Reducing Young Parolee Recidivism
A Social Bonding Theory Program
The Idea________ ____________________________________________________________
The use of parole, which is defined as supervised early release from incarceration, in United States correctional system has dropped markedly in the past two decades. Fifteen states have abolished the use of discretionary, or early-release, parole, as have the federal courts. The reluctance for most states to use parole stems from the realization that common correctional practices have failed to produce any substantial reform among prisoners before their release back into society (Schmalleger, 2012).
Despite the drop in parole use in many courts, about 25 percent of inmates who are freed from prison are monitored through traditional parole. Of those paroled nationwide, approximately 49 percent of parolees successfully complete their parole. Of the remaining 51 percent, 25 percent are returned to prison for parole violations. Statistics show that just over half of the 49 percent who successfully complete parole re-enter prison within three years. Even more discouraging is the fact that 70 percent of parole violators in prison were convicted of a new offense while on parole. Critics of parole argue that these numbers are indicative of poor re-integration of offenders into society and are associated with “wide-ranging social costs, including decreased public safety and weakened family and community ties” (Schmalleger, 2012).
By using the four processes of Hirschi’s Social Bonding Theory, a program can be developed that generates societal bonds and personal goals that endure after incarceration and the enrollment in the program has ended, therefore reducing the number of reoffenders that violate parole and are re-incarcerated. In a study of 102 first-time inmates in a Louisiana correctional facility it was found that the Social Bonding Theory had a significant effect on...