Why do people re-offend?

The stigma of having been convicted of a crime stays with a person forever.

It is well known that education, employment and housing options for people with a criminal record virtually disappear.

So why do people continue to break laws after being caught and convicted?

Its a question that baffles many.

1 in 3 people in the united states has a criminal record of some kind.

Why do dont people stop after the first offense?



3 thoughts on “Why do people re-offend?”

  1. Possibly a cultural stigma that leads people to condemn and reject a person when they get caught breaking the law rather than treat and re-train?
    Condemnation can cause resentment and fuel rebellious thoughts. Also, the assumption that the world will always consider a convicted person a criminal for life regardless of the severity of their crime could cause a person to radically adapt to thinking of themselves as a criminal to survive which can then lead to continued criminal behavior.

  2. Common explanations for recidivism include:

    – Elements within the criminal justice system might make someone more likely to engage in criminal behavior. For example, an incarcerated person might meet drug dealers with whom he or she can network or might have to behave in a highly aggressive way to avoid being assaulted in prison.

    – Previous incarcerations can interfere with a person’s ability to obtain gainful employment both because of the person’s criminal record and because time in prison is time away from employment and the opportunity to gain skills.

    – Jail or prison likely does not remedy the factors that caused a person to engage in criminal activity in the first place. In some cases, incarceration can exacerbate these problems. For example, a person with mental illness might not receive treatment in jail, causing their mental health issues to become worse. A significant portion of the incarcerated population has some type of mental health condition.

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