The Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) is working assiduously to depopulate its prisons. It is setting up a re-entry program that fights recidivism.
This program is for prison inmates and those awaiting release back into the general society. The ultimate aim is to empower inmates for gainful employment right inside the prison facility before they are released.
Benefits of the Colorado Re-Entry Program for Prison Inmates
The reentry program equips Colorado prison inmates with the skills necessary for rebuilding their lives. Through the program, eligible inmates are moved to units where they are trained for a maximum of 90 days.
These inmates will also be able to enjoy the following privileges among others:
- Get acquainted with parole officers
- Do job interviews via video conferencing
- Get weaned from substance abuse/addiction
- Undergo vocational skills acquisition
- Empowered to secure accommodation after release
- Obtain necessary qualifications for gainful independence
The 2-Fold Objective of the Re-Entry Program
The main objective of the re-entry program is in two folds:
- Depopulate prisons
- Lower recidivism rates
There is however a problem that has been substantiated by several research studies. Higher recidivism is most rampant among African Americans and other minority communities.
Many of these persons are jailed for non-jailable offenses and minor parole or probation violations. There appears however to be a ploy that Blacks should be the target of law enforcement and biased judges for repeated incarcerations.
Alternative Imprisonment Options That Lower Recidivism
But the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law reveals that the US government could save up to $200 billion over a 10-year period by fighting recidivism.
To this extent, the federal government should focus rather on shorter prison sentences or alternative prison options. Some of these alternative options to prison sentences include:
- Extensive skills acquisition programs
- Improved community service opportunities
- Shorter probation periods
- Enhanced mental healthcare
- Treatment for substance addiction
- Imposed fines and restitution
- Additional classes for life skills
Reducing recidivism should be the target of the government through various re-entry programs.
This will lower mass incarceration among minor communities as well as depopulate prisons.
The government will also have huge savings that could otherwise have been incurred to cater for prison inmates all year round.