The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Felon Education and Recidivism

in #charity3 years ago (edited)

The FairCosa Foundation

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Felon Education and Recidivism

43 Percent

According to the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, inmates who participate in a correctional program experience a 43 percent lower rate of recidivism than inmates who do not.

28 Percent

Inmates who participated in vocational training were 28 percent more likely to be employed after release than those who did not receive such training.

1:4 to 1:5 Ratio

Each $1 investment in prison education translates into reduced incarceration costs by four to five dollars throughout the first three years after release.

13 Percent

Employment after release was 13 percent higher among prisoners who participated in either academic or vocational education programs than among those who did not.

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I think that having some kind of training while in prison is truly a novel idea and from my point of view, yeah, eventually, they will help the fellows have a better life after being released.

In my country, though there are some vocational offers done but, I think that sometimes, they should stick to courses which could really give them the maximum chances of being employed like courses on mechanics, electronics, foods, services,etc. and, avoid courses that would help them "start" a business? serious, in the first few months after being released, I am sure that they are still transitioning and, they might even lack resources to do just that.

What is important in my opinion is that, they have an immediate skill that could feed them after being released, its practical and well, the chances of them being employed everywhere is high.

I agree with you to a great extent. However, some of the jobs that are immediately available upon release are simply not going to cover a person's expenses. They don't pay a living wage.

For example, in addition to the normal expenses of living - housing, transportation, food, utilities - many of these men have court-ordered fees to pay. They must pay for the privilege of being under court supervision, some of them must pay for GPS tracking devices, often there is child support owed, and the plethora of fees and fines that are often incurred when a person is first incarcerated - unpaid parking tickets, overdue utility bills, etc.

People being released from prison will find it nearly impossible to meet the financial demands imposed on them while working at a minimum wage job. Our program provides them with a cushion; we offer housing and employment in proximity to one another.

This reduces housing costs (and stress) to nothing, and reduces transportation expenses to almost nothing. Removing those obstacles allows our participants to focus on learning their new careers and building up their clientele. While they are not starting their own business, they still must work to earn their clients.

As they begin to build their client base, a portion of their wages goes back into funding the program, a portion is set aside for them upon successful completion of the program, and the rest goes directly into their pocket to pay for daily expenses.

that is really a great program.

I just want to say this: why can't the government pay the GPS monitoring thing and the court supervision fees?

I understand the child support fees but, is it not another way of pushing these guys off the wall? I mean, with all the fees/ debts they needed to pay, its no surprise that most of them would want to revert back to crime just to get an easy way of earning....

I don't know if its right for me to suggest this but, is there a way for these costs to be delayed or if not, then decreased? Just so until they fully get back on their feet?

Sometimes the court will defer the fees, sometimes they will waive them entirely. It's largely up to the individual judge to exercise his or her discretion in each case. Some judges are known for waiving fees - some are not.

I agree with you that charging people money for the service of being under court supervision is largely detrimental. It puts an extra burden on a person who is still struggling.

I know a man who was sentenced to 5 years of court supervision. He has to submit to drug and alcohol testing weekly and pay all the fees associated with that supervision - for 5 years! He's been a model of cooperation the entire time. He has his own place to live, has a stable job, doesn't get into any trouble or do anything he isn't supposed to. He's been under supervision for 3 years already with 0 failed drug tests.

One week, his test was diluted. This can (and did) happen from drinking a lot of water. This particular man drinks a lot of water regularly. His judge promised that if his test is diluted one more time, she will send him back to prison. Now, he makes a point to NOT drink much water at all.

In the meantime, he still has to pay for the supervision.

Yep. I think that there are some people that are beyond help, but for most of the people in jail they are desperately in need of some help. I'd really like to see jail be more of a 'broken life rehab center' than a 'punishment center'. I think most non-violent offenders don't even belong in a jail. They really just need some help. A jail for punishment should be reserved for the violent people that are beyond hope.

That's a tough one for me. I don't know if I can accept that anyone is completely beyond hope, but there are certainly those who are too dangerous to let them loose in society.

I'm with you on the rest though. Rehabilitation is in the name of our prisons (The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, for example), yet very little rehabilitation is taking place. Yes, there are programs that aim to do that, but for too long, the majority of the programs have been administered by folks just looking for a paycheck and not actually caring about the people they are serving.

We are fortunate that the people we are working with in Grafton Correctional Institute and Judge Russo's Reentry Court seem to be genuinely concerned about helping folks succeed.

Out of curiosity, what sort of punishment do you think appropriate for those who are beyond hope? It seems to me the lack of hope might be punishment enough.

I'm not a fan of using punishment because I don't think it's a good tool for rehabilitation, but for the really dangerous people I'd say the punishment should be the isolation from others for safety reasons.

I agree that punishment isn't a good tool for rehabilitation. All the studies I've seen show that consequences and punishment are vastly different, and only the former is effective at changing behavior.

Identifying the difference can be tricky though.

Well done for your positive contribution to society's upliftment.

Thank you! We hope to do much more in the future. :-)

This is excellent information, and I love the graphic. Thanks a lot for sharing this.

Thanks! Coming from a professional content writer, I really appreciate that. Any tips/tricks you want to share are greatly appreciated. I'm having a hard time getting folks to engage with my content on the traditional social media channels.

I'm not great at driving engagement on social media either. That's a different skill. I'm good at research-based writing, and to some degree, calls to actions. You might ask someone like @jaynie to give you pointers on the social media stuff. Without seeing your streams, I don't know what I could say to help. You could try getting the attention of an influencer who cares about your cause. One solid influencer to take up the mantle and you'll see your engagement fly.

Thanks, @jaynie is really quite remarkable at all the social stuff, isn't she?

AS for an influencer...this is a term I've only recently heard. Does it simply mean a person who is popular on social media? Certainly there can't be any sort of certificate they earn or medal they achieve... What determines influencer status?

PS Spell check doesn't like the word influencer either.... :-)

An influencer is simply someone with clout. Yes, they're usually popular on social media. But the following doesn't have to be massive. They could have a niche cult following, but when they recommend something, their followers listen because they have built up a reputation with their audience. Seth Godin would be an example of an influencer with a massive following. Coinbase's Brian Armstrong would be an example of a niche influencer. He has influence, but only within the sphere of cryptocurrencies. So if you find an influencer who is excited about what you're doing and get them to mention you or endorse you in some way, that will give you visibility to their audience.

Awesome, thanks for the examples. The only ones I could think of are Kardashians and folks like that. I'm glad to know the term extends beyond superficial folks with tons of groupies. :-)

I guess you could say the Kardashians have influence. If you're interested in silicon implants, weird lifestyle choices, cheap lipstick smears. And a lot of people are. ;-)

Influence comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Not all influencers are celebrities, but all celebrities have influence--at least among the fans for whom they are celebrities. If that makes sense.

That makes all the sense in the world. :-)

This is good information to share. Education can resolve a lot of problems and turn things around for people.

Love how your post is written up to! Well done!

Thank you. Often, we don't realize the impact of seemingly inconsequential things. Arming ourselves with info can help us be more aware. :-)

Thanks for dropping by!

I absolutely agree with you!


This post has been manually curated, resteemed
and gifted with some virtually delicious cake
from the @helpiecake curation team!

Much love to you from all of us at @helpie!
Keep up the great work!


OMG!!!! That looks delicious! Thank you so much! Cake and curation are some of my favorite things!!!

This is a very interesting information @mattifer.

Thank you. :-)

You are welcome!

Just the other day we were discussing the rotten situation about the prisons over here. Guys that do shoplifting to feed their families are incarcerated with hardened criminals and they receive free crime lessons in jail.
In the past we have helped some prisoners to continue their studies by supplying them with free laptops, but an end was put to this.
We even met and sent a proposal to the prison authorities that entailed us setting up a free PC training class inside one of the big prisons, but we were rejected, stating that they had no money to pay the wardens that we wanted to oversee the training classes.
So now the idea is to get a farm and to build a skills training center on the farm with two double story flatlet buildings. We want the short term repeat offenders to be sent to this farm to undergo proper skills training for the period of their incarceration.
This will not only solve the serious overcrowding situation in the prisons, but it will also offer the offenders a better opportunity at reentry.
This project is still in its research and planning stages and we will see where it goes.

Yes, yes, and yes!

Where are you located?

I'm surprised the prison would say no to your offer. It really doesn't cost them any extra to have a warden in the room with the computers.

Most of the prisons here (in the US) have at least basic skills training classes. I'd love to get laptops in the prisons, but inmates aren't allowed to have Internet access where we are. However, another local prison just purchased a bunch of tablets for the inmates. Now they can make phone calls from their bunks! It's strange how the priorities fall sometimes.

Thank you for all your efforts. Do you have a website or social feeds I can connect with?

Thank you and we are located in South Africa.
Our website is;

We also operate on a shoestring budget, but God provides.

I love your website! Once we get a few more months under our belts, I hope we can design ours to be as informative and positive as yours.

Thank you!
Unfortunately we have to feed all of the information through to the webmaster and we cannot work on it, as it is a donated website.
Fortunately we don't have the trouble of the upkeep and the links as it is all freely done for us.
I try to get most of our requirements donated and I will advise that you try to do the same.

Thanks for the advice! Ours is the same way, and it's still very much a work in progress. :-)

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