Successful crime prevention strategies must address factors contributing to the large number of crimes that are committed by individuals who have served a term of incarceration and failed, upon their release, to integrate the community as law-abiding citizens (Rakis, 2005). In the absence of material, psychological, and social support at the time of their release, offenders may have a very difficult time breaking the cycle of release and re-arrest. Short-term prison terms and extended terms of remand in custody provide limited opportunities for successful treatment and interventions to prevent future recidivism. A majority of convicted offenders have at least one prior conviction, either in youth or adult court and, among recidivists nearly one-third have a prior conviction and nearly 75 percent have multiple prior convictions. Community safety makes it imperative that governments and communities develop effective interventions that will assist exprisoners to successfully reintegrate into the community and avoid further criminality. Managed offender reentry processes and programs are gaining acceptance and may offer a cost effective way of preventing crime. There is therefore an increasing focus among policy-makers and practitioners on identifying programs and strategies that will help prisoners successfully reintegrate back into their communities without re-offending.
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Curt T. Griffiths, PhD