinant of whether or not released prisoners return to prison.
The second independent variable is the percentage of property crimes committed by the people rearrested after 5 years of probation. Property crime includes shoplifting, auto theft, arson, vandalism, and many more things. Actions that harm, destroy, or steal another person’s property without hurting anyone can be described a crime of property. Property crimes are very common, but much of the time the perpetrator is not caught. Unemployment rates can increase property crimes, but most people don’t steal just because they are poor. Many times it is the same people who think they can get away with stealing if they just try again, and this is why it is commonly a repeated offense.
The third independent variable is violent crimes. Violent crimes include threatening or physically harming someone. This includes robbery because even if the victim does not get hurt they were threatened with violence and were at risk for physical injury if they did not comply. People who commit violent crimes may have personality traits leading them to committing violent crimes such as being quick to anger, lack of respect for others safety, and no consideration for the consequences of their actions. These personality traits will often lead to recommitting violent acts because of a lack of control.
The fourth independent variable is public-order crime. Public-order crimes are crimes that interfere with people or operations in a way that keeps procedures from moving forward. This includes chaining oneself to property to keep it from being destroyed, civil disobedience, and crimes that don’t actually hurt anyone but are considered disruptive or against social norms and customs. Since these crimes are often committed due to an intense conviction of beliefs and the lack of caring about society’s opinions, it is likely people who commit these crimes will hold to their personal convictions and continue with their technically illegal activity.
This data was observed in 30 different states by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Crimes were categorized by the four categories of drug, property, violent, and public order. The data in this paper is the percentages of the different types of crimes originally committed by the people rearrested in 30 states. The data examined the 5-year post-release offending patterns of people released from prison from 2005 – 2010 because of the high statistics of prisoners arrested within 5 years of release.
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Durose, Matthew R., Alexia D. Cooper, and Howard N. Snyder. "Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010." Bureau of Justice Statistics (2014).
Jason, Leonard A., Margaret I. Davis, and Joseph R. Ferrari. "The need for substance abuse after-care: Longitudinal analysis of Oxford House." Addictive Behaviors 32.4 (2007): 803-818.
Falkin, Gregory P., and Shiela M. Strauss. "Social supporters and drug use enablers: A dilemma for women in recovery." Addictive behaviors 28.1 (2003): 141-155.