Our current method of reintegrating prisoners into society is a disaster. It is no wonder that we have high reoffending rates when at the end of their sentence prisoners are released on the streets to fend for themselves. They do get some support but not enough. In an environment where they carry the stigma of their conviction it is hard for them to get a job and provide the income needed to re-establish themselves. Some are lucky enough to come back to supportive families, many don’t.
I propose that funding be made available to support prisoners for at least a year after release. That would include:
Accommodation, food, clothing, etc.
Life skills training – everything from how to wash your clothes to how to apply for a job, whatever they need to be a self-sufficient, law abiding citizen
Help to integrate into social networks – particularly those that would otherwise find themselves back in their old criminal networks otherwise.
At all costs they need to be placed in an environment where they are not tempted to turn back to crime in order to support themselves or their families. Yes, this will cost money, but the cost is likely to be repaid by a reduction in crime and an increase in productivity. Like any good policy, this one would be subject to tracking and assessment. If the evidence in the form of lower recidivism does not exist after 5 years, another policy would replace it.
Do you like this suggestion?