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
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
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: