Why Do Inmates End Up Back in Prison?

Many inmates end up back in prison.

Many of the criminals in prisons today are repeat offenders, especially those who are serving shorter sentences of up to five years. Studies show that if prisoners were given better rehabilitation services, drug treatment and emotional therapy, they might not return to a life of crime.

1 Rehabilitation

According to PBS, many criminals return to prison because they were not rehabilitated while in jail. Inmates are released after serving time without learning social skills or being educated; therefore, they have a hard time finding a job or a place to live and often return to a life of crime rather than integrating into society. PBS reports that when inmates have the opportunity to learn some means of making a living, recidivism rates go down.

2 Drug Use

Another reason many inmates return to prison is because they are addicted to drugs or alcohol and prison rehabilitation efforts have failed. According to the Centers for Disease Control, many inmates find it difficult to avoid returning to drug use and crime after they are released. Since drug crimes make up a large percentage of arrests, many inmates enter prison with a drug-abuse problem. Rehabilitation and transition programs, however, can help inmates become sober and stay that way.

3 Anger Management

According to a 2004 study published in Forensic Science International, criminals with anger management issues or problems dealing with authority were 37 percent more likely to get arrested again. This suggests that anger management therapy in prison could help these inmates avoid being locked up again.

Amanda Hermes has been a freelance writer since 2009. She writes about children's health, green living and healthy eating for various websites. She has also been published on EdutainingKids.com, Parents Tips Blog and Weekly Woof Blog and she has worked as a ghostwriter for parenting articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of North Texas.