The criminal justice system DOES NOT have a responsibility 


Hello everyone,

This issue of social re-entry for offenders is difficult for me. I do see both sides, but I believe more that the criminal justice system does not have a responsibility to help formerly incarcerated people reintegrate into society. 

The video “Second Chances: Reentry” was interesting. I do believe the work they are doing with those offenders is positive. However, they interviewed a gentleman who said it was his fifth time there. He also states that he is lucky to be there instead of prison. In my opinion, this is an example of how these programs don’t work. Why is this gentleman on his fifth attempt at re-entry with this “amazing” program? I’m sure it is effective with other offenders but obviously not for everyone. 

I think this all comes down to whether or not the offender has the motivation to become a productive member of society. The evaluation done on the Reintegration of Ex-Offenders (RExO) Program, which was funded by the U.S. Departments of Labor and Justice, has shown recidivism in those offenders of the program (Muhlhausen, 2015). This study consisted of participants who were formerly incarcerated and had been receiving “employment-focused services” (Mulhausen, 2015) from the RExO Program. In the category of recidivism among these participants, 42% were arrested over the two-year follow up period. This shows almost half the participants did not stay employed, therefore this reentry program was not helpful.

A study done called The Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration (TJRD), “tested the effectiveness of providing temporary paid jobs, support services, and job placement assistance to prisoners returning to the community” (Mulhausen, 2015). This evaluation concluded that the services provided did not have a positive effect on the recidivism rate of the participants. There was a 55% arrest rate for the participants over the course of the two-year follow up period. This also shows how recidivism is still likely with these services available. 

I also did a simple Google search of reentry programs for offenders, and found a helpful website that links reentry programs by state. California being a heavily populated state, has 13 helpful links for substance abuse, free housing, family services, and general reentry programs. My home state of Tennessee has a few helpful links as well. This website “Help for Felons” seems like it has resources and connections that would be beneficial for a formerly incarcerated person to have. 

Although I do not believe it is directly the criminal justice systems responsibility to help these offenders reintegrate, I do believe they need assistance. In my opinion, offenders who are looking to change their life will find a way to do so. The criminal justice system has held these offenders responsible for their crime(s) and they have paid their debt to society. The criminal justice system is not responsible for aiding them with reentry after they have done their time. If the offender has served their time wisely, they should have a good idea of who to talk to and where to go for resources related to reentry, not funded by the federal government.


In my opinion it is the responsibility of the criminal justice system to help the offenders reintegrate back to society because their major responsibilities is to deliver justice for all by convicting and punishing the guilty and helping them to stop offending, while protecting the innocent. In addition, the prisons should reduce crime in three principal ways: by incapacitating offenders, by punishing and thereby deterring others who would commit crimes and by rehabilitating offenders. If the work of the criminal justice system is to rehabilitate offenders, then why shouldn’t they reintegrate offenders into society? Aren’t they supposed to help a person reform wholly? The criminal justice system is supposed to reduce the occurrence and recurrence of crime, why can’t they prevent recurrence of crime by reintegrating people into society so that they don’t engage themselves in criminal conduct?


The criminal justice system DOES NOT have a responsibility

Drake York posted Dec 16, 2020 4:14 PM

Hey All!

I think that the criminal justice system does not have a responsibility to help formerly incarcerated people become model citizens. I believe that while somebody is incarcerated it is up to the Department of Corrections to offer the offenders tools that they need in order to be successful in society such as learning a trade, college education, or giving them their mental health needs. Whether the offenders choose to use these tools or not is up to them. I think that programs outside of the criminal justice system would benefit the formerly incarcerated a lot better. In the video, I saw that the people working in the Re-Entry Center were helping set up the formerly incarcerated for success by showing them how to apply for food stamps, helping give them the tools they needed to search for jobs, and any substance abuse counseling they may have needed which is great, but I don’t think that it should be tax payer funded. I think that there should be employees from different companies or volunteers that could go into the prisons and help educate the offenders on how to make resumes, fill out job applications, teach them how to buy a car or house, and other life skills they will need once they get out of prison.


I disagree with you, after watching the Second Chances Reentry video, it is clear that some of the re-entry centers are not very effective because other people have been there up to five times or even three times.  The Criminal justice system should bear the responsibility of reintegrating this people back into society because their role is to reform and rehabilitate. Besides, what about the people who cannot have access to re-entry centers services? I think the prison department should prepare people fully to reintegrate into society. If the criminal justice system is giving them the necessary tools to get back into society, why not help them reintegrate into society as well? Why not help them become members of the community as well? Isn’t the objective of the criminal justice system helping offenders become better members of the society?

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