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When ex- offenders and prisoners are released from prison they are expected to successfully transition from prison life to a crime- free life and rejoin society as everyone else and help be ties to the community. Most of the time, it is hard for them to be a part of society because they are still constantly being punished for their past still. When ex-offenders; convicts are released they really do not have the proper tools to stand up on their own such as: money, jobs or any type of stabled housing. Since employers have very easy access to getting your criminal history most ex-offenders and ex-prisoners are discriminated against and denied a job. Being denied jobs because of your past doesn't helps because you have to work to have money.
You also have to have money to sustain your own living conditions. Despite their past personal characteristics, social characteristics, and accommodation are clearly influential on employment outcomes for ex-prisoners and offenders, there are numerous other factors directly related to the employment experience itself that also serve to restrict employment opportunities for these groups (Graffam, 2005.) Ex-offenders and prisoners will typically be unemployed and will run into numerous dead ends while trying to find and maintain a job once they find one.
Most offenders have a hard time maintain a job if they are either on work-release or not because of being incarcerated they lack skills, education, your attitude, the way you look, and the crime you committed because of this these employers will deny you for not being able to be an adequate asset to their company. Regardless, if the ex-offender or prisoner has committed a crime that had nothing to do with them hindering their company they are still denied a job most of the time. Most prisons don't have the proper programs to encourage ex-offenders and convicts to join because of that prison can set you back from being able to be successful in society when you are released from prison which sets you back from jobs. Prison sets you back from ever gaining the proper tools to surviving in society such as: educational and financial barriers, substance abuse problems, low literacy levels, lack of occupational skill, and difficulties finding stable accommodation (Graffam, 2005.) If ex-offenders and convicts are expected to do right but, have been incarcerated for numerous years and they don't get to do much because of their past is holding them back. That is basically, a result of somewhat being forced to go out and do negative things such as: drink, steal, kill and sell illegal contraband while on parole or probation just to make it out here in this world.
74% of prisoners in the United States who are awaiting release within the next 12 months have a history of drug use or alcohol abuse (Travis & Petersillia 2001.) These programs that they give, while being incarcerated to teach each prisoner on how to survive once they are released if ever released while in prison should not be by choice and only forced to those that must take it because it is a part of their sentence. Those classes should go for everyone that is incarcerated because it can guide them to some type of stability when they are released.
In addition, to having trouble trying to find and maintain a job ex-offenders and prisoners also have a hard time trying to find adequate living conditions once they are released. Having criminal convictions makes it hard to own something called home yourself so sometimes you stay with relatives or friends until you are able to get your own. The majority of pre-released prisoner clients reported that they were living in their own home (32.1 %) or in the family/ home/ family member's house (28.6) in the month prior to their arrest varied considerably, with 39.3% having lived there less than three months, 32.1% having lived there for 6 to 18 months, and 28.6% having lived there for two years or more indicating some insatiability in housing prior to arrest for more than one third of the sample (Graffam, 2005.) Most ex-offenders and prisoners use the living assistance when they are released because they lack money. Ex-offenders/convicts re-entering their own living conditions still have barriers that they have to overcome especially living in highly populated neighborhoods with children because they are going to be always labeled as sex offenders because all the neighbors are notified before he/she moves in. Being as though ex-offenders have to walk around with that label they are sometimes harassed and sometimes forced to move constantly because they are tired of being harassed labeled and unable to fit in with the surrounding neighbors because of their past.
Also even after ex-offenders or prisoners find some type of living condition and are finally comfortable with their livelihood they still face challenges. Ex-offenders and convicts still go through other obstacles when they have to live with other people living facilities such as: shelters or group homes because of lack of money. They put others at risk with some of their untreated medical conditions that they may inherit from being incarcerated such as: AIDS, HIV etc. According to research 46.9% pre-released offenders have hepatitis C (Graffam, 2005.) which is a huge concern because it can affect others if not treated properly or even identified so that one can know that they do have an illiness.
In addition to all these issues that I have already discussed on how society makes it harder for ex-offenders and convicts to readjust to society they are also denied the right to vote. By losing their rights to vote, ex-offenders/ convicts are not empowered to advocate their rights in voicing their opinion in a political process. There are more than twelve states where convicted criminals are not allowed to vote. Research has stated that in the state of Florida altogether, 500,000 Florida residents 4.6 percent of the state's voting age population has served time behind bars for various crimes and thus are unable to vote because of the ban, which has been on the law books since 1868. A disproportionate number of those residents are black. Nearly 170,000 black adult men in Florida roughly 25 percent of the state's residents can't vote because of their current or past convictions ( Twohey & Megan, 2001.) White lawmakers wrote this law to ban all ex-offenders and convicts are banned from voting because it was mainly black crimes that were going on such as: rape and theft. This ban is a violation of the 14th amendment's equal protection clause and also the federal 1965 voting Rights Act. If you have committed a crime about 8 years ago and has been out for just about 15 plus years you should not still be held accountable for that and should be allowed to vote now. It should be everyone's right no matter if you are an ex-offender or convict.
According to National journal, convicted felons and their allies in the civil rights community are challenging the laws in state legislatures, Congress, and the courts. They maintain that the bans are racist, unconstitutional, and simply irrational (Twohey & Megan 2001.) Society has voting as to what it really is to the people. Voting is not a privilege it's a right that everyone deserves. In today's society there are four states that allowed all felons to vote even those who are in prison which are: Maine, Massachusetts, Utah, and Vermont. Although these states allow all felons to vote there are still people in these states who are trying to vote to get it stop because they do not believe it is fair. Most of the republicans do not want felons to be allowed to vote because they believe they are more likely to vote for Democrats.
Lastly, the last issue in the social political issues in today's society is high rate of black males being incarcerated. Research has stated that one out of every three young black males is in prison, on parole, or on probation. Black males make up nearly half the prison population in the American prisons. There is a high rate of black males in prison because of racially biased judges, juries and prosecutors. A lot of people may say that most of all the young black males commit the crimes and is incarcerated for them but, white males do the same to but they are just not incarcerated for them. Most people are arguing that whites and blacks do the same crimes but, white people will get a lesser sentence than a black male who has committed the same exact crime.
Now, despite all the issues that affects convicts once they are released there are prerelease programs available. Prerelease programs are a growing priority in correctional systems throughout the nation to prepare prisoners for their reintegration into society ( Mellow & Christian, 2005.) Most states have these prerelease programs and according to research these programs has reported that recidivism rates for those who complete the whole program have been significantly lower than for those who have been released without being offered to go through the program. These programs are designed to make help each ex-prisoner make a complete transition from prison back to society. The programs help them with their education, job skills, personal identification, reunite with your family drug abuse, housing, rules of the community, and life skills. There is currently 600,000 state prisoners being released each year undergo multi-session, formalized rereleased program. Out of that number only 10% of the released go fourth with the program (Mellow & Christian, 2005.) Some states do not offer the prerelease programs so they give ex-prisoners prerelease handbooks to read over. Only problem with the handbooks is that some ex- prisoners lack reading and comprehension skills because of that it defeats the purpose of reading the handbook.
Since most of the ex-prisoners, who are released have been released from maxing-out their sentence. When they max-out most of them are giving a handbook or prerelease program option which hinders them from not making the proper transition from prison back to society. In some states prison official and staff reads the reentry handbook to help also guide ex-prisoner through the release process. When prisoners are released and do not have no form of identification, social security card, or birth certificate it makes it harder when are in the prerelease programs and they are trying to find you housing or jobs because things like this you need some form of identification . If you do not have any of these forms of identification the prerelease program will work with you prior to your release date to make sure you have them when released.
The average length of each class is about six months rather you are taking the classes physically or reading the handbook. If you start the release programs prior to release and stick to them and finish before release you may possibly have the proper housing and maybe a job when comes time for you being released. Throughout the book only you can learn how to make personal notes to yourself and how to construct a resume if you have prior work history before you were incarcerated. While many handbooks list services in areas of importance to ex-offenders, text with practical advice about each major issue is less common. In addition, much of the text produced for previous handbooks has been well above the literacy level of its audience (Mellow & Christian, 2005.) Most of the prisoners in prison does not have a reading past the sixth grade because of this the text that each book is written in must be written in a lower level that each person can comprehend. Throughout the book if you still cannot comprehend the text there are sever bullets that are written to help you better understand the text such as: if you don not read well enroll into a literacy class, if you lack high school diploma or GED get one, if you have time to take a basic skill course like writing or math do it all. All of us get rusty in our basic skills when we do not use them for awhile, and if you have time take a vocational training class like computer repair, word processor, or graphic arts do it all it will greatly improve your chance in finding jobs(Mellow & Christian, 2005.)
Also, in the book because of all the different language barriers that are in prisons the book is written in other languages. Since in the most prisons 19% of the prison population is Hispanics the books are written in Spanish. If you go to the classes instead of reading the book the classes are for six months just like the handbook but, they are for nine hours a day.
Ex-offenders face many obstacles as they try to transition from prison life back into their role as a member of society. Most of the barriers make it difficult for ex-offenders to reintegrate into the communities where they came from. The civil reentry challenges not only negatively impact the ex-offender but also have a rippling effect on the family members waiting to be reunited with them. There is, almost 600,000 prisoners were released in 2000 from state and federal prisons back into their communities. This is not an exhaustive list of the civil barriers that prevent ex-offenders from assimilating back into their communities, but rather an introduction to the challenges ex-offenders must prevail over for their benefit and the benefit of our communities and society as a whole.