Drug Courts, Recidivism, Quality of Life, and Employment


According to Nolan, Drug Courts are today’s resolve to criminal justice constraints when sourcing solutions to drug-related crimes (Nolan 2003, p. 1). Drug courts serve as a platform where drug offenders are treated rather than prosecuted. Nolan explains that the increasing number of drug offenders is stressing the justice system to an extent of constraining the legal system (Farrington, 1998). This has forced the criminal justice system to seek resolves for drug addiction as a measure. Drug courts have promised gains to the community by ridding it of drug abusers, on the other hand, cost efficiency to the judicial system (Nolan, 2003, p. 1).

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Drug courts serve nonviolent drug offenders by helping them avoid punitive measures. Instead, drug courts serve as drug addiction countering platforms, subsequently helping drug offenders recover from addiction. Drug courts confront the causes of drug addiction, provide treatment, and cure through therapy and coercion (Nolan, 2003, p. 1). Belenko provides an insight into the significance of drug courts by explaining that findings by researchers show a substantial reduction of criminal behavior when drug offenders participated in drug courts (Belenko, 1994, p. 2). Studies carried out by Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance abuse show that drug courts provide comprehensive drug addict supervision and regular testing. On the same level, the monitoring process was efficient and closer than other methods like community supervision (Kurlychek, Robert & Bushway, 2006). The study clarified that drug offenders changed significantly when placed under drug courts supervision (Belenko, 1994).

The ultimate goal of drug courts is to involve drug offenders in shaping their morals (Nolan, 2003, p. 1). The drug courts have replaced the traditional aggressive approach to drug crimes nominally, the Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance abuse suggests (Belenko, 1996). The drug courts use a non-adversarial approach when addressing and arresting the drug offenders. This approach leaves the offender without choice to react rebelliously rather conforms to the non-adversarial charter. In drug courts, the judge is not deadly venom that sentences the offender to dungeons of hopelessness, rather is a team leader in the treatment and rehabilitation process. He judge socializes and coordinates with the offenders. The objective being to dispense his moral authority as an impartial judge rather in an individual manner. Conversely, the aim is to provide guidance while gaining more insight about the behavior, perception, and objectives of the drug offenders (Nolan, 2003, p. 2).

A drug as such is a rehabilitative criminal justice offshoot that tackles the constraint of drug offense through providing treatment and identifying cause of drug problem. A mechanism confronts the problem of drug addiction and offenses with an aim of reducing and treating rather than aggressively confronting the crimes using the criminal justice penal codes (Finn & Newlyn, 1993). The defense attorney in the drug court is a member of the therapy team, which provides treatment. The prosecutor works along with health officials with a strong background in drug offenses, abuse, and healthcare, to help the drug offenders correct and adopt proper social behavior and moral construct (Nolan, 2003, p. 2).

The need to understand comprehensively the structural model of drug courts has become urgent as the effectiveness of the drug courts becomes apparent. Paucity of research has however provided little or no comprehensive overview on the framework used to disseminate functionality value of a drug court. This research argues that the emergence of drug courts has helped deliver the society from the drug offense constrain. The paper examines the structural element of the courts, how the drug courts provide the desired impact in drug abuse and crime.

According to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, drug courts are criminal justice correctional measures courts that aim to stop drug abuse and related criminal practices by drug abusers (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, 2005, P. 2). The courts aim to harness recovery from the habit and criminal practices through criminal justice court-directed/delegated rehabilitation methods (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, 2005). The framework in the sentencing is rather a rehabilitative model that focuses on correction and training instead of approaching the punitive measure from an imprisonment viewpoint. Prosecution, upon certifying a participant is eligible refers treatment and rehabilitation as the recommendations for correcting the abuser in principal instead of sending the drug offender into prison (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, 2005).

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The New Jersey Judiciary describes drug courts as programs whose mission is to halt substance abuse. Substance abuse is comprehensive and New Jersey Judiciary points out alcohol and drugs as substances abused. Further, drug courts are explained in context as highly specialized programs managed under a process of teamwork. The teamwork is under the superior court framework. The objective of this team process is to tackle nonviolent drug use in the society (New Jersey Judiciary, 2003). The context of teamwork is brought a field by bringing the individual participants in the team process. The justice system collaborates with ‘drug abuse treatment experts’ within a courtroom setup with a judge presiding and court staff, substance abuse analysts/evaluators, attorneys, treatment professionals, and probation officers present (New Jersey Judiciary, 2003).

The objective of cooperation between all such participants is to construct a concerted process of analyzing and recommending prompt and comprehensive rehabilitative measures while maintaining a balance of judicial and law authority across the society. At the same level, the team, in concert, maintains authority and a critical balance in recovery monitoring processes, where supervision and support is provided to achieve the principal objective (New Jersey Judiciary, 2003). Suffice to say drug courts are dynamic in their dissemination of justice (Mahoney, 1994); the judicial system feels stressed by drug abuse and offenses (Maguire et al, 1988). As such, recommendations, in continuum are rigorous, intense, and requiring dedication in the team’s part. On the other hand, the drug offender is under strict supervision, frequent testing for drug use, and frequently reporting to court (New Jersey Judiciary, 2003). In the even of failing to adhere to prescribed rules and treatment program statutes, the drug court reinstates criminal charges on the offender.

In their definition of a drug court, Akron Municipal courts explain in context drug courts as special courts burdened with responsibility to prosecute drug-using offenders by providing correctional and treatment platforms rather than punitively (Akron Municipal Court, 2003). Drug courts, according to the Akron Municipal court handles cases involving drug-using offenders through intensive judicial care, compulsory drug abuse therapy and treatment, case management and mandatory graduation (Akron Municipal Court, 2003).

Drug courts impose a minimum one-year participation in the program during which the drug-offender is on probation upon whose successful completion the guilty pleas and the case in court is vacated and dismissed.

Benefits of Drug Courts

Cassia et al point out that, recidivism as a context requires more research. Cassia et al explain that paucity of research around this context has constrained identifying ramifications within research developing around criminal justice measures to tackle drug offenses. They argue that, increasing number of drug offenders arrested and presented in federal courts is significantly stressing the justice system. There are so many of these drug offenders and undisputable evidence linking both drug use and crime as drivers (Cassia, et al, 2001, p. 149-176). Drug courts were an inception relatively close to rehabilitative and counseling frameworks developed by criminal justice system under the judiciary to identify ways of stemming increased levels of drug offenses. Defined as drug treatment courts by Cassia et al, these courts differ in both model and mode of dispensation. While all aim at reducing drug use and criminality, their effectiveness has become paramount within both the criminal justice system and the criminal psychology circles (Horney, Osgood & Ineke, 1995).

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Effectiveness denotes benefits accrued after implementation and thorough adherence to sets of rules and regulations demanding specific milestones (Cooper, 1997). Drug courts require drug offenders to change their drug taking habits and criminal activities thus turning into responsible civilians with a moral obligation, sense of personality, and most importantly, adhering to the rule of law (Thornberry& Krohn, 2005). Recidivism notably declined under drug courts programs, raising excited concerns about a permanent resolve to drug offenses. Various empirical research results show that, drug courts have helped reduce offender recidivism. Progress reports published by the Douglas County in Omaha and a similar one from Nebraska Drug Court show positive developments in participants (Cassia, et al, 2001, p. 149-176). Lower rates of recidivism have been noted and research developing around drug courts and their models continue to report substantially lower rates of recidivism levels in comparison to court adjudicated prosecution (Cassia, et al, 2001, pp. 149-176).

US Department of justice explains the role of drug courts as to provide access to a continuum of substance abuse rehabilitation and correction (Drug Courts Program Office, 1997). Drug courts are vital for they establish the origins and patterns of drug abuse and segment them based on the individuals complex and unique background and social affiliation with an aim of pining the cause of the problem. The objective here is to establish the problem since it is complex per individual case (US Department of Justice, 2004, p. 10). As such, drug courts provide insight regarding influences and a variety of social and cultural factors role in development of drug abuse habits (Hirsch & Michael, 1983).

The summation by the US Department of justice further explains how drug courts have helped more longitudinal studies document the effectiveness of drug courts. These longitudinal studies have provided a viewpoint regarding the direction of drug courts effectiveness, especially in reduction of criminal recidivism (US Department of Justice, 200, p. 10). Studies by the office of National Drug Control Policy have proved that drug courts rehabilitative and treatment program are cost effective compared to other domestic interdiction and jail time (US Department of Justice, 2004, p. 10).

Post recidivism determines the overall value of the drug court programs. How the former drug offender assimilates in the society provides insight about how successful the program was. Conversely, drug courts provide solid drug offender rehabilitation for many communities that lack sufficient treatment and rehabilitative resources. Besides, drug courts provide the required leadership to avail support services to the community. Drug courts, through their judicial networks have creatively innovated networks across the teams hence making access to services and support possible.

Rempel et al longitudinal research segments the benefits of drug courts comprehensively enough to provide insight about the milestones of drug courts. Rempel et al explain that, drug courts work has reduced recidivism effectively in comparison to the convectional methods of corrections (Rempel, et al, 2003, p. 4). Basing their findings or related research and studies on recidivism, Rempel et al report statistically significant results. Drug courts role in controlling and correcting recidivism shows that, conventional prosecution fails to correct criminal problems and to some extent, rather aggravates the condition. On the other hand, drug courts allow a direct confrontation with the problem of substance abuse, subsequently, destroying the basis of facilitation and the de-capacitating of abuse resources from the medium of abuse. Drug courts treatment and rehabilitation approach severs the link between drugs and the offender. The offender adapts to a life of freedom from vices and becomes reliant on his own mental capacity to function responsibly.

Belenko explained the benefits of drug courts as vast and adorable. According to Belenko, drug courts have contributed significantly in the recent past in fostering transition of criminal justice system from a punitive one to a more of a conflict resolve program (Belenko, 1998, p. 23). This approach recognizes the value of addressing drug abuse problems. With emphasis on the underlying substance abuse constrains in non-violent drug abusers who make a huge part of prison population in America. Belenko argues that drug courts provide the most effective supervision of drug offenders in the society hence; the offender is forced to abandon the habit. Community supervision is a broad context. It includes parole and probation as key methodologies of supervising an offender communally (Belenko, 1998). This engagement proves very direct and close such that the outcomes are obvious. Drug courts, as such serve as most reliable drug-offender correctional platform.

Introduction to recidivism

Mclean et al typifies recidivism to a relapse. According to McLean et al, recidivism is the relapse to criminality often observed after a criminal completes a sentence and assimilates to the society only to be arrested for engaging in crime (McLean, 2004, p. 3). This relapse to crime after incarceration through prosecution is worrisome and the need to address the increase has become dire (Petersilia, 2003). Recidivism is evaluated by studying the number of offenders going back to prison after they served sentences in jail (Hill, 1971). The involvement of a former criminal in new offenses is, to a certain degree, very disturbing. A measure to correct this individual comprehensively is important (Pager, 2006).

The US Justice Department explains that the rate of recidivism in the US is estimated at 2/3rd. This denotes a worrying trend across the country. Recidivism comes at a great cost to the government and the community (Hughes, 1998). The high rates comes at excessive costs in terms of public safety, and resources spent to trail, arrest and rehabilitate these re-arrested drug-offenders (McLean et al, 2004). The number of re-arrested is high, and the pattern shows a worrying trend, as such, resources are wasted in re-incarcerating these offenders again. McLean et al argue explain that, high rates of recidivism are a threat to the social security, families of the offenders and the offenders themselves. McLean et al further proposes rehabilitation under drug courts as an affable solution to these parties in principal (McLean, et al, 2004).

Relapse is because of poor means of correcting the offender (Smelser, 1998). Wherein, the offender was incarcerated lawfully, jail does not provide solution to self-realization and individual self-improvement. Jail only confines one to a segregated environment and allows influence of peers in decision making, developing new habits, and becoming more aware of what extents are available for drug and criminality. Criminal justice system does not seal the channels through which prisons are proliferated with more drugs and vices (Sampson, & Laub, 1993). The system fails to manage and positively transform incarcerated criminals into well-behaved and responsible members of the civil society. In fact, confinement has proved fatal for offenders. Jail provides access to more varieties of vices and criminal behavior (Hirsch, 1969). As such, recidivism is reported in every two thirds of offenders released for drug-related offenses.

Mclean at al agrees with this projection citing substance abuse as widespread and a problem among incarcerated criminals. He explains the problem longitudinally, citing recidivism as a progeny of lack of opportunities. On the same level, McLean et al points out recidivism as a barrier to getting stable employment (McLean et al, 2004). Maltz, in his definition of recidivism, clearly states the relapse context as the most apt meaning. Maltz explains recidivism from a correctional perspective, where he denotes falling back to previous status as core in recidivism. Recidivism is falling back to criminal activity even after incarceration for the same. A recidivist, from a correctional context, is one who after release from incarceration/imprisonment after serving a sentence passed since he committed a crime, falls back to former behavior, and commits crime (Maltz, 2001, p. 54). Song and Lieb define recidivism as an offender going back to privy criminal ways. Offenders may reoffend upon release from jail. This re-offense characteristic of this individual is known as recidivism (Song & Lieb, 1993, p. 7). Song and Lieb explain the effects of jail on recidivism as partially vital in correcting behavior. This makes the jail time effect on offenders to be crucial, especially to those serving in public safety offices. Song and Lieb point out several variant constructs within the recidivism context and puts emphasis on public safety and the cost of putting offenders in jail (Song & Lieb, 1993). They provide insight regarding length of incarceration value in correcting recidivism and the effectiveness of rehabilitation and treatment methods adopted by the criminal justice system through drug courts. Drug courts provide shorter jail terms, while jail is not entire prison facilities but supervisory and treatment engagements facilitated by impartial professionals drawn from the criminal justice system, the public and health sector.

Maltz perspective regarding a recidivist is broader in context. Maltz argues that, we cannot underpin drugs as sole factors of criminal behavior, but also, should consider in principal other factors and provide fundamental backgrounds of recidivism. Maltz provide a viewpoint when he discusses robbery under no influence. The criminal behavior exhibited by the robber is not caused by influence; rather it is a premeditated scheme that is meticulously executed. Robbery, according to Maltz, is classified as a personal/violent crime since the victim was compromised by the offender. Jailing the offender and releasing him after serving the sentence only to realize his relapse to robbery is contentious. Recidivism is more about the offender behavior (Maltz, 2001, p. 55).

As such, index crime is a variant determinant of recidivism since, the robber is actually passive and violent, and whereas, based on Maltz viewpoint; recidivism is more of behavior relapses. This means it is important the time when the relapse happened be recorded promptly, making it difficult for us to establish who truly are a recidivist and the difference between the first offender as per index crime and a recidivist (Maltz, 2001, p. 56). Maltz suggests redefining recidivism to provide research a comprehensive meaning. With research developing around recidivism focusing on statistical descriptors rather than named individuals, (Nagin & Paternoster, 2000) recidivism remains a behavioral issue rather than crime index rates and arrests statistics (Maltz, 2001, p. 56).

Lack of opportunities is blamed on criminal activity (Falkin, 1993). Lack of money, lack of proper housing, and hope for a stable future leads to criminal activity. It is evident from our social backgrounds, that crime is related to lack of what is being stolen. However, this is only to a certain level. There are various clusters of the society, especially within age brackets. The study of criminal behavior in delinquents and juveniles emphasizes the need to categorize crime index from an age perspective (Raphael, 2006). Roberts and White explain the cause of dissonance in prosecutions as a direct attack on the judiciary failure to identify age as a variable when prosecuting the adult segment of criminals.

They argue that, the court system is under stress since its sentencing trends fail to provide comprehensive resolves to criminal behavior (Charlotta & Richard, 2009). The issue is that courts are too lenient in sentencing criminals. This gives criminals room to redefine criminal activity and even plan how to stage better criminal ability upon leaving jail. The civil society seems to seek more punitive and potentially harsh sentences. It is evident the courts are insufficiently harsh towards offenders (Roberts & White, 1986, p. 229), a reason why offenders will resurface after serving short lenient sentences.

Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research explains the complex relation between resources and crime. Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research projects that research has continued to establish higher levels of education and employment were intertwined with crime (Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research, 2006, p. 1). This high correlation between impoverishment and crime is worrying as levels of poverty grow. With their viewpoint focusing on

Juvenile crime and delinquency, they claim there is much less facts about what causes juvenile offenders to stop criminal habits Bernburg and Krohn provide a better view of the link between employment and crime. They argue that, unemployment correlates with crime, citing low quality employment as factor as well. In fact, unemployment, according to Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research, is associated with high arrest rates mostly targeting juveniles. Longitudinal research has established education, as if employment reduces, significantly, recidivism in juveniles (Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research, 2006, p. 4). Bernburg and Krohn argue that, employment in early adulthood plays a crucial role in providing young adults a foundation for their future. Employment at this stage significantly averts criminal behavior and involvement (Bernburg and Krohn, 2003).

To understand the interlinking of crime and unemployment, identifying what prompts desistance from criminality requires theoretical coherence. Sampson and Laub longitudinal research explain a relationship, within criminality, an age limit that, along the lifespan, manages level of involvement. Sampson and Laub as such conclude there is a nexus between criminal behaviors, age and age at which desistance from criminality becomes apparent (Sampson and Laub, 2001, p. 3-6).

Rates of young adults taking drugs and engaging in crime are now commonplace. Most of those placed in correctional facilities confess lack of opportunities and money often lean them to the snares of crime. It is sad to note that, the habits developed by these young people are very abhorable and violent. Various studies have been carried out to ascertain the relationship between recidivism and employment. Most of these studies seem to focus primarily on juvenile recidivism. There is a great deal of juveniles and young adults involved in violent crime. They are arrested and imprisoned and after leaving prison, they take up their old habits. They end up committing similar crimes as those that led them to jail previously (Devitt, 1998). What these studies tell is that, correctional facilities hardly have impact on criminals, rather, provide room for advancement of poor moral development and criminal minds (Karpowitz, & Kenner).

Other studies have established various patterns in criminal behavior after jail terms. The effect of employment programs for committed young offenders especially within the age median of 17-25 following release from incarceration shows a varying trend depending on the jail terms and what correctional measures were provided during the correction. When placed in employment programs after release, which include career training, work release programs, participation in programs that seek employment for such participants and institutional positions, a huge percentage of the released offenders seemed engrossed in becoming better than relapsing to criminal activity (Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research, 2006, p. 5).

Meta-analysis projections show evidence of improved moral development and productivity in work programs while longitudinal studies show increased recidivism in adolescents sent to jail. This means, human capital development can provide a fundamental basis for moral development and exemption of criminal elements in young people and other offenders (Hagedorn, 1988).

Visher et al, contextualizes populace growth and argues that, the consequence of tremendous growth of the population, high level of jobless populace constituents compromises social equity. The number of people under state law microscope, either that paroled, recently released from prison, or probation has increased tremendously (Visher et al, 2005). This is a consequence of increased population and limited opportunities. Visher et al argues that this watch is because of the history of these individuals failure to keep jobs and their criminal history.

It is enough to say, it is very difficult to find a job as an ex-offender a perspective shared by Visher et al. Visher et al explain this complex by identifying the varying constraints faced by ex-convicts upon leaving jail. According to Visher, ex-offenders who just left jail after serving sentences face great pitfalls as they try to join the civil society. One the civil society is wary of them; secondly, their reputation is not at all promising. These are substantial barriers that can force the ex-offender to relapse into crime hence become a recidivist. It is obvious that, policy makers and the criminal justice system including courts should avail provisions for stable employment and eradication of legal employment barriers to help the ex-offenders assimilate and function in the society (Visher et al, 2005).

The cause of recidivism as such is directly related to lack of resources and stable sources of income to sustain an ex-offender (Roberts, & White, 1986). Identifying solutions that can sustain these offenders is vita (Korpi, 2001). Through legal employment and use of networks and other relevant social networks, help and sustainable jobs and economic activities can reduce recidivism (Korpi, 2001). In fact, they could significantly reduce recidivism. Visher et al provides insight about what has been done in the past 25 years in relationship to identifying solutions in terms of opportunities for ex-offenders. According to Visher et al, many programs that were designed to increase employment among ex-offenders have been implemented. These were in form of educational, vocational, and work programs for ex-offenders under the watch of state law (Visher et al, 2005). In their study on inmates and recidivism, Maguire, Flanagan, & Thornberry found out that, convicts or offenders who participated in the prisons industry had lower recidivism rates than non-participants of the industry (Maguire, Flanagan, & Thornberry, 1988).

Participation in career programs by ex-offenders shows increased potential and capacity. There was increased late employment and decreased recidivism. Most of the studies strongly suggest there is a direct link between employment and crime (Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research, 2006, p. 5). Longitudinal studies have established that employment may reduce recidivism, whereby, a stable job promises a relevant cash stream hence reduces the possibility of crime initiation among the youth (Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research, 2006, p. 5).

Studies seek to establish exactly how employment might facilitate desistance from criminality (Damm, Rosholm, 2010). It is not clearly understood how an offender who is educated and employed can adapt a new lifestyle, where he purely engages only in decent behavior and legal economic activities. However, we can pitch education as core in modeling individuals and largely provide him/her with ability to be reasonable about life. Criminals with good education background might engage in less violent crimes and take up other forms of crime including cheating, fraud, and obtaining goods and monetary rewards through false pretense. Education is viewed as a major driver in providing an individual with attachment and commitment to living a healthy life in the convectional society (Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research, 2006).

Employment is a social process (Graham and Bowling, 1995). The link between employment and recidivism is observed from the ‘alternative involvement’ context where we find employment as providing a resolve to both idleness and lack of money to spend on what one would like (Gove, 1985). It is obvious idleness and need to satisfy personal needs and to fit in social circles/classes prompts criminal activity associated with robberies and stealing money. (Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research interprets the link between employment and recidivism as a stigma associated with crime, subsequently inhibiting access of convectional opportunities (Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research, 2006). Correctional facilities that provide educational achievements help a great deal in restoring access to employment for ex-offenders. As such, employment provides resolve to crime, where, money resolves deficit, provides opportunity, and diverts criminal mind, desperation, and poverty, helping an individual focus on developing himself, become a member of the society and practicing convectional social-economic activities. Recidivism can be resolved through employment and civil society moral obligation to set a code of ethical behavior, reporting felons, and working closely with the police to compel criminals and ex-offenders remain convectional (Piquero, 2004).

Quality of life and recidivism

Drago, Galbiati and Vertova carried out a profound research on prison conditions and recidivism, where they established a nexus between jail conditions and level of correction effectiveness. In their findings, Drago, Gabiati and Vertova pointed out the very vital element of condition that the offender is subjected as one that greatly determines the outcome of his incarceration, Drago et al assessment was based on a set of unique data. The data, set on post-release behavior of ex-offenders, estimates of prison condition effect on recidivism showed significant results (Drago, Galbiati & Vertova, 2008, p. 3). Drago et al explain their use of different data sources to exploit variant prison conditions effect on incarcerated offenders.

Overcrowding in prisons negatively affects offenders. Over crowding provides a breeding space for more vice use adaptation and decline of moral construct in offenders. Poor conditions in prison are more likely to cause recidivism (Drago, Galbiati & Vertova, 2008). Earlier, we cited civil society dissonance on criminal justice system punitive measures. Becker observed that, crime rates declined locally where prison conditions measured by number of deaths reported. This result confirms the fact that, harsher punitive and correctional measures deter ex-offenders from recidivism (Drago, Galbiati & Vertova, 2008, p. 4).

Quality of life is a wider context. White et al study on HIV-positive ex-offender show homelessness is a key cause of recidivism (White et al, 2008). Chen and Shapiro investigated if harsh prison conditions affected the life of the ex-convict, found out harsh prisons conditions, and distance between jail and home significantly tuned an offender morally reducing risk of recidivism. Their study provides insight on which aspects of incarceration increase or reduce recidivism (Chen & Shapiro, 2007, p. 16). Gendreau et al investigated how the community can check on criminals to improve their lives through sanctions and incarceration. Gendreau et al found out that, a community that sanctioned punitive measures for offender has reduced criminal recidivism (Gendreau et al, 2006). Moak, Lowry, and Webber suggest that more effort should be put to offer job training and job opportunities for ex-offenders. This will provide them with occupation in order to return to society (Moak, Lowry & Webber, 2007, p 20). Merill et al suggest that offenders continue to receive treatment and support after incarceration. Their study shows reduced recidivism in plush and up market neighborhoods where such programs were ongoing (Merill et al, 1999, p. 313-319). As such, quality of life provides respite to post criminal life. Reduced recidivism is noted where a community provides respite through opportunities. Ex-offenders from poor backgrounds tend to slide back to crime due to lack of resources, especially money and homes (Petersilia & Turner, 1993, p. 281-288). Recidivism, according to these studies is a lack of opportunities dogma. Provided ex-offenders have income, they will not relapse into criminality and depression (Glyn & Slogget, 1998).

Effects of employment on quality of life

A Good life is characterized by various fine things I life. One, the quality of ones lifestyle speaks volumes regarding his levels of fiscal ability (Damm & Rosholm, 2010). A good job provides basic amenities and assists one to live in a good environment, go to good schools, and relate with people of similar background. This explanation is the simplest form of meaning when discussing quality of life as a characteristic of a good employment. Paucity of research around causes of recidivism in certain sections of well up families shadows the facts vital to explain the complex of drug-offense recidivism in young adults from well up families (Gottfresdon & Travis, 1990).

Blalock, McDaniel, and Farber argue that employment is associated with the completeness of life, especially, the overall quality of life (Blalock, McDaniel and Farber, 2002, p. 400-404). They investigated employment association in its relation to psychological functionality of the individual (Blalock, McDaniel and Farber, 2002). Yet, Blalock, McDaniel, and Farber explain that previous longitudinal research projects that unemployed people demonstrated low levels of self-esteem. They argue that, unemployed report anxiety, depression, social isolation, and depression (Blalock, McDaniel, and Farber, 2002).

Stoneman and Anderson researched how employment favored quality life and their study revealed that the effects of social capital and aspects of quality of life were significant (Stoneman & Anderson, 2006, p. 1). Quality of life is described as number of health problems and psychological well-being particularly (Susana & Mirko, 2010), in terms of sufficing fiscal ability, living conditions, basic amenities, and ownership of investments and properties (Kirsh, 1992). Stoneman and Anderson found out that quality of life is particularly important (Rapport, 2009) in reducing the length of unemployment, with those who declined in privy lifestyles finding it difficult to be re-employed (Stoneman & Anderson, 2006, p. 20). Priebe et al explain that in the general population employed people and more satisfied with their lives those who are not. They further argue that people display subjective well being and objective quality of life when they are employed (Priebe et al, 1998, p. 469). Pocock et al also found out unemployment as a stressor in many families. They explained that quality of life, especially where conditions, health and resources played a significant role in the overall quality (Bushway, Shawn & Peter, 2002), where they determine quality of life and return to employment (Pocock et al, 1996).

Although much of the research around quality of life and employment focuses mainly on people with certain disabilities, conclusions from most of these studies show that, employed people are more focused in improving their lives, investing and getting better jobs. Unemployed people and those in low-income employment continue to struggle in life with members of such families taking up criminal activity to increase their revenue and sustain their families (Wei-Bin, 2010).


Sliding back to crime after incarceration is defined as recidivism. Taming recidivists has become paramount. Cost of managing drug addiction and ex-offenders is high and through drug courts. Conversely, drug courts have reinvented the very import role of the government as provider by implementing correctional programs that go beyond assisting offenders to become morally upright but also self reliant and resourceful. A society with opportunities and a code of ethics is secure from criminals since employment provides members of society with resources and respites to vices (Sudekum, 2009) and criminal activity. Employment improves the quality of life (Waldorf, 2009), effectively, that, in continuum, an individual is conscious of his role as a society member and ascribes to both the societal norms and develops himself economically. As such, employment is important in controlling crime and recidivism.


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