The Department of Justice Bureau of Statistics recently reported that nearly 68% of prisoners are re-arrested within three years of leaving prison:
5 OUT OF 6 STATE PRISONERS WERE ARRESTED WITHIN 9 YEARS OF THEIR RELEASE
WASHINGTON — Five out of six state prisoners were arrested at least once during the nine years after their release, the Bureau of Justice Statistics announced today. This is the first BJS study that uses a 9-year follow-up period to examine the recidivism patterns of released prisoners. The longer follow-up period shows a much fuller picture of offending patterns and criminal activity of released prisoners than is shown by prior studies that used a 3- or 5-year follow-up period.
This 2018 update on prisoner recidivism tracks a representative sample of prisoners released in 2005 in 30 states and chronicles their arrests through 2014. In 2005, those 30 states accounted for 77 percent of all persons released from state prisons nationwide.
Overall, 68 percent of released state prisoners were arrested within three years, 79 percent within six years and 83 percent within nine years. The 401,288 released state prisoners were arrested an estimated 2 million times during the nine years after their release, an average of five arrests per released prisoner.
On an annual basis, 44 percent of prisoners were arrested during the first year after release, 34 percent were arrested during the third year and 24 percent were arrested during the ninth year. Five percent of prisoners were arrested during the first year after release and were not arrested again during the 9-year follow-up period.
Released property and drug offenders were more likely to be arrested than released violent offenders; however, released violent offenders were more likely to be arrested for a violent crime. More than three-quarters (77 percent) of released drug offenders were arrested for a non-drug crime within nine years, and more than a third (34 percent) were arrested for a violent crime.
The report, 2018 Update on Prisoner Recidivism: A 9-Year Follow-up Period (2005-2014) (NCJ 250975), was written by BJS statisticians Mariel Alper and Matthew Durose and former BJS statistician Joshua Markman.
So WHY do they go back to prison?
In Alabama, women released from Tutwiler Prison are given $10, one outfit to change into, and a one-way bus ticket back to the same county of their conviction. The Justice System does not have a transitional program that helps women re-enter society. Without a viable means to support themselves and learn to live a new life, many turn to former friends and criminal activity.
The Need Is Great
Julia Tutwiler Women's Facility was designed for a capacity of 400. As of July 2018, Tutwiler's population is 975 women! The need for residential rehabilitation and community transitional programs has become great.
The Christian Post has reported that participants of faith-based initiatives show drastically lower recidivism (when those who exit prison return) to rates-as low as 15%.
Faith-based re-entry program for prisoners saves money, reduces recidivism.
The Hill reports:
How Faith Can Curb Recidivism
How is LOVELADY Helping?
In 2016, Miss Brenda received a call from Warden Steve Watson of the Alabama Department of Corrections to inform us that The Lovelady Center was partially responsible for a decrease in the recidivism rate across our state. While the Center focuses directly on working with female inmates, our success has lowered the rate for both men and women across Alabama.
It is our most sincere desire to help these women free themselves from the bond of incarceration. If you consider the number of women who have come to us from Tutwiler Prison since 2010, under the only State Supervised Re-entry Program (SRP) in Alabama, using the Department of Correction's own financial data (showing the difference in cost per day between a woman incarcerated at Tutwiler Prison versus being in an SRP program), we have saved the state over $3.4 million. And when you couple that with a recidivism rate being in the single digits for the prisoners who complete our program and take advantage of the opportunities that guarantee success in their community, then the monetary and societal savings go much higher.
ALABAMA PUBLIC SAFETY AND SENTENCING COALITION Consensus Report has some staggering "bold text" statements which parallel the message we are trying to convey.
Women who are released from prison face the challenges of finding long-term employment, housing, food for themselves and possibly children, transportation, basic utility payments, adequate childcare, and more.
The Lovelady Center provides tools for women to enter society as productive and esteemed individuals, and provides access to education, including on-site college courses.
"The woman who has been educated cannot be uneducated. The woman who finally feels worth cannot be made unworthy. The woman who is no longer afraid cannot be kept back from her future."
-Brenda Lovelady Spahn