Free to Return to Prison

First: Forensic social work exists on all three levels: micro, mezzo, and micro. (class notes)

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Offenders: According to guest speaker Jeff Pryor, working in the field of forensic social work requires understanding and respect. In an effort not to dehumanize those with a record, the proper way to refer to a person who has offended is by acknowledging they are a person with a felony, not a felon. (Pryor, MSW)

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Recidivism: The national average for the recidivism rate of formerly imprisoned people is 50%, and our $80 billion prison industry results in failure half the time. (Oliver, 3:40)

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Excluded: Those with a felony to their name may not be able to be hired for a job or a specific type of job, will lose their right to vote, and their driver’s license. Those with a drug felony may also be ineligible to receive government food benefits, and are not allowed to live in public housing. (Oliver, 5:20)

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Nope: Zero tolerance, is there hope? Most say nope. (class)

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Swan Song: Two thirds of parolees go back to prison due to parole violations rather than a new crime. With strict rules and inflexible officers, violating parole is not hard to accomplish. (Oliver, 9:20)

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Illness: The stigma of mental illness contributes to some violent crimes due to people being untreated. The stigma feeds the cycle of imprisonment due to its domino effect of drug demand, a demand for drug production, and the consequent dealers that come along with the conditions. Supply and demand is a vicious cycle. (class)

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Comorbidities: In prison populations, comorbidities exist due to inmates self-prescribing drugs for mental illness treatment. This drug use is considered substance abuse because they are considered recreationally, not clinically, used. When inmates are released, their mental illness and drug problem tend to go untreated, landing them right back in prison for criminal activity or parole violation (failed drug test). (class notes)

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