Requirements of submission: Written components of projects must follow these formatting guidelines: double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, one inch margins, and discipline-appropriate citations. The research paper should be eight to ten pages in length. Posted below is a previous submission and this particular assignment has to match what I have already written in an extended form.

  
Prisoners Exiting the Penal System
The topic that I chose consists of information pertaining to criminal offenders exiting the penal system. The reason that I picked this topic is because I feel that there are not enough resources to adequately prepare an offender when exiting the penal system. Granted, there are programs that offer assistance once the offender has been release from prison, but what programs are offered to those that may have a bit of time left to go? Why aren’t there extensive rehabilitation programs that are specifically targeted to offenders that may not know life outside of prison? 
For example, I have a family member that went to prison at the tender age of 16 for a crime that he did not commit, but refused to snitch on the actual person who committed the crime. He spent 20 years in prison and was recently released without any assistance. According to columnist Alison Lawrence, 95 percent of inmates will be released from prison at some point in time, but at least 50 percent will have returned within 3 years. (A. Lawrence, 2010) I think that there should be some type of program that helps to mentally rehabilitate a person that has spent a majority of their life in prison. Recidivism is unfortunately quite common because those who have been in the penal system for a long time don’t really know what to expect upon exiting. In my opinion, I feel that my family member still has the mindset of a 16 year old. 
Once a criminal offender is released from prison, they are automatically supposed to know how to maneuver life without the assistance that they are used to having while in prison. Things such as a place to live, food and other basic essentials may be difficult for those who have never been the penal system, so recently released prisoners will not have the support or knowledge of how to obtain such simple things. Even important items such as drivers’ licenses, social security cards and birth certificates may have been lost during their stay in prison, which also leads to having a difficult time with obtaining those items and finding employment. 
According to A. Wilson, being released from prison is a challenge in its self. Offenders are being released from jails wearing summer clothes during winter months. Also, prisoners are having a difficult time navigating throughout social services looking for public assistance, mental health and substances abuse services. (A. Wilson, 2014) Inmates that are still struggling eventually resort to their old ways of crime in order to survive, which then places them back in the penal system. 
I feel that there needs to be programs that help with mental health issues prior to exiting prison. There should be services that find placement homes and emergency food upon release. There should be a way to rehabilitate and help prisoners learn the way of life outside of prison. There should be classes that a prisoner is required to pass before release on living outside of prison. There should be job training and possibly placement in their chosen trade. Not all prisoners have the outside support needed to survive, so by partially assisting those exiting the system will be better than leaving them without anything.
References
Wilson, A., Exit Strategy for Parolees, National Conference of State Legislature, (2010, June) 
Case Western Reserve University. (2014, January 6). Released inmates need programs to meet basic, mental health needs, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 1, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140106103737.htm

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