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Jason GoudlockThe Winners and Losers of Recidivism
By Jason Goudlock, Prisonersolidarity.org
Aug. 1, 2005


I recently received an article in the mail titled "Out on Parole" that was sent to me by my close friend, Heather. The article was written by CityLife's news editor, Matt O'Brien, and is about an ex-offender, David Allison, from the state of Nevada. This article specifically focuses on the aspect of Mr. Allison's re-entry and adjustment back into society. It details the various events of Mr. Allison's day-to-day affairs since being paroled, such as obtaining a Social Security card, picture ID, employment, and relearning the language and etiquette of everyday society.

Throughout the article, Mr. Allison shares with Mr. O'Brien the misconceptions he had about how easy he thought it would be to make the transition from prison back into society. He shares his story about the difficulty of finding employment, the constant rejection of his filled-out job applications due to the stigma of once being incarcerated, and his many trials and tribulations. But the one thing that really caught my attention was when he shared how the system (prison) had not done anything to prepare him for his return to society. This prompted me to take a broader look at the overall scope and ramifications of incarceration and recidivism.

Why does an ex-offender fall victim to the revolving doors of recidivism? In my opinion, ex-offenders fall victim to the many traps and snares of recidivism due to either the overall absence of effective rehabilitative-structured programs in the prison system, as well as society, or due to underfunded, understaffed programs that currently exist.

One must clearly see, and conclude, that the recidivistic success-to-failure ratio is going to always be greater towards failure, and lean towards an ex-offender returning to prison as long as people in society--registered voters, politicians, etc. --continue to ignore the need to erect and facilitate adequately funded rehabilitative programs that would prepare inmates/ex-offenders for their return to society.

As long as the system continues the practice of returning inmates back to society unprepared, society is going to continue to inevitably be victimized by the domino effect of a failed system unless you are one of the many business establishments in society that makes millions and millions of dollars off the servitude of prisoners. From this standpoint, I definitely have to constitute the various big-business corporations as 'winners' in the financial sense. The inmates/ex-offenders are, however, also winners if they choose to take the initiative to be one.

Although the system may not provide offenders and/or ex-offenders with the ways and means to navigate themselves to their desired destination of success, the journey can be completed through the compass of ones strength of mind.

Jason Goudlock, #284-561
Ohio State Penitentiary
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd.
Youngstown, OH 44505-4635

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Mr. Goudlock has aspirations of becoming an entrepreneur, in the interest of philanthropic advancement. He is also an aspiring athlete in the sport of basketball. Jason
would like to hear from you. You may contact him directly by writing to the address listed above. The following link offers tips for writing to prisoners:
http://prisonersolidarity.org/TipsForWritingPrisoners.htm

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