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Prisoners for Profit: The Private Prison System Should Be Abolished

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In which industry that has ever been profit generating, does a firm profit from their failure? The United States has a mass incarceration problem. With 25% of the world prison population residing in the US, spending on detention costs the

In which industry that has ever been profit generating, does a firm profit from their failure? The United States has a mass incarceration problem. With 25% of the world prison population residing in the US, spending on detention costs the US government $80 billion annually. Over 50% of the individuals incarcerated in America are of black or Latino descent. This massive growth in the incarcerated population of America began in the 1970s and with the passive support of American citizens has created an industry whose players profit from the detention of people. Currently, the privately run detention facilities in the United States hold 7% of state prisoners, 18% of federal prisoners, and nearly 75% of ICE's undocumented detainee population. The detention of people for profit is an idea rooted in the same profit motive that allowed the institution of slavery to flourish. However even after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the U.S., the oppressive forces behind slave-era economics have been perpetuated through legislation and policies that continued the stratification of society and reinforcement of the social order. With the help of corporate lobbyists, political action committees, and organizations such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, the corporate shareholders of private prisons, such as CoreCivic and The GEO Group, are able to directly align their profit-driven interests with those of federal and state legislators. By the incorporation of legislation and policy into state and federal law, the shareholders of private prisons are able to directly affect legislation as well as their own potential for profit. The justification for the usage of private prisons is thought to be seen in the price savings and flexibility that it provides for federal and state governments. However, due to the law enforcement contractor's exemption from public record laws, there is no clear evidence of where the cost savings occur, or even if there are cost savings at all. Is it ethical for a for-profit-prison corporation to be responsible for the care, security, and rehabilitation of an individual, when if they fail to rehabilitate the individual, it will add to the number of inmates under their control? The measure of a prison's failure to rehabilitate an inmate is considered the recidivism rate, and is affected when an inmate leaves a detention facility, commits another crime, then is arrested. This profit motive is causing our society to incarcerate increasing numbers of people in private prisons. For-profit prisons financially benefit from long-term incarceration and recidivism. The passive investments from public and private employees and institutions through investment corporations are the legs that allow the private prison industry to stand. Twenty-nine investment firms, such as The Vanguard Group and Fidelity Investments, own nearly two-thirds of the two largest players in the private prison industry. This includes the passive investments by public institutions such as the Arizona State University Foundation's $600 million endowment fund as well as the $500 million directly invested into CoreCivic and GEO Group from the University of Texas/ Texas A&M Investment Management Company. The goal of abolishing private prisons will require years of litigation against the giants of the industry as well as the governmental entities supporting them. However, we can start today by demanding divestiture by our school and similar institutions as well continuing to share the knowledge of the oppressive forces associated with the detention of individuals for profit.

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2018-05

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The Walls are Alive with the Sound of Music: Music Therapy Techniques for Incarcerated Persons

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A music therapy informed music group program was created and implemented at the Maricopa Reentry Center in Phoenix. This program \u2014 entitled Building Hope Through Music \u2014 utilized music therapy techniques including lyric analysis, songwriting, singing, musical games, and guided

A music therapy informed music group program was created and implemented at the Maricopa Reentry Center in Phoenix. This program \u2014 entitled Building Hope Through Music \u2014 utilized music therapy techniques including lyric analysis, songwriting, singing, musical games, and guided visualization in order to improve self-awareness, provide a medium for self-expression, increase teamwork and collaboration, promote relaxation, facilitate emotional processing and awareness, and improve tolerance of non-preferred activities in participants. This group was conducted for seven months and had participation from over 400 male ex-offenders.

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2018-05

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Dissolving the Dichotomy of Private and Public Prisons: Lending Credence to the Innovative Potential of Prison Privatization

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Recidivism rates in the United States are alarmingly high. The vast number of inmates who re- offend upon release and re-enter into correctional facilities upsets people and many individuals focus their blame on the private and public prisons. Currently, the

Recidivism rates in the United States are alarmingly high. The vast number of inmates who re- offend upon release and re-enter into correctional facilities upsets people and many individuals focus their blame on the private and public prisons. Currently, the research that is available on private and public prisons is unpersuasive because it creates a harsh polarization between the two prison systems. The benefits as well as the detriments of each sector are explained in great detail, but all of the current research is lacking one thing: insider experience. The majority of the available research is conducted by people behind a computer screen or behind the binding of a book. While a wide variety of different articles, short stories, and journals have been published and are readily available to eager readers and researchers, these arguments repeat themselves and fail to weigh the complex merits of each system against the other; specifically, each body of work is lacking knowledge from people who have experienced both private and public prisons from an internal perspective. To compensate for this lack of ethnographic research, the current study allows the reader to get an internal perspective of public and private prisons. This was done by interviewing two wardens who have served on the federal, state, and private levels as well as touring a private correctional facility in Arizona. These experiences paved the way for novel research to be conducted and was used as a tool to weave the complicated web of private and public prisons in the United States. Findings, interviews, and ideas for the future of prisons are discussed.

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2018-05

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Drug Courts: A Method to Reduce Recidivism

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The author examines drug court as a means to reduce recidivism rates for individuals who are addicted to illegal substances. The thesis analyzes the best practices for drug courts in treating addiction and lowering recidivism. In conducting this analysis, the

The author examines drug court as a means to reduce recidivism rates for individuals who are addicted to illegal substances. The thesis analyzes the best practices for drug courts in treating addiction and lowering recidivism. In conducting this analysis, the author focuses on the Yuma County Drug Court Program (YCDC). After discussing the major components of the YCDC program, the author reaches several conclusions about the program. The author's conclusions are based in part on a study analyzing the recidivism rates for individuals who participated in YCDC from January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2010. The author concludes that an effective drug court program requires proper screening and assessment using validated assessment tools that ensure delivery of treatment to individuals with high substance abuse treatment needs. In addition, drug courts must include counseling in both sober individual and group settings, cognitive restructuring, life skills training, and frequent interaction with the drug court judge. The author also concludes that drug courts are more successful when they stress accountability and independence by requiring participants to maintain a stable residence and employment. In YCDC these practices lead to 48.4% of individuals participating in the 18-month program having no criminal justice involvement for a period of three years after their exit from the program. Other important outcomes showed that well over 90% of the participants' drug tests were negative and 87% of the participants were employed. The author concludes that the YCDC program provides a good model for drug courts seeking to lower recidivism.

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2018-05

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The Effect of Offender Gender and Sexual Orientation on Prosecutors' Reactions to Juvenile Sex Offense Cases

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The objective of this study was to determine whether prosecutors would be more inclined to prosecute a juvenile sex offense case when the offender is gay versus straight. I also tested whether the effect of offender sexual orientation would be

The objective of this study was to determine whether prosecutors would be more inclined to prosecute a juvenile sex offense case when the offender is gay versus straight. I also tested whether the effect of offender sexual orientation would be different for male versus female juvenile offenders. Based on previous research showing leniency toward lesbian juvenile sex offenders among laypeople, I hypothesized that prosecutors would be more likely to prosecute a case in which the offender was gay instead of heterosexual—but only if they were boys. In contrast, if the offenders were lesbians, I hypothesized that prosecutors would be less inclined to prosecute, compared to heterosexual girls. Based on survey data, I found that prosecutors’ decisions to prosecute were not affected by the offender’s gender or sexuality, but their impressions of the offender were. Prosecutors perceived males to be more likely to recidivate than females. Specifically, gay males were perceived as more likely to recidivate than heterosexual males; however the difference between lesbians and heterosexuals were nearly indistinguishable. Prosecutors also viewed gay males as having more negative attributes than heterosexual males. Contrarily, lesbian girls were perceived as having slightly less negative attributes than heterosexual girls. Still, females overall were perceived as having less negative attributes than males. These impressions on recidivism and negative attributes were important because they both positively correlated with the prosecutor’s decision to prosecute the case.

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2016-05

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The Cost of Education Versus Incarceration

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Education, with emphasis on post secondary education, should become a top priority for policy makers with regards to the criminal justice system in the United States. Criminal justice funding within the United States is being applied increasingly to factors that

Education, with emphasis on post secondary education, should become a top priority for policy makers with regards to the criminal justice system in the United States. Criminal justice funding within the United States is being applied increasingly to factors that correlate with high rates of recidivism such as housing increased numbers of inmates. Research strongly supports education in the mitigation of the rate of recidivism. Reducing the rate of recidivism helps to create a more sustainable influx of inmates into correctional facilities. Those who enter into prison are some of the most economically disadvantaged individuals in the United States. In comparison to the general population, the prison population has significantly lower formal education levels and lower literacy levels. Without access to an education, inmates have the greater struggle to reach economic livelihood. Limited access to education perpetuates a cycle of inequality and injustice and can contribute to high recidivism rates. Recidivism drives up the costs of taxpayer dollars. Effective means for integrating inmates into society, such as basic literacy training and access to post secondary educational programs, must be expanded on and implemented.

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2012-05

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MENDING A DETRIMENTAL CRISIS: PROPOSAL TO REDUCE RECIDIVISM THROUGH THE INCORPORATION OF COMPUTER SKILLS AND CODING IN PRISONS

Description

With a prison population that has grown to 1.4 million, an imprisonment rate of 419 per 100,000 U.S. residents, and a recidivism rate of 52.2% for males and 36.4% for females, the United States is facing a crisis. Currently, no

With a prison population that has grown to 1.4 million, an imprisonment rate of 419 per 100,000 U.S. residents, and a recidivism rate of 52.2% for males and 36.4% for females, the United States is facing a crisis. Currently, no sufficient measures have been taken by the United States to reduce recidivism. Attempts have been made, but they ultimately failed. Recently, however, there has been an increase in experimentation with the concept of teaching inmates basic computer skills to reduce recidivism. As labor becomes increasingly digitized, it becomes more difficult for inmates who spent a certain period away from technology to adapt and find employment. At the bare minimum, anybody entering the workforce must know how to use a computer and other technological appliances, even in the lowest-paid positions. By incorporating basic computer skills and coding educational programs within prisons, this issue can be addressed, since inmates would be better equipped to take on a more technologically advanced labor market.<br/>Additionally, thoroughly preparing inmates for employment is a necessity because it has been proven to reduce recidivism. Prisons typically have some work programs; however, these programs are typically outdated and prepare inmates for fields that may represent a difficult employment market moving forward. On the other hand, preparing inmates for tech-related fields of work is proving to be successful in the early stages of experimentation. A reason for this success is the growing demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 11 percent between 2019 and 2029. This is noteworthy considering the national average for growth of all other jobs is only 4 percent. It also warrants the exploration of educating coders because software developers, in particular, have an expected growth rate of 22 percent between 2019 and 2029. <br/>Despite the security risks of giving inmates access to computers, the implementation of basic computer skills and coding in prisons should be explored further. Programs that give inmates access to a computing education already exist. The only issue with these programs is their scarcity. However, this is to no fault of their own, considering the complex nature and costs of running such a program. Accordingly, this leaves the opportunity for public universities to get involved. Public universities serve as perfect hosts because they are fully capable of leveraging the resources already available to them. Arizona State University, in particular, is a more than ideal candidate to spearhead such a program and serve as a model for other public universities to follow. Arizona State University (ASU) is already educating inmates in local Arizona prisons on subjects such as math and English through their PEP (Prison Education Programming) program.<br/>This thesis will focus on Arizona specifically and why this would benefit the state. It will also explain why Arizona State University is the perfect candidate to spearhead this kind of program. Additionally, it will also discuss why recidivism is detrimental and the reasons why formerly incarcerated individuals re-offend. Furthermore, it will also explore the current measures being taken in Arizona and their limitations. Finally, it will provide evidence for why programs like these tend to succeed and serve as a proposal to Arizona State University to create its own program using the provided framework in this thesis.

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2021-05

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Growing Communities in Community Gardens: A Frame Analysis of TigerMountain Foundation

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This thesis project utilizes Bolman & Deal’s (2017) four frames to analyze how the Internship experience at TigerMountain Foundation, a South Phoenix community garden nonprofit, can be optimized to help the organization more effectively reach its goals. A brief explanation

This thesis project utilizes Bolman & Deal’s (2017) four frames to analyze how the Internship experience at TigerMountain Foundation, a South Phoenix community garden nonprofit, can be optimized to help the organization more effectively reach its goals. A brief explanation of the organizational context and structure is given as well as an overview of the relationship between community gardening and decreasing recidivism, as well as TigerMountain’s position in a food desert. TigerMountain Foundation can ultimately be framed internally as a human resource and symbolic organization and externally as a political organization. The Internship program presents a political benefit to the organization and can benefit from some human resource and structural additions to the onboarding process and overall experience. The recommended additions include providing a thorough onboarding packet to Interns at orientation that includes a questionnaire, includes a brief overview of the organization in human resource framing, a contact sheet, and instruction sheets for commonly used systems. Other additions to the Internship experience include setting up a ratio of how many Internship hours can be earned at the gardens and farmers’ markets compared to working administratively, requesting that Interns send in their updated availability weekly for scheduling purposes, and the implementation of an “on-call” system for farmers’ market shifts.

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2021-05

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Project Resolve: Reducing Recidivism using Advanced Analytics

Description

The United States has an institutional prison system built on the principle of retributive justice combined with racial prejudice that despite countless efforts for reform currently holds 2.3 million individuals, primarily minorities, behind bars. This institution has remained largely unchanged,

The United States has an institutional prison system built on the principle of retributive justice combined with racial prejudice that despite countless efforts for reform currently holds 2.3 million individuals, primarily minorities, behind bars. This institution has remained largely unchanged, meanwhile 83.4% of those who enter the system will return within one decade and it currently costs nearly $39 billion each year (Alper 4). Because the prison institution consistently fails to address the core root of crime, there is a great need to reconsider the approach taken towards those who break our nation’s laws with the dual purpose of enhancing freedom and reducing crime. This paper outlines an original theoretical framework being implemented by Project Resolve that can help to identify and implement solutions for our prison system without reliance on political, institutional, or societal approval. The method focuses on three core goals, the first is to connect as much of the data surrounding prisoners and the formerly incarcerated as possible, the second is to use modern analytic approaches to analyze and propose superior solutions for rehabilitation, the third is shifting focus to public interest technology both inside prisons and the parole process. The combination of these objectives has the potential to reduce recidivism to significantly, deter criminals before initial offense, and to implement a truly equitable prison institution.

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2020-05

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Gender and risk assessment in juvenile offenders: a meta-analysis

Description

Although young males are still the primary perpetrators of juvenile crime, girls are increasingly coming into contact with the criminal justice system. While girls may have different pathways to crime and risks for recidivism than boys, their risk to reoffend

Although young males are still the primary perpetrators of juvenile crime, girls are increasingly coming into contact with the criminal justice system. While girls may have different pathways to crime and risks for recidivism than boys, their risk to reoffend is typically assessed using a gender-neutral tool that is based on social learning theory: a theory originally developed and tested on males. With the appropriateness of using gender-neutral tools to assess female criminality coming into question, a number of researchers have searched for a resolution. To date, mixed findings on the predictive validity of risk assessment tools have not provided any definitive answers. To help assess the predictive validity of the Youth Level of Service Inventory, separate meta-analyses were conducted for male and female juvenile offenders using previous studies. The mean effect sizes were compared in order to determine whether the predictive validity is similar for both males and females. With the exception of violent recidivism, results indicate that the YLS/CMI works equally well for male and female offenders. The implications of these findings for theory, research, and correctional policy are discussed.

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2016