Introduction and Overview

Joan Petersilia

in When Prisoners Come Home

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780195160864
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199943395 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Crime and Public Policy

Introduction and Overview

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This book assembles and analyzes the relevant information pertaining to prisoner reentry: the systems, people, programs, and prospects for implementing a more effective and just system. This chapter summarizes the data and develops major themes and policy recommendations. No one believes that the current prison and parole system is working. Recent public opinion polls show an increasing dissatisfaction with the purely punitive approach to criminal justice. Data suggest that having to earn and demonstrate readiness for release and being supervised postprison may have some deterrent or rehabilitation benefits—particularly for the most dangerous offenders. Effective programs include therapeutic communities for drug addicts and substance abuse programs with aftercare for alcoholics and drug addicts; cognitive behavioral programs for sex offenders; and adult basic education, vocational education, and prison industries for the general prison population.

Keywords: prisoner reentry; parole system; criminal justice; prison system; rehabilitation benefits; drug addicts; prison industries

Chapter.  7344 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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